Standing in line for the quarter machine at the lavanderia (that’s a Laundromat, for those of you who don’t live in Los Angeles) I thought for a split second, “am I really doing this?” and before I could ponder anymore, it was my turn. I started injecting bills into the machine, and it sh*t quarters into the tiny tin cup. Once I was done filling my Crown Royale bag with fifty dollars worth of quarters, I left.
I walked through the jungle of dirty looks given to me from those in there that were ACTUALLY doing laundry, and continued down the street and up to my apartment to get ready for the night. (They may have been a little peeved about the fact that I had emptied the machine of its quarters… Oh well.)
I was told about the “Soup Kitchen” happy hour on Friday nights at the place I was going… the Edison at Main and 2nd in downtown, and how they offer thirty-five cent martinis and grilled cheese with tomato soup, between 5 and 7pm. THIRTY FIVE F*CKING CENTS FOR A MARTINI… hence the “coin mission”. I was meeting Mr. DiCaprio (I’ll never let go) there at 11 for our interview, so I figured I could get pretty sauced up prior. Everyone I interview has a full understanding that I will be conducting my interview with enough liquor in me to make Val Kilmer look like an AA devotee, so I couldn’t disappoint.
When I got to the Edison I sat at the main bar and ordered any martini they wanted to make me, and pulled out my “change purse”. I paid. Thirty seconds later I ordered another. When I went to pay the bartender informed me that only the FIRST one would be thirty five cents and the ones following would be given to me at full price… WELL what the F*CK!? Not that I mind all that much, but this was my intention heading there:
I would drink as many martinis as I possibly could in two hours, hopefully extinguishing the contents of my change purse. That did not happen… THIS is what happened…
I wanted a drink recommended by the barkeep, and what he gave me changed my life… It was the Hemmingway special… Absinthe and Champagne.
Hemmingway being one of my favorite authors, Absinthe being one of my favorite liquids, and champagne (to me) being just all together classy, I indulged… possibly reinventing the meaning of the word itself. By the time I had to piss, my bag was considerably lighter, along with my mood.
When I got back from the bano (bathroom) I asked for a glass of absinthe, it was seventeen dollars. .. sixty-eight quarters. After paying (which took me about three minutes) my bag had just about twenty-five quarters left. I drank the absinthe.
My previous experiences with the drink have always left me feeling a bit “unglued” … not in the sense that I was crazy, but in the sense that my limbs were floating around my torso, so I knew it was potent sh*t.
THIS experience proved different. After that glass I looked at my watch, it was 10, and Leo would be arriving in an hour or so, which gave me enough time to let the “im f*cked up” realization set in and move forward to the “I’m right where I need to be” mind set. I would have reached the latter, had I not been in a room, which housed a large black boiler looking thing in it. It started to reform into an old fashioned locomotive, and I began asking people nearby where they were going. They looked at me like I was insane, and I looked at them like they were f*cking stupid. F*ck them I thought, I’ll talk to someone who can actually hold a conversation. As I turned to find some other talk-mates I nearly sh*t myself. She was green, shiny and small. She was also coming towards me. I, not enjoying the sight of her, went to the bathroom to gain a sense of composure… DID NOT HAPPEN… I was “hovering” in the stall when next to me a pair of green pointed feet were seen… I ran out of the bathroom like Amy Winehouse in the streets of London. Somewhat unstable on my feet I wondered through the crowd only to find the same room in which I was sitting before.
I sat again, trying to convince myself that these green f*cking fairies were NOT real. But before I could, there she was again… only this time she was speaking to me, OFFERING ME ABSINTHE! This time I ran faster than Mia Hamm in a breakaway. When I found a place that offered a bit of seclusion, I looked back to see if she was still following me, and BAM! Head first into a brick wall. I fell down and sat there for a second. When I could see straight again, I looked around and she was AGAIN making her way towards me. I slid myself under the “train” and there I stayed.
I woke up the next morning underneath the train. Not a soul in the place. I had a hangover that quite well could have been fatal. I heard some people come in, it was the cleaning crew. I found my legs were able to work so I stood up and walked by the bar, eyeballing the bottle of Absinthe. When they noticed me I told them that I had been locked in. They kindly and without suspicion, let me out, and I walked to the street. The sun hit me hard. I hailed a cab and got in. I checked my phone, two voicemails. I listened.
I had missed the interview, hiding (passed out really) from the creepy green fairy. But, like everything else bad that happens to me, I came out on top.
I had stolen the bottle of Absinthe, had two voice mails from Leo DiCaprio on my phone AND I still had two cigarettes in my pack! OH, AND the two fifty dollar bills I was saving for the interview were still in my pocket.
The Edison is the best bar I’ve been yet, and through research the next day, have found out that the fairy I was seeing was real… she or they (I’m not sure which) was their Absinthe girl.
Think it’s a coincidence they have the server of one of the MOST potent liquids on earth, the same liquid, mind you, that’s said to have made Van Gogh cut his ear off, dressed as a green fairy? I DON’T.
God, it’s good to be Betty Booze.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered,