No Dave’s Luncheonette

Wednesday evening I arrived at the Santos Party House at 7pm. Walter Durkarcz the organizer for Mark Kamins Celebration Of A Life had asked me to come in early. Jorge Socarras was handling the guest list.

“How long you want me to do the door?” I asked upon starting the night

“I have some young guy taking over at midnight,” Walter assured me and ran off to attend the thousands of loose ends unraveling at crunch time. He was a busy man, as was I once the crowd assailed the door. Santos’ security had a system. I was old school. They admonished my letting people skirt their entry policy.

“I won’t do it again.” That was a lie.

The hours passed quickly without incident. I greeted old friends, assisted musicians to the stage, and talked of Mark. He was the man and everyone wished that he was with us, instead of cached in the Here-Before.

Midnight passed without a young guy replacing me. I hadn’t a drink and Walter said there were no drink tickets. My wallet was empty and I scrounged a sip of a beer from a few people. At 1 John Argento the owner of the legendary Danceteria grabbed me.

“Are you getting paid?” John had long silver hair running over his collar.

“No.” My most recent attempts to regain my hippiedom had failed in March.

“Then you’re coming with me.” John liberated me from the door and we went downstairs to the basement bar to drink beer. They weren’t cheap. $10 each. John was generous and ordered a couple more for me. A friend came up and John said, “I’m buying what do you want?”

“A water.”

Both of us laughed and I said, “Water? Go get it at the cooler.”

“More beer for my friend.”

John and I conversed past 2am and 3am. Walter joined us at one point. We toasted his successful evening with more beer.

He excoriated me for having earlier written in that the Boston Marathon bomber was a forty-two white male from New Hampshire.

“You know it’s Islamic terrorists.” John was Italian. His family had been fighting the Moors for centuries.

“I do now.”

Earlier that evening the FBI had announced that they had two suspects captured on video. They were young.

“I hope they don’t see tomorrow.” John was dead serious.

“I feel the same way too.” Boston was my city and while I support the Liberation of Palestine, I don’t condone the killings.

“Let’s drink to that.”

We drank to freedom, Italy, the Romans, the Celts, the Irish, Danceteria, and Mark Kamins. He offered me a shot a tequila> I refused, which was probably the smartest thing I did all evening.

The club’s manager turned on the house lights at 4. We finished our drinks and headed out into the night.

“Where to?”

“If it were 1980, we could go to Dave’s Luncheonette for an egg cream.”

The diner on Canal Street had been a favorite eatery after the closing of the Mudd Club and we walked to the corner.

“Not there.”

“It hasn’t been here for a long time.”

“Only in our memories. Time for me to go home.” John waved down a taxi and I entered the subway.

The Fort Greene Observatory was two stops away.

Getting there took fifteen minutes.

I walked into the door with shoes in my hand.

It was 5:33am.

I have no idea why the trip was so long, but I climbed the stairs to the top floor and crashed into bed like a bag of potatoes falling off a truck. It had been a good night.

Thank you for everything, Mark.

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