09 November 2010

i was still at a bar

I wrote the beginning of this bar story {one of my few bar stories} the other day, so if you want to read all the build-up {and why, for example, I'm talking about poetic effusions below}, you should read that.


I was about to make one of those poetic effusions to my friend Anna. It was probably going to be along the lines of, "This bar makes me feel like a 20-something who has a place." Over-the-top, I know, but poetic effusions aren't known for being low-key.

But before I could say that, a boy appeared at my side, a different boy than the one who had offered to buy me a vodka and Red Bull.

"I saw you playing that basketball game. You look more like you belong on the sidelines in a cheerleading skirt," he said, leaning in to whisper and slipping an arm around my waist.

Truth can be so ugly coming from the wrong mouth.

I turned to look him straight in the eye, which wasn't hard because he didn't go much above my 5'2". I had a clear shot into his brain—a brain considerably muddled by alcohol—and all I found there was me doing a defense chant in his apartment, an impossible dream on his part. "So how about we go somewhere else to get to know each other?"

You may think this guy destroyed my pre-nostalgia glow, my reverie of thinking about how much I was enjoying this particular moment. And it is true that I stopped smiling so encouragingly and widely at the world in general, but everyone at the bar in specific. I've learned that my pre-nostalgia smile, when sent in the wrong direction, can look like, "Hey, you. Come on over here and say things that make me blink in shock."

Actually, this guy increased my pre-nostalgia because even as he was talking, I thought, 'I got hit on! In a bar! In Lincoln Park! This will make a good story!'

I neatly removed his arm and said, "I saw you playing that basketball game. You look more like you belong on a soccer field."

He laughed.

Said something about my acerbic wit.

Tried to get me to leave with him again.

Eventually, he got the hint that I was staying right where I was, at the bar that had sent me into a pre-nostalgic spin. I was staying with my friends, listening to bands in a back room draped in twinkle lights. It took him longer than it should have to get the hint.

But I got something, too: another good story—one that begins with, "I was at a bar, and..."


  1. That *is* a good story. How was the rest of your evening? I somehow feel that if you only go to a bar 5 times over 7 years, you should get to have a really good time when you do go :)

  2. The rest of the evening was pretty fun. My friend's fiance was playing in a band -- that's why we were at the bar in the first place. They came on around 11pm. Oh, so late for me. But yeah, it was a good night :)



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