See, What Had Happened Was…
Most people know that phrase as a famous line uttered by Will Smith on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” This is the intro that rascally Will uses when he is trying to ‘splain some *REAL SHIT* he got into. My friends know this is one of my favorite phrases, and they tend to hear it when I am about to describe some absolutely bonkers mess I found myself in. If I start a story with that line, everyone is in for a real scare. Treat, I mean. Everyone is in for a real “treat.”
Without further adieu…..
It was Friday night, and I had plans to go to a small going-away party for a friend/ex-colleague moving to Austin. I show up, and we start drinking wine from Napa and eating charcuterie, small pickles and fancy cheeses, like real high class white people do on a Friday night after Big Business Deals. Nevermind that I was actually wearing a shirt emblazoned with the words, “THIS FUCKING GUY” and a pair of Nikes. Some other friends showed up. It is not necessary to recite the guest list – but at some point in the evening, I found myself surrounded by three couples drinking wine, eating hors d’oeuvres and talking about, I dunno, like savings accounts and shit. Totally unacceptable on a Friday night in the summer, AMIRITE?
I texted my other work friend – the fun single one, who lives in a house with 5 other dudes (but it’s like, a really NICE house because now they’re all at the age where they have decent jobs and disposable income). As it turned out, he was with those dudes and a couple girls he’s friends with, all of whom I had met before (and enjoy), so I go out to meet them.
When I arrived at the location where they were partying (another friend’s place), I realized that I was a liiiiiiittle too drunk. I was on the very fine edge of waking up Saturday to a phone devoid of any/all text conversations, having deleted them the night before in shame. For once in my life, I decided to slow my roll so that I could continue to enjoy the evening (I know, when did I get so grownup??? I blame the wine/cheese party).
After we have been at this guy’s house for awhile, someone makes the call to go to a bar nearby. I had been to this bar a few times previously, and was not a really big fan of it, aside from the good whiskey selection and the hot bartender that I once got rejected by (agony). Little did I know, there is a secrety secret basement in the bar. Okay, maybe it is not *that* secret, unless you’re a geezer like me – you know, the kind that thinks it’s acceptable to eat smoked meats and discuss whether your cabernet is full-bodied or not, on a FRIDAY NIGHT. IN THE SUMMER. Anyway, on Friday nights in the basement (which I shall heretofore refer to as the “Bassment”), all they spin is great hip-hop. I mean reeeealllll superb hip-hop, not like Salt n Pepa’s “Push It” or when Drizzy reverts to “Aubrey” and starts singing all high-pitched like he’s been bodied by a fuckboy.
I was basking in the glory of listening to actual hip-hop in an environment where a solid 70% of the patrons knew more of the lyrics than me. I was cutting up rugs like I had knives in my shoes, and booty-shaking like I had ants in my pants. I found myself dancing around with this crowd of dudes (not the same ones I had come with, although they were nearby) – and one enormous tall tree leaned down and asked me…real smooth… “Do you want some coke?” I knew he did not mean the kind that comes out of a vending machine. I did not want any cocaine whatsoever, but I was extremely curious as to what was actually happening to my life in that moment – what path lead me to some random stranger offering me cocaine in a bar basement? I thought over the potential consequences of this for about .02 seconds, and then I said, “Yeah.” And then he said, “Follow me.”
I followed him up the stairs from the Bassment. Out of the bar. Down the street. Across a bridge. And found myself at none other than (*drumroll*):
Te’Jay’s Adult Books!
Do you know what this is? This is an INSTITUTION, people. This is the most random seedy-ass porn store right in the heart of all the biggest/most expensive fancy pants snooty clubs in Chicago. The rent alone must be astronomical, and well…it’s not staying in business because DVD sales are booming. I’m going to guess it’s the drug running that has been keeping them afloat.
Coke Man and I walked into Te’Jay’s Adult Books and my eyes were watering from trying not to scream with laughter at the turn my night was taking. I started walking past the stacks of DVDs and saying things like, “Already own it.” “Basic.” “She’s not my type.” while Coke Man went….somewhere? Honestly I really don’t know where he went, because I was busy trying not to actually look at anyone, or anything, in the store. Suffice to say, he disappeared for awhile, then came back and was all, “We can go.”
We left Te’Jay’s Adult Books and started walking back to the Bassment. He was tripping about where he could snort the coke he just bought. I told him to just do it right there on Hubbard Street, like NBD. He looked at me like I was the crazy one – which, seeing as how I walked out of a bar with a total stranger to go score cocaine at a porn shop, I probably was. Anyway, after me ragging on him for being a pussy for a little bit, he ended up just doing it right there, pedestrians and cops be damned. I opted out, as usual. We went back to the Bassment and when I walked in, my friends rushed over screaming, “OH MY GOD WHERE WERE YOU!!!” and I was like, “Buying coke in Te’Jay’s Adult Bookstore, don’t worry about it.” They just stared open-mouthed, while I danced away.
I went back to dancing and getting real shit-faced. At one point I looked over to check on my wallet/phone, which I had left on a little ledge nearby. I could see my phone, but my wallet was gone. *RECORD SCRATCH* Where had it gone?!??! I gathered the troops and made everyone tear the place up looking for my wallet. Coke Man ambled over to me and said, “What you doin.” I said, “Looking for my wallet – it’s missing.” Coke Man asked, “What does it look like?” I described it. He went, “Oh, I think I saw it, I know where it is. Follow me.”
So for the second time that evening, I followed Coke Man away from my friends. Only this time, we walked into the men’s restroom, right past a male bathroom attendant who gave me a funny look, and a bunch of dudes peeing in urinals who were like, “Uhhhh….” and to the last stall in the bathroom, the large handicapped stall. Coke Man pointed down to the ground and asked, “Is that it, below the toilet?” The floor tile was beige, the walls/stall were beige, and my wallet was beige. I leaned down to get a closer look and…by golly! It WAS my wallet! What were the odds?!? I bent down to pick it up, and turned around to say “Thank you!”
….Except I was met with the image of Coke Man with his fully erect dick hanging out of his pants, coming toward me.
“OH HELL NO! I will legit rip that off you.” I hissed at him. He looked a little dumbfounded and then I slammed open the stall door and marched my ass out of the men’s room and back to my friends. I didn’t tell any of them what had just happened – they were a bunch of drunk dudes, and I was not about to start a riot in the Bassment. Both Coke Man and I stayed at the bar until it closed – I just avoided him the rest of the time.
After the bar closed, some of the guys and I went to another favorite establishment of mine, which I am way too old to keep stepping foot in, let alone enjoying. I met some giants who play pro-basketball in Europe (I have verified this fact) and I had a way more tame end to the night after all the insanity of the Bassment.
Things I learned that evening:
- Don’t say yes when strangers in basement bars ask you if you want some coke
- Te’Jay’s Adult Books is a drug front
- Keep your wallet and phone on you at all times
- Black dicks are purple