Having a family someday seems laughable now -- especially here in the city -- but I still like the idea of high/low. I had my high and low right close together yesterday:
The cheapest place to buy beer in New York is Duane Reade. (If someone knows of a cheaper place, please do comment and tell.) So I headed out there on Saturday to buy my usual 18-pack of Bud Light, because I am white trash from the Midwest. The cashier was sweet: "Would you like a bag? Or would you like to carry it like that?" "A bag, please, if you don't mind," I said. I like that I answered her question with quasi-Victorian phrasing. What I should have said was, "A bag, please. I'd rather not the whole island of Manhattan know exactly how trailer I am."
So I waltzed out of the DR, my beer in my bag. Five steps out of the store, the bag broke. Handles ripped clear away. So I stopped, picked up the bag like it was a baby, and began the 10-block journey to my apartment. And then I think I saw Tim Robbins (ha-cha-cha!), but he was unfortunately not around for the bag-breaking incident, because if he had been, he surely would have offered to carry the thing home for me.
I continued walking, Bud Light papoose in my arms, then I realized I smelled beer. That couldn't be good. Then I heard a hissing sound. Again, not good. Then, 10 steps later, I felt it: Beer was leaking into my woefully broken Duane Reade bag, soaking my Wall Street Journal and the box of condoms I had bought in a fit of hope.
I had nine blocks to go. Fuck.
I began a somewhat dainty run/walk through Madison Square Park, streams of Bud Light trickling out of my bag intermittently. I caught a glimpse of myself in a store window once I was clear of the park -- hunched over, carrying this white plastic whale of a bag that was quickly filling with light beer. I wondered what people thought. I know, after this many years in the city, that I shouldn't care about the opinions of passersby, but it's still funny to think about. This girl -- blonde and in black gym clothes -- run-walking a leaking bag of discount beer, a Wall Street Journal, and condoms.
I made it to my apartment, dribbling beer up three flights of stairs, and assessed the damage in the kitchen sink, faucet on: Only two Bud Lights had ruptured. Two were dented. The rest appeared to be fine. Thank God.
High: Seeing Tim Robbins.
Low: Being a white-trash hooker who frets over two lost beers.