August 2009


I’d like to preface this post with a few shorts words. First of all, apologies for taking so long to get it up. The DC trip was almost a month ago, but between work and Mexico and boys, it has been quite a month. Secondly, my camera battery died the second day of my trip to DC so this blog is lacking somewhat in the illustration department (thank you Janine for the ones provided). It won’t happen again. I promise. Thirdly, this post is very long and I am pretty sure insufferably boring. That being said, the story needed to be told and my ability to do any serious editing at midnight on this Sunday night is escaping me. I am hoping to get back into posting regular and compelling posts. That being said, away we go.

The Sunday morning of any weekend you are out of town is depressing. While the drive up is filled with an excitement that can rise through your belly and stay stapled to your face for days, the drive back is long, late, and nothing awaits you at the other end but some good TV on HBO and whatever miserable job that requires your presence in the early hours of Monday morning. As the hours roll by each and every Sunday I fall into a state of despair, fighting to make the weekend last as long as it can. This usually results in me staying up drinking wine until one or two in the morning, making Monday morning that much worse, but at least I’m not letting them steal any more of my time. I don’t mind being hungover and unproductive on their watch. This Sunday morning was no different and Janine and I awakened early to get started drinking and complete the one mission we had failed to accomplish: the queue. Right now you are probably wondering what is this queue you speak of, and what exactly does the queue mission entail? Well, the queue is a concept that has been around a while, and one which Janine articulated quite well on urbandictionary.com. Click here to read the official definition (#2). Basically, as a single girl it is imperative that you have at least a few different boys lined up at all times, much like your Netflix queue. Maybe you keep one movie for a month and watch it over and over again, maybe you just want to indulge in a romantic comedy for a one night, maybe you’re only watching the movie for a few hours of entertainment even though you know you won’t like it, and maybe, as Janine says, some of the movies never even make it into your “mailbox.” Regardless, it is always a good idea to have several different potentials lined up for whatever mood may strike you. Our mission that weekend was to restock both of our queues, as they had been slowly dwindling. I did add Highway Jacob on my way up on Friday, and had been entertaining a drummer from Nashville for the last week or so, but you can never have too many, and Janine’s queue was looking dismal at best. Seeing as how Friday night we were too drunk to function, and Saturday Janine slept through our queue opportunity, Sunday was our last shot.

We left the house early heading into the already impenetrable heat and made the long, but pleasant walk to Red Rocks, our favorite bottomless mimosa brunch spot.

Mmm...breakfast pizza

Mmm...breakfast pizza


Coffee - a necessity

Coffee - a necessity

On four hours of sleep and barely recovered from the pool party, much less from the hours of rooftop hipster drinking, I, once again, struggled through the first few mimosas. I had felt strangely quiet all weekend, observing the world around me, somehow detached from everything. In this state, the conversation between us lulled and lifted in the easy rhythms of friendship and before we knew it we had finished brunch and were debating what we should do until it was time to go meet my mom at four and get on the long road back to Charlotte. The decision sat between going to see some photography exhibit or going to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Wonderland, one of Janine’s favorite local bars. As we were walking home we just so happened to pass by that very bar. You can guess what we chose to do.

We sat down in Wonderland and ordered two 007s, a special the bar was offering for its birthday celebration. It is basically a pint of Grey Goose Mandarin, and a splash of orange juice and soda. Absolutely delicious, and they were only five bucks a pop.

007 and J9's silly putty giraffe

007 and J9's silly putty giraffe


Silly Putty Sex

Silly Putty Sex


j9 and cockblockin' bobby

j9 and cockblockin' bobby


We sat at the bar drinking these delicious cocktails and playing with the silly putty Janine always carries around in her purse for such occasions. It makes a great icebreaker. We did meet a very cute music teacher named John (who somehow escaped before we got him into Janine’s queue) but got cockblocked by a lovely gay man whose name I think was Bobby, but honestly I have no idea. We flirted well, as Janine and I tend to do, but after our hours of denying the progression of the minute hand and knowing I would likely be making a seven hour drive drunk, I sadly had to go. Against Janine’s protests for me to stay another day, or just move into her sunroom, we made our way back into the hundred degree heat, away from the icy cold beverages, and towards Janine’s place. We chatted as we walked, recounting stories of the weekend, expressing regret at our failed queue mission, and complaining about the heat when we arrived at the corner of Newton and Otis. I stopped. Staring at the empty space where my car had been just the night before, words stuck in my throat like horse pills. “Janine? Where is my car?” Diligently checking the No Parking signs to be sure it hadn’t been towed we called the number just to be sure. Nothing. As I stood there confused and internally frenetic, Janine calmly suggested we go inside and call the police. I would not be going anywhere that Sunday afternoon.

