"Oh what a night"
More like a surreal weekend. I felt like a guest star on "This is Your Life." But I suppose it's natural for a person to assemble a sorted collection of acquaintances after living in a city almost ten years.
It all started when an old friend showed up for drinks at Zola. I didn't think he'd make it out because it really wasn't his scene - but two black martinis later, he looked right at home.
Man from the Past #1
I was walking out of Zola when someone grabbed my arm, pulling me back toward the bar area. It turned out to be this random guy who used to call me when production companies would hold auditions for extras. The only time we ever talked or met was at these casting calls. I hadn't seen him in three years.
So we hopped in a cab and headed towards an old favorite - The Eighteenth Street Lounge. At one point, before my mature and sensible phase kicked in, I was hanging out there three times a week. It felt like putting on an old sweater that had been carelessly buried beneath a pile of clothes.
Man from the Past #2
We decided to grab stools at the bar instead of sitting on the comfy couches scattered throughout the main floor. ESL is a swank lounge with rooms that open up into one another. Candlelit with jazz rhythms beating in the background and a faint mix of cigar and incense. It was early, so I could still spot the people at the far side of the room. Leaning against the fireplace mantle was this guy I had adored and dated on and off until 1999 when I discovered he knew absolutely nothing about basketball (actually, most sports including football, basketball, and hockey ~ but, he could golf). For whatever reason, I was appalled by this fact and mentally moved him into the "just friends" category before losing touch. So we spent 15 minutes catching up on the past 4 years.
Moving right along to Andalu.... the evening begins to get a little hazy here. I guess I should explain - I don't bar hop anymore. I tend to start off at one place and end up at another. In my book, that's considered an exciting evening. So to hit three or four establishments in one evening falls under "Partying Like a Rock Star."
Men from the Past #3
So we're at Andalu, and I'm at the bar frantically waving a $20 bill to get the bartenders' attention, when these two guys start pointing my way from the end of the bar. I glance behind me, no one there, and stare back at them. Turns out, when I first moved to DC, friendless and alone, I used to hang out on their front stoop drinking Busch in cans. We must have hung out almost every night for a summer before they moved out of the basement apt. and relocated to New York City.
We finished the night at Club Five... danced the hours away like fools. I arrived with an impressive entourage.... having picked up a new person at each pitstop along the way.
It makes you appreciate what a small world we live in and how random life really can be. Don't burn bridges!