Thursday, December 4, 2008

Unforgiving Thanksgiving In Virginia

November 23, 9:30 pm, New York Penn Station:

The squalid, brown masterpiece that is Penn Station is filled to the brim with Rangers fans. It’s the first hockey game of the season and everyone is bursting with beer and hot dogs. They lost, and they lost it bad. There’s a tipsy aggression in the air that smells of fistfights and barf bags. I’m leaning against a rail, and some 50-year-old Uncle Buck type walks up to me and snarls, “You okay there, honey?” My train is 30 minutes late. Every train car is over-heated. I feel like an overripe turkey pre-heated and not brined

November 24, 3 am, Philadelphia:

I get kicked off the train. Public drunkenness. The conductor says, “Sorry, Miss, I can’t have this on the train….” He calls three officers to escort me off in Philadelphia. Me, the petite German, Hispanic girl poses a terrorism threat to the head honchos over at Amtrak. Mayday! Someone is drunk on a train somewhere in the world! “Miss you have a very clean record. Is there something wrong? How much have you had to drink tonight? You seem a little lost,” cooed Officer Anthony. “Let me tell you about my ex-wife.” All I’m hearing is white noise. “Do I need to call a counselor? Did your boyfriend break up with you before Thanksgiving? I have to go do some rounds now. But I’m going to have to take down your number.” I want to take pictures of this exchange but didn’t want to push my luck. You know, the Philadelphia Police force are a lascivious bunch. I give Officer Anthony a phony cell phone number I had 3 years ago.

4:55 am. There are no more trains at this time. I call Greyhound and the next bus leaves at 7:45 am. Jail would have been a better option. Philadelphia Station is slightly more pleasing to the eye than New York’s Penn, but with smellier, homeless people. The only thing that’s open is Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonalds. I sip on water, look at the clock one more time, and lay down on a bench. I immediately smell piss where I lay my head, so I jut right back up into Indian Style pose. I don’t sleep until I get on the next train. There’s an air of helplessness that creeps into my desperate scene. Some cracked up version of Bernie Mac (he’s dead) comes up to me and asks why the cops were giving me a hassle. I look at him and mumble “fuckughwhatdafuggafuckoffzzzmothaohhnevermind.” A law should be passed that bans all “small talk” in train stations after 3:30 am. I feel like a criminal on the run.

November 25, 2:30 pm, Washington D.C. to Stafford, Virginia:

I managed to delete the day before from my mental hard drive. Washington D.C. is riddled with fat homeless people, coked up conservatives, and corrupt staff members. Slim doesn’t exist amongst the homeless in D.C. where public handouts are the bread and butter of the abandoned. At 2:30 I’m supposed to meet my Uncle Byron. He’s German and efficient. I had to be on time. He works at the Department of Treasury. Festive Macy’s provides me a temporary shelter before I meet him. Why am I required to drop $50 dollars on an eye cream? A glamazon Grace Jones type working the MAC counter begs to borrow my “wonderful bone structure” for a chance at her newest blush. I already wear a lot of eye make-up circa 1999 Marla Singer in The Fight Club, and I tell her “I don’t think I want to subject myself to the cocaine whore in a morgue look today. But, thank you.” She smiles back and looks at me as though I just spoke Mandarin.

November 26, 11 am, Stafford, Virginia at Potomac Winery:

I forgot my ID. You come to a winery in Virginia, Ana, and you forget your ID. I announce to the owner I have to do some wine reviews for the wine blog I work for. I’m frantically digging in my pockets but there’s still no ID. I quickly give her my business card. In big bold letters it says Editor and Chief. My Credentials are ignored. All the t-shirts around me proclaim “Virginia is for Wine Lovers!” Complete fallacy. “Sorry, I just can’t. I’ll lose my liquor license. I need to see some ID.” With all my pent up frustration, thanks to Amtrak, I’m pretty convinced I must look my 28 years. Well, I don’t and I’m not flattered. I promise myself that at some point during this ominous and tedious Thanksgiving I’m going to get as loaded as an Ak-47 at high noon in Fallujah, Iraq.

My Aunt Kayelynn and her husband, George, they are powerful lawyers from Texas. They arrive at the Winery with their daughter, Gabbie, who’s only 2. I shake her hand businessman style and introduce myself as Auntie Ana. She gives me “sugars” on my cheek but never lets me hold her. That’s fine with me, because later I discover that she leaves wonderful, shit packages inside her ruffled panties. Later, the owner of this winery makes it up to me by giving me a private tour of the wine grotto under the vineyard. This is for “high wine officials only.” High, I am not, and official couldn’t be further from the truth. She wants me to write a good review, so I indulge myself in her little tour of the label press and wine lab. I’m introduced to Simon, Simonsen, something like that. He’s the groundskeeper and Swedish. I’m left alone with him and pretty sure that in the next 30 minutes we could both do things to each other that would make Bacchus blush more crimson than a Pinot Noir. In the first moment of rare silence I’ve had since leaving New York, we make 10-second eye contact with each other, like two tigers circling around a medium rare steak. Uncle Byron wanders in and his command cuts like a knife “Little Gucci!! Let’s go see if we should stuff the turkey tonight, pus-pus!!!” Yes, there’s a cornucopia of names my family likes to call me. Simonsen laughs. I die a million deaths on the inside. I leave with no wine, and absolutely no steak.

November 27, 12pm, Augustine Farms, Stafford, Virginia:

Thanks for the meat. Thank you everyone for your unconditional love and your unconditional acceptance of my individuality.

I only have one helping of dinner, two helpings of dessert, and 6 glasses of Pinot Noir. I have to do a review of the stuff, and figure I might as well really, really absorb it. I get drunk. Half of the table declares they voted for McCain. In my family, it means you are a socialist if you voted for Obama. I’m pretty happy to be the only socialist in the room. I’d rather not be part of the “Joe the Plumber” tribe. I go to bed at 9:30.

November 29, Brooklyn, 2 pm

I’m home. Didn’t get kicked off any trains. Sober and “fasting.” Dreading the 7 tiny reindeer heading my way. And you know what Santa Claus? If you don’t have some serious Benjamin’s waiting for me in that big ass satchel, then you can seriously shove it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this post was harder to finish than ulysses