By Colin Atrophy Hagendorf.
10:00ish Start to stir on my friend Katie’s couch but I’m not sure if she’s up and haven’t met her roommate(s?) yet. I don’t like meeting people for the first time when I’m just waking up on their couch, if I can avoid it. Although thinking about that now it seems like maybe forcing strangers to hang out near or repeatedly walk past my sleeping body is even more awkward.
10:15 Katie “wakes me up.” Last night me and my friend Ben took a bus to D.C. to get out of the city for a bit and hang out with our friends. Gideon picked us up from the station and had my friend Simcha from Providence sitting in the car with him, which was pleasant and unexpected. Gideon and Ben and Simcha and Katie are all relatively new friends of mine and it feels good to see all these worlds colliding and reminds me why I love punks. They all know each other and know old friends of mine in their towns and all over America from touring in bands and traveling in general. The only reason I just met them all a few months ago is because I spent the last three years locked in my apartment quitting drinking and finishing a book. The four of us went out to dinner and then picked up Katie and went to this queer cumbia dance party in the back room of a Salvadoran restaurant, where I danced for like, probably two straight hours because I love dancing and I’m so much better at partying now that I’m sober. We left pretty late and Gideon dropped us off at Katie’s. She told me she was getting up early to do laundry and I asked her to wake me up because I love hanging around laundromats, plus me and Katie are way overdue for some girltalk.
10:20 Brushed my teeth on the toilet to save time and also because my electric toothbrush would mask the sound of me pooping and I still haven’t met the roommate(s) yet and I don’t want them to hear me take a dump because I’m an awkward weirdo. Finish brushing my teeth off the toilet and then get self-conscious about the fact that it’s probably unhygienic to brush your teeth on the toilet so I just close the lid and count to 100 before I flush. I realize I’m crazy and no one is listening to me in the bathroom but this is just how I am and I can live with that. I go downstairs and fold up all the sheets and blankets I used last night and pile them neatly on one end of the couch. Then I organize my pack and tuck my things out of sight behind a chair.
10:30 We begin the schlep to the laundromat. Conversation gets deep real fast. Me and Katie met because I think her band is really great and she seems to be pretty stoked on my fanzine, so we approach our relationship from a place of mutual creative admiration/respect, which is a good foundation for friendship. For a while, our interactions revolved around discussing creative process, the morality of making money off art in this terrible world we live in, and general mental health shit, but things have evolved into intense relationship real talk, and other more intimate details about our lives. I’m in a real fragile place because I’m recently out of a long, very intense relationship and I’m dating for the first time in a while, also dating “sober” for the first time, and I feel like I’m relearning how to navigate all this complex emotional terrain. I’m not gonna tell you what’s going on in Katie’s life because that’s none of your business, but I will tell you that Katie is real smart and insightful and helps me feel like less of a freaked-out alien than I normally do.
10:40 We get to the laundromat; put the laundry in; decide to get some coffee.
10:50 At the coffee shop I get an iced red eye and a Cherry Blossom kombucha which is absolutely delicious. The lady at the register compliments my nail polish, which is the Chanel Peridot dupe by O.P.I., I think it’s called Spot The Lizard or something. I tell her I’ve been working my way through all the Chanel Peridot dupes and this is my favorite one so far. She tells me that I should try the real Chanel version. She only has one Chanel nail polish, and it was expensive but totally worth it. It’s called Black Satin and it’s “like a void on your nails.” I find this phrase incredibly charming and repeat it to Katie over and over again as we walk back towards the laundromat.
11:05 We pit-stop in a little greasy spoon for empanadas. Katie leaves as soon as we order because she has to put the laundry in the dryer. I dick around on my phone for however long she’s gone and while I’m sitting there realize I took my vitamins this morning but forgot to take my anti-depressant. Should be fine because it’s this wing-nutty holistic amino acid anti-depressant and it works real well, but you can afford to miss a day.
11:30 Back at the laundromat all the clothes are still wet because the dryer was broken, so we start drying them all over again. I’m feeling really good from having spent the morning talking to Katie and I’m excited to have a nice day out of town with my friends. Usually I work brunch at a popular Brooklyn restaurant, so it’s nice to have a Saturday off. Gideon shows up a few minutes later to pick us up to meet back up with all the other friends for dim sum. While he waits for us to wait for the dryer, he starts playing one of those games they have at rest stops where you drop a quarter onto a moving platform full of other quarters in the hopes that it will push some of them off onto a third platform full of more quarters and that enough of those quarters will be displaced that they’ll fall into a little hole and you can take them out of a slot and put them in your pocket. Me and Katie both tried the game when we first got to the laundromat and blew it but Gideon wins like five bucks on his second try. We get outside and Simcha and Mary are waiting in the car. Mary is someone I just met the night before but she’s in an email reading group me and Katie started to discuss the book Women Who Run With The Wolves, which I have been reading in an attempt to get more deeply in touch with my mystical feminine nature.
12:15ish After spending what feels like an entire adolescence looking for parking, we walk into the dim sum place. There’s a bunch of us and some more friends meet us there and the waitresses immediately start coming through with trays of awesome food. I’m sitting in between Katie and Gideon, who all the waitresses seem to walk straight to. He orders lots of stuff really authoritatively and I’m super impressed and want to participate so I point at a thing that looks delicious and ask for it and it turns out to be chicken feet which are totally disgusting but I eat two of them because I feel bad I ordered them and nobody else wants one.
1:00 I order a virgin piña colada and it’s delicious and reminds me of Jewish Sunday dinner when I was a kid with my Aunt Scheryl and Uncle Barry and I’m really happy to be drinking this silly drink and sitting at a table with a bunch of friends. The meal ends and we leave and decide to drive to some thrift stores in Maryland.
