Rod Townsend (aka our commenter Momo), sometimes receives telephone calls from The Past, a mysterious entity that remembers where things used to be in New York before Starbucks and Whole Foods came to town.
"Dude! Does this ever happen to you? You take a bow, the night is over. You get home and your pill kicks in again?"
"A pill? Like a lorazepam? I've been taking those ever since you started to call."
"Marzipan in a pill? Nutty, heh. Um, no, nellynads. Ecstasy. It seems my pill just had a final wave, which is why I'm calling you, to keep me grounded."
"Street drugs are too uncertain. Maybe that was your only choice, but now we have pharmaceuticals that provide even release and predictable results. Ask your doctor today about..."
"Predictable results? Who the hell wants predictable results when they're at Palladium?"
"Palladium? That N.Y.U. infestation?"
"Yeah, it's the end of the year. Papers written. Finals taken. Professors blown for extra credit. There were a lot of N.Y.U. kids out tonight letting off some steam."
"I think we're talking about a different..."
"Did I say tonight? I should've said yesterday I guess. It all started innocently enough. My trannygirl Tia handbagged me over to the Chelsea Clearview to see the new Madonna video."
"Handbagged? Is that a sexual thing?"
"Handbagged. Sometimes when a tranny wants to do something she'll call you up and take you along. Not as a friend really, but sort of as a fashion accessory. Anyway, she wanted to see the video to check if there were any looks in it she should be stealing. It opened before some movie that we didn't stay to watch. Anyway, we started heading back to Tia's room at Hotel Seventeen. There in the lobby was Amanda Lepore with her tits du jour. She was all 'Palladium this, Palladium that' and informed us we were already on the list before dashing off to Pat Fields' to get her wig switched out."
"Patricia Fields? From Sex and the City? I saw her once!"
"I don't read the Observer every week, but is that column still running? Wait. God. I'm so feeling this effervescent wave of ... Oh. Anywhat, around 1 we head over to Palladium. We walk under all of those blinking bulbs on the marquee, pass the rope and kiss-kiss, hug-hug our way up to the bar. The music is way too electronica for us, but we still do our routine: Walk along the right side of the columns surrounding the dance floor. Look to see if we know the go-go boys, but there aren't even any dancing tonight and the pedestals are peopled with full-price entry types. From there we walk to the middle of the dance floor. The giant disco ball is up in the rafters and obviously not coming down to us. We stand there for a minute attracting attention, then head over to the left side of the stage to make fun of anyone we know making out in the dark over there."
"You didn't dance?"
"On the main dance floor? Oh gods no. We then headed for the VIP area where Steve Travolta was spinning acceptably danceable tracks and made our hellos, popped our pills and then headed to the bleachers on the second floor to survey the crowd a bit."
"It sounds like you were a little removed."
"When you're handbagging sometimes you have to be. It's not a bad thing, cuz you're getting admission and drinks and everything for free. Except cigarettes. Those cigarette girls would not give you a free pack to save their lives. And there was only one in the club that night, so I left Tia in the bleachers to get some Marlboro Lights, the perfect complement to any drug. On the way back, I ran into this guy Luis I'd been fucking and, totally not thinking, got a bump."
"Duh. Cocaine and Ecstasy cancel each other out. Anyway, turns out that was the least of my worries. I got back to Tia and within a few minutes I couldn't talk. She looked me dead in the eye, said 'You stupid fuck,' and stormed off."
"Why would she..."
"She comes back with three glasses. I still couldn't talk, but she forces the drinks down my throat. Luckily there were only a few other people in the bleachers because she was totally causing a commotion. After the third glass I was sort of lucid again and all, 'Why did you ...?' She immediately asked if I had done a bump. I admitted to the one from Luis (whom she despises) and was informed that I had been in my first K hole."
"Believe it or not, yes. After seeing all the zombies on K at Disco 2000, I'd always avoid it. But Tia was not having it. The drinks she gave me were straight up soda. Between the caffeine and the sugar I came back to life. And, just as things turn out, our pills started kiki-ing. The rest of the night is sort of a blur, but undoubtedly a blast. And here I am now. Safe at home, chatting with mon cocu innocent. Ahhhh. Traveling, traveling, I'm gonna relax. Traveling, traveling, in the arms of unconsciousness ..."
"Hello? You still there?"
"Mhmm. So go to Palladium and have some fun. Traveling, traveling. I need a nap, but remind me to tell you about that time I hung with Björk on the roof of ClubUSA. In the arms of unconscious ..."
Earlier: Past, Over