This past weekend, I made the trip out to Astoria to visit Ben and Jake. The trip yielded a few stories that I won't grow weary of recounting for quite some time.
The trip itself was quite memorable. Against all things convenient, Sean Taylor asked to be picked up in Massapequa. Jay and I set forth to pick him up on what would, on any other day, be a rather long, but painless, journey. However, heavens were not nearly as accommodating as we would have hoped, and some of the hardest rain I'd ever seen tumbled down. The weather caused most everyone to creep along Sunrise Highway as though we were trying not to wake a sleeping giant. In spite of even our most thorough of safety precautions, we and those around us hydro'd a couple of times as thunder and lightning crackled around us. In the face of imminent peril, Jay and I resorted to passionate vocal renditions of "Don't Worry Be Happy" upbeat Marley songs, and of course, "Stand By Me." While we both got a kick out of the juxtaposition of the scene taking place outside the car with the scene within it, neither of us ventured to tempt fate with a performance of "Singin' In The Rain."
Oddly enough, the hardest part of the whole trip was finding Sean Taylor's office. Sean was unfamiliar with the actual street names near his office, so we spent a fair amount of time going around in circle looking for a "place next to a Sleepy's." Things worked out fine, but I think we were both a little frustrated that we survived darn near swimming to Massapequa and were nearly sunk by a Sleepy's.
Astoria is a beautiful place. It's so full of color and life. You're near most anything you could look for and there is an active young population. So many different people coming together to make a great collage of humanity. A really chill spot where I could definitely see myself one day. We spent most of the time relaxing in Jake and Ben's great pad, playing some games and whatnot. Then we went out to a bar with some other folks. Along the way I saw an office for an accountant by the name of, John Constantiniou. You can't tell me that it's not hilarious to be an accountant and have "Constant I.O.U." in your name. What's more, is that the name is in huge letters that intentionally draw your attention. Now I admit to being a little quirky when it comes to word-based humor, but you can't say that's not funny on some level. Jay and I enjoyed the coincidence quite a bit, or at least Jay enjoyed my reaction quite a bit.
Sean Taylor showcased his True Grit by mounting a mechanical horse and riding it like the wind while waving to passersby and flashing the now all-too-classic horns all the while. I think all would agree that it was a 50 cents well spent.
"Sean Taylor" has now become an adjective for "way too drunk" amongst our group of friends. The fact that such a moniker has caught on is as hysterical as it is unfortunate. Sean was in rare form and having apparently drawn the short straw, I was assigned the task of walking him home. The trip was a stumbled one, during which we made a stop at a convenience store where I held him upright and offered chip flavors for him to accept or decline. It felt like an episode of the Bachelor (not that I've ever seen that......) except with chips and not roses. In the end it was the BBQ chips that won out, but the romance was short lived, as Sean got down to business and ate the chips the next day.
In true Sean Taylor fashion, we got back to Ben and Jake's where I had to coax him into bed (by himself, of course) and when I wake up, he is sleeping on the floor in the next room. When Sean woke up that morning the first thing he said to me was, "How did that happen again?" I laughed pretty hard.
Not to be out done by himself, Sean started off the next morning with a refreshing bagel and four loko. He then starting taking business calls as he lamented his position and longed to do nothing more than "tell everyone to fuck-off and go lay in the sand." Sean's seamless transition from Mr. Taylor on the phone, to Sean drinking a Four Loko at ten in the morning was a little eerie.
Later that night, I had some friends over to celebrate the night and we had a good time. The deck was full of friends, a few strangers, and some old friends that I'm glad to see back in my life again. Only one person got "Sean Taylored" so things worked out.
Sean Taylor himself understandably ran out of steam and missed the party. The man, the myth, the legend. There's always this weekend.
Song of the Day: Treat Me Right - Grace Potter
Jazz Song of the Day: Space Track- Freddie Hubbard