Walking steadily north but without a firm destination in mind, inebriated friends in tow, I turn and catch a glimpse of the vibrant neon lights, fascinated by the familiar letters distinctly spelling "CORNER." They hover, vividly, just over Chelsea's left shoulder, a slowly fading landmark of 114 Kenmare and the slew of fresh memories we had just departed. Lips pursed, and still unable to dispel the lingering taste of agave on my tongue, my thinly veiled smirk gives way to an unabashed grin, culminating in full blown laughter in anticipation of the rapid pace with which the night is sure to devolve.
Invigorated, I shout out, to no one in particular... maybe to everyone, or maybe simply for my own amusement
making a concerted effort to provide ample emphasis to the initiating syllables of each word... Debauchery is my ethos. "I FUCKING HATE TEQUILA!"
Chelsea retorts, hysterically impressed with herself despite stumbling sideways. Her precarious efforts at stabilization [Insert Facebook IPO joke here] reveal the culprit in her present dilemma, the crimson soles of her narrow heels now clearly visible. I laugh at the blatant irony of the situation which I currently find myself a part and contemplate for a moment if there is a single cliche left in the banker playbook that we had yet to cover... Table at La Esquina; check. Childish shouting match reduced to poorly executed "Your Mom" joke; check. White-girl-wasted in Louboutins; discount double-check. "Your Mom HATES TEH-KEEEELA"
At that moment a beautiful epiphany presented itself to me... No. No we had not yet covered every banker cliche in the book. We still had a chance... A chance to continue the night in homage to the douchiness and predictability people have grown to expect of us... A chance for greatness.
On a mission and not to be deterred by the gleam of a sign, nor the antics of our resident Chelsea Lately, I turn around and call back to our stragglers
"Hurry it up back there Childers, we've got moves to make."
A chill ripples down my spine and my step quickens as Eddie Money lyrics begin to infect my reasoning and decision-making faculties. It really is for the best though; give a banker too much time to think and nothing good can come of it... I can point to desperate attempts to validate revenue synergies, blatant, consistent, and unapologetic disregard for Pareto's principle, and a plethora of 3 hour afternoon conference calls conducted entirely in a language no one on a deal team speaks if more evidence is needed.
"I feel a hunger, it's a hunger"
"That tries to keep a man awake at night"
"Are you the answer? I shouldn't wonder, when I feel you with my appetite"
Childers, who remains unconvinced of my new-found fervor, has decided to play Devil's Advocate, a position he has taken to more and more frequently given his devotion to his role as a principal investor.
"Where are we going? I need a bit more color before I can green light this,"
I reply smugly, "Oh ye of little faith,"
immediately realizing the error of my rhetoric. "Don't you have a CIM to read?"
he responds. Point, Childers... Touche. "Hey, You make 'em, I read 'em,"
Chelsea gleefully interjects, her face turned toward me in a totally adorable, sincere search for validation. The image is seared into my brain... in a good way. It beckons me back to a simpler time... Depicting a wholesome sense of enthusiasm; genuine. Reminiscent of the sense of wonder you often notice in children. Mental picture. Hold onto this moment. Nights like these are a godsend when trying ward off the seemingly ceaseless wave of requests and verbal of beratings. "Oooooh, I know where we're going hahahhaha!"
Nodding approvingly, I give her a wink, to provide her credit for her discovery, much to her delight. "Shhh,"
As we near the end of our journey on Lafayette, Chelsea chimes in, "Let's see if boy over here can figure it out... Here's a hint, this bar is named for the author of an American classic."
Effffffff. Scotttttttttt Fitzgerald!
boy turns to me grinning his approval,
"Great call dude, we're gonna rage."
I don't even need to turn around for Chelsea's approval, the clacking of her Louboutins from her hyper-child jumping tells me everything I need to know, and then we arrive... At 53 Spring St. I turn to my group of friends, pausing to savor how truly light and content my heart feels at this moment in time, surrounded by their warmth and the anticipation of an epic finale to our evening.
In the best tribute to Pierce Fulton I can possibly envision, I pose the question,
"Who is this Gatsby fellow anyhow?"