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by Ed Sikov
After that spirit-killing dinner with Craig and his – gag – new boyfriend, Kyle (my perfect Kyle, with his gymnast’s ass and a treasure trail that brings tears to my eyes), Dan and I barely spoke. I guess I’d been kind of a jerk. Dan steamed, then sounded off: “I knew we were in for it when you started tossing frisee leaves in Craig’s face.” “Oh, that,” I said dismissively. “I was just being playful.” “Not when you started with the lardons. You’re lucky Craig is in love. He might have crushed you. And your grand finale – oh, brother!”
Actually I was rather proud of forcing our server, Rolf, to listen to me sing “Springtime for Hitler” before I would leave. So what if the manager tried to throw me out? He didn’t succeed. Turns out I’m a pretty good wrestler.
Dan left for the office early Sunday morning. I knew he’d stay out past midnight. His parting words were, “You’re an old-fashioned asshole.”
Analyzing this dark pronouncement consumed the morning. My conclusion: I was somehow a sexually constipated Puritan for finding the image of 32-year-old Kyle suffocating in 55-year-old Craig’s ripples of fat to be nausea inducing. I was a Sex Fascist for seeing their wildly lopsided affair as an affront to time-honored notions of Right and Wrong, the moral cornerstones of civilization. And didn’t Darwin write something about natural selection and the reason why young, lean, heartthrob orangutans never mate with the aged and obese?
“Old-fashioned asshole,” I repeated. Was I? Didn’t a man have the right to be revolted by his friend’s sexual satisfaction? Was I misguided in planning to forbid Kyle to explore his formerly secret desire for chubbies by tying him to his bed spread-eagled, tightening the knots, ripping open his T-shirt and….
OK, I had lost my mind.
But wait a sec. Dan was pulling an abandonment trip on me, so I might as well embrace my sudden-onset derangement. I’d spend the day drinking Old Fashioneds! Maybe I’d get drunk enough to moon the neighbors and explore the “asshole” aspect, too. That’ll show ’em. Literally.
Life lesson: When you have your first drink before noon, you’ll be hammered by 2 and dysfunctional by dinner. Around 7 I phoned for Chinese delivery, but I couldn’t form the words “Hui Guo Rou,” so I switched the order to five eggrolls and hung up. Apparently I provided neither my name nor address. Two hours passed. I ended up eating a can of artichoke hearts, some half-thawed pea soup, and three granola bars. Chewing one is the last thing I remember.
In the morning, Dan sternly informed me that he found me lying naked on the bedroom floor near the windows with my Calvins around my ankles and, nearby, an otherwise empty glass with a desiccated orange slice at the bottom. What was Craig doing with Kyle while I was pressing my hairy rump against a 12th-floor window in pointless protest of their ludicrous, hideous affair? I can’t bear to think about it. I think about it constantly.
The Old Fashioned
Put an orange slice in the bottom of a glass, add a bit of Really Simple Syrup*, and muddle (press the orange with the back of a fork). Pour in some bourbon, whiskey or rye; add a few drops of bitters. Stir. Add ice. Serve. Forget the cherries unless you’re under 12.
*Really Simple Syrup: add equal amounts of sugar and water to a jar. Shake.