Sunday, September 28, 2008

I Paid $40 for One Ratatat Song

So, last night, I was having a lovely ol’ time at Gennie and Sue’s lovely ol’ ‘partment (who needs letters when you got ‘postrophes, is my feeling with this sentence) when I thought, hey, I better get going to see Ratatat out at Terminal 5. The show started at 9pm, with two opening bands. I left around 11pm, it was a Saturday night - you’d think that with that equation I’d arrive just as Ratatat are taking the stage, right? You would be as wrong all over the place, as I was. We could have had big "WRONG"s stamped to our foreheads in permanent ink, because I literally arrived to hear their last song of the night.

And I was so sad. This line of frowny faces demonstrates perfectly how sad I truly was:

:( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(:( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(

This disappointing turn of events, however, fits into the overall impression I have that New York City gives in order to make people feel the hurt more acutely when it takes. Conversely, New York City takes in order to make people feel the love more keenly when it gives. Other people may have different relationships to it, but to me, it’s a manipulative, controlling, emotionally abusive but ultimately irresistible life-partner of sorts. Or it's like some sort of trickster god: only on your side when that is the most amusing side to be on. It will slap you square in the face with its dick if it's not!

For example, here's what happened in my first serious encounter with it. I had visited New York before, in 2000, and that's where I had decided that yes, in fact I would like to spend many years of my life here. It wasn't until 2006 that that became an actual reality, and in May, I took a week to sort of scope out things before I made the actual plunge of moving in August. On the very first day, my camera was stolen from underneath the table where I was eating a very regular sandwich, but fetishing it as an "NY sandwich". This was in Union Square – it is so unusual for that kind of shit to happen and I've never had anything stolen since. But I didn’t know it was unusual then, and for all my allegiance to logic and reason (and I have a lot of allegiance to Enlightenment ideals, just ridiculous amounts, tons), I took it as some weird cosmic sign that New York didn’t want me, and I was sad and wary. But not three days later, the hotel room that my man-friend at the time had booked was upgraded from cheapest-room available to the "Junior Executive Suite" which is as fancy as it sounds. It was just because the clerk was feeling nice that day or something. We had a huge patio, and the patio had gargoyles! And it was all, oh, New York, you do like me after all!

It didn’t like me last night, though. I mean, first of all, how dare it confine Ratatat to playing only until midnight, and even if it did dare do that, how dare it not make that evident on my ticket by having it begin earlier than 9pm? There are too many how dares to count. “Crips” was the last song of the set – the only one I heard - and honestly, there is a part of me that feels seeing it live (my probably…seventh favourite Ratatat song…maybe ninth or tenth?) was still worth $40. I just love Ratatat that much. However, this has been the second time in the last week that I have really wanted to see a show, only to walk in for the last five minutes. The first time it was definitely my fault, so maybe New York is trying to teach me some lesson about punctuality by tricking me into missing one of my favourite bands? I don’t know. That seems out-of-character for New York. Punctuality seems like more of a Munich thing, or maybe Tokyo. It don’t seem like a Gotham-esque priority.

Still, I must search for some solace to be found in the extreme disappointment of missing the entire show for no good goddamn reason (it was a Saturday fucking night and there was a midnight curfew?!?). It is my nature to search for solace; I am a solace-seeker. For example, I now know what it feels like to be that kid in James Joyce’s short story “Araby” (minus the sexual dread). I know what it feels like to just miss the fuck out, to look forward to something with all you got and then see it slip right past you and to have nothing to say for yourself but "fuck!". But I guess…is that good? I sort of already knew what it was like to be the narrator of “Araby” just by reading “Araby”. James Joyce had saved me the trouble of having to experience it, so maybe that's not exactly good, it's just...a something.

Though there was one definitely-for-real-genuinely-awesome-pants positive thing that came out of it, even if it could never outweigh the bad. As I was walking down 8th Ave, feeling all dejected and sad, I overheard some guy at a bar telling his friend a story. He completely sincerely stated, “And you know, I’m not even exaggerating, there were fifteen or twenty girls dancing with me at this point…”

It's just a small dumb thing, but I kind of feel like it was New York throwing me a bone for being a good sport.