The Girlfriend and I have been having a rough time of it lately, what with her being emotionally irrational and me being right all the time. It weighs on us. Then football season started and things went from bad to worse. (I mean in our relationship, not in general. Because things always get brighter when football season starts.)
So for a little relationship therapy, we went out on Saturday night (together) for some drinks and dessert at a restaurant right near my apartment. We sat at a table right in front of wide open French doors overlooking the activity on the sidewalk, had a bottle of wine and coffee and, in lieu of a dessert, The Girlfriend got a plate of spaghetti. That’s just good common sense to her.
Over the course of the couple of hours as we sat there making fun of people who walked by, The Girlfriend began to notice some suspicious activity taking place at the neighboring restaurant, a seemingly more upscale Italian restaurant, which we had never dined at because it was seemingly upscale.
The scene was two teenagers (one guy one girl) probably about 17 or 18 years old, but likely much younger because I refuse to accept what teenagers look like these days. They were joined by an older guy (21?) and all three were incessantly rubbing their noses.
The Girlfriend, of course, was convinced they were harvesting organs and trading them for coke. I laughed it off, much the same way I laugh off all important social ailments, and continue on with more important conversations such as how there must be no more fun experience than being pushed around in a stroller.*
After a few minutes it became clear that she was distracted, though, as she wasn’t looking at me when I was talking and didn’t say anything when I posed her a question (except when I tested her by saying, “So we’ll just go home and have sex?” and she replied, without looking at me, “Nah.” I swear, you can’t make these things up.) Suddenly she says, “Look! I just saw a couple go in there and come out five minutes later. And they’re the third couple to do that in the past 10 minutes! That place is totally a drug front. It’s a mafia run drug front.”
For some reason, I immediately buy into this – most likely because the majority of the excitement on the Upper East Side comes from Jersey guys getting into fights outside bars or playing “Which one has STD?” with the groups of girls walking by in their club attire.
For the next hour we become increasingly baffled at the vast array of people going into the restaurant and coming out five minutes later, looking no more full than when they went in. By the time we’re ready to leave, we’ve practically talked ourselves into going into the restaurant just to see what happens, to see if there might be some sort of code word we had to give them to get the drug order instead of the veal scaloppini. “Good evening, is the table in the back available?” “Do you have the special shrimp tonight?” “So I hear you’re Ecstasy is quite good…”
We leave our restaurant, and as we walk towards the neighboring upscale drug front restaurant, we can’t believe what we are confronted with: an entrance to a tiny liquor store right next to the restaurant entrance, which we couldn’t see from our table. I don’t know if we were more embarrassed at our cavalier assurance that we had discovered a drug outfit all by ourselves or disappointed that there wasn’t a mafia run drug restaurant operating in my neighborhood.
Either way, one thing’s for sure: The Girlfriend is NOT going to find it funny that I referred to her as being “emotionally irrational.”
* The Girlfriend really ran with this at the time, suggesting, with a scary sincerity, we construct something like a mattress on wheels to roll her around the Upper East Side.