Thursday, January 7, 2010

Slow Going

This night has been slow going. It’s been one empty, disappointing bar after another. As if eventually we’re going to find one that’s got all of our friends inside. As if all our friends don’t live in different corners of the country now. Like bars are lottery tickets, and increasing the number that you accumulate somehow increases your chance of winning something. Like there’s something to win at all. We even stopped to eat dinner to postpone our inevitable surrender and return trip home. We called some friends who still live in Pittsburgh, the ones who haven’t moved away yet. Not much luck. The Girl From Moscow is out tonight, though. She’ll be making her way down to the Moose with some friends. That’s encouraging. It still doesn’t mean that we’ll see her. It means that we might. She’s unpredictable. We’ll sit tight and wait. We’ve got nothing else going on. We shoot pool, badly. This bartender knows what my wife and I drink. He’s great. He sees us approach, and grabs the appropriate bottles, and we all smile and laugh, and we tip well, and we drink. And the Girl From Moscow arrives with Richelle and Jon, and we’re pleasantly surprised. She looks beautiful. We’re not surprised that she looks beautiful, but that she arrived, and I don’t know why she’s always wearing so many clothes, and she gives us each a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. They order drinks, and we continue working on ours. Somebody’s terrible selections are playing on the jukebox. We all talk and have a good time. Everybody is cool, and everything I’ve drunk is beginning to catch up to me, and I’m buzzing, and it seems like the purpose of everything I endured during the week was to lead me to this moment, and it seems like it might have been worth it. And I manage not to say anything stupid the whole time. I'm proud. That’s quite an accomplishment for me. They stay for about an hour, and then they head off to a club. They ask if we would like to come along, but we don't. It’s not really our kind of place. We’re not really club people. I look stupid in leather pants. They take off for the club. We wait a while to straighten up. Then we walk out the front door, into the drizzle, and go.

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