The Hipster Revenant: A Tale of Revenge, in a Blizzard, in New York City, Last Saturday
By Jesse E. Sherwood
We woke on the Upper West Side. We were lazy. There were new episodes of Law & Order: SVU on Hulu. Seamless, with the exception of the artisanal pickles from Jacob’s, remained untouched by the snow.
It was my idea to leave. I wanted to get back to Brooklyn. Who the fuck stays in the Upper West when you can be in Bushwick, bro? So we put on our various fedoras, beanies, now-even-more-ironic ugly sweaters, knitted and crocheted scarves—basically we were all totally deck—and headed out into the storm. We trudged south to the subway, but once there, we were sad to learn the train was delayed. It only made sense to hoof it to the next station.
Then it happened. I had gone ahead to scout the next subway station, and finding it plugged with snow, I headed back to the others. On the way, I was suddenly slammed by a bicycle—power to bikers, man, but this idiot’s wasn’t even a fixed-gear. The others eventually found me—twisted ankle, beard full of snow, a bad brush-burn on my back—collapsed in a snow pile. They picked me up and we went along for a time, but I was slowing everyone down. It was decided that one man would stay with me—Fritz with the handlebar mustache and outdated tortoise-shell rims—and the others would forge ahead to the next train station.
All was well; Fritz lent me his shoulder, and we made our way. But then that skinny bastard, when I’m feeling my weakest, he takes the bottle of mezcal from my hip bag I’d bought the previous night and hightails it. He said he was doing me a favor. That I’d already drank too much and was being “fucking irascible, man.” Bullshit.
I crawled—well, I walked very slowly—to the next subway station, and, thank Buddha, the trains were running! But then—and this is when I really wanted vengeance—when I went to swipe my MetroCard, my espresso leather billfold was gone. That sonofabitch Fritz must’ve swiped it. Subway be damned! I’d get that mustachioed, lame fucker.
So the journey began, all the way from the West 80s to Bushwick. I’ll be quick, because who really wants a whole big story about a guy braving the elements by himself over a really long distance?—boring. But picture it: crossing the frozen tundra of Central Park on my sore ankle, my iPhone at dangerously low battery levels, my Chuck Taylors filled with snow and my super cozy knit socks getting wet, the Upper East Side where I was overrun by tiny dogs all shitting in the snow and eventually helped by a gracious homeless man (in a really fly duster) who gave me some of his Chipotle, crawling over the chilly expanse of the Queensboro Bridge dodging blizzard spectators, going through fucking Greenpoint…. But I did it. It took me almost three hours, but I did it.
When I got to my apartment, everyone was there, pounding Pabst, listening to Neutral Milk Hotel, smoking hookah, and generally sitting around looking cool—your typical Saturday. I demanded to know where Fritz was. Everyone thought he was there, but it seemed he had snuck out soon after I arrived. They tried to calm me with Pabst and hand-rolled cigarettes, but I’d have none of it—revenge would be mine. So I put on a new pair of cozy socks, swapped my Chuck Taylors for my Birks, and headed back into the storm to find my enemy. It didn’t take long; he was at the bar we always go to, a block away. I confronted him; there was a (verbal) tussle. He admitted to swiping the mezcal (which he said was safe at my apartment—which, I admit, I had seen, but still) and to leaving me to the elements, but he denied the billfold. Just then, I felt in my coat pocket to grab a glove to throw at him and, there it was, right next to my pack of American Spirits—my lost billfold.
So, yeah. That happened.
Jesse E. Sherwood is the Online Editor for the Columbia Journal. He is from Silver Creek, New York and currently lives in New York City.