About thirty minutes later a very young, very blonde, very clean cut police officer knocked on the door: Officer Brian. He rolled through the standard questions with a glint in his voice suggesting my drunk ass had simply forgotten where it was parked. Sure Janine and I were taking shots right in front of him, and sure we had just come from a bar, but that doesn’t make me an idiot! OK, well maybe I do idiotic things relatively frequently, OKOK, I do them all the time, but this was NOT one of them! As we went over the details, license plate, VIN number, Janine poured a round of shots of the Croatian rubbing alcohol known as šljivovica. Despite Janine’s numerous protests, Officer Brian declined politely and suggested we scan the neighborhood in his cruiser. The three of us got into his car and slowly made our way through the streets of Columbia Heights. After pointing out a heroin den that they hadn’t yet been able to bust and a few cars he expected had been stolen, we returned to Janine’s empty handed. Overwhelmed by the amount of shit that had been accumulating in my life, I called my mom, told her I would be unable to meet her and Janine and I headed back to the bar in the late afternoon. As cool as Officer Brian appeared to be, he refused to give us a lift. Lame.

Regaling the bartender and the few straggling patrons with tales of my lost car and our weekend, Janine and I settled in for a long day of consumption. I honestly wish I could provide you with more detail of the afternoon and evening following the thievery of my vehicle, however, for obvious reasons, I cannot. Though it would have been completely possible for me to catch a flight back to Charlotte that day and be back for work on Monday morning, I executively decided that getting my car stolen was as good a reason as any to miss work, and settled on flying out the next day. Or so I thought. As such, Janine and I got completely obliterated at Wonderland that night. We later discovered that her narcolepsy had led to her passing out on the bar and I was texting both Highway Jacob and Nashville Drummer simulataneously while the bar sprayed champagne sticky over the faces in the crowd in celebration of their fifth birthday. I am also relatively positive I was dancing like a maniac (the best kind of dancing). From what I remember, it was a great night.

Motorboating Janine's cross-dressing friend Brian on his last day of work

Motorboating Janine's cross-dressing friend Brian on his last day of work


At who knows what time Janine and I stumbled back to her place and passed out. At some unholy hour, Janine started to get ready for work. The reality of what had happened was sinking in like a sunburn and I groggily pulled myself from the bed. Iva had agreed to drive me out to BWI for the flight which I had yet to book and I was glad to get to see her one last time before her grand departure to the West Coast. I hopped on to Kayak.com, searched for one-way flights and was relieved to see it was only eighty-five bucks. Iva and I stopped to get a smoothie, and spoke of the way life changes as we sped down 95 North towards the airport. As we approached the departure zone the same feeling I had felt on Sunday, getting ready to make the seven hour drive back, began to seep into me slowly like booze, except in a bad way. I gave Iva a hug and headed into the terminal.

As I swiped my card into the ever-so-convenient kiosk nothing came up. I tried once more. Still nothing. Slightly frustrated I turned to the stern-looking blonde woman that looked as though she had been born a bigger cunt than the one she came out of, and asked for assistance. She obnoxiously typed (yes, you can type obnoxiously and you know what I am talking about) into her terminal and still nothing came up. I pulled the confirmation number from my blackberry and with an annoyed, smug, and tight little smile on her face told me that my ticket had been booked for two weeks from today. “What? Fuck. Seriously? Is there anything you can do?” I pleaded. “I am so so so sorry, my car was stolen and I am supposed to be at work and I bought the ticket as I ran out the door on my way here, please, is there any way you can help me? Any other flight today you can put me on?” The woman looked at me disapprovingly and informed me that the 1:55 PM flight today (the one I believed for which I had purchased a ticket) had only first class seats available. I did not even bother asking the price. She proceeded to inform me that the next flight would be about $600 and tomorrow about $350. Fuck me. Like I have $350. My fucking car just got stolen, and it’s not like I had full coverage on that bitch, I mean it was g-o-n-e gone. When I asked the woman at the counter one more time if there was any way she could squeeze me onto a flight today and waive the charge she replied cooler than a knife and without an apology, “No.” Amtrak it is.

