Oh yeah, the Park Slope crowd is more my speed than Tish James’ assemblage could ever have been. For me, attending a de Blasio party is like a springy walk down the gentrified street, augmented with speeches, banners and drinks. Even my goo-coated sense of insufficiency is the same as in my day-to-day realm, though this time informed by my uncomfortable encounter with the man himself. Yes, the de Blasio woman is my kind of woman, the kind I would settle down with if she’d let me. The only impediment is the goo. But that goo comes from the mind, so a quick trip to the bar is apt to dam its flow.

“Andrew Lederer!”

Too late. I turn, sober au goo.

“It’s nice to see you.” (Can’t remember her name.)

“I’m surprised. You didn’t look too happy last time.”

“Yeah, I did consider deeming you dead to me, but then I remembered I may have been unctuous or over-attentive or even undesirable the time before and maybe your seemingly inexplicable hostility was due to that. Your attitude being perhaps my fault, I let you live, albeit in a rarely visited recess of my mind. You missed out, though. If you hadn’t cut me off that night, you might have learned…”

“Enough with the words already.”

“We are not made for each other.”

“Clearly. But how have you been? What have you been doing?”

“You don’t know? That explains your continued hostility. I’d think you would…”

“Stop putting so many words to every thought.”

“You might be less judgmental and a bit more obsequious if you knew I was now a (wait for it) congressman.

“No.”

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.

“You are?”

“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?

I must have been about 16 that night, though you really needed to be 18 to stay inside when those heavy doors were locked and the counting of the votes commenced. But fuck the law. Being on the inside was where I wanted to be, something SO right.  We moved on, the three of us — 2 young cousins and a legislator — to a tour of the relevant political clubhouses.

I even got to meet a kingmaker (more of a dukemaker) who was later arrested for corruption and eventually killed himself. You can’t get better than that. You could feel the aura of manipulation and tragedy. It stuck to your neck like the sweat of that naked guy who recently brushed against you in the locker room of the gym.

It didn’t frighten me much.

Perhaps it had the allure for me that drugs have for less ambitious teens.