July 30, 2008

Again Never

Hey there folks...just wanted to share this with you all.
Jay-Z once ryhmed,
" Bite your tongue for no one
and whatever is said take it
how they want
a closed mouth don't get fed.
You know my number when it's code red."

The irony of this Hip-Hop quotable is the fact that I applied that little nugget of wisdom on one occasion and was not disappointed. The following is the actual letter of complaint that I wrote:

To Whom It May Concern:

On Thursday April 20th,2006 I visited the 40/40 Club for the first time. My guest and I ordered and paid for our drinks on the upper level, then moved downstairs where we were about to take a seat at one of the tables. Before we were able to sit down, one of your servers scurried over to inform us that,"These seats are only for people ordering food." I was somewhat unnerved by the assumption that we would not order food, mostly because he did so without so much as even offering a menu. We requested a menu & he seated us. Upon placing our order, not even 5 minutes later, the same waiter told us that a party of 10 just walked in and they will be needing the entire space where we were sitting. Before waiting for our approval or even a response, he ran over to another section to request the same of four young ladies. This arrangement would have seated us with people we did not know & would have made for an uncomfortable time there. I should mention that the four ladies were less than thrilled at his suggestion also, and made no attempt to make room for us, rightfully so. We decided to leave. Once outside, your waiter again ran after us & went so far as to LIE to the bouncer outside saying that we were walking out on a tab! From what I understand, in order to walk out on a tab, we would have to consume what was ordered & be given a bill before deciding to leave without paying. Nothing of the sort happened. He barely had time to give the kitchen our order before he rudely told us we had to move so a party of 10 could have our seats. The experience was downright insulting. Just because a larger party/gratuity came in does NOT give any staff member the right to undermine other patrons. Our money was just as green. I am not looking to complicate the lives of anyone associated with the 40/40 Club, but I do expect that this matter be addressed. I will dutifully take my complaint elsewhere if you do not feel this warrants your concern. I am positive that the New York Daily News will be happy to relay my experience to the people of New York City. We enjoyed our time there before it abruptly ended with being insulted as second class patrons. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

Yours Truly,
(No need to sign my government - you get the picture)

...So the end result? I was contacted by the General Manager two days later and profusely apologized to. On top of that, I was compensated with a voucher for $1500 plus bottle service for the Remy Lounge, which I promptly gave away because I had no desire to return to that place ever again. The lesson here: A succinct, strongly worded letter gets results. No need to act up or be crass. A thinly veiled threat of negative press apparently doesn't hurt either. And so...the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Ha!

Thanks Jigga Man.

July 29, 2008

The Catalyst

Here lies the sugarless truth.
I painted a new branch
on the lifeline
of your palm.
Invisible ink but
it is still etched, Beloved.
It was not my intention
to cherish you
within an inch
of your life…
a silent chant
emanates from
the drizzly November
of my soul.
I hung there,
in the heart of your ears
but you went mute, deaf…
on that strange day.
Better to pivot,
in a colorless direction.
I cannot look upon such beauty
I once knew.
These days I see better
with my eyes closed.
what good is a lover
if he can’t kiss
the nape of that place
few could see
the eyes’ windows.
So what is left?
But to gather
the jagged pieces
and forget
the clamor it made
when the world
caved in.

July 17, 2008

A Long Night in Brooklyn

This all started out simple enough. She just didn't know how to keep her mouth shut. In my bar tending days, she took it upon herself to drop in and relay despicable untruths to my husband and his circle of friends. My first meeting with this trollop was just an omen of more unpleasant things to follow. She was the girlfriend of my husband's high school pal, and I hated her. I never hated anyone- but I hated her. This was no one-way street, either. She despised me equally.

When our paths crossed I was mindful to let her know- in unspoken terms that she should watch her step with me. I did not trust her as far as I could spit; and the lady that I am, that wasn't very far. It wasn't so much a rivalry as it was a deep-seated dislike for one another. I warned her that her antics were not advisable if she valued her health. She scoffed…

I was a grenade with the pin pulled.

Close to a year later, on a beautiful spring night, I was through with warnings. Following a concert in Manhattan, my husband suggested going to a party held by some fellow bikers. I protested, mainly due to blisters suffered from the sexiest pair of stilettos I ever purchased but neglected to break in. Needless to say I was in no mood for a Biker Party. I was even overdressed for the occasion in a gorgeous turquoise, black & white number with an asymmetrical hemline. But I relented and we went.

Nothing about how the day began could have prepared me for how it ended. I was bored and ready to go home when I stepped out on the brownstone's deserted roof for a cigarette. Before I could take a long, satisfying drag- I spotted her. She approached me with calculated steps and an evil grin. There was an exchange of words, I can't recall what sparked the argument- but it was laden with expletives. I called her everything but a child of God. And then it happened.