Laughing to stop from crying I called Iva and asked her to come back to BWI to pick me up. I shook my head in disbelief at my own absurd stupidity, slumped down onto my suitcase, and smoked a much-needed cigarette. It was Monday afternoon at about noon and already having missed one day of work only two weeks after missing two due to the debacle that was my Chicago trip, I needed to get back immediately. I called Amtrak and frustratingly navigated my way through the familiar sterility of their voice command program. From my frequent travels to DC I already knew there were only two trains out to Charlotte each day, the last one leaving around seven. What do you know? It was sold out. Of COURSE it was fucking sold out. The train actually having one seat that I might get back to Charlotte and manage somehow to not lose my job would be much too easy. Well, it is what it is. I reluctantly emailed my boss explaining what a fucking idiot I am, and found a bit of joy in the fact that I got to spend one more day with my closest friends. If I was going to be stuck in a city missing work, this was a damn fine place in which to do it.

Two of the guys who had thrown the party the night before, Jesse and Cole, were in a band called Exactly. Having never heard their music before, they invited Iva and Barbara out to dinner that night with the idea that if they listened to their album for the first time on a full stomach, it was less likely they would be disappointed. Keep in mind that this is a band that wears tighty whities and covers themselves in fake blood at their shows. Or so I have heard. Based on that we weren’t quite sure what to expect. Trapped in DC for one more night I was lucky enough to be included in this little experiment. We headed into the city and met the boys at their house in Columbia Heights, smoking a cigarette on the front stoop in the night air, thick and mosquito-filled as a Louisiana swamp. After a few minutes the five of us piled into Jesse’s car and headed downtown for a delicious dinner at Marvin’s, known for its famous fried chicken and waffles. Covered in syrup and served with a side of collard greens, I savored every bite of the unexpectedly complimentary dish. After the delectable dinner, for which the boys chivalrously paid, we headed back to their house and prepared to listen to the now much-hyped band. They played two songs. The first, a studio cut, sounded a lot like the synth pop band Phoenix, and the second, completely different, very raw, somewhat dark, but also intriguing. I am not exactly I have words to describe nor a similar band to which to compare that second track, but I will say that their plan worked. On a few beers and a full stomach the positive reviews were unanimous.

On the Rooftop

On the Rooftop


We headed up to the same rooftop from the night before with the two very cute boys, drank their famous city punch, and rambled happily through conversation until dawn began its first roll and stretch against the midnight sky. Around four-thirty in the morning I said goodbye to my new friends, bid a final farewell to my dear ones and headed back to Janine’s to sleep before my third attempt at getting home. The following morning, after two frazzled hours in Union Station and ten interminable hours on the crowded train slicing its way through the Virginian and Carolinian countryside, I finally made it home. Ridiculous.

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I got in my car this past Friday morning excited. After a rushed morning getting my oil changed, dropping off a load of stuff at a local charity (which inadvertently included my entire CD collection), cleaning out my car, and filling up my tank, I made the right turn onto I-277 North at exactly 10:48 A.M. I was on my way. You may or may not know this about me, but one of my favorite things in the world is speeding down the highway with some sort of rock music blaring, every single window rolled down, screaming along with the words, my hair tossing and whipping around my face with the constant and powerful wind, on my way to anywhere but here. I absolutely fucking love it. This particular Friday I was driving up to Washington, D.C. (a city which used to be my hometown), and one in which close to all of my dearest friends currently reside. The drive is a relatively long one at somewhere between six and seven hours, but with a beautiful summer day and a long open road, I commenced the journey with a wide contented smile glowing across my face.

After a few hours of 85N unrolling behind me, I was still cruising through relatively dense traffic and making great time. Engrossed in the music and the drive, a green SUV came up from behind me and my periphery caught what looked like two guys climbing wildly back and forth over the seats. Not but a few minutes later, after weaving in and out through some slower cars, the same SUV pulled up beside me again. This time they slowed to match my pace and as we cruised even-necked in the adjacent lanes the driver held a torn piece of paper up to his window, which distinctly said “I think I love you” in quickly scratched pen. Unable to help myself I laughed out loud, smiled at the cute, twenty-something boys and pressed my bare foot to the gas pedal. After about another hour, as I approached I-40, my obviously bored admirers in the green trailblazer pulled up beside me once again. This time the piece of paper had just ten digits on it. I entered them curiously and tentatively into my phone, my thumb hovering over the little green phone on the send button. Then I pressed it.

