When I reach The Ritz, I spot Eric's back and see he is standing under the awning, making a call on his phone. We do the usual pleasantries, and then he tells me plans might change and we'll probably be going down the street to B. Smith. I don't care. I just want to get out of the rain.
We splosh our way towards 8th Avenue and arrive a the bar/restaurant. It's a nice place, reminiscent of a 90's-era facelift that was requires little touch-ups for the next decade. We meet up with Matt, one of Eric's friends (and fellow blogger). Brett and Mike show up, both damp, yet not soaked. We drink, we talk, we drink (happy hour, natch), we talk, then we have to leave to get something to eat.
Mike has to leave (I'll catch up with him later) and the rest of us to go Queen of Sheba, an Ethiopian restaurant that's a few minutes away. When we step through the doors, a moodily-lit place that hums with the voices of people trying to talk quietly while stuffing their faces with food.
We sit in the back and place our orders. They arrive in large platters, with a separate dish of bread to sop up the food. Being one who never ate Ethiopian food before, I follow the other's lead. When in New York...
It's all quite delicious, even though it all resembles the same thing. Lucky for me, presentation doesn't count; flavour is what's paramount. Also, lucky for me is that I didn't ask for my platter to be spicy. I purposely avoided anything with onions, because I know how my body reacts to them. Of course, it's not positively.
When the meal is done and it's time to say our goodbyes, Eric and Brett ask if I'd like a cab ride uptown since they're going that way. Being one who did not want to go underground at nighttime (and in the rain), I accept. I'd pay my way, because it's only fair. They'd be along for the ride, which is a plus.
The drive on Riverside Drive is a little stuffy because of the weather, and due to the fact we don't want to open our windows. The water might look pretty rolling down the glass, but it's not when it's splashing on your face. Even though that thought passes through my mind at a breakneck speed, we're at my stop. My co-conspirators have a few (40) more blocks to go. I wish them a good night (even though it's still rather early) and make my way to Mike's place.
After six flights of stairs and a jiggling of a set of keys into the door, I make my way inside where I meet Mary, Mike's temporary roommate. We chat for a bit, but I'm the one who's doing most of the talking. When Mike arrives, he joins in on the conversation until it's time for all of us to go to bed. I sleep relatively well, but when the sun comes up, I wish I could've gone back to the other night and avoided ordering my meal.
Even though my platter wasn't spicy in the least (in fact, it was "bland" for Ethiopian food), I was paying for it. Big time. Who knew a compact body could produce so much garbage? Apparently, it can. Time and time, again. The pain isn't excrutiating, but it isn't pleasant. By the time the cramping and wretching reaches the 20-minute point, I begin to curse the Gods. All of them. From every religion.
Fuck you all, you fucking fuckers!
My vacation sounds like it's going in the shitter from this day forward. I am not going to look forward to Saturday and Sunday. If I was clairvoyant, I wouldn't leave the loo. Unfortunately, I have to learn the hard way about how shitty my vacation will turn out. Oh, crap.