About Me

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thought i was a donut, ya tried to glaze me


can i get arrested for this?

To leave the world a little better,
Whether by a healthy child,
A garden patch,
redeemed social condition
or bar graffiti...

ralph waldo emerson

Last fall I was talking to my friend Teeny about one of our favorite local spots, Connolly's. I was mulling around the idea of having my graduation party there, before it opened for the summer.

"Oh, Connolly's?" she said, reluctantly. This surprised me, since she loves that bar more than anything.

"Yea, why? Don't think it'll be good? Don't think they'll let me have it there?"

She went quiet. I got nervous.

"Well....," she started, "there was this time, last summer. I was sitting outside at the table in the backyard with Jeff and Kerry..."

sidenote: Jeff and Kerry own the bar. Everyone I know is jealous of their life. But anyway.

"And we were sitting there...and they're talking about how upset they were that people were disrespecting the place and then they motioned towards the bench they were sitting on and said 'Look, look at what somebody did' and I looked and saw it."

"What was it?"

She sighed.

"It was HONAN carved into the bench."

My face went red; my heart beat faster.

"Maybe it was another Honan? Maybe it was somebody else?"

I told her maybe, maybe it was somebody else (my sister perhaps? my mom?) but only because I was too embarassed. I don't remember doing it but I knew it had to have been me. I know this because that it what I do--I drink, I get drunk, I carve my name into surfaces. I hadn't seen the scrawled mess until last week, when I was sitting out there late-night as my friends smoked. I lit it with the screen of my cell phone and was assured even more that I was responsible for what looked like this, albeit on a brown wooden bench :

How can I book a party with my scratchiti in the bar?

And if that's the case, I should be banned from every watering hole in the 1169-zip code. Hell, every bar I've ever been to, I've tried to leave some mark, some poor, drunken effort to let them know who's been there--me. The Irish Circle spent millions of dollars on renovations and the first thing I did, while peeing in a stall, was use my house key to carve my initials and year in the bathroom door. Every stall, too. You go into any stall of the Irish Circle--yes, even after they painted over the other wack graffiti, done in pen, by foolish girls who didn't realize sharpies can get painted over but carving is forever--and you will see this :

I've done it in Last Call, in Traditions, maybe even the Sly Fox. I've done it in McFaddens and Metro 53 and Town Crier and the Saloon and Waterloo, and now, as I'm older, I've finally felt ashamed. Why my obsession with leaving a mark? With telling the world I've bar crawled on the Upper East Side?

I read an editorial in The Torch once about artists; the writer said writers and painters work so hard and so passionately on what they do to show the world they're alive. "It's the equivalent of someone carving their name on a bathroom wall" the author wrote, and that line has stuck with me. I consider myself a "writer" (trust me, the quotes are warranted) and the reason I do it, besides the fact that since I've been able to I've felt the intense need to, is to let the world know I'm here. To leave a mark somewhere, for others to find it even years later. I know I'm reaching here to find a correlation between the actual art of writing and my own juvenile need to put key to wooden door. I know it's destructive and dumb, and sometimes I don't even remember doing it. People probably don't even notice it, and they go about their business without ever paying the faint scratch any mind.

But sitting in a bathroom stall a few weeks ago in the Irish Circle--Bud Light bottle barely balancing on the toiler paper holder, tons of loud girls talking and waiting on line--my eyes caught it. I noticed it. Carved into the door, crooked in the middle, now covered by a few more coats of paint, was KH with the year underneath--05.

I was 19 or 20 when I carved that, most likely at a Wacky Wednesday. I probably had my big red solo cup resting on the toiler paper holder. I don't know what I was feeling or thinking but I'm sure I felt pretty badass doing it. So in 2007 I smiled.

There I was, I thought. And here I am. And there I'll go, or be, because everywhere you go there you are. This is true. Where will I be in another two years--peeing in the Irish Circle? I hope not. I hope I'll be busy with my eternal quest to leave a mark. And if that fails I'll know I left it, way back when, in the easiest and most immature way. Maybe I'll even get a smile out of thinking about people sitting on my name in the backyard of my favorite bar. I'm sure at the very least I'll get some satisfaction from remembering where I've been.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Firstly, you have a friend named Teeny? and secondly, THE SLY FOX?

-Bridgid again

I wonder if my writing has even improved?