this september eve, my first night in boston (the first night of the month) has already provided adventure for this editor.
after a day of travel, conversation and the movement of several boxes of books (and the mysterious absence of two bookshelves), my publisher and i headed towards a thai restaurant with an sf author/acquisitions editor and his wife in tow. they regaled us with tales of genre trends (the rise and demise of sf pulps and fanzines and publishers) and some colorful anecdotes of his experiences with the print porn industry and its distributors.
on our walk back to the hotel, i saw a bar called bukowski
. i explained that i had to depart and jaywalk my way to the bar named after my favorite authors (who? they asked. who?). and so,
i walked into the dim spectre of tourist-laden space that only took cash. and didn't serve wells.
it was too dark to take pictures of the buk images on the walls, so i grabbed a copy of the boston weekly dig
and headed for some random bar that had great lighting and norah jones calling me to come in...
i sidled up to the bar, ordered a drink and slid into a wooden barstool. a couple pages (and a couple sips) later i read that wilco
was playing tonight.
i immediately asked the nearest human being what time it was, and how far the venue was from our current location.
twenty-five till nine.
a mile and a half or so.
i asked him if cabs took credit cards.
he shook his head, and tried to ask me if i was from out of town -- but i was too busy flagging down the bartender in the urgent request to close my tab.
i abandoned my drink, flew from the bar, credit card and weekly dig in hand, in search of an ATM.
i spotted one in the front section of a store that had closed; i motioned desperately at the cleaning lady. she saddled her mop in its yellow bucket and let me in.
i haven't made it into my bank branch yet to enter in a pin number (after my debit card was stolen and it took them over a month and a half to replace the fucker) so i was subject to the rejection beep beep beep
(repeat at will -- i tried thrice in desperation) and ran out into the street.
must reach wilco.
heart beating overtime. sweating in the sweet cool air that was a gentle invitation to autumn, ready to run the mile or so.
maybe i could ask someone and just pound the slips of sidewalk and street crossings in my adidas if i could get directions. maybe i could run to the hotel and beg my boss for some cash. maybe i could flag down someone in a stupid car and explain to them that i had to see wilco
i flagged a cab instead, desperately asking if he took credit cards.
he explained in strained english that yeah, sure he did, but it was only two miles away and it took time to process and i hollered that i'd tip him good, just take me!
and slid onto vinyl backseat, making small talk as the meter clicked numbers skyward and looked at the witty paper in my hands (it really is impressive) and squinted at the date, at the day.
today is wednesday, 9/1.
fruck. uh, i just realized something. can we turn around?
he took me back to my hotel, and only charged me half-price for the fare.
and so here i sit, in the strange post-adrenaline state of wilcolessness, happy to be here still, liking what i've seen of the town (i think i'm right where jus went to school) and looking fwd to seeing hooly and branban and crashing in the strange bed with the many comfy pillows....