Saturday, February 14, 2015

Friday February 13th

Just got home. It's 3:15. Our comedy cohort had a workshop tonight. It ended at 8 and we gleefully gathered by the escalators. Together we made our way to Lincoln Square where a reserved table and karaoke awaited us.

The drinks started flowing. Star is in AA, so she said she was interested in ordering the lemon pie or a fried Snickers. I suggested we split both. Crooks and I sang "No Scrubs," our gang danced so good you'd think it was planned, and several nearby drunkees tries to become our best friends. While the too confident business men butchered "Sweet Caroline" the Texan Queen said, "The DJ should really be playing our request more since we're the ones who are kinda making tonight HAPPEN."

Pinker showed up late from another gig, but I had faith he would be there. "Summer Lovin" was already in the queue. We harshly judged the braceface couple mumbling "Kryptonite" by Three Doors Down. It got later and later, but I was wide awake. I only drank half my ginger beer, so the caffeine shouldn't have been that bad. At the very end of the night I inspected the can to find 49 grams of sugar on the label. Ah ha.

There were too many bits. But eventually, as all things, the evening ended. Crooks and I headed out for the brown line. We were gabbing so intently, we forgot it was cold. And then after about a mile of what was supposed to be a half mile trot, we realized we had gone the wrong way. Our train was in 8 minutes. We sprinted.

My feet were on fire from my Uggs. My core, a furnace. Sweat beaded down my face. We sprinted a mile and a half and saw the last train of the night pull onto the platform just beyond our stride. We kept running just in case, but no, that was it. The station guy told us.

We started looking up Uber rates. We started watching for cab lights. But everyone was leaving the bar now. A man on the curb garbled something about hitchhiking. He had glasses, a furry cap, and was holding a pile of papers.Then we noticed he wasn't trying to hail a cab at all. He was darting up to passing cars with his middle fingers raised. I started looking up how long I would have to wait for a bus to avoid the hiked fares. Then the stranger guy walked up to us and said, "People don't like that." He was very close and his zipper was wide open. No underwear. Definitely not going to wait for a bus. And then--

Pinker and Finn showed up! "Hey!" they said very casually. "You guys left so long ago! What happened?" They were going to walk a half mile to the red line, still running. "Great!" We said and showed them our sweat and vamoosed away. A long frigid trek is pretty doable when the alternative was a creep curb. We laughed too much and took in the bricks and graffiti. We passed the huge northside cemetery. "It's Friday the 13th!" I squealed. "We have to go in," Pinker said. We sized up the fence. It was too high to jump, so we just took turns tells scary stories. And when that was over we took turns thinking of horrifying things that might happen on the way home--maybe someone lives in that little nook beneath the tracks. Maybe we'd see a man with a knife in a window reflection. It was nice.

We of course waited twenty minutes for a train, but it did arrive. It did, and we got on, and Finn and I got off, and he lives just down the block from me, so I was never alone. These are the nights of 2015. There are only 365 of them, and many are already gone.

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