Obi Wan, Flightly and the Waitresses

Thursday night should be a good night to check out some of the spots I reconed on Monday. I head off downtown. After nearly getting t-boned by a truck, I find a parking spot and walk towards The Hideway. From the outside it looked like a bohemian kind of place. I expected couches, a crowd of hipsters and some Radiohead. Nope. Down the stairs in a storeroom of the above ground antique shop I find a sports bar. At least seven guys are wearing basketball jerseys and on the projection screen is Verses, where I learn the Red Wings lost to the Sharks (bastards!). I grab a Sam Adams, which apparently isn’t domestic ’cause I got charged $3.50 though domestics are advertised as $2.00, and sat down at a back table. I got a great view on the entire place. Small, “hip” in the sense of décor, but that was it. There could be a decent artsy hipster vibe here, a place I’d love to go to talk with writers or whatever, but there wasn’t any way to foster it. It was just, sadly, normal. Normal to the point that a chick at the next table told the story of her ex-boyfriend to her new boyfriend at 12 likes per minutes. I was bored enough that I counted the number every minute for 5 minutes and averaged it. The Hideaway has potential if only they catered to the crowd they decorated for. I got up after 30 minuets and moved on down the road.

Turning the corner away from the Mission Inn heading towards University, I pass three smokin’ hot chicks. My mood being low, I just give a smile and a nod. By the time I get to University, another group appears crossing the street towards me. It dawns on me to follow these ladies. If I can’t find the place these lovelys are coming from on my own, I’ll just follow the trail. Turns out the second group came from Lake Alice, the place who’s name escaped me on my initial recon. I head down towards the next stop light. A old black bum asks me for a light and I give him one. Then, he asks for an extra smoke, so I give him that, too. He thanks me and moves on. I’ve just been Mr. Charity since I got here.

I make it back to Lady Alice, this time on the correct side of the street, and give it a once over. Looked decent. I see a pair of ladies at the pool table and they make eye contact, but for some goddamn stupid reason I don’t go in immediately. I walk right on by and turn the corner. I realize my autopilot just flew me over the ocean, so I turn around and make it inside. They have Guinness on tap. I was sold! And, as is my luck, more karaoke nights. I check out the girls at the pool table, but my mood isn’t good for game. I felt like a chump just passing by, turning around and coming back. I check out quick after my beer, feeling like I have no motivation.

Its near 11pm and I start justifying to myself that this trip was just a recon, not an actual outing. Yeah, right. I pass by the dive bar I mentioned on Twitter earlier in the week. On impulse, I pull a U stop in at The Sire. Giant neon sign with a horseshoe. The Sire. It should have been an omen. I go inside and ask for PBR. Strike two. Sam Adams? Strike two. What’s on tap? Water. Strike three. Damn. The 40 something lady bartender gives me a list of dark beers. I pick Amber Bock and sit back, watching the TV. I was slightly buzzed from my other beers. The doubts and brain farts quietly dissolve.

Soon after I arrived, this tall black guy and a decent looking hispanic girl come in. She sits a seat away and looks at me, I raise my beer slightly and say, “Hey.” She returns the greeting with a cute smile. The black guy comes across an old friend of his, so they go out to smoke, leaving his date with me. She looks at me again and I just jump in. Asking if this was her first time to the bar. Four? Cool, my first. Just moved here. So you’re from here… and it goes on. Turns out the guy she’s with is just a friend. I make a mistake by mentioning my divorce early. Whatever, I’m still finding my groove. I ask her about what she does. County work. School? Psychology. Perfect. I tell her about evolutionary psychology.

“You believe in evolution?” she asks.

“I believe in God, but I believe there was a spark he made a long time ago.”

“I don’t believe in evolution.”

Religious chick. Nice.

In the middle of this convo I laugh a at guy who asks for tofu. We talk for moment. I go back to Religious Chick. It starts to falter, I keep asking questions, trying to avoid that awkward silence. Some dude says “Black hat!”, I turn and its the tofu dude. Him and I start talking. Turns out he’s a player. 40 years old, hanging with a very pretty, very slender blonde who’s either ditzy or drunk. He’s Obi Wan. She is Flightly. I was expecting to have another beer and leave. I end up staying until closing. I tell my life story, again. California to Canada to California to Utah to California. Divorce. He’s shocked I’m 25 and already have one marriage under my belt. I turn around after ten minutes and Religious Chick has left. Oh well.

Obi Wan, Flightly and I talk sex, game and relationships for what had to be an hour and a half. He buys me a beer, we bond, we high five and talk. We both tease Flightly. I watch him play her like a piano. Hitting random keys, but making sweet music. For a few hours, I was under his wing. The best advice he gave all night was telling me I over-analyzed my moves at Lake Alice. He was right. I thought myself into a slump.

