Monday, July 26, 2004

Sunday Morning, Coming Up: I order the Curry Up wrap just to be polite. The lads and lasses are demanding food but there is no way I’m going to be able to eat anything in this state. My head is filled with a dulled mess of half-thoughts, regrets and memories of Saturday night. The drinks had started flowing early, and returned often. Mimosas through brunch, followed by the clarifying power of vodka and soda to fill out the afternoon. Welcoming the evening with a new drink we’re calling the Salito for the evening: corona over ice, with lots of lime and a pinch of sea salt. White wine with the lobster bake dinner. Jameson’s Irish Whiskey for desert, and then for everything else at the next two or three bars. My calves hurt from dancing, which is what we called it but we’re sure now it looked a lot more like falling over and jumping around. The last thing I clearly remember is being very happy when the DJ agreed to replay AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long. It was one of those nights.

I’m not really paying attention to my food because I’m watching a woman in the bakery with obscenity diamonds on her hand. Three bands of diamonds plus an enormous three stone engagement ring. She’s pretty but pretty in that way that so many other wealthy women in the Hamptons are pretty—blonde, small, great skin and sparkling eyes but any bit of hell or rebellion that might have existed has long since been overcome by shingled beach houses, tennis, riding lessons and the scent of freshly minted money. For a moment I consider cutting off her diamond laden finger and making a run for it. That would put a bit of the flame of life back into her.

Fortunately, I’m too hung-over to indulge my inner sociopath. My friends are urging us out of the bakery and towards the beachside bar. A band is playing all those songs that bands play when you have sand in between your toes. Jimmy the bartender sets up the Bloody Marys, and soon we’re humming along with the band because we know all these songs, even if we know them against our will.

“Catch anything?” Jimmy asks me.

That’s when I realize I’m carrying my fishing rod. I haven’t been fishing all weekend, so this is a bit surprising. “Uhm, no luck yet.”

“Looks to me like you’ve got the catch of the day,” he says nodding toward the girls who are still willing to hang around with me despite my behavior this weekend. He makes more jokes like this as noon becomes the afternoon and the Marys get Bloodier. He asks if I’ll be fishing later, and I make some lame reply about having already caught my limit. It’s funnier than he knows, but I don’t go in to details.

There’s a guy at the bar who is mumbling and stumbling and sporting an enormous black eye. He’s trying to get Jimmy to serve him a drink but Jimmy keeps giving him water. I lean in to hear what he’s saying.

“The liver is evil,” he says. “It must be punished.”

I understand what he means but that’s not how I feel today. There’s nothing evil in us anymore. Only fire and light and beauty. And about twenty-two ounces of vodka.