Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Out Sick

I've been feeling quite lousy the past few days and haven't had the energy to muster up an engaging blog for the masses. I'm in my "sick outfit" which consists of sleep pants, fake Uggs, one of my many pumpkin t-shirts made of vintage cotton and of course, my butter creme yellow cardigan sweater that I purchased in the fall of 1984 with one of my measly paychecks from Caldor. The Shetland wool is still in tact with only a small bit of piling around the underarm area. This sweater is like my sleep blankie, except this one I can wear and the funny thing is, I only wear it now when I feel lousy. When I was a senior at Albany High, I used to wear it over a tight black, low-cut shirt with Girbaud black corduroys, black penny loafers and red or yellow socks. I was stylin' back in those days. I think I was heavily into Oingo Boingo during this period of my life. I often frequented a great new wave bar on Lark Street called 288. It was in an old brownstone and really had the feel of a gritty punk bar found only on the lower East Side of New York circa late 1970's. It was the closest thing I had to make me feel like I wasn't wallowing in the misery of Upstate New York mediocrity. Several blocks up the way was a rustic college bar called Bogie's where I lost my heart and soul through rapid fire and lots and lots of watered down cocktails. My fake ID was a staple in that joint. It was the first bar I got into when I was 17 and it became my home away from home in the mid to late 80's, with it's sticky floors, smokey air and filthy bathrooms and the best live music in the city. My usual routine was to either chalk my license or use my horrible ID purchased at Playland in Times Square when I was 15 on a French Club sojourn to the Big Apple. That experience was frightening and will save for a later blog. After spending an inordinate amount of cash on my identification card, which made me 24 years old at just 15 (almost 16), my friends and I went immediately to a Japanese restaurant and purchased as much Saki as we could swallow. Needless to say, some puked on the way home but I drank white wine and was wise as to how much I consumed for fear of yakking on a school bus, three house away from home.

Back to Bogies....once I got in, I'd order a Gin and Tonic or sometimes a Whiskey Sour to pay homage to my swinging parents and light up a stogie. I think I favored Dunhill's back then and even had a fabulous gold and pearl encrusted cigarette case that I had purchased at Daybreak, a wildly inexpensive second hand store on Central Avenue. A friend of mine bought me a red plastic cigarette holder with tiny rhinestones set all over it, which made me look like an 80's version of Gloria Swanson, waiting for her proverbial close-up in Sunset Boulevard. I took my usual seat with my gal pals, waited for my band to take the stage and scouted out the scene. It was mostly SUNY Albany people as well as "Rosebuds" from the Catholic college down the street. I wasn't really looking for love back then...maybe a quick feel or a strong, powerful kiss from a college guy to hold me over because I was there to have a good time and that meant dancing up a storm, beers in-hand, with my friends. Maybe I was a bit rough around the edges back then but I think I still am. I enjoy that part of myself, which is sometimes street and other times, out of control. It's the very heart of my personality, the insight into who I really am and today, I'm sick and a little lonely, but the loneliness is my friend from afar that visits often these days to remind me that her day of reckoning is coming quick. I'm never going to be ready.

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