Sunday, May 30, 2004


Saturday night, and there's a misty orange three-quarter moon. People seem oddly aggressive downtown. I'm stepping away from the ATM when a duo of teens mock-lunges at me, and one says "Boo." Too annoyed to be unnerved, I snarl, "What's THAT shit about?"

Bicycle cops are out in force. One nearly runs down the owner of our bar, who has an eye disease that has robbed him of his peripheral vision.

At the bar, they're holding a hip-hop benefit for the local skate park. The organizers have set up plywood quarter-pipes up front by the stage, one against the wall and the opposite one against the bar. This means that while we're serving drinks, a BMX wheel will occasionally materialize in the air right in front of our faces, hang there for a second, then disappear back down the pipe. Occasionally a skateboard will fly loose and carom dangerously close to the glass cooler door.

I'm working with my best buddy J. and another friend who's a Tae Kwon Do teacher. The TKDT is watching the skateboarders and BMXers with a hint of disdain. "I'm going to start flicking all my bottlecaps in their direction," he announces.

J. smiles. "Instant face-plant," she observes.

TKDT chills some orange vodka shots. "When I was a kid, we used to go to the roller rink and throw ball bearings out onto the floor," he reminisces.

J. rolls her eyes and grins at me. "He hasn't always been a Buddhist," she cracks.

My mood is buoyant, and everyone can tell. "I want some of what she's on," says a sound guy. But that's just the way I am tonight.