My former landlord dropped her off for an impromptu two-hour babysitting gig on Wednesday night. She was folded into a carrier, and he passed her off to me on the sidewalk. She looked quizzically amused, like any second she was going to burst out laughing. She smells so good.
I sat with her on the couch, mostly just looking at her tiny face and laughing. Making sound effects and wiping spit off her chin.
"We are sitting here, with a baby, watching the 10 o'clock news," Chuck said. "Pedestrians."
Suddenly she got excruciatingly tired. It was like when you're at a bar and you say Hi to someone who seems sober, and then a half hour later, that person falls off their stool. Taquito turned red and was screaming and shaking her little fists. I could not stop laughing. This mini tantrum? Hilarious.
She fell asleep in the car on the way home. My former landlord took us to the bar. I watched her heavy head roll from side to side, and her lids droop. Finally I had to palm her noggin because the jostling looked so uncomfortable.
I have to say, the North Star bar may be the place-to-be on Wednesday nights, when the Thespian is hosting karaoke. When we walked in, he was singing "9 to 5." The place was a mix of Pioneer Bar regulars, Quinlan's people and girls from the roller derby team.
Someone did a pretty awful version of "Total Eclipse of the Heart."
I sang "Don't Stop Believing."
Chuck sang his old standby "Hit Me Baby One More Time." [Heroic, actually. The words were jumbled on the karaoke screen, and Chuck had to sing them from memory. That's my boyfriend. Impressive.]
I sang "Let's Hear it for the Boy." [God I'm sick of myself.]
It was $6 beer night. I'm not convinced I got my money's worth. But, damn, that was a fun place to be.
Tuska almost came to fistacuffs with a wobbly tot when she said to the girl "That's a cute outfit."
"What do you mean," the girl slurred, accusatory.
"I mean, I like your shirt," Tuska said.
"MY BOOBS ARE HANGING OUT AND I'M WEARING WORK JEANS!" the girl screamed, squinting.
"Remind me to never compliment anyone ever again," Tuska said when we walked back inside.
We arranged a cab-share to Quinlan's with the Thespian, and four minutes later he was being whisked away by a roller derby girl wearing a T'shirt from a high school she didn't go to, with the armpits ripped out. Bastard.
We made last call at Quinlan's and did everything possible to avoid eye contact with a very moody regular, who had stopped Chuck in the bathroom to scream:
"APPARENTLY I'M THE MOST ANNOYING ASSHOLE IN TOWN!"
The Thespian and the roller girl showed up. Our cab won that race.
We came home and watched "Footloose," which Chuck confessed he had never actually seen. Lori Singer's premature tribute to manorexia. And nothing comes between Wren McCormack and his Jordache jeans. God I love that movie.
The other day I finally met one of the young college students who lives downstairs. I tried to be extra friendly to try smooth over the part where they got in trouble for playing 8 hours a day of what I call "Tickle Fight," a game that involves running from one end of the apartment to the other end in high heels. Shrieking and falling down and opening doors and running into walls, then incorporating the dog for bonus decibels. Chuck, who has to sleep during these athletic bouts, gets to be bad cop. Me? I introduced myself. Good cop.
"Hi, I'm Chad," he said. [Name changed to reflect his generic nature.]
"Hi ... Yeah, I've met PeterBrady," I said [Name changed to reflect the girl's voice, which sounds like Peter Brady's when he was singing with the Silver Platters.]
"Oh, yeah," he said. "I'm always coming and going. I'm not around a lot."
"I hear ya," I said. Meaning, "Got it." Unfortunately, he took it to be a noise reference.
"I suppose you do," he said.
And there I was: Bad Cop. Doh!