"Hi, I'm Kaya Oakes," I proffered, my hand shooting into my plastic handbag. "I wrote...not this," for I was about to show the bouncer The Serpent and the Rainbow: A Harvard Scientist's Astonishing Journey Into the Secret Societies of Hatian Voodoo, Zombis, and Magic, "this book on the development and permeation of Indie Culture from its roots in Portland to the rest of the nation."
The bouncer, a soft butch with parallel piercings in her nose and lip, didn't look at my hand, which now held a copy of Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture. "Yes, and while I respect that, it's Pride weekend and no one without proof of age can come inside this bar."
"That's too bad," said Kim, "We're doing marketing research."
"Thank you for your time," I told the woman.
We walked away, towards the west. "See? I'm not drunk," I told them.
"That was a woman?" Kim said, turning it lightly with her tongue into a question.
"That was a woman," Keenen clarified.
We now had a vast array of potential facebook album titles, the sources for which had emerged earlier in the evening, when we were at our third dining establishment. "Mush," Kim said, as she mashed the remains of her flourless chocolate torte into the blue clay dish. Soon after that was "My butt is actually a sphere,"--which referred to Keenen's potential list of excuses should he end up crashing that night with a gay man from a bar-- and now there was, "Hi, I'm Kaya Oakes."
They strode through St. Mark's square, leaving me to jog after them. Damn them skinny people. They get everything, and I get a muffin top.
"Fuckin' puddles," said a trashed guy behind us, "They don't have puddles in Jersey."
"They don't have SHIT in Jersey," said his friend, "FUCK Jersey."
"Hey, do you know how to get to the PATH trains," the first one asked me.
"The what?" Said Kim.
"The PATH trains," I repeated.
"Jersey," he said, "sucks. You're not from Jersey, are you?"
"No," I said.
"I know a lot of nice people from New Jersey," Kim told him.
He softened. "Yeah, we're just trying to get home."
I tried to tell him he needed to get to fourteenth street, but Kim was telling him to go to Port Authority and eventually Keenen took over and if they hadn't been so drunk I'm sure they would've been fine. As it was, we can only hope for the best.
"Good luck, Nate," said Kim.
"Shit," said the other, "How do you know his name?"
Kim began waving her arns, half indignant and half drunk. "Because you said it, guy-in-red-shirt!"
I think he's probably still confused about that. But they said bye, and Kim shouted "See ya, Nate," when we were about a hundred feet away and everything was fine.