I know this sounds impossible, but I swear on my bottle of Walgreens sleeping pills that a few years ago my friend’s apartment burned down around him while he was boozing, jerking it, and blowing copious lines of drugs off his laptop. I almost didn’t believe it myself—how the fuck can someone be so oblivious?—so I sat down with him over some Jamaican beef patties and we boiled it all down.
Vice: OK, please break this whole thing down for me.
Nathan: All right check it out, I hadn’t been clean for a long time, so I went to Texas for a couple months to sober up—somewhere along the way I remember waking up in Knoxville, Tennessee—but at this point things were going well and I was back in Queens so I was like, man I’m craving a little bit of Uptown, Downtown, whatever somebody sends my way. Right?
My girlfriend’s out, so I’m like, I’ve got the night to myself, I’ve got the car. I told her, “I’ll pick you up later, don’t worry about a thing. Let me just go home and change and freshen up.” I go home, I freshen up, fuckin’ unbutton my pants, pull up the internet. I think, “You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna have a little bit of a masturbatory celebration.”
So I dump out some shit on my iBook [iBook! –ed.], I cut up some lines and shshshuuupp! I rail ’em back and I’m like, “Yeah!” So I started surfing the internet for some porn, but this is before RedTube and Tube8. This was when you had to do like 30 second clips, you know what I mean? This isn’t full 20 minute fist-my-girlfriend-in-the-ass porn, this was back when there were just trailers and shit.
Anyway, I figured it’d be a good night to just get it off, so I wait for my cock, I snort some more lines, I’m surfing the internet, I get an arousal going, I get my fucking erection up, and I start masturbating. But it’s just kind of tingling ‘cause I’m still surfing you know? They’re just little clips. So I’m just sitting there, my cock’s raging, and all of the sudden I hear this POW PAH PWOW PAH!! I get up and I look down the hall towards the bedroom—my dick’s still hanging out—and I see all the hallway lights burst out like that scene in The Natural when Robert Redford hits a home run with his guts exploding and I’m like, “Hello? Papa Pushkin? Girlfriend? Not home? OK.” I walk to the kitchen, flick the lights, nothing works, but the living room lights are still on. So I sit back down and think, I need to loosen up, so I line up some more private drugs. So I’m just sitting there, I fucking blow a couple more rails, and I just want to bust my nut. I start getting there watching some 19-year-old being gangbanged by the gnarliest Puerto Rican dudes, and like a shot I hear this PIKAH PAH POW POW again. It sounded like I was in a bowl of Rice Crispies with those fucking elves that don’t make shoes. You know? It was insane.
I go back to the kitchen and I hear this ruckus in the walls. I was like, “These rats are huge and they’re all over the place.” So I go to the bedroom, I sit down, and behind me I start to hear this noise that sounded like a waterfall was just gushing down the walls. I think, “Oh that’s peaceful, but what the fuck’s going on?” It gets louder and louder and louder, it starts to smell funny, but I’m so whacked out on drugs, I don’t know what’s going on. I go back to the living room, meanwhile my pants are half off and my cock’s half flaccid.
I hear all of this commotion back in the bedroom. I get up again and look out the living room window and everything’s cool, I walk back to the bedroom and there’s water dripping down the walls with smoke coming out of the ceiling. It’s fucking hot and I think, “OK something really creepy’s going on.” I go back to the living room and open the curtains again to look out the window and there’s this fireman on a ladder sitting right there. I close the curtains really quick and my dick goes from honoring a dead soldier to some really sad guy who just got out of the cold ocean. It was like cock atrophy at this point.
So I’m stuck in a panic, I shove my dick back into my pants and hurry back over to the table. I didn’t know what to do with all the coke, so in a rush I just snorted it all up—there was about a gram left—and I put everything else in my pockets. I called my girlfriend and I was like, “Hey what’s up? Where you at?” She’s like, “Woooo! I’m on a bed at a party! I’m in Brooklyn! Ooooo!” and I’m like, “THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!!” Then she says, “Yeah! Let me call you back!”
At this point I’m starting to lose my nerve, I go to the bedroom and there’s firemen at the window yelling at me because I have a grill and shit blocking the fire escape, so I run back into the living room and look out the window again and the whole neighborhood is outside just watching this whole thing go down. My across the hall neighbor actually waves at me from the street and is like “Hey what’s up? The place is on fire!” I’m like, “No shit!”
So finally I start putting the computer in my bag and I’m trying to assess the situation. I start unplugging all the amps and pull all the instruments and records into the middle of the living room, I put a blanket over all of it—like that’s gonna do anything—and finally my girlfriend calls me back while I’m on my way out the door with my fender and my backpack and she’s like, “What’s up?” I’m like, “Yo the fucking house is on fire!” She says, “SAVE THE CAT!” I just thought, aw fuck the goddamn cat! So I drop my shit and go back into the apartment to look for the cat. I can’t find the cat. I look for three more minutes and there’s no cat. I call her back, “There’s no cat!” She starts crying, “Save the cat, you can’t leave the cat for your Fender! Get the cat!” I’m like, “I can’t find the fucking cat anywhere!”
At this point there’s firemen running up and down the stairwell yelling at me, “You should’ve been outta here 30 minutes ago!” They didn’t know what was going on, they didn’t want to know what was going on. So I grabbed my shit and ran downstairs, jumped in the station wagon and went to pick her up. She was so whacked up on drugs too that she didn’t know what was up, so we went to some other bars for a while and finally went back to the apartment a few hours later to figure out the damage.
I walked back into the building and the place just smelled like disappointment. It was so sad.
What about the cat?
The next morning when we woke up the fucking cat was scratching at the front door like, “Meow. I’m so mad at you.”
They let you stay there after all that?
They made us stay there like a punishment.
What caused the fire?
I asked some neighborhood guy the next day and he called it “Jewish Lightning.” He said this shit happens all the time and we’re lucky we didn’t catch on fire like the family up the street.
You’re an asshole.