Thursday, January 5, 2012
Running away from all of that
I was sitting at the Hopvine Pub with Jeff and Kurtis, two boys from work. Jeff and I had closed the gym that night so it was late, almost midnight. Jeff invited his roommate Andy to come out with us. Andy was well dressed, loud, funny. And he was Jewish. Historically, I always get big crushes on Jewish men.
Andy was really fun to talk to. He appreciated all the things I said just to get a rise. He kept laughing out loud and saying, "Wait, is that a thing?"
Which is a 30 Rock thing, in case you "Oh...no, I don't watch TV, I don't even own one."
He said "Is that a thing?" four or five times before I called him out. "You're a Tina Fey fan, aren't you."
He tipped his head back and laughed so loudly it reverberated around the almost empty bar. "Wow- I've never been figured out so quickly by a girl before." Then he gave me one of those appreciative fist jab things, which is like a really meaningful high five.
The next bar we went to had a Medieval theme. There was a coat of armor in all the corners. Andy and I sat across from each other and started talking heatedly about comedy. Apparently we had not only watched the same shows but also read the same books. Everything was going well, really heating up, until he said, conspiratorially, as if I might agree:
"Not Amy Poehler. She's not funny."And then he said, "I'm Anti-Amy Poehler."
I stood up and with both hands tried to jerk the table over, but it was bolted solidly to the ground. In fact, everything in the bar looked like it was sheathed in iron and welded to something else. "How is that possible?" I yelled. I yelled so loud that the waitress approached our table. "This idiot doesn't find Amy Poehler funny," I fumed. She shook her head. She was dressed like a wench.
"You're wrong," she said simply, shaking her head at Andy.
"Also, I don't think Jimmy Fallon is funny." Andy was clearly enjoying himself.
The waitress shifted her weight to the other hip and started taking empty beer cans away from the pile accumulating on Kurtis's table. "That I agree with. Last call."
"I have to get out of here." I declared. I held my face in my hands.
A few minutes later we had all spilled back into the cool December morning. It was 2:30am. Kurtis was getting screamed at by the bartender for something. I'd be more specific, but I really don't know. We started strolling down 15th, and Andy offered me his arm. "What, you want to hold my arm?" I asked. I liked him. He was quick and good looking. But I haven't been on my game for the last....two years? Three?
He laughed and motioned again. I took his arm.
"Do you want to keep hanging out?" He asked.
"What- you and me?" For some reason I felt like giving him a hard time. Maybe make him give up. People can give up so easily these days.
"There's a place on Olive that starts serving breakfast at 3 in the morning."
A vision of the two of us flashed into my head, sitting on the wide black booths, ordering bacon (maybe he wouldn't?) and waffles from a stoned, surly waiter. We could keep talking about comedy. I don't get to talk much about comedy with my friends in Seattle, except for a rare and precious few. Others run for cover when I bring it up. I mean this literally. My friend Nika once hid behind a house plant.
I didn't give him an answer. I just kept saying, "What, me? No. C'mon, really?" And then something happened involving a disc golf frisbee. Kurtis had thrown one into the street where another group of kids (Adults? 20 somethings? Jerkoffs? What are we called anyway?) tossed it onto the roof of a Tullys Coffee. As they took off down the sidewalk, Kurtis was shouting "What the FUCK man?"
I started to saying, "It's okay Kurtis chill out, be quiet."
"What happened?" Asked Andy, throwing his chest forward.
"Those dicks just chucked the disc onto that building and took off! Man those things are like, 20 bucks!"
Andy, obviously a man of action, gently unlocked his arm from mine and started running after them. I could hear his shoes pounding against the pavement for a block.
Suddenly I was running, too. I was running in the opposite direction, heading towards my car. "Bye boys!" I screamed at Jeff and Kurtis. "Goodbye." Jeff called politely. Jeff is unfettered by everything. You could land a plane on him and he'd just go, "Oh, hey. A plane just landed on me." Meanwhile Kurtis was swinging his arms around going, "Wait- what?"
I was running in high heeled boots. Not super high heels and not at top speed, but still as I ran the three blocks I thought, "I am so good at this."
I was so pleased with the running and the escape and the car starting just right that I never stopped and wondered: why am I doing this?
I liked Andy. And I love breakfast at an obscenely early hour. It's all so very On The Road. But I have this thing. I'm really good at the initial meeting. First I smile and act supremely confident. Then I say something sharply observant but slightly insulting across the table, smooth it out by catching their eye just right while touching my hair, and then I listen to him for a while. Then I say something that make them go, "Woah, I wouldn't have said that out loud but yeah, exactly."
I have them just where I want to.
That's generally when I go home and read a book in the bath tub.
When someone asks to keep hanging out I'm like, wait- what? I haven't prepared a second act.
This time I told myself that running was the right thing because I could never get along with anyone that didn't share my love of Poehler. This was ignoring three hours of evidence to the contrary, but as judge and sole member of the Jury I declared myself correct and my actions warranted.
I made it home safely at 2:30, and calmed myself down by reading a book in the bath.
Well. Here's to a promising 2012, am I right?