Friday, May 8, 2009

Bedtime Story ~ Wedges

No evening was complete without a quick trip to Wedge's Plus. A rundown hole in the hole of a wall that we just called Wedges, which was across the street from our crash pad, also known as Carolyn's place.

We used to go to Mello's, another haphazard hole on Dalhousie Street, and they had actual hookers there. It added to the caché. A stop at Mello's would have made sense as we walked the bottle off, but a couple of my girlfriends got into a screaming match one night with a crew of whores and had to run for their lives. Well, for their faces at least. Nobody wants a nasty cat scratch from one of those girls. My long standing rule of "if you pick a fight, you're on your own" was re-iterated and no one ever stepped foot in there again, not even to pee.

Being across the street from our final destination might seem convenient, but it really wasn't. While we innocently thought we were walking off some drunkeness, we were actually just marinating in our poison and getting drunker with every step. By the time we would make it to Wedges, we were all ... amplified, in every way. Louder, sadder, sluttier, gayer...all of it. I'll say this about the folks who owned and patronized that greasy pit...they never once yelled at us, bless their hearts. Nobody ever told us to "get the fuck out" or "shut the hell up!" That's probably because they knew who we were and that we never had food "to stay."

Only one time we were shushed. The shusher was a hot mess of a girl with a kid, maybe three years old, sleeping in a stroller. I sobered up enough to make sure they were alright and to make sure they had somewhere to go. It was almost three in the morning. She told me, quite loudly, to "fuck off, I'm waiting for my ride." I looked at my crew, one with mouth agape, and all of them silent. I looked back at Slutina and said, as sweetly as I could, "then I think YOU should SHUSH!"

My gaggle erupted in drunken laughter. Even Dmitri, which was the name we gave him --who could understand his English?-- had a smile on his face.

A dash across the street (no crosswalk for us) and we would be huddled inside Carolyn's, eating our wedge potatoes, chicken wings, greek salads and polishing off the rest of the pre-partying cocktails. Yeah, not such a smart move, but we were drunk. Whattya gonna do?

One by one, people would go to bed, or crash, or leave for an after-hours. Carolyn and her roommate usually crashed somewhere in the middle of it all, but they trusted us enough to know that the last one awake was the one to turn the deadbolt. That person was usually me, for the simple fact that I had to make sure that every cigarette was out, every candle snuffed and every door locked. It's just my way, even to this day. I have no intention of dying in a fire set by a rubbie off the street, thankyouverymuch.

Almost 99% of the time, my closing up companion was my best girl, who was often on the brink of unconsciousness, puffing on a Benson & Hedges, Deluxe Ultra Light, Menthol 100. I know...why bother?

Her eyes would be at half-mast, aiming for an ashtray that wasn't there. Sitting, but still swaying, picking away at our spicy potatoes. She reached for the ketchup and did her very best, but swayed so much, she got it right on the cat's head. The cat's white head. I cleaned him up then cleaned her up, and we crashed.

In the morning, as we regaled each other with random tales culled from broken recollection, Carolyn asked, who kissed the cat with lipstick on!!!???

A quick sideways glance and a smile, followed by brunch of crêpes and eggs benny.

Ahhh, Sunday mornings.


  1. One thing about being somewhat tri-lingual is that I sometimes unconsciously translate Italian-->English or Spanish-->English.

    This comes in handy in Providence, RI.

    I'm in one store there one day to get some veal and peas. (Veal and peas in a tomato sauce, yummy!)

    The crew behind the counter will jabber in Italian about the customers. Well one day this one woman customer was driving them nuts. When the woman behind the counter came out with what translates as "What the fuck does that crazy bitch want?" I broke out laughing.

    The woman behind the counter looked at me and asked "parlare italiano?" to which I replied "Sono americano, ma conosco abbastanza l'italiano." which translates to "I'm American, but know enough Italian".

    Ever since then when I go in she always puts my food in a container, weighs it, prints the label then adds more to the container.

  2. I think you should write a book! It would be one of those you couldn't stop once you started.

  3. Hooligans, all of you. But "you pick a fight, you're on your own" at least proves your a *sensible* hooligan.


you better make this good.


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