Wednesday, March 15, 2006

One of Us is Gonna Die Young

(Warning! The link in the title takes you to a loud, cool rock song!)
In 1987, the year I turned 21, all I wanted to do was to drink. Morning, afternoon, evening. I hated everything and understood nothing: why I was getting fat, why I couldn't keep a boyfriend, why did I work at a salon I hated, why did I make no money, why did my roommate hate my best friend, why were all my friends divided against each other, why my parents never called me, why was it all I wanted to do was drink!
I lived by this bar, Dolores and Eddie's, on Broadway and Waveland, where the 7-11 is now. Next door was the Orbit Room. I drank a lot there. On my way to work around 11am or so, I would see old men drinking in D&E's, as we used to call it. "I wanna do that. I wanna sit in a bar and drink all day." So I did. Sometimes with friends, sometimes not. "Ha! This is great!" The manager of D&E's took a shine to me and my exteme look, and asked me to be a "dancer" there. "Just dance on the bar, kid, all the free booze ya want and 20 bucks." They wanted to attract an "alternative" crowd, so they were always doing crazy promo stuff. So I danced, one night only. To the sounds of Cities in Dust and Sensoria and Lover Come Back. My jeans were really tight that night, and it was very difficult/dangerous for me to get up on the bar to dance. Up on the bar, my hair was so tall it touched the ceiling. They were filming an episode of Crime Story next door at Orbit Room that night, as they often did, and Dennis Farina kept peeking in the open door at me between takes. There was something chilling about seeing him there watching me in his black '60's overcoat and hat while it misted rain.
Well, they said free booze, so I drank. While I danced. I think it was my 10th beer and almost as many shots in 90 minutes that finally shocked the bar tender. "Jesus, kid, whadda ya got, a friggin' wooden leg!?" What didn't shock him was me falling off the bar. Twice.
"That's enough kid, I don't wanna see ya break your neck."
That was as close to Angel as I ever got.
Weekdays, I would go to Hitchcock's. I don't think it's still there, it may be; it was over in the Webster and Racine area. I didn't like my boss during the day when I had to put up with all her crap for the few pennies she threw my way, but I LOVED to party with her at night. We could drink up a storm. We would head over to Hitchcock's a few days a week after work, and terrorize my gorgeous friend Martin. Martin as you recall, painted the beautiful cross-eyed drag queen. And do I mean TERRORIZE. "Marty! Give us some beers! No we aint got no money! Ha ha ha ha ha! Marty! Gives us a pizzas! No! No money! Marty! Marty! We's gunna takes this bag of bar glasses wit us! OK? Great! Marr-rey! Murr-arry! More free bur, beer! More! MOre! Free! Free!" Oh God, we were terrible. I can't believe he or his boss let us come back.
Right before the whole D&E's and Orbit Room block was torn down, my friend Phil (my friend now, not back then; just one of life's wierd coincidences) was hired to paint a huge Edie picture on the side of the building. Edie Sedgwick was a model and Warhol "it" girl in 1966. She was a blue blood, a gifted artist, and a true original with limitless potential. She threw it all out the window and died at 28 because she chose drugs to understand why she was molested, and why two of her brothers killed themselves. Now, that is just my opinion. When I chose not to understand my life, I drank. I just didn't deal with anything. My friend Scott took some amazing black and white photos while they tore the buildings down. Edie's partial image juxtaposed with the rubble. Destrution is something we all understand. It's also something a lot of us like to witness.


Sarah said...


What funny little flashbacks I'm getting reading your blog. My friend David and his girlfriend used to dance on the bar at D&E's on Sunday nights. I think he got the $20 deal, too.

Miss you and the 80s,

David said...

I danced at D & E's too and DJ'd there too although I'm not the David Sarah speaks of. I danced with Cara, and it was rather humiliating although I thought it would be cool at first. I think I would have preferred to strip for old men. The owner (I forget his name) must have asked every punk lush in the city to dance. My old best friend Halston the Boozehag Rick used to work there too!

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