Buffalo, I'm Back for More
traipsing about the South Seas the last coupla years, dithering my
time between what can be described as a pathological devotion to laziness
and a knack for flagrant exhibitionism, I almost forgot what it’s
like going out in Buffalo. Now back in town, at first I was hoping
to get laid right quick, or maybe even coerce one of those parking
lot blow-jobs from your typical local bar trash; but then I found
it just that much more engaging to observe the freak-show going on
in the home of my wayward youth.
For instance, running into my ex at Cozumel
was a treat. She’s the sort of Catholic private school girl bestowed
with an ungodly allowance of good looks, destined to marry a St. Joe’s
quarterback, which, after reflecting thereupon, makes me wonder what
the hell she ever wanted with me in the first place.
I’m no good, is the Nut of it. “I haven’t
seen you in three years,” one damsel affirmed at Frizzy’s, upon seeing
me again, “and you’re still the most arrogant ass I’ve ever known.”
Still, I place myself on a much higher plane than your typical Buffalo
guy, who, I am surprised to find, continues the late 90s tradition
of tight-ribbed t-shirts, black leather jackets, and hair that is
combed from the back, spikey up front.
Maybe you know what I’m getting at. After
a seemingly endless row of shots of So-Co and lime—it’s Buffalo; what
can I say?—some idiot, with just such metrosexual fatigues on, came
after me because I was talking to a girl I haven’t spoken to in some
five years. Wonderful. A gentleman such as myself avoids altercation
at all costs, so luckily, the chap’s friends, rather than come after
me, laughed when I inquired as to whether men’s clothing is sold where
one can purchase ribbed shirts.
I might be a marked man yet, for, having Western New
York’s only Hawaiian license plate at the moment, I’m easily spotted.
What’s cool, I learned from this incident, is this: to be, like, thirty,
and start fights. Only in Buffalo, I’m convinced, this happens.
Now in the fiftieth state we had some military knuckleheads
that scrapped, but they mostly fought amongst themselves, or picked
with the locals, explaining to them how, despite the fact that our
government overthrew theirs in a fit of extrajudicial, free-market
fury, they—the noble savages—should be grateful for having their freedom
protected. Yep, there’s interesting quid pro quo going on everywhere
But this isn’t to diminish the facility with which Buffalo
drinks. For that, I will always remain proud, putting it up against
other debaucherous cities such as New Orleans, Memphis, Kansas City
and San Diego. Plus, we drink Canadian beer—requiring a far more advanced
tolerance than that of, say, Miller Lite.
Regardless, I’m a black sheep in this town. I suppose
I can make my Nichols brethren proud by sporting any number of the
dollar-fifty shirts I picked up in a Chang-Mei, Thailand, bazaar—those
with a tiny alligator emblazoned across the breast—but I just can’t
stomach it whilst looking in a mirror. Nor can I, for that matter,
countenance the folly of everyday life—at least not yet—consisting
of employment, girlfriends, salaries, and the like.
I’ve maintained my sphere of influence over the precious
psyche of Buffalo women, thank God. That’s the kind of thing you never
forget, or lose a hold of. I had one such lass, a UB law student,
asking me to pull out my piece at Jimmy Mac’s, because later, if should
I choose to do so, she wouldn’t mind if I came all over her face.
While declining to whip it out—with my heritage some
50% Irish, I really ain’t packing all that much heat, anyway—I made
out with her for old times sake. It seemed like the more appropriate
course of action, what-with Jimmy Mac’s being an upscale, proper establishment.
Moreover, I was able to live vicariously through my high school days,
as if, when sixteen, on the patio at Locker Room or against the back
bar at Brick.
This I know for sure: that, despite earning the pittance
of a Teaching Assistant’s salary (and doing so for probably the next
five years); in desperate need of a skilled haberdasher, my wardrobe
consisting, as it does, of board-shorts, sweater-vests, and long-sleeve
t-shirts; and that I’m an all around pedantic fuck with no qualms
save my own brand of elitist dissipation—I have something to offer
this place, even if only a tonic to the affected blue-collar substrate,
almost, at this point, mythical in proportion.
If anything, it appears as though bureaucratic malaise
has overpowered our senses. I mean, Christ-on-a-stick, folks: the
coke-blowing and insecure male posturing out at the bars right now
is disturbing; it’d be nice to ship some of these lost souls to a
Robert Bly men’s movement camp, and, you know, let ‘em figger themselves
out the hard way.
Whether it’s because UB moved out to the North Campus,
a post-modern death camp of isolationist, womb-like comfort (say what
you want about South; at least it’s got some fucking grit), or that
everyone seemingly has a job with M&T Bank, I couldn’t quite say.
People still drink, but there’s a palpable anxiety around town, one,
unfortunately, that not even the booze can shake off.