Thursday, August 12, 2004

Water Into Wine 

Somehow I managed to beat the rain on the way through the meatpacking district to Highline last night. Just as I stepped in the door the skies opened up and let loose the deluge. I arrived with Blondie, who recently reminded me that when we first met I remarked that her hair was shorter than mine. Apparently this is not the right thing to say to a woman you are trying to seduce because it gets translated in her head as “Damn, you look like bull dyke.”

We were meeting an old school friend and his young wife. He’s a equity trader for a massive financial outfit, and she works in fashion. They met five years ago at Tortilla Flats back when she lived in the Far West Village, and now they live in a very well appointed apartment on the Upper East Side. Both of them have managed to combine success in their careers with an incredibly healthy lifestyle of good food, lots of exercise and not much drink. He’s training to run in the marathon. Of course I despise them for this.

We had a couple of drinks at the bar, which is very modern, cool and comfortable. The hostess and bartenders were wonderful. We were seated at a very nice table in the center of the dining room, and I got to face the long glass wall and look out at the downpour. Our waiter was earnest and no doubt had the best intentions, but he was incompetent. He offered no advice on the menu, and declined to give any when prompted, which might not have been entirely his fault as nothing we were served was very impressive or exceptional. Perhaps there was nothing to recommend.

The wine was nice and decently priced, and rescued the dinner. As the second bottle emptied, the fit, rich married couple began to verbally swat at each other. She treats clothes like fruit—constantly buying fresh stuff, and treating her closet as if its contents had certainly gone rotten. He naps on Saturdays and doesn’t have time for movies. A bit clichéd; nothing serious; but just enough trouble in paradise to provide some ease of mind to those of us exiled from the garden.

The rain kept on, and so we tried to wait it out over another bottle of wine. And then another. I couldn’t believe that it could rain that heavily for that long. And I shouldn’t have. What I was looking at wasn’t rain at all. It was a fucking indoor waterfall that cascaded down the window directly across from me. A quick glance through the other windows revealed that the rain had all but tapered off.

So we took down the last of the wine, stole an umbrella that someone left at the bar, and stumbled out into the streets to watch the eurotrash and tunneltrash get their stilettos stuck in the cobblestones of the far west.