I wondered aloud to my friend Waffle if the night was going to be another "Baywatch" sort of night as we walked from the Mexican restaurant to the formerly glorious supper club for an after-dinner drink. It was cold and gray out, and finally getting dark.
Many years ago, when Waffle and I had the luxury of youth, time, and barely a dime to our names, we went out on a weeknight with no definite plans in mind. We ended up at a spot we often ended up in, a maritime-themed, somewhat rundown place that always held the promise of strong drinks and occasional mayhem. We sat at the bar, ordered our drinks, and just...sat.
"Baywatch" was on the old TV behind the bar with the closed captioning on, in case we weren't able to discern the predictable plot amidst all the boobage.
And we sat. Silent. And we watched.
And we were perfectly fine with that.
After the supper club, where we ran into a peripheral friend (the one that, on paper, should make us feel insecure about ourselves but for whatever reason doesn't) and scheduled to purposely run into another, less-peripheral and near-and-dear friend, we ventured out again into the cold, unforgiving weather that had me regretting my "no tights" proclamation earlier in the evening, when such decisions still could be made.
One crowded gay bar, a rainbow peace sign stamp on my hand, a few drinks and three cigarettes later, Waffle and I looked at each other with that knowing look.
The one that says, "I think I would have preferred Baywatch."
I hitched a ride out of the cold, now very dark city with the guy I vaguely remember hitching myself to many years ago, when we had the luxury of youth, time, and barely a dime to our names.
Now, finding myself wide awake on the airbed in the den of his mother's condo at a time when, in my 20's, I may have just been getting home, smelling of cheap drinks and cigarettes to stumble into bed, I rub my snoring dog's belly and think,
...there are worse ways to have spent your 42nd birthday.
And I smile.