Last Saturday, Eve and Nina and Nina's friend Randy and Randy's little brother and I went up to Union Square for the pillow fight organized by Newmindspace. I was sort of unenthused initially -- I figured it was gonna be the same type of weird, regressive pederasts who go to those "cuddle parties" that are (supposedly) grope-free. And, you know, it kind of was those people. But Nina had an extra pillow, and like ten minutes into it I sucked it up and waded in and it was sort of a good time. Observations: Some pillows hurt when people hit you with them! A lot of people had either very firm, heavy pillows or pillows that weren't terribly cohesive and would bunch themselves up into a heavy mass at one end of the pillowcase. The little kids were the worst offenders when it came to swinging hard. Towards the end of the fight, I ended up squaring off near the outskirts of the fray against four pre-teens and their older brothers, and got pretty well pounded. According to Eve, I had a cheering section chanting "Ghost Rider! Ghost Rider!" in support. I assume that was 'cuz I was wearing the old leather jacket, but Eve thought it might have been because I'm a whitey -- you know, like Ghostface Killah. That's cool, too, I guess.
I was also struck by how many people were taking pictures of the event. It seemed like about a quarter of the participants were armed with cameras instead of pillows. They stood at the periphery -- someone, I think, snapped a photo of me and Nina taking a breather and having a smooch. There're practically 2500 photos on Flickr with the pillowfightnyc tag! Check out the pictures. There really were feathers everywhere.
That evening, after some reading at Tea Lounge, we took a car over to Williamsburg to this rock show at a literal hole in the wall -- utterly unmarked on the outside -- called b.p.m. The band we wanted to see was a New York-based punk trio with a couple of Japanese dudes (and a grating gaijin drummer who wouldn't stop braying into the drum mics) in it called The Spunks, but the evening seemed to be a kind of showcase of a bunch of Japanese bands who were all pretty good and played loud, short sets. The venue was a kind of cave of painted, exposed brick that you had to go through a tunnel to get to, and the room with the stage had real high ceilings that got crowded with the helium balloons that this chick was handing out -- it was Hajime's birthday. The Spunks themselves were pretty good, thought a bit louder and sloppier than on the songs of theirs I'd listened to on the web. At one point, the bass player climbed up on one of the amp stacks at one point, and, while playing, did a kind of twelve-foot swan dive onto the stage. He seemed more or less okay, too. They are all ninjas, it turns out. "I love you!" Haji'd yell between songs. "I don't want to fight any more! Do you love me?!"
We hopped a Northside car to get back to Park Slope, and a funny thing happened. It was around 3:00 AM, and, shortly after we got off the BQE, our driver pulled ahead of another car in that slightly aggressive way that car service drivers do. The other driver seemed pretty ticked off, though, as he pulled right back ahead of us in the middle of a narrow street and then just stopped with us behind him, both cars idling, for about a minute and a half. Our driver was kind of flummoxed, but we couldn't really back out because another car showed up. The angry guy ahead of us, perhaps spurred on by the honking of the car waiting behind us, started to inch slowly up the street, at which point our driver decided to make a break for it and gunned it, pulling around the dude and then trying to lose him on 5th Ave. The guy started chasing us, pulling up alongside and yelling at our terrified driver whenever we had to stop for a light. Our driver kept shouting that he was going to call the cops and eventually did pull out his phone and do it. Seeing this, the other driver got spooked and finally drove off. We got a good look at him, though -- bald, chubby, wearing some kind of college athletic sweatsuit -- and I gave the car service guy my best recollection of the license plate number of his car. I was too tired to be really scared, but I was making contingency plans the whole time in case the guy pulled a gun.
Right now I'm at home, exhausted from work, drinking a whiskey and watching Laura on Emma's long-ago recommendation. I feel like I might look a bit like young Vincent Price. Also, some dialogue:
Waldo: "Have you ever been in love?"What a tough dude. I ate a veggie burger with a fried egg on it. Kitty puked up her dinner but I'm hoping she'll get hungry and eat the puke. This often works.
McPherson: "A dame up in Washington Heights got a fox fur out of me once."