Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Breakfast Not At Tiffany's

Lolly is visiting from D.C. and as such he burst into the NYC apartment bringing two dogs, two fax machines, stacks of articles to edit, two overripe bananas, and talking rapidly and loudly on the cell phone. He could be descended from the whirling dervishes. Except for the fact that he has no bloodline to the Ottoman Empire. Or the Sufis. Or Turkey. But aside from that, definitely. So this morning we had breakfast at the local Ukrainian “soul” food diner. Lolly was reading the paper and I was just minding my own business when in walks a young man, wearing a dark blue suit, carnelian-toned tie, tasseled loafers without the pennies, trimmed dark hair and beard. He was carrying a mattress. An air mattress. Not in its packaging. Totally pumped with air and expanded to its twin- size dimensions.The restaurant was not crowded; it was rather early. Too early for me since I had gone to sleep only scant hours before. Plenty of room to find a table that was NOT NEXT TO ME.

MAN WITH MATTRESS: Excuse me, but can I get past you to that table?
ALICE *startled out of believing that she had made herself invisible*: You mean, here? The table right smack dab next to mine?
MAN WITH MATTRESS *looking at me with eyes that said, Move it, bitch*: Yes. Thank you.

I looked over at Lolly whose narrowed eyes screamed WHY CAN'T GOING OUT WITH YOU EVER BE NORMAL?

ALICE: Uh, of course, let me just move all the jackets, books, papers, messenger bags and sundries that are in your way here and make room for you and your, er, companion, to reach that other table.

We were so close to each other that it looked as if I, Lolly, man, and mattress were out together for a leisured breakfast. I just knew that somehow the mattress would be trying to share guffaws and affectionate insults.

MATTRESS: You know, Alice, you are such a cheap slut!
ALICE: Well, look whose talking! Except for right now where you are propped against the chair, you spend all your time on your back!
MATTRESS: Honey, you’re just jealous that I gots me a man who appreciates my sophisticated nanofiber shell that is breathable, repels liquids, and minimizes stains.
ALICE: Hey! It’s too early in the morning to hear dirty talk!

Man and mattress ate quickly. Well, man did; mattress was probably dieting and had nothing but…air. Then off to pay the bill. Of course, I had to move again to let them out. After they left, Lolly looked at me.
LOLLY.: How much do you pay?
ALICE: For what?
LOLLY.: To always pull off these lunatic stunts to make me feel that you are in dire need of an intervention.
ALICE *quite airily*: Oh, well, you know, sacrifice here, sacrifice there and…
LOLLY: If you spent half as much time using your brain and finding a job instead of convincing your out-of-work actor friends to play parts in your juvenile skits, you would be ruling several countries!
ALICE: I so did not know that man and his mattress. This IS the East Village, after all. Strange couplings should not be judged. They should be…you know…celebrated.