Saturday night, yes, was ridiculous. Dinah and I had no business being out late at night with a heart-sore single girl. Following her through the shuffling deck of bars, one shabbier, more uncomfortable, and therefore inversely cooler than the last. This is what one does in the Mile End. I used to despise this irritating exercise when I followed Red through that hazy maze five years ago. I remember one night being so irritated because we had been to about six bars and I had managed to consume maybe one drink combined through all of them, and these places were not close together. Just endlessly trudging through miles of Mile End, in search of some sort of experience that was never quite good enough for stuck up scenesters.
How hard is it to impress hipsters? Running from bar full of good looking people to bar full of good-looking people like we are trying to find Shangri-la, hoping that one perfect combination of hand stamps will finally offer us ingress.
So I’ve been around this block before, that and the four others between this bar and that bar and that other bar because this one’s dead anyway.
We looked hot as hell though, and that’s important.
First bar. I used to go here when it had a different name, it was hip then too but scruffier of décor. Dinah and I are way over-dressed, drawing lazy glances from hipster men and dagger-eyes from the casually trendy hipsteresses.
Dinah is completely taken aback by the sheer number of beards in the room. There was enough facial hair in that tiny bar to knit a fairly ugly rug. I had to explain to her that steadily and without remark, beards have been coming back in a big way over the year and more she has been home with her twins.
Feeling a bit out of place with all these folks seeming to live and breathe their scene, or at least to accept the latent contradictions of hipster culture, yet it feels good to dust off our dancing shoes and join in the party for a moment.
Invite over a table of guys with beards, in the hope that we might scare up a little fun. Turns out beardies were French-speaking so misunderstandings abound. It was overly loud in there and shrilly shouting in a second language is so not a little fun. (Here I use that typical too-old-for-this line, were bars always this loud? Yes.) Have to make a speedy and awkward exit after I explode the situation with my ridiculousness. How do I do this you ask? I suggest a game of spin the bottle. Vibes immediately get weird and we bolt onto the Saturday night street.
Second bar. I’ve been to this one back when they let you illegally smoke inside. It is much as I remember it, now with more scenesters. Dinah and I are in full friendly mode. We have reached that pristine peak where conversation just flows and everything vibes. We are brilliant, we are beautiful, we are cracking each other up. This is where we meet the man we decide Laura has to date. A random choice that once decided, becomes terribly important to Dinah and I. Drunk.
Third bar is a mistake. I become annoyed that we have found ourselves in a third location and still not the whisper of a dance floor has presented itself. There is a level of drunkenness past which I must either be poured onto a dance floor or distilled into a karaoke stage, with serious consequence for he who crosses me. I aint proud of it, but that’s me when way too much alcohol happens.
This is where a good night goes to get stupid.
Fourth bar is my fault. I want to dance and demand I be taken to a dance floor even if there are only a few minutes left to wiggle my butt around it. Wiggle I eventually do, for one song and a half, as the night continues to unravel around me. At least there is a place to grab some food near by. Traipsing home at four in the morning is another thing we haven’t done for a while.
The hangovers were legendary. I stopped over all day with Dinah’s family as I nursed my bruised ego and sore head. After finding out how the other half lives, and how the other, other half lives, I am excited to return to my own awesome life. I guess we have to do these things occasionally to remind ourselves why we don’t do them anymore.
(See how we did used to do these things?)