“On top of that, de Blasio didn’t even have an OPEN BAR!!”
I ended up on the sidewalk at dawn, talking to those big, black guys outside Tish James’ party.
“Damn, Andrew, what a drag. But I want my mayor to look after money. Open bar here, though. Tish is gonna be public advocate, so she advocated for her guests to get drunk.”
“Open bar at the Lhota party too.”
“In Manhattan. All businessmen and pols, no women. Was like hanging out with elderly misogynists in a world without gender. They had good scotch.”
“Man, I love Scotch.”
“Here, I stole a bottle.”
Reached inside my coat. The guys got excited.”
“I lost it.”
They got sad. Sun was gettin’ bright. Tish came out. (I find her kind of attractive.)
“Andrew! Were you here?”
Wow. She knew who I was.
“Yeah, dude. How come you didn’t come here?”
I want to bask. And I want to weep. The sun that drenches the world around me lifts me beyond the ken of mere optimism.
Yet I have a hard time getting dressed, for pants and shirts mean the larger world, a girding to meet it. A deceptively sun-drenched world that is always dressed, always girded to meet me. And the moments of additional preparation this provides The Way Things Are unevens the battlefield, makes my fly-zipping and shoe-tying mere draping for futility.
I may be a David but the world is not Goliath, as both combatants needed equally to put on their sandals, thus were psychologically prepared for each other in equal measure. I would expand on this analogy if I knew anything about the bible, so maybe I’m wrong. About the bible story, I mean.
But I’m not wrong about me. And the world.
I did get into the Bill de Blasio party.
On line at the armory to get into the de Blasio party, I decided I was not a racist, since de Blasio has a black wife and two black children and I would, upon entry, be celebrating his win. In some ways, I realized, I was less a racist than de Blasio himself, who, when he married, could not have been certain his children would be black.
I, on the other hand, know his children are black. I was therefore embracing a victory by a family three-quarters black, where he could only have been certain his family would be one-half black, at the time of his marriage.
“Andrew J. Lederer.”
“I don’t have you on the list.”
“I’m a congressman.”
“You’re a CONGRESSMAN?”
“You don’t have to be so surprised.”
“Do you have ID?”
I showed him some.
“That’s a driver’s license.”
“What do you want me to do, show you my congressman’s badge? I left it in the cereal.”
“There’s no need to be sarcastic, sir.”
Was this guy not gonna let me in? He was just a scrawny white guy.
Problem was, every step closer to the de Blasio party made me feel like a racist. Why should I be intimidated by big, intimidating black guys? Maybe they weren’t even supposed to intimidate me and I just decided they were. But they participated in my indoctrination into the big, black guys at the door intimidate me club. Every big, black guy who ever worked as an intimidating door guy trained me and everybody else in the world to see them that way. Except maybe these guys never worked that gig. Is it fair for me to tar all big, black door guys with one brush of socially incapacitating fear? Maybe Tish James’ big, black guys weren’t even working the door. Maybe they were just standing there. For hours. With clipboards. Anyway, what are verifiable big, black door guys supposed to do? Not take a job at the door? It’s hard to find a job. Is it their fault they make money off a racist intimidation factor? Why don’t white singers get grief when they perform with only black women behind them? Don’t the colored girls go doo d’doo d’doo do d’doo do?
God, it feels like this is all happening now, rather than in my memory. Maybe it’s ’cause I’m in the same bar having the same can of beer I drank to bolster myself before returning, yet again, to that elusive party. I figured three dollars was a reasonable price to pay for the necessary confidence. Crap.
I wonder if this is the EXACT same can of beer. Did I leave some over? The phlegmy brew is giving me no confidence in the bar, just as it failed to make go back to that shindig for which I’d been girding. Fortunately, on election night, the hoppy mucous had been accompanied by a NY 1 guy on television, waiting at the Park Slope Armory for de Blasio’s party to kick into gear. That was probably the party to be at anyway. And it was close.
Two major citywide victories in one night, both for Brooklyn pols, with parties near to each other, right in my home borough. What better proof could you get of Brooklyn’s increasing preeminence in the municipal equation? I was proud. And also glad, ’cause it meant I could walk to the de Blasio soiree and not have to pop for a cab.