1:17 a.m.— While eating my hot dog, the glow of incandescent lights hung from the treetops and blurred as I passed the crowds heading for home. I was nearing Howes Street and I still couldn’t find my car.
My wallet was empty. I needed to pee. It was cold, so very cold.
That was Friday night in Old Town — or, rather, Saturday morning — and, by all accounts, the night was a success.
My mission was simple: enjoy the night, no matter what happens. I started the night with $18.90 in my checking account.
10:20 p.m. — I left my apartment ready to take on the night, like most weekends — let the shenanigans begin.
Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be that night, or maybe I’m starting to grow up, but I couldn’t handle the usual hot spots, like Trailhead, Bondi, Yeti, Rec Room, Lucky Joe’s, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, these bars are great. I have fond, half-conscious memories of debauchery and hooliganism rooted in these very places. Sometimes, tequila does make your clothes fall off, but I wouldn’t know. *cough* *cough*
But Friday just wasn’t one of those nights.
10:38 p.m. — I was standing in line to get into Lucky Joe’s for 20 or 30 minutes, nothing out of the ordinary; that wasn’t the problem.
The problem was the amount of people inside. With everyone bumping into each other, I feel like more beer ends up on the floor and on my shirt than in my stomach.
And conversation was impossible. I’m not a loud person: some say I’m docile by nature. No one could hear a word I spoke. They just nodded and smiled.
I left within the hour. It was all too much. I didn’t even get a drink.
11:14 p.m. — I needed a drink, like really badly. I was trying to have fun and it was a lot more work than it should’ve been.
I took off from the friends I met in the Square and ventured away on my own, eventually finding myself at Elliot’s Martini Bar. It’s not my typical kind of place, but I went with it.
It was quiet and dimly lit. It’s a small space, but it was far from the shoulder-to-shoulder atmosphere I had just left. While I waited for a friend, I grabbed a quick drink, bartender’s choice. He made me a “Winnie-the-Pooh-is-a-Drunk,” with bourbon, honey and fresh lemon. It was delicious.
But as great as that drink was, I won’t be stopping back soon. I love the place, not the price.
The drink was $7, and I tipped an extra buck, almost cutting my nightly budget in half. I’m all for trying new places and exploring Old Town, but I’m a graduating senior so quantity over quality. That’s why I love Sam’s Club.
11:35 p.m. — When my friend arrived, we headed to Pour Brothers, another fairly small bar I’ve never been to and grabbed a pint (I got New Belgium’s Snapshot and she had Dry Dock Brewing’s Apricot Blonde).
It felt like the set of a sitcom. I can’t explain why, but as I was drinking, I thought about how if I had a problem, I would come here. Not necessarily to drink, but because I was getting that weird TV, everything’s-going-to-be-okay vibe.
12:48 p.m. — We nursed our beers, costing $10 total including tip, and chatted for an hour before heading out. I bought her a beer, so she returned the favor by getting me a hot dog.
Now, a hot dog doesn’t sound good when you’re sober in the middle of the afternoon as you stand in line at a gas station to pay for your tank. But there’s something about a hot dog after midnight, when you’re just tipsy enough, that’s perfect.
1:18 a.m. — That hit the spot. It’s time to go home.
1:24 a.m. — Where the f*** is my car? I’m not even drunk.
1:33 a.m. — There it is.
The Morning After
9:30 a.m. — Like all good nights, it’s more about reminiscing the morning after than experiencing the actual night.
I didn’t get my night of debauchery, as I expected. There are other weekends and nights for that.
But that doesn’t mean my mission was unsuccessful. I found friends (new and old), tried new drinks and places, lost and found my car, ate a glorious hot dog, managed to keep 90 cents in my checking account and got home safe. But, above all, I enjoyed the night.