It’s amazing what a short little conversation can and cannot lead to.
“Nah, you’re coming with us. We’re going to the ‘Hippie Bar’, and you’re…” This statement faded, his loss of thought floated into the air. He asked: “What are you drinking?”
I replied, Water.
He continued. His train of thought rolled up State St. in Auburn and narrowly missing the pedestrians.”You’re… we’re going to drink Bud Lights the rest of the night.”
Aaaaand, no I’m not, I said. The point needed to be made. The audacious putting-a-foot-down had to have been done.
[If this was some sort of prank reality show or sitcom, everyone would have come running out right now, screaming with maniac-esque faces, and confetti would fall from the sky. This was not one of those moments.]
To this I found strange. I appreciated the invite to essentially party until the break of dawn — I haven’t done so in a long very time, and, mind you, there was no way I was going to start back up now.
[C’mon, boys, help grandpa to his walker. Although, Plaid is seven years my senior.]
For a guy, who donned glasses and a snap button-down short-sleaved plaid shirt, drinking a 1911 hard cider, he should have known better.
I’m enjoying a finger of Scotch and about ready to smoke a cigar. This was a treat to myself. After this time is up, I’d eventually go back inside and enjoy the rest of the evening with friends and pints of water on the rocks. All that did happen, but the collected chorus of responses was along the lines of: “Where the heck did you go?”
I made new friends, I said. They wanted me to hang out with them at the ‘Hippie Bar’ down the road.
They pushed their confused silence to the middle of the table before the big reveal of the story of what happened, the Cliff’s Notes version, was then relayed to them.
Plaid was sitting outside and accompanied by his cigar and cider. I was using matches to light, and some bystander reached into her purse and pulled out a long nose lighter.
(Yes, the kind of lighter used to light grills.)
Another guy comes up and immediately comments about my shoes. “Whoa, you got some big feet. You must be packing.”
The kid, who looks younger than his 32 years of age, was decked out in golf gear bearing the Under Armour logo. “Not too many guys can pull off squared toes,” he said. So much for quiet time. “Skinny jeans? How can you wear those?”
“Those aren’t skinny jeans,” Plaid said. “Those are straight leg.” Going back to what I said before, about him not knowing better, maybe he is, because “Holmes” must have had me pegged as soon as I used that grill lighter.
Plaid gets up and starts talking to us. We discuss fashion. I’m also wearing jeans, a blazer, and a button down shirt. I dress to be presentable and for work, but I still need to be comfortable in what I’m wearing. .
Golfer was definitely a college-esqe “Sports Bro.” He loves his group of friends, and would do anything for them. Seemingly, as an outsider, I was assimilating well.
Plaid spoke up, to Golfer: “You have one thing that we don’t have.”
Golfer then lathered up and spread his best confusion across his face to cool off. He looked at me, and I gave him a view of the fading patch in the back of my head.
“Hair,” Plaid said. How he picked up on that is beyond me. It was a straight shot in the dark since yours truly is taller than he and our youngish counterpart donned a cap.
“Oh,” said Golfer, surprised.
Of course, the conversation traveled into the great debate about what guys think women want in a guy. Money, style, confidence — the list could go on. It actually wasn’t womanizing, which adds nothing to the conversation. It boiled down to confidence. We had to keep Golfer on track a little, but he was harmless.
Golfer’s bros ended up coming by. They were actually cordial.
I explained to them that I wasn’t looking to pick anyone up since I had been on dates with #######. And she is very nice. There wasn’t any desire to have Karma get involved in this.
“Only a couple dates?” (I’m not sure where/from whom this originated from.)
It got to the point where the decision had to be made: Go to the Hippie Bar, drink Bud Lights, and a have a night out with the boys as they pick up women. Or the second option of probably heading over to Parker’s to enjoy extra crispy wings and feel the slightest guilt that is generated from eating after 10 p.m.? The last time I had to chose my own adventure gave me goosebumps, because, well, the last choose-your-own-adventure I read was of the Goosebumps series.
I did what any sensibly awkward person would do at that point: The Irish Goodbye.
I have to go to the bathroom, I said.
“We’ll wait out here for you,” said Plaid.
I did go to the bathroom, because committing is committing. Luckily for me, by the time we left, they had as well. When walking back to the car, they were outside the Hippie Bar, having a good ol’ hootenanny (with an emphasis on the hoots). I walked on the other side of the street, because they probably downed more Bud Lights than I did pints of water.
In a sense, I had a definitive moxie — something I thought abandoned me. They, Plaid and Golfer and The Bros, had different blends as well.
But the best personality I admired that night was that of an Airedale Terrier mix outside of Prison City Pub.
The middle-aged owners rescued her, not knowing what she was mixed with, and the dog was docile and slightly conservative about who she approached. The dog was a great size, a medium-sized animal, and she was a real sweetheart. Not recognizing me as a threat, she approached me and our group. She was a
As an animal lover, it kind of sparked my interest to adopt. I cannot now, but down the road I would. I think a cat and dog companion would be fine and suitable. ####### has animals herself, and she chose the rescue route as well.
Of course, I asked for her name. The dog’s mother replied: Moxie.