On the other end of the line was a bristly British accent and I looked over at his car, still keeping pace with mine. Jacob’s scruffy bearded face and coy glance caught my eye through his dark rimmed glasses. He was very cute. After a moment of somewhat awkward chatting with someone about whom I knew absolutely nothing, Jacob informed me that I was beautiful and he planned on reminding me of this every single day. For the record, one week later, he has held to his word. Unshowered and wearing sunglasses, I scoffed at the remark, but seriously, what girl doesn’t want to be hear that she is beautiful every single day? After several hours of texting the question game with Jacob (what’s your favorite color? where’s your favorite place in the world?) I had arrived. I picked up Janine from work and the start of what would prove to be one of the most ridiculous weekends began.

Friday night was sublime. Janine and I went to a goodbye party for two of our very dear friends, Marina and Iva, who happen to be sisters, one moving to L.A., and the other to Korea. After a few hours of drinks at Marie’s place in Adam’s Morgan, Janine and I decided to head out solo. Unfortunately, the two of us were beyond inebriated and the next morning we struggled both to find Janine’s wallet as well as to remember where we possibly could have lost it. We definitely went to Tom Tom, and then to Madam’s Organ. Did we take a cab home? The Metro? Did we walk? The paucity of answers and plethora of questions was something we decided to ignore as we walked to brunch in the stifling heat the following morning. With Janine’s roommate Christopher in tow, we strayed from our usual bottomless mimosa brunch at Red Rocks and went headed to the Heights instead. I will save the details of that delectable meal for the brunch blog, but I will say that there is a story to be told there. After an hour or so of epicurean delight at the Heights, we headed on to the Brightest Young Things weekly hipster pool party at the Capitol Skyline Hotel.

Road to the Capitol Skyline Hotel

Road to the Capitol Skyline Hotel


Now, I know what you may be thinking: what the fuck are the Brightest Young Things, and who are these hipsters I keep hearing about? To be honest, I don’t have an answer. All I know is that hipsters think they are cooler than everyone who is not a hipster, and like to remind themselves of that by starting random websites that celebrate their elite hipster status. That being said, they throw one hell of a pool party. I will refrain from offering any further commentary on the events that transpired on that crowded pool deck in that random hotel overlooking the capitol building, except to say that they were selling Long Islands for five bucks, and the theme of the week was karaoke.

Craaaaazy!

Craaaaazy!


Sunflowery Janine

Sunflowery Janine


Karaoke Madness

Karaoke Madness


Random Daniel

Random Daniel


Winding Down

Winding Down


The End.

The End.

As the afternoon waned to crepuscular, the party wound down like an old watch, and as the obstreperous hipsters filtered out of the now shaded and desolate terrace, we made our way home as well. After drinking from somewhere around noon to six in the summer sun, the three of us were exhausted. That being said, Janine is a narcoleptic, and I, an insomniac, so as I watched her sleep peacefully on the couch, I found no such rest of my own. Around eleven, after several hours of half-resting/half-texting Iva informed me of a hipster party (damn hipsters) in Janine’s neighborhood. Thrilled at the chance to hang out with anyone who was conscious, I showered, put on my favorite yellow dress, and tried to wake Janine, but surrendered my protests against her seemingly lifeless body. I made the long and sketchy walk to the party solo.

I met Iva outside of the house in Columbia Heights and we entered the boisterous soiree, overwhelmed with interesting characters that spilled down the stairs and out onto the driveway. Still struggling to recover from the BYT pool party, I nursed a cup of ice water trying to feel good enough to start drinking again. What? It’s not alcoholism, it’s dedication! This was Iva’s last night before leaving for California and Barbara, (the third of the uncannily beautiful Bijelic sisters) was headed to New York to start law school at Columbia in a week. As such, despite my shaking hands and utter exhaustion, I powered through and managed to make the switch from water to Nattie Light. Considering it’s about as close to water as beer can get, I took a bit of comfort in the idea that I was rehydrating. After a few hours and five or six noise complaints, the cops shut the party down and a select few of us headed up to the rooftop to drink and laugh in the hot summer night with the city watching over us. There is nothing like a city rooftop on dirty summer night. At around four in the morning, sleepy and satiated, I and two-thirds of the Bijelic clan called it a night. Little did I know before the dawn on Sunday morning that my weekend had only just begun.

