There comes a time in every man’s life, when he takes life by the horns and the horns turn to Don Julio Anejo.
For me, that time was last night.
The place: Thai Angel
The time: Afterhours
The reason: N/A
There are two things you should know about Thai Angel: They don’t serve tequila and their food is intolerable.
But Thai Angel serves a purpose. To my knowledge, it’s the only place where you’ll be offered cocaine, pad thai, and a hand job in the same breath. I don’t recommend dabbling in all three at once.
I don’t go to Thai Angel so I can put a tug job on my Amex. I don’t go there to eat. And generally speaking, I don’t go there to blow lines with guys who look like they’ve borrowed their eyes. I go to Thai Angel for conversation. I go for spirited debate. I go because I value the jumbled version of the truth that spills out of a Thai hooker’s mouth as the sun’s rising and I’m her only hope for another fifty USD.
Last night there was little in the way of conversation to be found. I met Hugo on the corner of Tamarind and Franklin. He had a girl on his arm that couldn’t decide if she was from New York or New Jersey. We rode in my chariot. A commandeered Datsun truck I’d won in a lively game of pick-up basketball on Yucca.
At Thai Angel, Hugo and Ms. NY/Jersey really had something going on. And it really didn’t involve me. Left to my own devices, I struck up a conversation with Greek Cypriots who were visiting from Florida. We talked ornithology. We talked island-life. We talked bloodshed. We talked Arabic. We talked English. They didn’t speak either.
From what I could tell, they wanted to dance. There were three of them. As you well know, it’s very difficult to dance with three people. The intimacy is lost. You stand in a circle watching each other’s hips gyrate. They wanted me to join. They wanted to pair off.
The problem is, after talking bloodshed, I was ready to spill some. They bought me a whisky. I stared into the Styrofoam cups and waited for the truth to surface. I found nothing but Jim Beam and ice.
The sun started to rise. Deep house music was putting me to sleep. I ate a hot bowl of dumpling soup, which tasted like recycled urine and mint. And then it hit me.
The Cypriot men, there were two, and the Cypriot woman split to their respective bathrooms. I ordered them to smuggle as many paper towels as possible. The men came up empty handed—the bathroom was all out. The woman, whose name I didn’t catch or care to remember, fulfilled and surpassed expectations.
On my way to the Datsun, I passed Hugo. He was whispering something patriotic to his date. I waved; he winked. The Cypriots and I hit the parking lot where the bouncer told us to get the fuck inside or go home.
Sure thing, boss.
We stuffed the paper towels into my gas tank. I get horrible ear infections so I keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol in the center consul. I drizzled the torn seats with the stuff. I ejected my Tony Robbins self-help tape and pocketed it. ( Tony has really done great things for my self-esteem.)
The lady Cypriot lit the wad of paper towels. All my favorite arsonists are women.
When a car burns it’s not like in the movies. This was hugely disappointing. From across the street we watched the car light up. It was mainly smoke. Not much of a flame. It never blew up. BANG!!!… never happened. It just smoked out. I realized those goddamn Cypriots are good-for-nothing arsonists. If you’re wondering why their economy is shot, it all comes back to their inability to properly blow up a car.
I caught a cab and left the Cypriots to their three-way dance party. Next time, I need to blow something up I’m going to get a Syrian.