The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Playa
On a more serious note. Last Thursday night, I went to Chelsea to gay it up with a bunch of art people. After hanging out with your typical group of recovering and non-recovering drug addicts (and talking at length with them about…The Wire) I got invited to some fancy dinner in honor of the lead drug addict, who’s opening happened to be that night. After settling into a table of 300, I contentedly looked about for the menu and continued blabbing about The Wire. At about the same time my bladder filled up I was more or less done talking about the show, I got up to go to the bathroom, and came back to find that my seat had been filched out from under me.
I said fuck you to everyone and left by myself. Even though I was lugging around a bunch of shit I decide I would take a leisurely stroll back to the L train. I walked from 26th to 23rd cutting east. I approached some crappy Chelsea movie theater (why are all the theaters in Chelsea so crappy?) and a crowd standing in front of it on the side walk. There were some limos, but whatever. I thought, hey, maybe there’s a premier. That thought vanished at the sight of no press, and no motherfuckin red carpet.
I didn’t pay attention to anyone as I cut through. Once I penetrated the crowd – the rather thin, stationary crowd- I looked down at the ground and saw what was a glorified doormat; a big, cheap, piece of plastic that said “THE WIRE”. I thought about this and looked up. This time I didn’t see anything except faces. All the faces. The entire cast. I’m. . . surrounded. . . I’m enveloped, ensconced, encompassed, in the middle of The Wire. Herc is standing right in front of me with some hot chick; he looks like a wiseguy and smirks when he’s smoking a cigarette. Freamon is on my right; he’s laughing! He’s wearing some weird African shirt! He looks like he could break out his tenor at any moment!
I’m in shock. I see celebrities all the time and 99% of them suck. Maggie Gyllenhaall? Claire Danes? Matthew Fox? Gavin Rossdale? But this, I have to call someone. I have to tell. . . the people at dinner! I have to get a picture! I’m looking maniacally for my phone, which has both a phone AND a camera! I get my phone and it’s dead. I can’t concentrate on one thing at a time; I stop what I’m doing to make sure I haven’t missed anyone. Where is McNulty? Where’s Omar? What the fuck? I go back to my phone, I don’t know what to do. I’ve got to do something, because I’m positive this will never happen again. Wait—I have my charger! I can charge my phone and THEN I can take a picture- with what now only appears to be two thirds of the cast. . . .seasons 3 and 4, maybe? Where’s Frank for God’s sake?
I start looking for an AC power outlet on the 23rd st. block between 8th and 9th. I don’t exactly remember the last time I plugged something in outside in Manhattan, but I’m from the the Northern Woods, and things like outdoor power outlets are a dime a dozen. I’m desperate. I’m pacing around for no reason. . . right past Marlo. A bunch of the new kids! Wee-Bey?! He’s not even dressed up; he’s wearing some track suit. I come to realize my half-assed search for an outlet is in vain. I decide to just stand on the periphery (I’m the only person resembling a fan in the vicinity) and gawk. Where is fucking McNulty? He’s probably having tea somewhere. And Stringer? Well, they probably weren’t about to flip for his plane ticket, and he’s probably having tea with McNulty anyway. What the hell are they all doing just standing around on the sidewalk anyway? Waiting for cars. There’s Carver. He’s into modern dance by the way.
I don’t get an autograph. I don’t tell anyone that I like the show. I just stand there, confused. I want all these people to know how much I appreciate them, but attempting that feat seems absurd. The next thing I know, they’ve all been whisked away to the party. I got on the train.