Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized, Writing

New York City is a Harsh Mistress for a Monkey with a Hangover

You wake up.

You are on the 28th floor of a high rise hotel in the heart of New York City.

And you may have had a fuck of a lot to drink the night before.

It’s not quite seven, and the street outside is already humming with traffic, which you can hear through the slightly cracked window. You blink up at the ceiling and begin to take a mental inventory of your bodily functions.

Time to see what kind of a hangover we’re dealing with.

The good news is that you are not immediately nauseous, and your head does not yet seem ready to split open and spill your pickled gray brain all over the pillow. Maybe you escaped a bad one this time, eh?

You roll over and try to go back to sleep but your old friend BEER ANXIETY grabs you by the throat and won’t let go.

You rack your brain for reasons to feel bad about the previous night.

Did you spend a lot of money?

Well, yes. But you knew that you would when you came this way. The expense was something you would have to live with. Better to spend the money than sit at home and struggle with the feeling that YOU ARE MISSING OUT.

Did you drink too much?

Well, of course. Far too much. Mugs and mugs of dark beer served out of dirty glasses in a bar that reeked of sweat and onions and urine. Beer that was fermented with a centuries old tradition of malt and yeast and hops, and laden with the kind of sinister¬† microbial pathogens that flourish in a place where “the dishwasher” is nothing more than a lukewarm basin of rinse water.

Did you behave in an untoward manner?

Not really. Sure you may have yelled a few off color things in the spirit of the moment. Made a couple of jokes in poor taste. But nothing that would have been out of bounds when you were sober. There were no threats to fight anyone, no overly personal conversations, no giving unwanted and unwarranted opinions about the lives of others.

So why does something feel wrong?

You roll over and try to go back to sleep, but the heat and the proximity of OTHER PEOPLE make this impossible.

Maybe you drift off for a moment, maybe not, but suddenly you jerk to life with a spasm of nerves.

Something is wrong.

In your head. In your eyes. In your ears. In your stomach. In your soul.

You are sweating and freezing at the same time. You feel suddenly and surprisingly connected to every nerve ending in your body, as if they are all firing at once and all sending your brain RED ALERT distress calls.

You get up and start pacing because you can’t sit still, but your legs buckle and sway with every step.

The sunlight that creeps in through the cracks in the shade hurts your eyes, but you can’t shut them. Whenever you close your eyes all you see are those mugs of warm dark beer.

Finally, when you think you can take it no more, you grab the key and head out of the room, closing the door softly behind you (even though in your ears it clicks into place with a resounding CLANG!). You walk down the softly padded corridors to the banks of elevators (hearing STOMP, STOMP, STOMP with every STEP STEP STEP).

You press the button and you wait. When the elevator arrives, you throw yourself through the door and curl up against the far wall, hoping no one else will get on with you. You will not be able to hide your blackened soul and enfeebled body in such close quarters.

Mercifully, it is a solo trip. You get down to the bottom, stagger out the door and do your half-dead marionette dance through the lobby. You try your best to avoid the damning stares of all the early bird guests who are lingering there on the couches and chairs. They are sip on coffee, look clean and freshly showered, and don’t seem to be suffering from even a mild case of alcohol poisoning.

“Elitist snobs,” you mumble through cracked, dried lips as you lurch towards the hotel’s front entrance.

It takes all the strength you have left to work the turnstile door, but you finally get it moving and it turns 180 degrees tosses you out in the street.

It is then that you realize that 42nd street in New York City is no place for a badly hungover young man to be on a Sunday morning. It’s quiet enough for the heart of a major metropolis, but your head demands more quiet. The kind of quiet you find at a morgue for nuns and mimes and librarians.

It’s clean enough for the downtown area, but your eyes can only see filth.

It’s a safe enough area for the biggest city in the United States, but every person who passes on the sidewalk seems to glare at you with look that screams disgust or malice or both.

They don’t want you here.

You don’t belong here.

You turn tail and head back into the hotel.

Surely a darkened, stuffy, overcrowded room is better than this raw, unnatural and unwelcoming urban world.

But it’s not.


Of Mudslides, Slip and Slides, and Summertime Thrill Rides

Your Monkey is feeling misty and nostalgic for the Fourth of July weekend that was, with its bright sunshine, frozen drinks, and easy living. It was a refreshing change of pace from the grinding monotony of the work week.

