I moved to Bushwick recently, a quasi-industrial Brooklyn neighborhood where there’s little to do for fun besides count the rats on the subway platform and/or drink $2 PBRs at the one and only neighborhood restaurant,Northeast Kingdom. I find the latter option more pleasant, and so spend my evenings saddled up at their bar.
As it IS Bushwick (which IS the new East Williamsburg which WAS the new Williamsburg which is now itself a haven for well-to-do college graduates) there’s a preponderance of hip-strocity: you can’t move an inch without tangling your hand in someone’s mutton chops or handle-bar moustache, without cracking the soup-can size lenses on some pair of extraneously-worn glasses. Much like crabs or chicken pox, these kids are everywhere and they’re distracting. I mean, I do TRY and concentrate on whatever book I’ve bought with me, but mostly I just people-watch.
Last week I was thrilled to have a dashing hombre added to the mix of bar regulars, this gent who looked like the love-child of John Lennon and Justin Timberlake if such a thing was possible. (I hesitate to write that only because I’ve actually met John Lennon’s child and, frankly, he’s as ugly as a Hasid. I’M SORRY! SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE HASIDS! But generally speaking, these people ARE known more for their religious zealotry than for their strong jaw-lines and cheekbones.) Anyway, this new bar-regular was a Looker with no apparent evidence of hipster-dress AND he’s always there alone. Well, we finally got to talking when he asked if I’d read a certain piece in ‘The New Yorker.’ It was a fair enough question seeing as how I’d been holding ‘The New Yorker.’ The problem was that I’d stuffed it with a ‘Glamour’ Magazine – there’d been this article on Victoria Beckham’s skin care regime I’d found riveting – because if you’re actually seen reading something like ‘Glamour’ in Bushwick, you’ll get thrown to the subway rats faster than you can say, “Sara Barron is too concerned with what other people think about her.” So I faked my way through ‘New Yorker’ familiarity – “that article WAS interesting, wasn’t it?” – to keep the conversation boat afloat, and had just settled into the vision of our erotic pre-coital spoon, when all of a sudden The Looker reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a pair of gloves. They were the kind with the finger-tips cut off.
That’s when I knew things would never work between us. Tip-less gloves are aseffective tip-less condoms, and I knew I couldn’t sustain so much as a night-long romance with someone who didn’t think the same: impractical outer-wear has always been my deal-breaker.
This was no sweat off The Lookers back, it seemed, as he’d put on his finger-tip-less gloves to leave. Five minutes into our bored flirtation and perhaps he’d snagged a look at my Glamour magazine and/or Posh Spice fixation; or perhaps he’d taken issue with my massive Eddie Bauer parka, the one I’d draped over the back of my bar-stool. Who knows. Regardless, I’m just glad we met in winter so our clothing choices could allow us cut to the chase of our incompatibility.