New York City is one of the wonders of the world, but there's no place to pee. I'm not kidding. We went to a place that was supposed to have the best NY-style pizza in the city (according to my girlfriend's brother). I had peed at Grand Central like you were supposed to, but me and her had a thing for those big soft pretzels and we had been munching on pretzels and drinking street vendor coffee all morning. I was going to die or go out and pee on the sidewalk. At first the guy at the pizza place--presumably the owner--said that they had no public rest rooms. He was not kidding. When I finally convinced him I was dying, that we were on the verge of a Tycho Brahe moment here, he relented, making me promise not to hurt myself and not to sue him if I did. I had no time to properly contemplate these conditions as he showed me to a dark passageway behind the counter. Through this rectangular hole in the wall was a set of metal stairs like the ones on Navy ships--nearly vertical. This led to a basement that was full of Asian guys shouting stuff at one another as they washed dishes and moved supplies around. The "restroom" was at the exact foot of the stairs. In fact, the stairs ended in the middle of the "doorway" to the "restroom," kind of half blocking it. The "doorway" to the "restroom" had an old bed sheet or something hung across it. There was a toilet. Period. You had to keep the seat up with your knee as you peed because stuff piled on top of the toilet tank prevented the seat from staying up by itself.
Well, any port in a storm, as they say. The noise of the dish washing equipment and the guys yelling (turns out they were Cambodeens) was deafening. Though you couldn't hear it upstairs. It was a quaint pizzeria upstairs. That was weird. It accentuated the difference between the worlds of the yuppie patrons above and the Cambodian dish washers below. But, as profound as the cultural insight was, its profundity was completely eclipsed by the profundity of the piss I took that afternoon. One of the most memorable of my life. I still remember it. That's how I can tell. That it was memorable, that is. I will always remember the pizza parlor owner who took pity on me that day. He will always have a place in my heart, right there next to Marty Blowchunks and others I will never forget.
OK, now it's bed for real godammit!