Tuesday night, in an attempt to get me to spend time with him before he goes home to The O.C. this weekend to see his family, Boyfriend Kamran invited me to dine with him at Serendipity, the restaurant I convinced him to take me to on our third date right before we went to the Empire State Building for the most cinematic first kiss in history. There was a twenty-minute wait–the shortest amount of wait we’ve ever encountered there, I think–so we sat outside on the green concave benches and discussed the uses of bundle theory and substance theory, which is the sort of thing Kamran’s really good for at crowded restaurants.
As we sat mindlessly staring at the fake cake in the display window, a man in a blue-and-white-striped polo shirt with a shaved head and a very tan body approached the door and attempted to open it from the outside. It didn’t budge, so he pushed harder as an Asian woman with long, frizzy hair approached from the inside, but still nothing happened. We figured that it was a joke, that the two knew each other and that he was trying to keep her from coming outside. But the woman’s face moved from a look of confusion to one of anger as the man leaned on the door with all of his body weight, and we realised he seriously didn’t understand that the door pulls out rather than pushes in. When he finally figured it out, he turned around and looked at us, saw that we were smiling to ourselves about how ridiculous he was, and started laughing, saying, “You knew all along, didn’t you?! You were laughing at me!!!” And that’s when we realised he was drunk.
He came waltzing over to Kamran and–it’s hard for me to use this phrase–bumped fists with him, patted him on the back, and slurred something about a wife and kids while the frizzy-haired lady rushed past us and into her waiting SUV. The guy noticed and motioned for her to roll down her window so he could talk to her, and I was like, No, lady! No!, but she did it, and the guy blew his alcoholy breath all over her, and she chattered on nervously about how she thought he had been holding the door shut just to be mean to her. Kamran and I took his distraction as an opportunity to run for cover in the restaurant, but the guy followed us in a moment later. He shook hands with the man at the host stand, so I thought that maybe he was a regular who was meeting his family there or something, but the host watched him uncomfortably for a few minutes as he touched all of the kitschy items for sale in the waiting area and then quietly asked him to leave.
It’s important here to note that Kamran isn’t the sort of person who tries to get close to casual acquaintances or needs friendships of convenience; he gets combative when participants in reality television shows talk about how much they “love” each other after one episode, and he generally dislikes all other human beings (which is naturally the reason we get along so well). So I could see the “what the hell?!” sweating from his pores when the drunk guy stopped on his way out and full-on wrapped his arms around Kamran’s neck and pushed his body against Kamran’s for a hug. Kamran just smiled out of politeness while the guy buried his face in Kamran’s shoulder and whispered things like, “I’m with you. I belong here.” He stopped on the other side of me and said all surly-like, “That guy’s name is Josh. He looks like a Josh, right?” And I said, “He’s the Joshiest,” because you don’t argue with shaved-headed drunks.
On the way home, we hopped in a cab with a driver whose name was Shiv (awesome!), and he immediately began coughing stuff up from his lungs and spitting it out the window repeatedly. His face was sagging, and his nose was crooked, and the constantly flying phlegm didn’t help matters. Kamran’s stomach was feeling a bit queasy to begin with, so I kept glancing at him with a horrified look on my face, just waiting for him to puke up our Cinnamon Fun Sundae right there in the back seat amidst all those hacking sounds. And then the guy’s cell phone rang. It was this really cheesy MIDI (though it’s decidedly better than this one that I recorded for Kamran and happen to keep on my work computer–what?), and I was like, Jesus Christ, who’s still using that sort of crap as their ringtone? And then I thought, Wait, don’t I know that song? And then I realized that it was the YEAH YEAH YEAHS.
What a frightening, frightening world we live in.