SAN FRANCISCO, CA-
It certainly wasn’t THE mistake; there were probably a number of those, but the first thing I did wrong was have the cab driver drop me off three blocks from my apartment, instead of right at the front door, especially knowing that neighborhood’s reputation. I must have felt like walking a bit. It was five in the morning after a long Sunday night and I was drunk. Most of the time drunk means you’re stumbling about, a bit stupider than when you began the night but, sometimes, when you’ve been drunk long enough, when you’ve started early in the night and kept it up, somehow teetering on the line between life-of-the-party and asshole-of-the-evening, you manage a kind of comfort with the drunk, a sort of calm-in-the-storm. It’s hard to imagine but some part of your mind gets used to the world from inside the bottle, maybe the way veterans, having seen too much of the shit, can just nod their heads at the most atrocious things and whisper, ‘FUBAR,’ and just know they must go on. I prefer to think of it like musical theater, all optimism, the way the drunk character in the play can magically stand up and exhibit textbook choreography, dancing down the pavement, toes tapping on benches, where even the stumbling has style. So I was when I got out of the cab on the Avenue Gran Via, a notoriously seedy street in Madrid, clad in Tyler Durden’s three-quarter length, red-leather Jacket. Some girl has kissed me that night, and I was grinning a silly grin. I’m sure it wasn’t the grin the mugger saw.