I was tired of talking. I was tired of my aching feet. I was tired of her mouth. There was only one solution. In one swift movement, the high heel was off & planted squarely in her forehead. And then something scary happened. I found that I could not stop. Call it fury, call it madness. Whatever it was, it triggered an unprecedented bloodlust deep within me. A choleric frog leapt in the space my heart, just moments before had occupied. Clutching the shoe, I brought my arm back as far as the ligaments would allow and fired away, over and over. Crimson fluid matted her honey blonde hair. She was screaming, for her life it seemed but I …could…not…stop. I straddled her as I held her head in both hands. Repeatedly, I pulled her forward and came down on the unsympathetic concrete. Oblivious to the sickening thud it made each time. Exhausted, my arms and hands soiled with a foolish girl's blood, I stood to put my shoe back on. Coughing, snorting, and wheezing…All of her defeated noises faded to nothingness as I made my way back downstairs.

The party stood stock-still when they laid eyes on me. Infectious bass and treble lowered to total silence. The crowd watched slack-jawed as I lit a cigarette with blood-stained fingers. Slowly I trudged down to the car, my husband calling my name behind me. I just wanted to go home. He had to know that! Then the sirens came. Blue lights, red lights. Uniformed officers asking in their universal 'Cop Speak' what happened. Apparently I was the 'perp'. I was bloody but not wounded. They didn't care to hear my story any more than I cared to give it. It didn't take long.

As I sat in the backseat of the squad car, hands behind my back I watched my beloved inquire on where they were taking me. Could he follow? Did he need bail money? I began to tremble. Sweet Release. The transistor radio crackled, something about a domestic disturbance across town. 'Violence must be in the air tonight', I surmised. I watched as paramedics lifted her gurney roughly into the ambulance. Not an ounce of regret, not one pang of guilt.

The cuffs were thin strips of plastic, more useful at binding computer wire than restraining an unladylike lady, who minutes before had a raging bile duct. But I felt strangely at peace, even as I quaked with the aftershock of the merciless beating I had unleashed.

I was in for the longest night of my life. And Oh! How I needed a cigarette...

July 12, 2008

For the Betta

Logan. That's his name. Not because I always wanted a Logan in my life, but he looks like Wolverine. Not the so-called most vicious animal known to man, but one of the strongest characters known to this avid Marvel comic book fan. If you know that, then it makes total sense why I chose to name my fish Logan. Well, it makes perfect sense to me anyway.

He's beautiful, quiet and brings me such a sense of peace from knowing that I need only feed him once a day. My choice was not easy. I left the pet shop empty-handed the first day. None of them seemed right. But upon my return, he chose me. The sprightliest of the bunch, he didn't just float there like some lifeless tragedy in tiny glass bowl. He swam fervently, showed his colors, preened for me. I could have easily named him Peacock.

I needed something to take care of. Plain and simple. So tired of folks asking when I was going to go ahead and have a baby. People barely seem to notice the audacity of this question. I ran out of answers. I don't owe any explanations. And what's more, Logan doesn't need any. He's a fighter just like me. Not compatible with any and everything. He just needs to be in his element. And I love him for that.

July 11, 2008

The Opposite

I got to thinking today about if there truly is an opposite to real love. What immediately springs to mind is hate, but the more consideration I gave it, I found that it isn't so. Hate implies passion of some sort. It requires a certain level of fervor or enthusiasm at the very least. Hatred is like a Tiramisu that's been layered with anger, revulsion and abhorrence instead of custard, cake and cocoa powder. Who can even digest that? It makes me realize that I quite possibly have never hated anyone my entire life.

No, I think rather that the opposite of love is indifference. When people say that they could not care less...that is the coldest of storms to weather. I have been indifferent and I have had people treat me in the same manner. It hurts. There is barely anything comparable to it. It's akin to seeing roadkill in the middle of the highway. Sure, you may take notice just enough to avoid the despicable muck that would soil your tires, but essentially you go on about your way. No hard feelings, no love lost. There is a little more order to things because it has just become as simple as that. 'alittlemoreorder'. No visible break in the stride.

To be on the receiving end of such a thing is enough to leave you mystified. Virtually beside yourself, as if you are watching it happen to someone else. It burns, it's freezing, its numbing. It is downright sobering. You find yourself saying, 'Please. Share this burden of what happened to us because it was us and not just me. And now here I am alone without your sharing eyes.' But you aren't saying it to anyone but the ghost of what was. And you hang on to hear something familiar, some creak that alleviates the wicked modicums of time that have dragged over your head but you hear nothing. So you look away knowing that in the end, love will find a way. Indifference will always find an excuse. You hear nothing but a dirge for a moment's loss because it was not so long ago that you heard the very opposite. Composed accidentally while you were busy making memories.