Thursday, December 06, 2012

Unexpected encounters

Monday I had one of those nights that started out looking like it was gonna suck, but managed to turn around nicely into a blog-worthy evening. Then Tuesday it happened again, to a bit of a lesser degree.

It was the final Shotz! of the year and I was meeting Kacey and Becker for the 7 pm show. I got on the subway from Penn Station coming back from work and was surprised by my train skipping my usual stop. Apparently the station was closed due to a police investigation of a homicide. So I had to get off at 57th Street and walk back down, but I still had plenty of time so I wasn't worried yet.

I was greeted by my doorman with three packages: an Amazon shipment of books and movies, my new Denon receiver and a giant, coffin-sized box that could only be my new bookshelf. For a moment I felt like the crew of Firefly in "The Message."

Ordinarily, I'd have preferred to leave everything and pick it up upon my return, but since the Denon was in its own box, I was concerned that someone might make off with it if my doorman had to leave his post. So it took me two trips to bring everything up to the apartment and by then I was cutting it close.

Since my close-by subway station was closed and that's the line I use to get to Shotz!, I had to walk through Times Square to the 42nd Street station. As I was crossing the street, I felt someone pinch my elbow. I turned to see a former work colleague from Agent K, my last job, and one of my closest friends from that office. We spent a few minutes catching up: she's raising a family in Edgewater, NJ and working at BET in Midtown now. I broke off as gracefully as I could, explaining that I was late for a show.

I hopped on the Q express train, which took me down to 14th Street, but watched helplessly as the connecting local R train pulled out of the station just as we pulled in. I decided to walk the remaining distance to St. Marks, but because I was coming from the north instead of the west as usual, I got confused with my landmarks.

As I was standing at the corner trying to remember how to get to the theater, my friend Kiwi came sauntering over on his white horse and two slices of pizza on a paper plate. He was headed to a show at 80 St. Marks, across Avenue A from my destination, Under St. Marks. He looked up directions on his smartphone and we walked over together to meet up with Kacey and Becker and I made introductions before he departed.

Unfortunately, at this point, the show was standing room only because the theme is James Bond 007. Each play has to feature a gadget and the line, "Don't worry, I've done this before." With Skyfall breaking box office records, I guess it's a spillover effect. I sent Kacey into the theater to find Chelsea, a friend from yoga class whom we had invited to come, and we decided to come back for the 8:30 pm show.

So the four of us walked down to the Anywhere Cafe and had a light pre-show supper. I ordered a salad, Kacey had the borscht, Becker (who was feeling a little under the weather) had Earl Grey tea and Chelsea had a glass of absinthe, which was dramatically served over a brown sugar cube set on a strainer and ignited. It was Johnny Depp’s scene in From Hell, minus the laudanum.

We went back to the theater and it was definitely the largest crowd of the year. One of the skits was excellently done by a company of mimes who were appearing as featured guests, but my favorite was titled “Bond Bitches” which had us in stitches. Kacey had to go back to work (she has a new job and a big event tonight) so we walked everyone to their subways and I went home to start installing the Denon receiver.

Tuesday I had thought to see Puck for a TSMC showing of Moonrise Kingdom so I worked from home that day. It also allowed me to visit Best Buy at lunchtime to pick up some HDMI video cables so I could finish the installation I had started the previous evening. It turned out that Puck had a last-minute family event and my friend Liz got buried in work, so I wasn't sure if anyone was coming at all. I started building the bookshelf and lost track of time until Katie (Puck’s former FB wife) knocked on the door.

I greeted her apologetically, asking her to step around the coffin-sized box remnants and the half-finished bookshelf on the floor. I quickly washed up and we spent a little time catching up. She’s interning at the Herstory Archives and had an interview the next day with a staffing company. We watched our movie, which I found to be delightful. It made me realize that it’s been a long time since I've seen an independent movie or even a foreign film, and how different they are from Hollywood mainstream movies.

After Katie left, I quickly finished the bookshelf and installed the projector, along with consolidating my framed photos and decorative items on it, including my Japanese sword and lightning sphere. I stayed up late to watch the Rockets sneak a win by beating the Lakers down the stretch in the fourth quarter - which was immensely satisfying - before going to bed.