J1 begun: chasing elusive craic

A lack of cash money has meant that we have been more housebound than we would have liked for the last week. We’ve been trying to conserve what precious little funds we have before next week’s payday, our first payday.

Fun accidently paid $75 for a haircut. Yeah, a man’s dry cut. $75 is hand job money, at least. He has $10 for the rest of the week. Gin is the only one with any money and after a week of not having anyone to play with he just cracks and decides to bankroll Fun and I for the evening, which works for us. DooDoo and The Mitty are working.

We decide to just bite the bullet and drink the fucking Coors in the fridge. We get three cans each which is the equivalent of a pint of water. I end up feeling more sober than before I drank them.

We have two half-invitations, one to a going away party for someone we don’t know and one to a poetry reading. Both it turns out are on the same street. Texting en route we learn that there’s a $12 charge on the door at the party and that there’s free wine at the reading, so our decision is made for us. Poetry readings are always risky business but Gin in his wisdom decides, “in the event that it’s shit we can always cause a scene.”

The reading is downstairs in a bookshop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. We arrive late and have to wait on the stairs until the person reading finishes their poem. We wait until we hear applause and then walk down. The fucking wine is under the stairs so we can’t see it when we walk in. We end up sitting down the back and by the time we spot it someone else gets up to start.

“I’d like to read some of my latest poems, inspired by Mad Men and Game of Thrones.”

The guy in front of us takes a naggin of Jack out of his pocket and starts drinking it like it’s the antidote. This is obviously not his first time. Thankfully this is the last poet of the evening. We all clap her off and then pour out the bones of a bottle of wine between the three of us. It’s purple.

The author of “Dreaming with Don” actually comes over and starts chatting with us. She’s been to Ireland and tells us about her adventures in Ireland’s southeast, including the Aran Islands and the Ring of Kerry. She genuinely says the following:

“You sound just like that guy from Father Ted. I love Father Ted. What’s his name? Yeah, Dougal, you sound just like Dougal. That’s a compliment. I love Father Ted.”

We leave.

We end up going to Little Poland, just for a slice of home, and find a Polish bar where unfortunately the evening’s craic peaked. Yelp informs us that there’s a cheaper bar down the road so after drinking great Polish beer in a beautiful bar that smelled like great Polish food we go to a sibín where it looks like it’s been 1972 since 1954.

We’re literally the only people in there. If a bar has an arcade machine it’s usually a bad sign. Racist twitchy bartenders are usually not a great omen either. We get some sort of black swill in a Guinness glass that tastes like Bisto made with piss. We just throw them back and leave. We’re being made to work for this night out.

We head back towards civilisation and find a crowd of people drinking on the street outside a gallery. There’s a makeshift bar set up on a table in the corner surrounded by empty crates full of empty cans. There’s a big metal bowl full of beer on the table that we just assume is like a punch bowl. We grab cups and fill them up. It tastes rank. Some girl comes in and sees us.

“You guys are not drinking that. That is fucking disgusting.”

We drop the cups and leave to stares. The air-con pisses down on us as we exit. I still don’t know what the story was with the bowl, maybe it was where people put their ends or maybe it was a spittoon or something. Either way everyone involved was unimpressed with that particular detour.

We get a text from The Mitty saying that he got off early and is up on Franklin Street. We find him in a bar called Lulu’s, where’s he clearly not on his first. He’s drinking a pint like he stole it.

“They give you a free pizza when you buy a beer. I don’t know how the fuck you’re supposed to get drunk.”

Free pizza is the great redeemer for what has been a shit night thus far. Pints and whiskey shots and free pizza are the order of the night. We try to force the night, hoping the craic will ripen. It doesn’t. We get disappointingly drunk. We start talking to a few American girls but it’s like talking to goldfish. Racist goldfish. The Mitty tells one of them that “eyes are the tits of the face” and that’s the end of that.

The night withers us. We end up falling asleep on a subway platform and wake up looking at each with a mixture of anger and confusion, like we’re pissed off at each other for being blurry. We get beaten home by dawn. We fall into bed and fade to black. It was a haunting night.

Next time.

Follow D’s NY adventures here: @d_joyceahearne