"What are we doing for International Irish Whiskey Time?" he asked the other day.
"Uh, drinking…?" I replied.
The irony is that Dave and I both gave up Irish Whiskey a long time ago, but it’s how we refer to the amateur day that is supposedly in celebration of Saint Patrick’s death. But, we’ve been using this term for 14 years and old habits die hard.
Year: 2000. Location: Greenwich Village/NoLita. Time: 11am.
Dave got up to piss and left me at the bar with my glass of Jameson and pint of Guinness. There had been a guy in a leather jacket hovering behind me with a haircut that was only popular in 1989 who apparently saw this break in my conversation as a chance to jump in on me.
"Hey, man" he said… "My name is Steven. Ya know, Steven Adler?"
I look at the face - and the haircut - and I recognize him as the original drummer for Guns N’ Roses. And then I realize that I’m about to have a really boring conversation with a mediocre musician who fried his brain on heroin and Jack Daniels.
"Yeah, man… Axl is putting the band back together with the original line-up and I’m leaving for a show in Vegas tomorrow!" And he prattled on, and on, and on, while I knew he was lying through his teeth and probably looking to get a free drink out of me.
48 hours later I saw Steven in Times Square buying a hot dog. I high-fived him as I walked past and asked “How was Vegas?” without breaking stride. His face looked crushed but I had a good laugh.
Today, Dave and I had our customary drinks and there were no washed-up rock-stars. Just good (if not intense) conversation and a few free rounds courtesy of a gay, black, Vietnam veteran who took a shine to our baritone voices.
That’s just as good, if not better.
Thank you, Dave. It’s always a (thoroughly fucking bizarre) pleasure.