His song “Feliz Navidad” kept me awake behind the steering wheel tonight.

I attended a business dinner tonight at Rosa Mexicano – the Union Square location. Everything was quite delicious and I brought home some filet mignon with mushroom cream sauce as well as pan-seared Chilean sea bass in a chili/pineapple/passionfruit sauce. I had a pomegranate margarita (soooo good) and coconut flan for dessert. Mmmm. Everyone I work with is so cool. We sat there for three hours just talking, and barely talked about work at all. There was, like, BONDING going on. People were sharing pet photos on cell phones and talking about favorite sitcoms from their youths and house renovations and holiday shopping… it was good times.

Then I went back to Hoboken to catch a train home. It was 9:20 and the next train was the 10:04. I should’ve been home at 10:40. But no. Another train had some technical difficulties and we had to pick up their passengers along the way. The people from that train who got in my train car were only three in number. They were loud and obnoxious and drunk, though.

Two guys, and a girl named Stephanie. I know this only because her husband – the drunker of the two guys – kept saying her name in conversation. He was the real star of the show. I don’t know him, but he’s someone I’ve chosen to hate. I am still a negatively charged ion, so it’s a little better to direct this hatred outward towards someone who is mildly deserving of it, rather than back in on myself for another day. Right?

SO – Drunkey McDrunk started asking his equally drunk buddies, “What time do we land in Montclair?”

What time do we land in Montclair. Wow.

Neither one of his cohorts knew because – hell! – they were drunk as f**k too, on a Wednesday night. They weren’t college kids either. This guy was pushing forty, it would appear. McDrunk asked his friend McStupid to ask the train people what time the train LANDS. McStupid opened the door of the car and asked the crew members, “What time do we land in Montclair?”

To their credit, they didn’t laugh. The male NJ Transit employee just repeated, “What time do we land? Oh. We ARRIVE in Montclair at 10:42 since the train is 8 minutes behind.”

McDrunk didn’t like this answer much, and started LOUDLY proclaiming, “This is the LONGEST F**KING TRAIN RIDE EVER!!!” Mrs. McDrunk asked him to quiet down since she takes this train sometimes and doesn’t want him embarrassing her. He said, “Yeah?? Well, why don’t you f’in BLOW ME!!!” and then LAUGHED hysterically and commented to McStupid, “See how I showed her who’s in charge? That’s right. Make out or read. Make out or shut up.”

I don’t even know what that last part means, but I don’t think I need to. More disturbing than his comments was the fact that his wife laughed at this. She then offered to call the cab company to pick them up from the train station and drive them the rest of the way home (props to her for having the wits about her to think this much ahead and know they were in no state to drive home.) She was being connected by her cell phone directory assistance and McDrunk made her hang up the phone. She asked him why. He replied that she would be too nice and that if they wanted the cab to come get them in time, HE should call and “f’k with them so they know I mean business.”

Uh-huh. He was also drinking a Heineken out of a bottle on the train (it’s allowed) and started dry-puffing his cigarette on the train since he was already informed by the train crew that there was no smoking on the train and he “really need[s] some f’ing nicotine.” He got the hiccups and McStupid made a comment about that. McDrunk shot back, “First I hiccup, then I punch. And anything that gets in my way is getting f’ing obliterated. The hiccups are a warning.”

Luckily, they got off a mere two stops later. I wrote this all down in the notebook I had from my meetings today so I wouldn’t forget this precious experience, and now I am sharing it with you.

This compulsion to write things down is getting stronger again and happening more and more often. I always carry a little notebook and if, by some chance, I don’t have it with me, it’s usually pretty easy to find a receipt or a scrap of paper to write on. Granted that I have a pen, I can even do without paper and use the back of my hand as a writing surface or canvas in a pinch… if there’s something I feel I need to remember.

It’s just after midnight and I need to get to sleep. I’m really rather awake now since driving home – and singing “Feliz Navidad” with Mr. Feliciano – really helped me wake up again. I only had one margarita and that was at 6:30, so there was never any danger of that effecting me. Though my head was spinning a little when I took my last drag of margarita through the cocktail straw and caught a “vein” of tequila that had been floating atop the icy concoction as it melted. It wasn’t water, that’s for damn sure.

My feet hurt, my eyes are tired, and I have cramps. But my belly is full of tasty foods, tomorrow is Thursday, and perhaps today marks the beginning of the Pendulum of Suck swinging the other way.

2 thoughts on “God Bless Jose Feliciano

  1. Congrats on surviving your day of meetings and having it melt into a wonderful tasty evening. Big ups on surviving that train ride, and even bigger ups on capturing every moment. I greatly appreciate furious scribbles that so vividly recapture those Kodak moments for the rest of us. Since we weren’t on the train, we can have a good laugh about it.

    Most of all, congrats on earning a thirty day chip for ranting consistency. (Unfortunately I’m staring at a fresh and clean December 2005 calendar on my screen; I missed the completed November calendar.) Not only that, but your pieces are nice and extensive. (Moooore…content! Yay!)

    I’m theorizing, but maybe this equation applies: Less Sucking Life = More Motivation to Rant? Whatever it is, please keep it up. Thanks!

  2. You, my dear, are an incredible writer!

    I can actually SEE Stephanie, McDrunk and McStupid, and you didn’t even physically describe them! THAT is the sign of a talented author!!! I feel like I was on that train with you, even though at the time, I was in bed, eating popcorn, drinking iced tea and watching Criminal Minds. (Like I told Mitchell one time, “I may not have much of a life, but it’s mine, damn it, and I like it!!!”)

    I’m glad you had a nice time – sometimes “business dinners,” even when they’re not strictly business, can be nothing but a chore or a bore. It sounds like this one was actually fun! Yay!

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