I awake after losing yet another battle with insomnia and reach for the television’s remote control. Not surprisingly, the offerings on the telly aren’t worth a squirt of rat’s piss — Cinemax is unfortunately not running one of its myriad of softcore porno flicks, but is airing Spike Lee’s execrable GIRL 6, to be followed by the Elvis Presley turd EASY COME, EASY GO — so I resort to a tape of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: THE MOVIE to hopefully entertain me and lull me to sleep. No such luck.
Now wide-awake, I begin to realize that I’m hungry, and slowly I crawl from beneath my thick, warm comforters. I pull on my thermal shirt, put my ear baffles in place and lace up my Frankenstein-like hiking boots; presently I am ready to brave the chilly outdoors in search of eats.
The remains of Sunday’s record-breaking blizzard have turned Park Slope into a frozen wasteland, resembling a movie set that has been cleared for the day. The usually teeming streets are empty and silent, eerie in a strange way, accentuated by the pre-dawn darkness and full moon. Theoretically the buses are running, but why wait when I only have a thirteen- block walk to the diner? As I trudge up Fifth Avenue I attempt to avoid breaking my ass by falling on the ice, and I pass by the infamous alky bar Jackie’s Fifth Amendment; I have passed this wretched hive of scum and villainy both very late and insanely early during the day and had believed that it never closed its doors. As I walk past it expecting to once more see an old man who looks like Popeye passed out in a pool of his own piss, I am shocked to see that the place is actually shuttered.
I finally arrive at Daisy’s Diner, a mediocre greasy spoon that makes up for it’s culinary shortcomings by being comfortable and staffed by a friendly wait-staff that speaks questionable English. As I sit down I am greeted by the flaming waiter who usually serves me when I eat there after getting out late from the barbecue joint. He’s friendly as hell, and reminds me that today is St. Valentine’s Day, after which he mimes puking and says, “Fuck, I hate being single!” Then my waitress shows up; let me tell you, it was worth the early morning effort of getting there just to see this chick. She’s a six-foot-four bleached blonde Puerto Rican Amazon who’s pretty fucking hot, and I have decided to save my visits to Daisy’s for whenever she’s on duty. Deciding that I need more of a snack rather than a full meal, I order a bowl of Yankee bean soup and a side order of sausages. As usual, the soup is lukewarm, but tasty.
As I return home I pass by several of the closed neighborhood bars and marvel at the sight of cars still buried beneath the snow, a white blanket highlighted by the crystallized vomit of fubar drunkards. In some areas the dispersal of puke brings to mind what it would look like if someone loaded a scattergun with corned beef hash and let fly.
I now sit down to chronicle my non-adventure and realize that I love these occasional near-dawn jaunts, relishing the all-too-rare silence of my neighborhood. The sun is coming up and before I go to bed and attempt sleep once more, I will drop off my laundry when the local Laundromat opens at 7AM.
What a way to start a day off…