Spencer and I are in a huge fight. At 1am, we went for a slice on Bedford at Anna Maria Pizza and Pasta (which we have always called PizPaz). As we started eating, Spence jumped up in typical frenetic Spence mode to grab a soda. I’m generally not a forker, having grown up in the heart of pizza territory, but PizPaz pizza can get unwieldy if you haven’t had it in a while. my inability to cope with my Pizpaz slice manually was definitely a reflection of my losing my edge, so I was a bit bummed to ask out loud for Spence to grab me a fork and knife while he was up and you could see Spence was appalled that I would require implements.
Spence grabs a fork contemptuously and on his way back to the table, he somehow manages to not only drop the fork but toss it behind him to the side of a massive, bald, rageful meathead. Spence starts to laugh at the absurdity of his fork toss and I’m laughing with him, only I see the guy is furious so I apologize at once for Spence’s behavior. Spence notices pretty late that the guy is furious at which point he also apologizes. The guy looks at Spence, and displays two fists. His knuckles have on them, get this, scabs, scars AND fresh blood. The guy starts smashing his fists together again and again. Spence apologizes again but this time, he’s a bit miffed by having to, and of course more fist smashing. I’ll admit I lost my fuckin shit at this point. I scream at the dude to punch me in the face in the shop, I cackle at the absurdity of his being willing to fight because of a dropped plastic fork, I dramatize the horror of a plastic fork in flight, I scream what I always scream, that is “So you think we’re fresh off the bus from Oklahoma?!?” I just lose it.
During my rant, I took the time to acknowledge that Spence hadn’t apologized fast enough (I know these people, I am these people, there’s a window, and it could have seemed like Spence was laughing at the dude when he was laughing at his own stupidity) but my main through-line was “I will process you into jerky if you try to hurt my husband.” The husband I was trying to protect was screaming at me to shut it while the customers were laughing. The guy tells Spence he’ll see him outside, Spence goes to take a shit, muttering to himself en route, seven people tell me how awesome I am and how awful the guy is, the dude stands outside waiting for us to leave, I call the cops, Spence tells me I am the worst person, some lovely woman who had left Pizpaz comes back from the subway to tell us the dude was in the station, having run off when he saw me making a call and pointing to my phone menacingly. Spence and I run out of the place and scream at each other for seven hours. You’re welcome.
Hideous and yet undeniable photograph by Joanne Leah.