For once, Your Monkey’s summer resembled one of those nostalgic portraits that the people at Country Time Lemonade were so good at cooking up.

The weekend was also a nice mental break from worrying about jobs and writing and trying to figure out where Your Monkey is in the grand scheme of things. There was no need to make the most of every free minute.

But the drab reality of everyday life did not take long to assert itself this week, as a nice traffic jam cost your Monkey an extra hour of his precious free time last night, and a pouring rainstorm soaked his pants and delayed his train on the way home today.

But your Monkey has made it through tough work weeks before, and he can do it again.

At least for the moment he has some fond memories of summertime slacking off to brighten his day a little bit.

If we all had one frozen drink and took one trip down the slip and slide each day, the world might be a better place.

Here is a collection of commercials from the 1990s that features a Country Time lemonade spot at the 30 second mark or so (no one seems to have isolated one ad for easy viewing).

These commercials painted quite a nostalgic picture for a product that is basically glorified lemon dust.

Shameless self indulgence

Today’s Edition of We’re All Going to Die Soon News

It’s a grim world out there, my friends. Greed is king (as this article on a woman who ran an asbestos removal training scam clearly shows), the environment is an afterthought, and gigantic corporations are making tons of dough by pillaging the planet and exploiting its people left and right.

Oh yeah, everyone’s favorite petroleum provider has begun drilling in Alaska (see article here) and the poaching of elephants in Africa is on the rise thanks to recent loosening of laws designed to prevent the illicit trading of ivory (see article on recent arrests here).

Also, if you weren’t ashamed of yourself before now, check out these pictures that a Polish photographer took of late night drunks in Wales. The pictures appeared in Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper.

Sure, these particular photos might have been shot in the UK, but this same scene shows up again and again in the good ole USA as well. Try Faneuil Hall in Boston on a weekend night if you don’t believe me.

Your Monkey is not against a good old fashioned night of binge drinking, nor is he against busty nightclubbing outfits, but the trash heaps all over the road really say it all.

Let’s not roll around in our own filth any more than we have to, OK?

Shameless self indulgence

A Heatwave Hangover at Monkey Station

The following incidents took place at Monkey Central during the past 48 hours.

  1. Wake up early Friday morning with new sense of purpose after watching Celtics handily beat Bulls in playoff game #3 the night before. Listen to fraud radio show hosts completely change their tune about Celtics from one of “they’ll be lucky to get out of this series with a win” to “they’ll have it wrapped up in five games.”
  2. Spend day at work thrilling to the discovery of several new podcasts. One called “Psychedelic Velveeta” has live concerts from two of the Monkey’s favorite bands, the Black Angels and Dead Meadow. Black Angels podcast is an excellent performance, though the mix is a little bit too vocal heavy and doesn’t quite do justice to the energy of the band.
  3. Leave work approximate 6 mins early in an attempt to get to Fenway Park in time for Red Sox game. Fail miserably, as traffic is backed up all over the place due to series of minor fender benders. Monkey suspects that many accidents are due to drivers gawking at girls dressed for unseasonably warm weather.
  4. While stuck in traffic, watch as man in silver Jeep with New Hampshire plates (you know who you are) unceremoniously dumps trash out the window of his car on to the road. A single monkey tear drops from eye as your Monkey realizes that even after all the environmental awareness campaigns of the past 10 years, there are still plenty of jerky a-holes who simply don’t care.
  5. Make it to Red Sox game in time for bottom of the first inning. End up spending far too much of the limited Monkey funds on overpriced draft beer. Picture Sox ownership lighting cigars with the Monkey’s $20 bills and laughing deliriously.
  6. Stumble home after game with warm happy feeling following come-from-behind win.
  7. Wake up next morning with cold sickly feeling as hangover kicks in. Find that sickening state of hangover leads to unprecedented mental clarity. Wonder if antidepressant medication is slowly poisoning body. Or maybe is just the alcohol talking.
  8. Hangover mercifully eases around 12 pm, but a walk in the woods during beautiful spring day leads to discovery of more trash (rusted mattressed, burned out armchairs, gatorade bottles) and more monkey tears.
  9. Day winds down without hangover ever really going away. Settle into uneasy sleep in roasting hot room. Vow to wake up early to put screens in windows.
  10. Wake up late with impression of monkey body etched in sweat on the sheets. Wonder where the morning went.