Walking Under the Influence
As I preface, I have to say that I'm the type of guy who has a keen sense of direction. I know most men will insist on never asking for directions, but I really never need to ask for directions. On a spring break trip to New Orleans in college, I drove the entire 19 hours - never looking at a map. Drunk friends call me for directions when they get lost, even in cities I rarely - or never - visit. I attribute this to years of summer jobs at AAA. I am a human map.
Upon leaving Down The Hatch in the West Village (after 6 cocktails and 3 tequila shots, amongst other various beverages and junk food), I make the decision to walk home. There was really no reason for me to do this, as I had already spent 2 hours in the gym on Friday and I had plenty of cash for a cab. So I take the turn onto West 4th Street and head east.
A couple blocks later, in my drunken stupor, I apparently veer off course. I make an inexplicable right turn onto Thompson Street in the Village. I am only 80% certain of this. If you happen to recall seeing a drunkard stumbling down Thompson around 10pm on Friday night, please feel free to confirm this for me.
After walking eight blocks south, I suddenly see signs for Canal Street. It is only at this point that I realize that I walked in the wrong direction. It is also at this point that I realize that I left my backpack at Down The Hatch. So, I turn up Sixth Avenue and head back towards the bar. I apparently have enough common sense to point myself north, but two blocks later, I end up turning onto Sullivan Street. I guess my internal compass prefers magnetic north to due north.
Somehow, miraculously, I find my way back to the bar. I am still shocked that the bouncer let me in. Then again, this is Down The Hatch, not Bed, or Crobar, or someplace equally snooty. After nearly twenty blocks of walking, I need to go to the bathroom, so I head straight there. Relief at last!
Then I head back out to the street, and begin my walk home again. This time, I'm more carefully plotting out my route. I turn up Sixth Avenue, where I will turn right onto 12th Street. Since I live on 12th Street, there will be absolutely no way for me to get lost.
Upon turning onto 12th Street, I come to my senses. At this point, my memory becomes much clearer. I stop dead in my tracks.
I still don't have my backpack with me.
So, I backtrack another seven blocks to the bar, where I am unbelivably let back in again (without even an ID check - the bouncer had remembered me as the guy with the Mets hat who screamed "Yankees suck!" at the top of his lungs when they lost the game). Amazingly, my backpack is still in the place where I left it. I grab it, hail a cab, and head back towards the East Village.
One and a half hours after I first leave Down The Hatch, I'm finally home.
Several hours later, I will return home again, alone, embarassed, short my Mets hat and $30, and passed out on my bed with the lights on and a "Yankees suck" chant in an IM window.
That pretty much set the tone for the entire weekend.