Raceclassgender aside, I had a great time the other night. At the posh event. Because, I am that person. Everyone has that person in their lives. They call that person “extra ticket” guy/gal. For some, I am that person. The person others go to, the one you reach out for those nights when you have an extra ticket and don’t want to go it alone or allow it to go to waste and anyway… stubhub.ru.uk.bz was too complicated to work out and it was 5 PM when you realized… snap! I have an extra ticket.
It doesn’t matter why you have the extra ticket.
You have the extra ticket because your Tinder/Grinder date fell through. Perhaps you are married for decades. Perhaps you are divorced and haven’t been out lately. Maybe you have an extra ticket because Fiona works for a foundation – ah, Fiona, she doesn’t get paid what she should – and she is putting together the annual gala and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes buy three tickets to the obscure basement film festival and for $500 bucks have a few ‘free’ cocktails. Because what is normal today, even numbers are normal? Not anymore, but Ohshit I have this extra ticket FFS! So, you call me.
You need that friend who is not a mooch but is open to getting free things. A friend who owns the proper clothes for any occasion (to socialize with the 5% and 1% of United States of America society) and can hold a casual conversation on any number of topics of general interest, has a paying job, is educated having done at least two years at a junior Ivy former girl’s school and another eighteen months at a current woman’s college. And I am that person. I have my faults. But, I am rather erudite in an accessible way that Americans expect (not too intellectual) and Europeans still find charming in that Alexis-Charles-Henri- Clérel de Tocqueville kinda way. I can talk pretty, but I also still have to use The Googles to really hone in on facts, so I talk correct much at least for cocktail conversation and intermission between acts.
If you don’thave an extra ticket friend, you should make one. Also, you should need an extra ticket in your life once in a while or if you live in Gotham, all the time. Some say, that is, this author, that if in the past 18 months you haven’t attended an event where you had an extra ticket… you are a bad person. Or a family and a life of pastoral bonhomie. Either way, life is broken into two binaries from which no gender neutral bathroom or pastime will save you.
You are one of two:
A) The extra ticket friend to someone else
2. The provider of extra tickets
My first extra ticket was by a couple that wanted to take my sibling and I to Europe. The couple almost convinced my parent to allow this. We got passports. We got clothes for France. We combed our hair. At the last moment, my parent uncovered a plot to kidnap us kiddos or something and our extra ticket was canceled. I kind of wanted to be kidnapped. I mean, to go to France and escape home as we knew it. I was kinda bummed we were not stolen and grew up speaking argot of utter depravity or court language or oust de tabarnak de calice would have happened to us. I’d have sold my left [Connard] to get out of that house but…
The next extra ticket of note was when I was somewhat older in body than the year I was almost maybe almost kidnapped. When Burning Man (TM, SM, C, R, All rights reserved Black Rock, LLC. or whatever the merde par la bite the company that runs it is) was still a new thing, I scored an extra ticket to a party. It was a decompression party. A party to decompress from the party that you just went to. No one has ever had an extra ticket to Burning Man, I am told.
Back then, the younger me was working at an open air history museum creatively interpreting an agricultural fair from the 1850s for a most suburban audience when I met this most wonderful girl. I was young and didn’t know myself then, but this girl was so interesting. She was creative, smart, funny, and very interested in me. I will never forget her, whatever her name was. She was small or tall or fat or thin, but whatever she was she had an extra ticket to a party in Oyster Bay. So at least I know she was rich. Because Oyster Bay.
For those of you blessed people far afield and perhaps international, or let us say you pick this up as a signal far in the future far out in space … let me give some context to this statement, “Oyster Bay.” This “Oyster Bay” is a former port of still high esteem. It is on the North Shore of Long Island and is as exclusive as South Hampton as long as you cannot afford South Hampton today and in the 1920s needed to be somewhat close to Gotham in case your Triangle Shirtwaist Factory caught fire or something. Today, “exclusive” means different things to different people. To some, it means the 0.001% of the wealthy. Back then, we measured differently. It could have been two things for a still middle class on Long Island. If your measure of exclusive is [redacted], then they didn’t let the [redacted] in until the 1960s. If your measure of exclusive is if they let “[redacted]” in other than through the servant’s entrance, well at least when I was there, [redacted] people were still not welcome unless they were involved in music or were Basquiat or did a similar work in a similar vein to Mr. Basquiat. For poor people, it was and continues to be something of a mythical place where if only one could get invited to a party… your social life would change forever. Especially if you were/are young and held an extra ticket.
And I held the extra ticket.
She was supposed to go with Charlie or Billy or Jane or whoever, but they couldn’t make it. And she had to go to this decompression party. So, she wanted to go with me. The XVIIth old me was very flattered and very excited. Her friends made “art cars.” I Didntevenknowwhatthefuck and Art Car was. Spoiler alert. It is a regular car that someone glued Shitontoit. When I got to the party, the Artcar was some regular car with TeeVee parts glued onto it. Another car had something else. All the cars were what they called “beaters” or “whips.”
It would be years and years before I could afford a car.