2:00 Taylor tells everyone that the first time they got horny during a movie was the make out scene in Terminator. I am once again absolutely delighted by the English language and can’t contain my glee at the phrase “the first time I got horny.” It reminds me of another of my favorite phrases, “while you do me,” as in, “watch a movie in the jacuzzi / smoke L’s while you do me,” from the second verse Big Poppa.
3:00 At the first store I wander around by myself a bunch and briefly wonder what I’m doing there and whether these people are even my friends, but then I realize that they are and I just need more coffee. I buy a Breeders Pod cassette tape.
4:00 At the second thrift store I get a tape of the Stranglers second record, two sweaters, a No Doubt tall t and a shimmering green leather Samsonite bowling bag that perfectly matches my nails. Simcha, Mary and I walk to the Starbucks in the parking lot and I joke that they have to sign a nondisclosure agreement so they can’t tell anyone I got Starbucks because they’d fire me from my MRR column if they knew I did that.
4:30 We stop by Mary’s house on the way to our friend Daniele’s place so Mary can let her dog out. They leave me and Kaite in the car alone so we decide to park it around then corner and pretend that we don’t know what Gideon’s talking about when he calls to ask where his car is. This is a hilarious joke.
5:00 We get to Daniele’s house and she makes everyone ginger tea. Katie puts on a Gary McFarland record. We lay around for a while and chit chat and hang out and at some point I lay down on the carpet and fall asleep just listening to the sound of everyone talking. It seems like it’s been forever since I just hung out in a room full of my friends and no one was really busy doing anything. Usually I’m alone in my apartment or out somewhere or hanging out one on one with someone but it’s been an eternity since I’ve spent time lazing around an apartment doing next to nothing and it feels really good. I used to spend so much of my life like this when I was younger and barely worked and just played in shitty bands and hung around in punk houses.
7:30 We played this game called Blokus that is maybe my new favorite board game. It’s like four person competitive tetris and it rules and I swear I’m not in the pocket of Big Blokus or anything no one paid me to say that on this website, although Blokus, if you’re listening and you wanna hit me off with a free game my address is Colin Atrophy Hagendorf / 442-D Lorimer St #230 / Brooklyn, NY 11206. While we were playing Daniele’s roommate Ian came downstairs and made us all cortados, which was very friendly and adorable.
8:30 Katie, Gideon, Simcha and I go out for Ethiopian food. We realize it’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend since there are a bunch of drunk white douchebags on the street wearing green Cat in the Hat hats and strings of emerald colored plastic beads. I’m mortified to realize I’m wearing a green sweater and quickly button my coat. Dinner is good. As you can maybe tell at some point when I started hanging out with more than one person I stopped taking such lucid notes. During dinner I decide that instead of taking a bus home tomorrow I’m gonna ride to Philly with Simcha and then she’s gonna give me a ride back to the city on Monday on her way to Providence. I feel good having made this decision although somewhat nervous because I don’t really do things this spontaneously anymore, though I used to just plop around all over the country when I was drunk and why can’t I keep doing that? Mostly because I’m worried about my cats which is a pathetic reason and besides, Rancid Dave is at my apartment right now taking care of them, so like, whatever, get your shit together, dickhead, you’re only as old as you feel.
10:00 We walk over to meet Daniele and Mary at Anna and Richie’s house. I don’t know Anna or Richie, but when they both seem really nice. Anna and Mary sit at a table and play separate games of solitaire while everyone hangs out, which I think is pretty cool. I don’t say much at first because I’m around strangers. At some point Gideon starts talking about the muppets and I make a joke about a movie called 50 Shades of Green, a 50 Shades of Grey remake starring Kermit and Miss Piggy. Everyone laughs earnestly and I feel a little more comfortable and talk more and start to loosen up and hang out. At some point Katie isn’t feeling well and decides to leave and we make an elaborate plan about where she’s gonna hide the keys for me so I can get back in the house.
11:00 Ian comes over and brings Blokus and everyone takes turns playing more. There is discussion about whether or not it’s pronounced blockus or bloke-us. General consensus is that it’s probably the first one but we like the second one better.
12:00 Ian and Anna leave and the rest of us can’t decide whether we should go out or watch Sex & The City. We decide on the latter, which is fine by me. We end up watching that episode where the fashion designer dies and they go to his funeral and Charlotte meets a dude at his grave and Carrie starts to get back together with Big, which I say is one of my favorite episodes but I realize as I’m saying it that it’s actually one of the only ones I’ve seen and I’m confusing affinity with familiarity. Richie makes everyone cocktails and I ask for a glass of water but then realize he has fancy soda and drink one of those instead.
2:30 After watching a bunch of Sex & The City we all realized how late it is and decide to go home. As everyone’s getting their shit together I explain that I’m working on Myers-Briggs alternative where your personality is determined by what character you are from Sex & The City, My So Called Life, Living Single, and Beverly Hills: 90210. I explain that I’m an MAMD (Miranda, Angela, Maxine, Dylan) and Mary says, “I barely met you but I can totally see the Dylan,” which is maybe one of the nicest things anyone has said to me in the past little while.
3:00 Gideon drops me off at Katie’s house. I get myself inside, remake my couch bed, then sit on the porch and smoke a cigarette. I think about the person I’ve been hanging out with in New York and how I’m grateful to be on vacation but wish I was waking up next to her for a lazy Sunday in bed together tomorrow. Thinking of her reminds me to brush my teeth, so I go upstairs and do that and then I lay in bed and fall asleep listening to Jen Kirkman’s podcast on headphones.