Obi Wan and Flightly argue about if she can fuck other guys. “I’m a good girl!”, she blurts out, then whispers :“No, I’m not.”

I see an opening. “If you’re a good girl, you won’t come over here and give me a kiss.”

“Did you hear that?” she looks to Obi Wan, wanting him to stand up for her or to do something that’ll justify her screwing him.

“Yeah, I heard.” he says dismissively.

“I’m going to do it.” She walks over, slightly angry, but mostly vindictive, and pretends to kiss me.

“Uh ah,” I say. “A real one.” She kisses me on the cheek. “Oh c’mon, a real one.” she refuses and goes back to Obi Wan. He tells me sometimes they just don’t want to. I tell him I know, but you lose nothing by trying. He agreed.

She eventually gets pissed off that he was talking about another girl (she’s screwing at least one other guy and leaving for Vegas with another on Friday). Two women take her seat quickly, one a young brown girl and an older white chick. He opens them immediately. I’m watching with student eyes. They’re waitresses at one of the pancake houses. We all talk. Back and forth. One to the other. The younger one is apparently a heartbreaker. Fucks and dumps. The older one has been through the wringer and is a sex fiend as well. Awesome. We all trade stories. I tell them about getting pinned and kissed by a 60 year old swinger lady at the command of her husband. I self depreciate about the debt I’m in. Things seem really smooth.

Obi Wan dissapears. Later, we see him open another girl, so the two and I go out to smoke. I tell them about my days with the Dr. Phil Show, explain the SFTD tattoo and just shoot the shit. The older one, 46 actually but she looks 35, goes back in for beer. The younger one and I talk for a few minutes, then she goes in after a very short talk on fast food. I think I’ve lost it. She looked like she wanted to leave as soon as her friend did. I feel slightly sad, but then I remind myself who cares. You did well tonight, bud. Pat your back and move on. I finish smoke and then head for the exit. As I’m about to walk out I say bye to the Waitresses. The older one (saying “we”) motions me over and asks for my number. Sweet. Awesome. We trade numbers and they say they can hook me up with some work and they like hanging out with me. Victory.

It ain’t banging, but its a start.

Downtown Riverside Initial Recon

L.A.? Too far. Long Beach? Too far. I don’t have the money to go 50 miles each way every week and I don’t have the self-control to avoid going out. The bane of living in Riverside. Fear not! I have found some places to hang at, other than the guest room of my generous relatives.

Downtown Riverside has a pedestrian only section of Main Street between 6th and 10th Street. Most of the places I found were off of this mimic of the Santa Monica Promenade. Its currently going through renovations, so there’s not as much as there could be. It’s also dotted with peacenik crap like Gandhi and MLK. Who knew these guys had any connection to Riverside, California?

When I first parked, it was right in front of a place called The Hideaway. It looked like a simple coffee shop, so I moved on quick after paying for parking. I walked south on the pedestrian walk and found a Coffee Bean, some Chinese food and other tiny-ass cafes. I was getting close to a big building I assumed was part of the local university, so I turned around and went north. More nothing. Went east on the end of 5th. Nothing. Went south on Orange. Finally, at the corner of University and Orange I found two. Count it! TWO decent candidates.

The first looks like its connected to a closed-up lounge next door, but I’m not sure. Their decor look opposite. One looks like a normal sports bar (though with an anti-teenager, anti-gangsta dress code) and other like a beach themed cocktail lounge. The open bar has no name, at least on the windows or on the facade, so all I know is where it is. Right across from it is another lounge, but that seemed large. Its name escapes me (should of taken pictures). It looked like a decent place to move to if one’s date or hookup is hungry.

The third place, who’s name I do remember, is The Salted Pig. An English sounding place that has a 10p-1a happy hour. Sweeeeeet. It was off 12th and Market with street parking and a small parking lot next to it. Looked like a good place to start. If for anything, food and some beer.

When I went back to my car I saw The Hideaway sign again and thought… why not? I walked up to it and saw a sign for “ALL DAY HAPPY HOUR! $2 DOMESTICS!”. I realized that there was a coffee shop AND a bar in this building, both down the stairs. The decorations and the fact it was a dual place said to me bohemian. Hipsters. Cynicism. Laid back. May my curiosity reward me more often.

As I go to each of these places over the next few weeks, I’ll verify the addresses and report in detail about the atmosphere and the girls. I’ll go on Friday nights to maximize accuracy potential so if any of you are unfortunate enough to want to try Riverside nightlife, you’ll have some idea of what to do.