Red - Column for 1/24

Fond Memories

Well, I booked like hell to meet a friend I hadn't seen in forever, at a gay bar, as it turned out. We're not talking mixed gay and lesbian... no... no... no... I'm distinctly the only female in sight... and, of course, he's late. So then I wished I hadn't trotted across town to get there. The twenty or thirty people standing around the U-shaped bar, look like your basic urban office workers getting a drink after work, except for the total lack of women. That, and the fact the bar is a little seedy, with the dark linoleum floors that are easy to clean and big screens with dance music videos. When I sidled up to the bar the muscular 40ish bartender, wanders over and asks if I meeting someone. I can only guess that the bar doesn't get many female suburbanite office workers.

However, I was there and this is where we were supposed to meet, so I ordered a Chardonnay, tipped well and started disentangling myself from the multiple layers of clothing that winter in the Northeast require. I settled at a table up on what must be the dance floor when the place is hopping. This is an educated guess; there is a disco ball revolving over my head. The Chardonnay was better than I had any reason to expect.

So I sit there sipping the pretty good Chardonnay, telling myself to relax. After all, how often will I have a perfectly legitimate excuse to sit in a gay bar and observe? That, and I didn't used to be like this, I would never have felt the least bit uncomfortable, back in my college days when I danced every weekend with the boys of the Gay and Lesbian Student Union. It's because of those younger, wilder days, with young and wild friends, that I am sitting in a gay bar off P Street, waiting for my old college buddy to show up. The fact that I no longer go dance until the wee hours every weekend, suddenly makes me feel old.

My friend still hasn't shown up and I have to go the bathroom, so I go in search of a bathroom, not being entirely sure that I will find one, or at least one that I'm allowed to use. After all if women never come here, it doesn't make much since to have a bathroom for them. As it turns out there is a single bathroom stall that is designated as for both sexes, however, there is no lock on the bathroom stall. There is a unisex bathroom stall to the left and what I can only presume must be urinals through the door on the right. I found the lack of lock kind of amusing, it can only be to guard against... well... "Boys will be Boys."

After 45 minutes of watching dance music videos, I have finished my Chardonnay, and am ready to give up. My friend obviously got tied up... maybe literally. He always was kind of a flake. I guess I will have to see him on his next trip out here.

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