So, good times, right? Hi, I’m me, I introduced myself all around. There is Monsanto, who came to Gotham from Montana, Halliburton who hailed from Halifax, Luke Morgan who was the great-great-great grandson of J. P. Morgan, and Tina, a young woman from Mastic Bay who could put her entire fist … up in the air, so to speak. After a little wandering, an a whole lot of free drinks I found Claudia or Macaria or Αντιγόνη παλεύει ένα καρπούζι or whatever her name is/was and went into chatting mode since that’s what I used to do is chat. Talk about ideas, art, literature, poetry, the Mysteries of Life, and Shitlikethat. I was a pedantic pseudointellectual histrionic POS I know… But… Αντιγόνη seemed to love my entire being. Everything about me. Even my chatter. My nervous logorrhea and dipshitia mugwumpian bloviating codswallop seemed to amuse and remind her of how much she loved The Playa. I was a tiring person to be around. And didn’t know about social substrates, the little layers upon which complex relationships are built or expressed, or the wonders of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine and the psychochemical impact it may have on social interactions of a casual nature.
However, she listed to me long after I hated to even hear myself talk. Whatthefuck was I saying about agrarian interstate migration based on the transfer of conveyance of goods from canals to the emerging railways and the industrialization and eventual mechanization of villages throughout the state that would eventually allow for international migration patterns from Europe that would challenge the genomic composition of the county, the state, and eventually the nation… But, she seemed to love me for my semantics. Because no-one back then was anti-semantic. She was so focused on me throughout the night as we sipped and she introduced me to friends. She even touched my hand in front of the briquette camp fire in the back of Damian’s third step father’s mother’s second step father’s investment property overlooking Oyster Bay and the educated and neerdowell creative class of the latter part of the penultimate decade of the final century of the most impactful millennium of the Holocene Epoch of the Quaternary Period. My Solo cup was empty, but the keg wasn’t. I offered to take hers for a refill.
The house was a contemporary [1970s! This term “contemporary” I know is CIShistorical trying to block out a certain time-and-place… every age is contemporary even now…. or now.. or now.. or…] ranch overlooking the bay and the dark salty waters of the bay formerly of oysters and if only in name so today as they are polluted and for decorative purposes only. I was pondering this grand happening when I stood up and snapped our of my revere, beers in hand, and wandered across the yard to look for what I had assumed, was my date.
Sadly, Whatshername unexpectedly found Atomsk, a more-than-hansom man of a much older age, which then was a person in their late 20s. I was no match for Atomsk. He was internationally traveled. He had some level of comfort I could not imagine. He had style, unlike mine. Which was mostly 1850s open air museum since I didn’t have much by way of a chance of [clean] clothes. At once Whatshername and Atomsk became a closed circuit. A duality of vortexes and I went from guest to a trapped audience of one in a theater of absurdity that continued even after the majority of the actors had vanished into the autumnal night, into expensive taxis, into Artcars, and into rarefied and peculiar nooks and architectural oversights of the Contemporary Ranch Home overlooking the blessed black and blue waters of tranquility that was the ebbing tide of Oyster Bay that reveled a dank odor of the coming dawn. I clearly held the extra ticket to the party for reasons that were becoming apparent, but only slowly due to the number of Solo cups I have since drained.
Rather than “going with the flow,” as a normal, neurotypical person would, I took offense at being so desired and then discarded. As a XVIIish year old with a continued pattern of rejection – I was simple in the structure of reciprocity and given to fits, especially after hours of neglect and a clear sense of what we now call “being played.” I was not old enough to hate the game yet. I still directed my ire to the players. While Whatshername and Atomsk promised me a ride back to my 1850s village, they didn’t seem inclined to deliver by faculty, spirit, or corporal ability, especially since they were canoodling in the bedroom as I floundered on the leather, overstuffed, horribly 80s couch as the party spirit festered and finally broke into quietude and a rank smell of offal and spilled beer. So I leaped up and spirited away. I found the home phone. I think I called home. My home. Just said, hey, it is 6 AM, I haven’t slept and if anyone calls for me, take a message did you have the number where the others were. The phone was cordless [a cell phone of the limited range used in homes especially suburban 1975-1992 and if you owned one you were Theshit]. Cordless American Psychophone in hand, I wandered down the long driveway to the primary road as I talked. I was trying to get the number of the place I was staying where my friends and sibling were, but since it was on or close to an 1850s village, and the person I was talking to was someone who lived in my house home, there was no connect to where I needed to go, and simple exchange provided – gimme Old Bethpage 6891 – to reach the desired parties. Again, technology was useless. Rather than waiting for my captors vis host/ess to complete, smoke, sleep, and awaken, and lacking funds to extract myself, I lumbered up the lane to the street to the road to the Parkway to the house where I could then get a ride in order to return to the historical structure I was then living at so that I may, in all my inexperience, interpret 1850s village life and the impact of traveling agricultural fairs. I stuck the cordless phone in the mailbox, and went merrily on my way.
It is strange to wake up not at home. Even stranger to not sleep through the night and then be walking where all others have driven since they can remember and that early Sunday morning coming down, be the lone ambulatory in a pedestrian land.
Even though my first extra ticket was somewhat of an unexpected adventure, I have since taken many extra tickets to so many fabulous events, music concerts, and happenings of a high and cultural measure. I have not had such an experience since, but I did not know why, that night of fancy dress, the historic setting of the oldest something in somewhere where someone did or said something and the Daughters of the Revolution of Mayflower had preserved it all… but I thought of that night so long ago, and I chuckled to myself as I thought about how many decades later, I still held the extra ticket. But I need not stick the phone in the duck. Because the mailbox then… it looked like a duck. But that all was a long time ago. And while there are still extra tickets to be had, fewer people use ducks as mailboxes, and I don’t think anyone, even those who work at 1850s restoration villages, have cordless phones.