Desperate Drinking in Desperate Times
Telling your story from beyond the grave is a bitch. You’ve gotta sign scrolls of release forms, and be put through an infernal vetting process that culminates with a hellish (it’s really the only word I can think of) interview with Beelzebub himself. “We musn’t meddle with the order of things,” he told me. No idea what he meant, but his serpentine voice repulsed me, so I nodded my head and million-dollar-smiled him, and here I am at my old job, in one final performance, to tell you how I lost my life to this shitty economy (and alcohol).
10:00 p.m.: Finally out of work. Have a hot date with my Brazilian supermodel-cum-intern. She’s got pricey tastes, so we start at Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle. We’ve been dating for two months (still no sex), and this is our special place. The Madeline drawings on the wall remind her of her childhood, which we talk about a lot. I have an Old Fashioned — one of the best in Manhattan, a celebratory drink of sorts — and wait for my beautiful girlfriend to arrive.
10:20 p.m.: She’s still not here.
10:50 p.m.: She arrives with a real-estate mogul holding massive investments in Dubai (look for BlackBook listings, coming soon!). She tells me that a) it’s over, and b) she lied about liking Madeline. I head downtown.
11:22 p.m.: My friends are all partying at Beatrice Inn. One of them sees my pathetic Facebook status update and calls to cheer me up: an unnamed Ronson is doing blow off of a bartender’s tie. I head down there to be with a happy crowd of beautiful, artistic people.
11:40 p.m.: Rejected at the door. Pants not tight enough. I head to the Corner Bistro to sulk with other Beatrice rejects. They are unfathomably ugly and regular. Pints of McSorley’s are cheap; down four, gorge a cheeseburger, which is a better idea before I eat it. Dulls my buzz. I need somebody to talk to me. I ask the Elderly Bartender how long he’s been working at the Corner Bistro for. He responds: “Three hours.” My wit has been stymied by a geriatric. I hate myself.
12:00 a.m.: I am outside having a cigarette, my last one, gazing longingly at the Beatrice, when BlackBook executive editor Chris Mohney sends me a BBM: “Sorry Foster, we let u go. Teh media/economy sux. Also, ur American Visa (both company-card and citizenship-wise) is fucked! LOLZ.” Looks like I’m going back to Canada. I begin to cry.
12:38 a.m.: My other media friends — who’ve also been laid off — are predictably drinking at Botanica. There are former Gawker editors, Radar editors, and Cosmo girls. I thought this would make me feel better, but being surrounded by unemployed yet somehow still self-satisfied writers has made me realize how pathetic my sad media life once was. I order a specialty ginger drink. Or three.
1:30 a.m.: Scene at Botanica is growing stale, and the $1.75 ATM fee suddenly matters. Talk of where we should go next. Some suggest Beatrice, others suggest Beatrice. Following a vote, they all go to Beatrice. My barista roommates are having drinks at Little Branch, where they know the bartender. I go with the intention of finagling some free mixology. Instead of cab, I walk. The horror.
1:45 a.m.: Finagling successful. One Queens Park Swizzle, one Moscow Mule, my final taste of the New York high life. Fuck, I’ll miss it. We talk about sex. I omit my layoff from the conversation, unwilling to tell them I won’t be paying rent next month. So this is what the housing crisis feels like.
2:21 a.m.: Roommates head back to Brooklyn, I do not. Stumble through the West Village, buzz is no longer a buzz. More like a loud howl, too strong for the cold to kill. Upper lip numb, swearing at myself out loud, perfect. No money for cab, forced to go somewhere near and cheap to be around fellow scum. Ear Inn it is.
2:30 a.m.: I discover newly former coworker at Ear Inn, a regular there (again, scum). Nostalgia persuades me to buy him a drink. Asshole probably knows about my situation already but still lets me buy. He sips, I down.
3:20 a.m.: Asshole isn’t an asshole after all. Next three pints are on him. Officially the most I’ve drank in one night. He goes to the bathroom, and I send a text to three girls of interest. “Wher are youp.” Two don’t respond, one writes “in bed.”
4 something a.m.: At Mars Bar, don’t know how, but do know why. To drink. But first must snort, then drink more. Moby taught me that. Mars Bar denizen is convinced I’m Ben Affleck. Offers to shine the rims on my Escalade for money and praises me endlessly for “tapping J-Lo.” Blackout. Good night.