This trip seemed quicker than most, although it really wasn't any shorter. We planned it MONTHS in advance instead of hours, though, and that might have affected my perception of it. My anticipation had nearly eclipsed the event itself. Nearly... It was wonderful to see A. again; it had been nearly three years, and I couldn't stop exclaiming, "I forgot how funny you are! I forgot how much I like hanging out with you! I forgot that you are FULL OF AWESOME!"
So V. flew in from NYC, and A. flew in from SF, and S. and I made our way down from here, and we met up in a hotel room with two smallish beds and a whole BUNCH of shoes. We got up on Saturday morning and drank coffee and ate pastries and went shopping, and went shopping, and went shopping... We shopped for HOURS. I tried on approximately nineteen gazillion pairs of Betsey Johnson heels, but settled for a new pair of boots. We bought Japanese stationery and tissues with hamsters on the packages. We took a break to have bubble tea. We laughed ourselves breathless.
We headed up to Capitol Hill because there was not a chance in Hell we were getting a fourtop at a posh place on Valentine's night. We settled for Thai, and it was a good choice. Number one, the meal was decent - pumpkin curry and a noodle dish whose name escapes me - and number two, I nearly pocketed our bartender/waiter on the way out the door.
V. kind of hated him, probably because he was all hipster-y with his tight jeans and sarcasm and affected growl, but I was curious to see what his tattoos were of, and he played some MARVELOUS music while we were there. I like to think he did it for us. Also, when we ordered our drinks, I asked for a Hendrick's and soda, easy on the soda, and he said, "So heavy on the gin, then?" And then brought it to me, exactly like I wanted. The tipping point was when he brought me another one, without me asking. He had to finish his shift, though, and we needed to go to the karoake place.
I adore karaoke. I adore gay bars. I adore greasy, snarky bartenders and pretty ones who give me free drinks. And I adore being adored, of course. So when Leo, the baby sailor, started chatting me up, I let him. He was wonderful - attentive and funny, attractive, and the tiniest bit awkward. If it were not for his weird, hand-licking, PBR-swilling fratty friend Matt, I might have kept him, just as a pet.At one point in the evening, he said, "I just have to tell you , I think you're adorable." Aww, sweetpea! Adorable was exactly the word I was going to use for you!He offered to walk us back to the hotel, and I was prepared to take him up on it (I thrive on admiration, remember?), but my girls dashed into a cab, and I left him waving sadly in them middle of an intersection. Leo, in the miniscule chance you have stumbled on this blog, thanks for the drinks. I never got the chance to say that before I disappeared.
Sunday was full of clouds, both figurative and literal. Although Saturday had been so nice that I was wandering around Westlake in nothing but a longsleeved t-shirt, Sunday was chill and blustery. I awoke to a text message saying that plans had fallen through, and that the last friend who was going to join us couldn't make it. I spent the morning on the verge of tears and sick to my stomach, and only about half of my discomfort could be attributed to the several rounds of drinks the night before. I tried my best to not let it ruin the rest of the trip, and succeeded except for the ten minutes I spent crouched on the sidewalk on Broadway, head pounding and heartsick, attempting not to weep as I failed to put on a good face for Z., whose disappointment rivaled mine. I moped for a bit, and then went and got a tattoo. It's funny how pain banishes things, and brings the world into tighter focus. The desire to give in and cry disappeared.
V. left in the wee hours, and A. departed from Pike's Place. I had to buy another bag just to bring home the newspapers and magazines and book I accumulated in the remaining few minutes of the trip. When I got home, the last vestige of my mini-break was a pistachio macaron, the first cookie I have eaten in months. It was bittersweet.
Once again the city breathed a little new life into me, and now I feel like I can hold on until the crocuses begin to struggle their way through the cold ground. Even though there were goodbyes again, the splinters off my heart were smaller this time. I miss my friends, but we are as close as we ever were. Until next time, darlings!