When I was 17 I got my first fake ID. My friend Harry found out about a shop in NY that would make you an ID for $20, this was before 911 so nobody really cared. We drove four hours into the city and pulled up to a little bodega with some Indian looking guys behind the counter and told them we wanted IDs. Twenty minutes later we walked out with a license to get shitfaced.
The tell tale sign these were fake were the holographic keys. Any bouncer with a clue knew they were bogus.
I was working at Maison Robert at the time and we’d get drunk after work. I got separated from the pack and decided that instead of Chinese food I wanted to go to The Glass Slipper. I had met a girl who worked there through some friends, she was a stripper. Someone said her face looked like it was upside down...Was she pretty? No, but she wasnt ugly, it was more of a proportional thing.
The bouncers take one look at my ID and say “sorry bud, not gonna happen.”
“Can’t blame a guy for trying, now give me my ID back and I’ll be on my way...” I said
“Sorry kid, doesn’t work that way. We keep the fakes. Unless you think it’s worth a little something to get it back.”
“Fuck you, I work hard for my money I’m not giving you shit.”
Door closes and they walk inside.
I turn around to a forty something black lady in a jean jacket and spaghetti strap neon top grabbing my junk. “Hey baby you want a good time?” I remember thinking she looked like Whoopi Goldberg.
“With you? no, but I do want my ID back. Tell ya what, get my ID back from those bouncers and I’ll give you $20.”
Whoopi calls her pimp over and yells in his ear “Hey Daddy, they stole this White boys ID and he wants it back, he gone give us $20 for it.”
The pimp takes a wide step and pulls the bar door wide open. “Yo, give my mans his mother fucking ID...” That’s all I heard as he walked into the bar.
Two seconds later he’s back in the street and in my face. “Where’s my $20?”
“Where’s my ID?” I said justly
“Mother fucker they ain’t giving you that shit, now give me my $20.”
At this point I see the bouncer from the slipper he locks eyes with me and says “Hey kid, you need to hurry up and get the fuck outta here.”
I could see he was genuinely concerned as he slammed the door shut.
So now the pimp is on my ass “give me that money fore I put this blade in yo guts.” I looked down and saw he was holding a knife about three inches from my abdomen.
I pulled out my wallet and opened it up, nothing. I literally had no money. That’s probably the real reason I didn’t pay the bouncers in the first place.
The pimp gave me a hard look, shiny black skin reflecting the neon lights. “Get the fuck outta here before I kill you.”
I turned and quickly started walking away down the alley. “Run mother fucker!” I heard him yell behind me.
That was the first time I had a knife pulled on me, it wasn’t the last. A bum in Amsterdam threatened to kill me as well and strangely he wanted $20 too. When I found a cop I told him what had happened and asked what I should do in that situation “Give him the money“ he said calmly. Apparently Amsterdam’s Red light patrol didn’t give a shit about hunting down this villain and bringing him to justice for me.
This isn’t a one off or a crazy tale of drunkenness, its recurring. I put myself in situations intentionally that push boundaries, its the thrill of access to places I shouldn’t be or things no one else is allowed to do. I took my shirt off and rushed the stage of an outdoor concert in Myanmar two weeks ago, I tried to grab the mic and sing, but they wouldn’t let me. Instead I danced and actually got a little cheer from the crowd. I have a video, I’m debating posting it on TikTok, I like showing it to people.
So why do I take these risks...especially when there is typically no reward, its an empty risk an empty pursuit. These might sound like bro stories, some yahoo trying to impress you, but its more, its deeper. It borders on compulsive, I live my life in a state of pursuit, its about whats ahead, whats in front. I have no peace in the now. There has to be more, there has to be something better. In ways its drive and ambition, but it often leads me into negative situations and under stress to recover..
I can recognize it as a game I play with myself. The people in my life along for the ride become obstacles, challenges, I typically won’t let them be supporters, it leads to hurt feelings when I inevitably assert independence, off on a new adventure off into darkness.
I dream I’ll find the peace, to be rich, to have a family, to settle in my life with structure and boundaries and security. I’ll meditate, I’ll excercise, I’ll write and sit in the fresh air. I want that, but I’m not always steering the ship there’s another driver. He wants speed and dopamine and experience. I write this juggling a mountain of papers that need to be filed for my taxes and waiting on a reply text to see if I’ll be taking magic mushrooms and going to Encore Casino with a mildly famous youtube star named The Wonton Don aka Donnie Does.
I’m still seventeen on the street in the Combat Zone blind drunk trying to get into the club of peace and happiness.