A winter night at a bar called Nye's.
I went with two other girls. We were getting older.
We sat in a sparkly booth. The waitress brought our drinks.
I remember we all ordered big ones. They came with red straws.
and we reminisced about Italy, where we'd been a year ago, for as many months.
But when I think back, we didn't talk that much. We didn't stare.
Then there was a night at a bar called Lyle's. On the corner of Hennepin and Franklin.
It was a depressing place, so I avoided it. The drinking was flagrant. Like: we're here to drink--the company is secondary. The pursuit of joy? Hah.
I sat with my two roommates. L- and A-. But that's not right. We weren't just roommates. We'd known one another since the beginning of college and through the first post-graduation haze, and we were together, living in an apartment in uptown, close as sisters.
We ordered a pitcher of beer and I said: what if we drank less? L- and A- didn't seem to think there was a problem, something to correct. Maybe there wasn't for them. Maybe I was over-thinking. The age old problem, the perceiver and the perceived.
We moved on to the Country Bar, on Lyndale and Lake. We were drowned out by the music and voices—but not quite. We knew how to be heard. L- said, I had sex with a woman. A- looked at the man singing karaoke, smiled at him. L- said it again. A- said, I heard you, I'm just not going to give you the response you're looking for. L- rolled her eyes and said, you need to try it. A- choked on her drink. We all cracked up.
I felt so loved, so loving. We were in a perfect triangle.
Once, when I was twenty-one, living with L- in a duplex between the University and Surdyk's, it snowed so much the traffic was frozen. Cars stayed parked, snowed-in, or inched along behind the plows. I finished my shift in the cheese shop and walked through the liquor store. I looked at the Italian wines. I made small talk with a new stock boy. He was nice, smart enough, but not as smart as he thought he was—-he was like me in that way. I bought a case of Summit Winter Ale, put on my headphones, zipped up my coat and made my way towards home.
I remember what was so great about those snowfalls was you could walk in the middle of the street.
Radiohead's KID A was playing in my ears. The fourth track. I played it over and over. I carried the case of beer on top of my head, like I was a woman in Africa. I felt connected and disconnected, to everyone and everything, like I often did at that time.
One morning, not the next morning, but a similar morning, with similar weather conditions, a similar landscape — I walked to work with Adam. We had stayed up all night talking, playing songs on repeat, drinking the sample bottles of wine and maybe he drank whiskey. I can't remember. We didn't stay up all night. We did sleep. Perhaps for an hour. Then we got on our scarves and coats and walked back to Surdyk's. It was 7:15 and we were both scheduled that morning. The snow was heavy, thick with water and crunched under our boots when we stepped.
"this is the most beautiful thing we've ever created "