I arrived at the Silversmith around four in the morning and instantly collapsed into the mattress. With barely any sleep the night before, and a day full of walking and drinking, I was not prepared to get up before noon. Unfortunately, check-out time was at noon and there was a lot I wanted to do before my 7 PM flight departed from O’Hare. Struggling against everything my body was telling me, I pulled myself out of bed around 9:30 and went straight for the room service menu. The first time Scott and I went to Las Vegas, we started a tradition of ordering the most extravagant breakfast at any and every hotel. From New York to Austin to Charleston, we lounged in luxurious robes and made our way through bagels, muffins, eggs, fruit, toast, bacon, sausage, coffee, and, of course, mimosas. I think those uncomplicated mornings, reading the Times in bed, indulging our epicurean sensibilities, were the best times we spent together. Despite the flash of maudlin sentimentality, I was ravenous and hungover enough to need to continue drinking immediately. I placed my order for the feast, took a shower, and relaxed into my robe letting the white terry engulf me.

It was another brilliant Chicago summer day and after polishing off most of my lavish spread, and all of the champagne, I checked out, checked my bag at the front desk, and headed out to the Art Institute. Still in the midst of the month-long trance I fall into whenever I find a new album to love, I threw on a little Vampire Weekend to brighten my steps. Walking past Millenium Park, I can’t help but to stop at Anish Kapoor’s steel jelly bean one last time. Children laid on the ground, giggling at their distorted reflections, and adults looked up in wonder at what could have been a portal to another dimension. Or maybe I was the only one pretending that, but whatever. You gotta have some imagination. Knowing the minutes I had left in Chicago were limited, I made my way through the Art Institute’s garden and up the stairs to the imposing façade.

Interdimensional portal? Or giant jelly bean?

Interdimensional portal? Or giant jelly bean?

Music in the Garden

Music in the Garden


Tickets into the museum were $18 and while it was a bit steep, I have always had a weakness for losing my thoughts in the quick, purposeful strokes of the great impressionists. I do so love contemporary art as well (some of it, anyway) but I have always been so moved by the enduring classic. I wandered through the halls, cogitating about the development, the evolution of technique and style. There is a certain peace in a museum, being surrounded my so much beauty and so much time. I guess I just like beautiful things.

Ahh...Monet

Ahh...Monet

Temporary installation in the contemporary wing - I snuck a photo

Temporary installation in the contemporary wing - I snuck a photo

Boring Orgy?

Boring Orgy?

Van Gogh Drunkards!

Van Gogh Drunkards!


After a few hours of wandering the great halls, around three o’clock or so, I realized how little time I had before I needed to get to the airport and was still intent on taking an architecture cruise down the Chicago River. My random companion from the night before had been texting me periodic complaints regarding the severity of his hangover, and jumped at the chance to ditch the office and take the river cruise with me. That was the plan, but there was one thing I first had to take care of. I made my way from the museum up Michigan Avenue, just like I had the night before, but the city was a different beast during the day. The streets were swallowed in suits and tourists, speckled with stand-outs. Art I hadn’t noticed the night before popped from the sidewalk, and in proper tourist fashion, I stopped to take pictures of any and everything that caught my eye.

didgeridoo!

didgeridoo!

Sunset on the River

Sunset on the River


The champagne had started to wear off and despite the fact that I was carrying a bottle of wine in my purse (I couldn’t very well just throw it away, could I?) I opted to get some water and finished the bottle before I even made it to Scott’s hotel. I arrived, exhausted and half-asleep, and sat down dirty in the swanky lobby to the displeasure of the hotel staff. OK, they weren’t immediately displeased, but when Scott still hadn’t arrived for twenty minutes and I my head slowly started to nod off, periodically snapping back up, I think it’s fair to say they were getting a bit peeved. He finally showed up only to let me know he had but a moment to talk. Though I wanted to apologize for whatever it was that happened last night, the overwhelming urge to nap overpowered any sense of courtesy or regret. He begrudgingly agreed to let me sleep in his room while he was at his conference and moments later I was in his hotel bed, alone.

