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A New York Friday
Written on 2002-08-23, at 11:59 a.m.

Ok, there won't be a "daily diet", or a "John Live" for the next week, as I'll be posting entries about my trip to New York.

"You were in New York?"

Why?

Well, partially to surprise Nick for his birthday, partially just because I needed a vacation.

I wanted to write all about it…my scheming, my lies, my grandiose plans all perfectly laid out on the screen so that you could all see just how clever I can be.

But, seeing as how Nick reads this, that wouldn’t be quite conducive to the element of surprise.

So, I'll be posting an entry on the corresponding day of the trip. For example...it's now Friday, so I'll write about what happened last Friday. Got it?

Good.

My flight was to leave at 5:45am Friday morning (the 16th), and in keeping with my grand plan to kill myself slowly with stress, I started doing laundry at about midnight, and began packing right around 2am, an hour or so before Danny was to pick me up to go to the airport.

I was dropped off at the airport around 4:30am, where I was able to surpass the serpentine line because I had an E-ticket, allowing me to simply swipe my credit card, check my bags, and collect my boarding passes.

Computers, eh?

I walked up to the security checkpoint, where there was already a long line of people preparing to be strip searched by our nation’s new crack air travel security teams.

After about ten minutes, and just thirty until my flight, I sort of realized that the line wasn’t moving at all. No one was going through.

“Why aren’t we moving” I asked an attendant, who was staring blankly toward the terminals.

“We’re waiting for the federal agent to get here…he’s having breakfast.”

Great…I’m going to miss my flight because a U.S. Marshal needs a Krispy Kreme.

Well, he did finally arrive, and I was swept through security, after having to take off my rivet-studded belt so that it could be thoroughly examined by the authorities.

I got to the terminal, and within minutes I was on the plane, sitting next to an elderly woman who was heading to Boston for a family reunion. She seemed to take to me immediately, which for some reason happens to me on flights.

I always end up near some septuagenarian who wants to coddle the homosexual.

While trying to adjust my tiny airline pillow, she tells me to just lie down in the middle seat (I was aisle, she was window…no one in between).

I told her I didn’t want to inconvenience her, as I was tall, and may crowd her by doing that.

She, in turn, insisted, telling me that she had plenty of lap to spare.

I realized I couldn’t win this, so I just lay down and flew the friendly thighs.

Soon after, we arrived in Charlotte, where I’d be connecting to LaGuardia. I knew that I only had a few minutes to make my connection, but I was so hungry, I had to get something before I got back on the plane.

Then, there is was…

God, Starbucks has never been such a beautiful sight.

My connecting flight was uneventful, as I slept most of way, since I had my own row.

I woke up just before we arrived, and just in time to watch as we flew directly over the City.

You could tell where we were immediately…we came in from the south, making the area where the Twin Towers once stood the first thing we saw.

The entire plane went quiet, there was literally not one sound besides the engines. I couldn’t really believe what I was looking at…it seemed so strange to me. I hadn’t been to the City since this time last year, making this the first time I was flying since then, as well as the first time I was seeing what happened in person.

It was so eerie…I could point out everything else familiar to me…I saw the Sony building, The Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, the Sony Building, St. Patrick’s...everything…Except for the Towers.

As we flew over, I couldn’t but wonder if as I looked down with reverence, there were still people on the ground who were looking up at the plane I was in with slight apprehension.

I arrived at LaGuardia, quickly found a cab, and headed into the city, en route to Nick’s apartment.

“West 147th Street” I said.

“142nd?” he said.

“147th.” I corrected.

“One-Four-Two?” Was his reply.

“ONE. FOUR. SEVEN.” I said, as clearly as possible.

He nodded, and I thought to myself that I’d be having this problem the whole week.

Twenty minutes, and twenty dollars later, we pulled up to Nick’s building, in the center of picturesque Harlem.

I grabbed my bags, and tipped the cabbie $5 for English lessons.

Now, as many apartment buildings in New York, this one had a security lock on the door, meaning you either had a key, or someone had to buzz you in to enter.

Calling up to his apartment and saying “Hi Nick, it’s John..can you let me in so that I may surprise you?” wouldn’t really work, so I had previously planted the idea in his head that I sent him his present via courier, and it would be arriving sometime that morning.

I pressed the call button, and the door almost immediately buzzed open.

Good thing I wasn’t a serial killer, eh?

While ascending to his apartment, the element of surprise wasn’t really on my side, as I was trying to drag a large suitcase up three flights of stairs.

This, of course, meant nothing, as when I rounded the corner up the last set of stairs, he was waiting at his door, bathrobe and all.

He looked like he had just woken up, which he had…and it took him a good minute or so to realize that it was me. I was a little worried, because he just looked irritated at first, until it dawned on him that it was in fact, I, and not some courier delivering a suitcase.

As it was about to be his birthday, his drivers license was about to expire, so it just happened that he had to go down to the DMV that day, to renew.

Now, I’m sure that most of you have been to the DMV before, but try going to the DMV in Manhattan.

It’s quite an experience.

They sell popcorn.

It’s a whole themed event.

So while Nick was shuffled from line to line to simply renew his license, I sat down and began making up grand tales about the people who looked destined to be at the DMV for the rest of their lives.

There was Ted, the muscular man child who had been there since his 16th birthday, and performed a DMV revue at three, six, and nine o'clock...yes, even after closing.

There was Sophie, the French woman with the oversized hat who stared at the floor, muttering French poetry silently to herself.

And there was Tom, the disinterested Supervisor, who was secretly dreaming of his big break in the world of female impersonation..

This is one of the many reasons I should never be left alone with my imagination. 

Two hours later, we left the DMV, and ate at a corner restaurant somewhere in Greenwich Village, where a surly Greek waiter served us Fettuccine Alfredo using linguine noodles, and showed us that France is, apparently, one of the said Thousand Islands in the dressing of that name.

He proved this by flatly insisting that the dressing he had set in front of Nick was French, which he had ordered, when what was sitting there was, clearly, Thousand Island.

We got back to Nick's place around 5pm, and at 5:30, I told him I was going to take a quick nap while he got ready to go to work.

I woke up to him returning from work at 11:30pm.

Some nap.

For some reason, when I'm back in New York, I turn into a big, fat, food whore. I'm not sure why this happens, but it does.

Because of this, I insisted that we go get something to eat at Midnight.

This meant taking a train back to midtown, to find a 24-hour place.

Which, we did.

Some bacon, and a few griddle cakes later, I was content, and we cabbed it back to Harlem, where I went right back to sleep, readying myself for the next day.

Which, you'll hear about...tomorrow.

Be well...

-JOHN-


Your Host and Emcee...dizboy.

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