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.