After an hour or so of napping and crying my phone began to vibrate. Mike was ready to meet me for the cruise. I was not. I didn’t have the balls to tell him why I couldn’t go, so I ignored the message, and slept as long as I could in hopes that I might awaken somewhere else. Needless to say, I did not, and the realizations, both that I would likely never see Scott again and that I probably wouldn’t make my flight, struck me simultaneously. I got my shit together and sat down to write my final goodbyes. I know, melodrama is my forte. As I wrote the words, sobs heaved from my chest, unable to reconcile what I wanted with the reality that was facing me. Tears hit the tiny hotel notepad like some bullshit Lifetime movie cliché and I signed the letter and left.

As I exited the hotel, rain began to drown the city and people scrambled to catch cabs or find shelter. I was already behind on time and I grabbed a taxi to zip me back to the hotel and on to the airport. When we arrived at the Silversmith so I could pick up my suitcase, the cabbie informed me that a ride to the airport in the rain at 5 P.M. on a weekday could easily take longer than the subway. I conceded against my strong desire to spend the next hour in the quiet comfort of the backseat of his taxi and headed out in to the rain to catch the blue line. Still hungover and starved for a lack of food since my decadent breakfast, I made my way through the turnstile and on to the train. I had $3 left in my pocket after buying a lunchable and collapsed in the corner seat as the train pulled itself down the track towards O’Hare.

We arrived some forty-five minutes later, and confused I looked around trying to figure out the right way to go. After conspicuously taking off in the opposite direction of the rest of the passengers, I stopped mid-stride, made an about-face and sunk into the flow of the masses. My flight was departing in fifty minutes and I walked as fast as I could, my bag awkwardly bumping against me until I finally reached the Northwest counter. Dutifully swiping my credit card for identification, I was informed that my flight had already departed. Utterly confused, I checked my blackberry which confirmed my 7:05 P.M. departure. Unfortunately, what I did not realize, and what the attendant at the counter would shortly point out, is that my assistant had entered the flight into my calendar in Eastern Time, for some inexplicable reason. She then proceeded to inform me that the next flight back to Charlotte would not be departing until tomorrow morning at seven, but that she was kindly going to wave the $150 change fee. So, stranded in Chicago with no hotel and no money, I called the only person I knew in Chicago: Scott.

I will spare you the arduous details, but after more than an hour of travel back downtown I made it back to the Park Hyatt, freshened up in the lobby bathroom and headed back up to the bar to wait for Scott to get out of his conference. Somewhere close to three hours had passed, and five or six Hendrick’s and tonics deep, I had struck a rapport with about half of the bartending staff. There was the perky and garrulous Ashley, the pedantic Pollock, Robert, as well as several other patrons who were convinced I had been stood up, and were treating me to pity cocktails. By the time Scott arrived, I was hammered, he was in a shitty mood, and in typical fashion, we quickly turned to pejorative snapping. We brought our bitter comments up to the room and attempted to sleep, but seeing the man I loved, who once held me each night and each morning, awkwardly perched on the inadequate windowsill cushion, I knew I couldn’t stay there. In a predictable fit of tears, I left the hotel, and Scott, for good.

Back at the airport and sobering up, I decided to make use of the bottle of wine I had been lugging around all day. O’Hare was basically deserted, save for a friendly redneck with a gut that stretched from his hips to his chest in a landscape of long-forgotten beers, and a young Spanish-speaking couple trying to find rest in a row of five steel chairs. The redneck, Dave, and I headed outside to smoke a cigarette and bitched about airports and traveling and whatever other thing two random people with nothing in common but nicotine might chat about in an empty airport at one in the morning. At the moment I was about to give in and attempt sleep in the fluorescent terminal, I got a text from random Mike: “at a bar 20 minutes down the blue line. free beer. come out.” Sold. I dragged my ass back on the train and headed out with the firm intentions of drinking till four and making it back in plenty of time to catch my flight at seven. Of course, in the shitstorm that is my life, nothing ever goes to plan. Twenty-five years of this and I have learned to take it in stride. Mike and his roommate and I went out, took shots, played shuffleboard and danced until I don’t remember when. What I do remember is groggily lifting my head and opening my eyes from a couch in a random apartment of a random dude I met in a random city not twenty-four hours ago. And I had already missed my flight. Good decision making, Taylor. In a mess of muttering expletives I got my bags together, found my shoes, and headed back for my last ride on the blue line. It was almost ten when I got to the airport and the next eight hours were nothing but a blur of late flights, running for connections, and sleeping in any and everything that had a seat. At six that evening, I opened the door to my apartment and collapsed on the couch, only to be up and at the bar by eleven that night. Such is the story of my life.