do a little bump just to clean your apartment

You want a weekend? You’ve got it.

On Friday I bought Grace a hot chocolate for her birthday. We made it to Bloc 11 minutes before it closed; the spiky-haired girl behind the counter offered us our choice of pastries that she would otherwise have to throw out. We selected a remarkably bland walnut scone. “Even by the standards of day-old scones,” Grace said, “this is pretty bland.” She talked about seeing flowering cacao trees at the Garfield Park Observatory on her recent trip to Chicago. I ought to get one of those for the front yard.

Afterward I stopped in on an impromptu evening at Rachel’s (). Bob (), Mia, Michu () and a nice gent named Ian were there already. I poured myself a Diet something and something and talked theater with the crowd until fatigue o’ercame us all.

Saturday started with jiu-jitsu. I’ve been scheduling additional workouts to get up to snuff for black belt, taking advantage of Paul’s Natick campus for weekend workouts. Tony, Paul F. and I threw each other around for about an hour and forty-five minutes, pausing only occasionally to critique. After changing back into street clothes, we leafed through the Century Martial Arts supply catalog that Paul keeps on his desk.

“I want to show up on Tuesday with a blue gi and a camouflage belt,” Paul F. said, eyeing one page warily. “Just to see how far Nick smacks me across the room.”

I drove back to Cambridge and went to Franco’s for the quickest haircut I’ve had in twenty-five years: eight minutes from entry to exit. The gentleman took off just enough so that my hair’s no longer feathering out in the back like I’m opening for Quiet Riot. I now have two favorite barbershops in the Boston metro area – Franco’s and State Street – and the former is fifty percent cheaper.

Then I grabbed a leisurely thirty minutes in the community tub at Inman Oasis and two hot dogs from Bukowski. If I did anything else on the day, other than read and watch Gone Baby Gone, I don’t remember it nor do I want to.

On Sunday, Vickie () and I went to see Speed-the-Plow at the Piano Factory. We talked about theater, oddly enough, and opined about the gulf between football and baseball season. We accidentally wandered into an art exhibition at the Gallery at the Piano Factory before finding the theater – around the corner, behind the parking lot, down a steep hill. It’s a neat little black box.

The evening led me to Razzy’s for Trisha and Joanna’s () combined birthday party. They’d rented out the entire top floor, so I binged on $2 Molsons and said hi to everybody. David M. waxed enthusiastic about his upcoming burlesque show. I caught up with Kevin H. and Jake G., whom I don’t see nearly often enough, and got to talk books with Sly () and Katie ().

“I need to take up a new vice for Lent,” I told them. “What do you suggest?”

“Sloth?” Sylvia suggested. “Gluttony? Anger?”

“Nah,” Katie said. “I don’t think he could pull off anger.”

“What?” I raged. “Why, you little …”

Someone had made off with Trisha’s iPod adapter, so the usual post-bar dance party relied on some hasty CD burning. I only stuck around until about 2:30. Photos of me rocking halfway the hell out may have surfaced; these should be discounted as fraudury.

On Monday I went to the gym. Pounding the heavy bag should be a staple of any serious workout. Running may be good for cardio, but nothing turns the adrenaline on and makes you sweat like sixty seconds of punching. Repeat that three times and you’re good. Also of note: I was the only man under Social Security age in the sauna. You figure it out.

It took me forty-five minutes to figure out my lunch, as the line at Panera was too long, Friendly’s was too packed (on a school holiday? what’re the odds?) and CitiGirl Cafe was closed. I finally gave into deliciousness at S&S, by way of steak and eggs. Now that’s a post-workout meal.

Home brought laundry, another 2000 words of fiction and reading until the time came to lay my weary head down.


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