It’s been a while since I’ve done anything fun for myself. To the point where, when confronted with unstructured time, I have no idea even where to begin to amuse myself, especially in the winter. I hate shopping. I’m too ticklish for pedicures. I mean, I’ll go if someone makes a compelling argument, but I usually just end up kicking the pedicurist in the face while clinging to the chair for dear life. Are pretty feet worth that kind of torture? I think not.
Still, I had four childless hours to burn yesterday, so into Boston I went. The plan was to do something about my hair. It looked shittier than usual, and that’s my cue. I decided to see the gay guys on Newbury Street. I plopped myself down in a chair and gave them carte blanche.
Me: Make me cute.
The stylist circled me, finger to chin. He played with my hair for a while, shaking his head and making discouraging gestures. Then he called in reinforcements. Another guy came over and they continued pecking at me like the most fastidious of turkey vultures. Finally, they threw up their hands in defeat.
Me: Oh, stop being so dramatic. I still have a few good years left.
Eyebrows were raised.
Me: One year left?
He let out a deep sigh.
Him: I give you six months.
Sigh. Okay, fine, this never happened. A girl cut my hair. My old hairdresser, we’ll call him Niall since that was his name, no longer exists on this earth as far as I can tell. His place closed down five years ago and no one bothered to tell me. God. But I swear this is how it would have gone had he materialized, and since when do I let actual events interfere with the story I want to tell.
The point is, I got my hair cut and then I ended up at Bukowski for lunch because I love their French fries with malt vinegar. And, yeah, I’ll have a burger, too. And a beer. I put my hat on to try to flatten out the poofiness so no one would guess I was coming straight from Newbury Street. In keeping with the dark, writerly atmosphere, I attempted to look brooding and tortured while staring out the window at the Mass Pike. That lasted all of five minutes, and then I gave up and started rifling through all the shit at the table, trying to find the bottle of malt vinegar. A1 sauce, okay, I don’t need that. Ketchup, no. Five hundred napkins and menus. Oh look, they’re having a Fuck New Year’s Party. But WTF, where’s the malt vinegar?
I flagged the no-nonsense bartender and, through clenched teeth and a forced smile, asked if there might possibly be any malt vinegar on the premises. She headed back to the bar and chucked some packets in my direction, which I caught one-handed. Packets? Of malt vinegar? Okay, fine, packets will do. As long as I get my vinegar.
The years may go, styles falling in and out of favor, but for the love of all that is holy, some things can never change.
Happy New Year!