Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"...But You've Never Been With THIS Man..."

This past weekend was the weekend to end all weekends so far this year. Every other weekend I've had- the crazy Red Hook incident, Sean Paul, D.C. with Mari; all were no match for this past weekend...when NINA came to visit...

It all started off innocently enough; I stayed in Friday night and cleaned up my place a bit, watched some Gilmore Girls and caught up on Entourage, Weeds, 30 Rock, Degrassi TNG and Ugly Betty. A lot of TV for someone who has no TV...I know...

Saturday afternoon, Nina shows up and it's like she never left, as if it hadn't been 2+ years since I'd laid eyes on MY OWN COUSIN and we sit and shoot the shit for a while before I take her to my Mexican place to feast on the enchiladas that have captured my soul. We touched base with Lani and Irene in preparation for the night's festivities and headed home to get ready.

Our first stop was the Brooklyn Museum, which was hosting Target's First Saturdays (a program of great FREE activities offered on the first Saturday of every month) and had a Caribbean theme. Although someone forgot to tell the DJ at the dance party, because he kept spinning hip-hop the whole time!

While I gulped my red red wine (OH NO!!) and bopped my head to the funky fresh beat, I spotted this Asian guy, sooooooo into the groove that I just HAD to shove Nina into him so that they could dance. And Nina being Nina, she danced with him. And talked to him. Highlights from their conversation include his absolute fascination with her dress, his telling her that his name was Cheyenne, with a C, and an outright marriage proposal. No lie. PLUS, he introduced us to the BEST pick-up line we've EVER heard...

Cheyenne with a C: Have you ever been with a man?
Nina: Yes
Cheyenne with a C: But you've never been with this man!

How do you even respond to that? We decided to leave before Cheyenne with a C started picking out their China pattern, and went back to Lani's place so she could change shoes. Because it was Saturday night and my kids were gone. So of course that means we were going to Bembe.

At Bembe, I was happy to see Medina on the ones and twos, and the place was crazy packed. We met up with Irene, got some drinks and headed downstairs where the temperature is always a deadly 125 degrees and started shaking our groove thangs. And me especially because for some reason it occurred to me that the twins needed to make an appearance that night. And what an appearance it was. After about 30 minutes we lost Lani to a hot n tall dread-lock rasta. Nina looked at Irene and I and stated, "And then there were three." We continued to dance and sweat; I ordered another round of mojitos; we danced and sweated out our 'dos some more. Then, in the blink of an eye, Nina got snatched up by a short Ecuadorian, Santiago, who was really really interested in spending more time with her and "getting to know her better." But Nina never leaves the house without her escape clause: I'm leaving for Boston on Monday and then DR on Wednesday. She's like my hero.

And then there were two.

But the heat was really getting unbearable. Bembe, you see, is a small venue. And it only works if there is a healthy flow- both in AND out- of people. On this night, however, people were coming in in droves, but weren't leaving! Irene had had enough. She decided to go home and Nina and I walked her out. We hung out there for a bit, plotted evilness, and then walked Irene to her car. On the way back in Neil, a bouncer I've never seen there before, caught my eye. But dammit if I didn't chicken out of asking him out!

Once back inside Santiago was trying to convince Nina that they should really spend the night together when all of a sudden Medina played some Juan Luis Guerra, and if you're Dominican you naturally get up out yo' seat and dance. Me and the twins danced with another fellow Dominican, A.J. from New Jersey, and I turned around to find Nina dancing with someone new: Danilo, from Rhode Island, A.J.'s cousin.

So we're rocking out to Juan Luis and then Medina transitions into some old school dancehall reggae, and c'mon, you know what THAT music does to people. I did a quick assessment of my girls, to make sure they were OK: Lani was still with her rasta-mon and Nina had ditched Santiago for good and continued to dance with Danilo. With everyone present and accounted for I continued dancing with A.J., who was convinced that it was OK to 1) put his tongue down my throat, 2) move his hands slowly down to my crotch, and 3) rub his hard-on on me. But no, it wasn't okay. I just wanted to dance, not get molested. I made a mental note to NEVER bring the twins to Bembe ever again!
Nina and I went back outside for more air, with the full intention of going back in. But when we saw that crowd thicken we just knew it was time to go. We went to check on Lani who said she was staying with rasta-mon (more power to her...that crowd was giving me claustrophobia!) and then headed to the Kellogg for breakfast:

We had oh so much fun. Good good fun. And I'd only drank ONE red red wine and TWO mojitos. The rest of the night I was working with bottled water.

