Tonight’s beginning was intensely convivial: I rode along with two old friends to the Tiny Tap Tavern on Morrison & Howard and had a couple of $4(!) pitchers of beer, an actually-audible conversation with my companions and perhaps most importantly, pitchers of beer that cost four U.S. dollars.
Afterwards, feeling pretty good about the night and our chances of happy and fulfilling lives so far, we made our way as planned a few blocks north on foot to MacDinton’s Irish Pub a/k/a MacDiesel’s a/k/a MacD’s a/k/a the place my uncle knocked up that Auburn girl. It was unremarkable, except to say it was remarkably decent and that I was almost bodily involved in a Seinfeldian conflict — a fight about nothing.
After a couple of hours of thinking long and hard about who I am, realizing just why certain types of white folks are feared and reviled in some circles and why a bottle of Bud Light should cost $5, I said my goodbyes and sauntered my way back down to the Tap about an hour or so before last call. I had an actual, feeling conversation with a bartender who remembered me, met for the first time a chef from Bern’s I’m pretty sure I had met there several times before and listened/sang along/bopped to five or six Michael Jackson songs with a young lady on the eve of her 28th birthday and a couple of her charmingly wasted associates.
When 3 o’clock rolled around I thought about cabbing home but ultimately settled on walking. About a third of the way down Morrison I took my shoes off because my feet were killing me. It was 70 degrees out, give or take, and the dense canopy of oak trees couldn’t have been more arboreal. A guy and, I’m guessing, his girlfriend drunkdrove past me blasting a finally-forgotten Billy Joel song, then stopped half a block ahead of me and asked if I needed a ride. I told him I was practically already home.
As I settled into bed and that car wrapped itself around a quaint Hyde Park gaslight, I thought to myself:
Welcome to the Trampa Bay Times.