The last five days, I went to New York City (Bushwick to be exact) for a friend’s wedding. This was the first time I have gone to New York without a significant other or stayed with a friend/family.

Thursday – I landed early, got to where I was staying and was rattled when I saw the neighborhood I was staying in. Learners in my training class shuddered when I mentioned I was staying in Bushwick and I understood why. The apartment itself was incredibly lovely and my host was very nice. I placed my stuff down and made the two hour journey to see my grandparents for the first time in two years. I made my way back, showered, changed, and headed out to Greenpoint where I hung out with a lot of people I haven’t seen in years. My best friend/groom and I had a chance to have one last drink together before we parted and I told him the most important lesson I learned from my failed marriage: don’t let the legal status of marriage change their relationship as it is today. In the cab going home, I noticed the guy didn’t turn on his meter at all and was navigating him back to my place. When he asked me for cash, I told him I didn’t have any and he turned on his meter while we were parked in front of where I was staying. Despite the bullshit move, I tipped him $5 since I saved about $10-$12 getting home. However, I did not notice until the next morning I lost my iPod Touch, making this the second Apple product I’ve lost in New York in the span of two years.

Friday – I have to redact most of the details of this night as it is written in man law when it comes to bachelor parties. What I’m allowed to show you is this USA vs. Soviet Union hockey game I played. I haven’t seen one of these things in a long time.

Also, I had my first, and last taste, of the Chicago chemical known as Malort. While it is easy going in, it leaves the taste of rimming Swamp Thing on your tongue for a long time.

Saturday – I haven’t seen a live Yankee game in over twenty years. My plan to drink as little as possible the night before to ensure I would make the early game and it worked. I was also glad that I had grandstand seats.

What I was not happy about was the Yankees hitting like shit that day. I left at the top of the eighth inning, knowing the Mariners pitching broke them that day. The final score: 1-0.

I got back to the apartment, changed, and headed out to the rehearsal dinner in Park Slope, where The Squid And The Whale was filmed. We had some amazing Italian food before the party broke down. We headed to the Wyeth hotel for drinks. The price of the cocktails were staggering, but the view was gorgeous.

Sunday – I picked up my suit from the cleaners, hung around the apartment for most of the day, then made my way to the wedding venue.

The groom, is a music journalist. The bride, went to school for music, and recently became an academic adviser for Julliard. They love music and the venue so it made sense for them to choose The Bellhouse to get married in. They got married on stage.

After, we had cocktails, dinner, and danced to a kick ass live band with a very specific playlist, including The National’s “Slow Show”, They Might Be Giants, “Birdhouse In Your Soul”, The Dismemberment Plan’s “The City”.

I had one sad bastard moment at the wedding, I’ll admit. Despite being five or six drinks in, when they played the original version of The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights”, I lost it a little as the Iron & Wine cover was my second wedding dance song. Other than that moment, I enjoyed myself tremendously.

Monday – I awoke on the couch at 6:45 am, still fully dressed. I had no idea how I got home. I checked my wallet, my pockets, and nothing was lost. I looked at the door and saw it was locked, my set of keys hanging next to the door, my jacket hanging in the bedroom. I was frantic though, worried that I did something stupid at the tail end of the reception, but found out that I just walked out without saying goodbye, the nine bourbon/ginger beer cocktails and one glass of champagne putting my body on autopilot and getting me back from Williamsburg to Bushwick intact. Again, I am amazed the my blackout autopilot is that competent. It took me the entire day to recover. I will not be drinking for a bit because of that marathon.

And the whole not drinking thing sucks because I’m performing in an erotica show at The Peacock Room tomorrow/today at 9:00 pm. I’ll be reading a new poem. There will be burlesque dancers. More details here.

I have a new poem in Commas & Colons here.

I wrote a Jesus Christ, Boy Detective mystery/adventure just for xTx’s Supermodel Summer, which you should read here.

Finally, I have a flash fiction piece in the latest issue of the Heavy Feather Review, which you should buy here.


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About J. Bradley

J. Bradley's is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominated writer whose work has appeared in numerous literary journals including decomP, Hobart, and Prairie Schooner. He was the Interviews Editor of PANK, the Flash Fiction Editor of NAP, and the Web Editor of Monkeybicycle. He is the author of the poetry collection Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009), the novella Bodies Made of Smoke (HOUSEFIRE, 2012), and the graphic poetry collection The Bones of Us (YesYes Books, 2014), illustrated by Adam Scott Mazer. He is the curator of the Central Florida reading series There Will Be Words and lives at

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