Fringe Folks

In case you were wondering, my family and I aren’t the only peripheries left in the city–though it’s true, if you were making a hippie coat of Manhattanites, the fringe would look kind of moth eaten, sparse. This is a lonely place to be, but I do have a couple of friends here. Mostly, we’re all too busy getting by to get together.

Except for Friday nights. Sacred Friday Night Madness. I get together with my buddy, Fatigue.  Sacred because we try to do this no matter what, more so because we miss as many weeks as we hit.  One beer. I have one beer, while Fatigue downs his pretty but nasty Manhattan.  Depending on how the week has gone for each of us, we might share a plate of nachos, a sandwich, or on a particularly flush week, each have our own sandwich.

We dream about leaving the city, me to a beach town, him to another city. We talk about our respective arts; my writing, his singing, depending on the year or month, explain why our dreams are dead/aren’t dead/on hiatus for the time being. We talk about our beasts, Big Senile Dog and Little Incredibly Dumb Dog, and his two, Enormous Skittish Dog and Teeny Yip. We talk about who’s left the neighborhood, who lost their job, their apartment, their life.  He asks for updates on the Fringe kiddos and Husband, tells me about the other friends he’s seen and spoken with during the week. He tells me the histories of the old and mostly dead cabaret stars. We calculate the cost of the evening and talk about what we’ll cut during the week to make up for it. By now he’s done with his Manhattan, and is on to impersonations. Fatigue is a very talented guy, and can do a wicked impersonation of just about anyone. I polish the moment, to laugh and not have to think.  Then the waitress comes over and asks if we want another round. Of course we do, but we can’t, just tell her everything was perfect and we’re so tired we need the check.

I don’t leave for the evening until I’ve given dinner to Flower Child, Nerd Child, and Man Child.  I’m home in time to say Good Night, My Darling to Flower Child and walk the beasts.

Anyone else have a Friday Night Madness?

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