I have a new friend. His name is Marcus. We met at The Evergreen, the bar closest to my house. It's pretty easy to remember someone's name when you share the same one.
He runs a little Jamaican jerk chicken spot a bit south of me. I made a point to visit today. As I walked in he yelled over 5 or so customers, "Markie! You made it!"
After half a moment, he ushered me over to the side and handed me two pounds of chicken, plantains, veggies , and some mac and cheese. A few minutes later he found me at my table and handed me another plate. This time, fried fish, potatoes and some pickles vegetables. He sat down with me and rolled a blunt. A man in a poncho walked by and yelled, "mota time!"
I don't really smoke weed anymore, I find it too disconnecting, but I stood outside and smoked a cigarette alongside him. During those few minutes close to ten people walked by, stopping to say hello to Marcus.
He makes really good food. I ate it all up. More than that, though, he's a good man with a big heart. He seems to take care of a lot of people. Doesn't hold grudges, tries to make things right. He understands that what you put out there comes right back. A few guys the other night were casually fantasizing about Donald Trump's death, and Marcus interjected, "that shit comes back to you, don't wish harm," as he glanced downward shaking his head.
After my cigarette, I said goodbye and tried to catch the train in time for a show at UCB in Manhattan. Like a rookie, I sat and waited for the train for almost ten minutes on the wrong side of the track. Once I realized my mistake, I bolted toward the stairs, catching myself as I tripped on the steps that were wet from the rain.
I kept looking at google maps, knowing that I would surely be late for the show. A lot of theaters don't let you in if you aren't interested in being on time. But when I arrived, I was allowed in without a problem.
The show was strange. A project of almost 40 cast members, attempting to immerse you in discomfort. Brief sketches interjected with an open house of sorts, where the audience walked around experiencing a multitude of expressionless mask wearing members, an over zealous sports-social club, a raving activist, a distraught pregnant woman and other characters attempting to make you uneasy.
Having been on the train for forty minutes, I sought out the restroom only to be greeted by some my-age women who sat me down in a dark room, blindfolded me, and starting whispering and moaning in my ears.
I actually kinda liked that.
The rest of the show felt overly theatrical. I stared into one of the expressionless creatures' eyes for what must have been five minutes. Partially to disarm them of their aim, and partially because I found it nice to look into someone's eyes for a while.
The humor was ok. I remember laughing a lot more at Cold Towne, back in Austin, but I'm sure there were some funny people up there on stage. I think, as a whole, it felt sort of thrown together and something that large has difficulty congealing without massive effort and preparation. That being said, I had a good time.
As I was escorted out of the show by cast members screaming at me to "get out of my house," I ran into someone I'd met through my good friend Sarah.
Michael was walking to meet his girlfriend at UCB for the next performance. We got to chat for a while an grabbed a beer down down the street.
I love chance encounters. I really love for them. And when you consider that there's a good chance you could befriend most anyone on the streets in this town, let alone any city, it's a shame to consider how closed off we really are. It's not hard to be lonely in a city of 8 million people. All you have to do is focus on yourself and your pain, be skeptical and judgmental of others, all while being in too much of a hurry to enjoy anything.
I think I might make some music for Michael's upcoming short that he's producing with his girlfriend.
And now I sit here, writing you at a bar called Cake Shop where I had my chance encounter with Hikes last year on almost this exact same date.
I'm looking to find a way to flow with life more, it just feels better that way.
Hope you're well, I'm gonna grab a beer before the next band starts.