Then came Sunday.

Nina and I walked 7th Avenue looking for something yummy for brunch, and found a cool little Italian spot a block away from the Haagen Dazs, next to that school where they always hold the flea market. Mimosas were had (Drink no. 1). Then we walked through the Slope and into Crown Heights before heading over to Irene's to play with Miss Olivia:

Then Nina and I decided that, since I still had to work on Monday and she had to drive back to Mass., we weren't going to do it up that night. So I figured we'd call Lani, meet up at Reis, throw back a few cold ones and be home by 3AM. Yeah...right...because that's how my nights out always end up...

Nina and I started with a beer each (Drink no. 2); Lani was already downstairs with her rasta-mon (who I then learned was named Sean) and owning the pool table as usual. We sat around, joked, talked, just had a nice Sunday night going. Then after Sean left (he had a previous engagement to attend) Lani's pool partner (Calen?) brought up the fact that the last time he was at Reis Lani was mean to him and almost got into a fight with his friend. I reminded Lani that it was the night Canarsie Boy was with us, and we had a good laugh at how Calen's friend almost had this teeth knocked the fuck out that night.

People were coming and going and still we sat, talking and drinking. I went up for a round of tequila and more beer (Drink no. 3 & 4). Still we sat and chatted, got the jukebox going and turned Reis into a right proper night club. Then we saw some other patrons come in with pizza, and you didn't need to tell us twice that a pizza shop was open- we made a B-line for Joe's (on 5th and 11th) and ordered a pie for us and our new friends. And when we got back ordered more beer for ourselves. (Drink no. 5).

At some point in the evening, I remember Calen buying us two more rounds of tequila (Drink no. 6 & 7), and we invited him to my birthday celebration in Puerto Rico's Culebra Island (ya'll can come, too) in May. By this time we got the last call announcement from the bartender, who by now I knew as Jeff. That happens when you stay at a bar so get to learn the bartender's name. And it just so happened that Calen the pool shark was friends with Jeff the bartender, and another gentleman by the name of Allen (see ladies, I finally remembered!), some artist dude. We played a few more tunes on the jukebox when the guys were asking, "What are ya'll doing now?" OK, so maybe they didn't say ya'll, but go with it, ok?

And we're all like, "well, we're going home." They were trying to find another open bar so we could all hang some more, and that's when tequila shot number three spoke through me and said, "we can all go chill at my place, but you just have to keep the noise down." So Lani hopped her bike, we grabbed a cab, made a pit stop at a deli for more libations (Drink no. 8, 9 & 10) and TOSTITOS (thanks, did you know?) and headed to my tiny tiny apartment. All six of us. In my tiny tiny apartment.

We whipped out the cards ASAP and I was instantly transported to Alfred because we started to play asshole...I forgot how much I love that game. I was vice-pres and distinctly remember telling someone to drink "for sassing me." It was AWESOME. Then Lani was vice-pres and ordered Nina to drink "heavily." We were all drunk with power. It's the beauty of asshole.

The rest of the night, unfortunately readers, is forever locked in the vault. We all agreed and I'm a gal of my word. What I can offer you are these crazy highlights, which are more like inside jokes for me, Lani and Nina, but still, I think they are funny. And if you don't...oh well:

"Does that sombrero say 'Corona' on it?"

"Mental note: bleach couch cushions..."

"I have to cleanse this place of the sin you brought..."

"Um, ladies, what was my dude's name again?"

Needless to say, but I'm gonna say it even though I don't have to, I was two hours late for work Monday morning, Nina barely made it to Mass. in one piece but had to stop a few times to throw cold water on her face, and Lani crashed on my couch until I got home from work.
Like I said, most awesomest weekend EVER to date.

Until, that is, Lani and I go up to Mass. to visit Nina...

*smooches...seriously amazed that I remembered ANY of that*
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.