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That Funky Monkey

The weeks in DC just seem to fly by. No sooner do I get up for work on Monday than it seems I’m leaving the office on Friday. For the most part though, my days contain good memories, or at least vivid ones and that’s really what I look for at the moment.

This past week was hectic at work, with yet more fallout from the abrupt departure of a colleague, but it’s starting to settle a bit. The big craziness was wondering about whether there would be a government shutdown this week. After everyone freaking out about it non-stop, the whole thing fizzled and it’s business as usual today. I had a chance to catch up with Clara (whom I know from back in Seattle) on Wednesday and went to her house for a party on Friday. I like Clara and her friends, they are very down to Earth and passionate about important things in a way that I find intriguing, if difficult to emulate. I didn’t stay too late though because I planned to meet Carolyn and Corinne in the morning to go the Cherry Blossom parade.

Though not a fan of waking up early on Saturdays, I managed to crawl out of bed and drag myself to Carolyn’s apartment by a quarter to ten. I couldn’t get a hold of either of the girls and no one answered when I knocked, so I thought perhaps they had already left and decided to go meet them at the parade. The parade was fun, although the weather was not the best. While I stood there, I tried calling Corinne again, and only moments later received a text from Carolyn revealing that neither girl was there and they had decided to not come and sleep in since it looked like rain. Unfortunately for my own sleep cycle, Carolyn had forgotten to inform me. With a rueful grin and a shrug, I went back to enjoying the blossoms and the rest of the parade before walking to the grocery store and heading home. I spent the rest of the day relaxing and speaking with a couple of friends on the phone before it was time to get ready to go out.

Originally I had planned to have a pregame get-together at my place before heading out. But between so many of my friends being out of town or studying or otherwise occupied and the latest expansion to the people I know still being very new, I was fine with postponing it for a few weeks. Instead my plan was to tag along with Beth again, joining her and her colleagues for the night but with the bonus of already having met them. I walked over to Beth and Carolyn’s apartment for the second time that day as the night slowly came to life around me. I do like going into their building. It’s fancier than mine and yet stands in a much more relaxed environment, part of the whole gentrifying trend in the city. When I arrived, Beth was still getting ready (she tends to run a little behind, but so consistently that it’s easy to allow for), while Carolyn worked on the paper for class she was staying behind to work on. Corinne was also there, with a new friend of hers, Brittany, who was new to DC. Amid discussions of southern accents and previous nights out, Beth finished dressing and we all had a few drinks before bidding Carolyn farewell and walking over to Beth’s friend and coworker Lauren’s apartment up near the Adams Morgan area of the city.

We had to wait for Lauren to come down and get the four of us because the people walking into the building right in front of us ignored us when we asked them to hold the door open but Lauren quickly whisked us up to her apartment where along with people I knew such as Allison and Diva, there were a few others sitting at a table drinking wine and chatting. We joined them as they switched to beer and liquor and tried to figure out where to go that night. I rarely have strong opinions about where to go unless I’m planning something and the ever-present dilemma about where to go on a Saturday night entertains if nothing else. While we debated, I played a couple of games of Bananagrams with some of the others (and winning the second round). The game is a bit like Scrabble combined with Spoons or maybe dominoes, but it was fun. Some of the others left to meet other friends, including Corinne and Brittany. Those of us who remained talked still about where to go until eventually talk focused on pump-up music and Beth gave us a preview of some of her dance moves. Near midnight, having made no plan except to just go and see, Beth, Allison, Lauren, Diva, and I headed out the door.

Adams Morgan at midnight on Saturday is anything but dull. With people going in and out of bars, talking, flirting, fighting, and otherwise engaging with others, the sounds of loud club music mingling with the ringing of phones and making the cigarette smoke in the air vibrate, the streets are vibrant. As we walked we discussed options. Allison insisted she must go somewhere where they would have pineapple juice to mix with her vodka and apparently some suggested places don’t have it. We ended up going into a bar called Bourbon, which I’d only been to once before. We trudged up a dark stairway and emerged into a scene so cacophonic and packed with people that it was somehow an effort to either move or stand still. The girls quickly eyed each other and shook their heads, so back down the stairs we went and out past the puzzled bouncer. Adams Morgan is not somewhere I know very well, so I was happy to follow the others to where they agreed the best backup spot was, Brass Monkey. Though not as crowded, quite, as Bourbon, it was very warm inside, igniting our thirst. After the usual ridiculous struggle at the bar to get served (I’m sorry but two bartenders for what must have been thirty waiting people means long waits), I managed to acquire drinks (including pineapple juice) for our crew. Corinne, who had been elsewhere with Brittany texted me and miraculously they found their way to us despite the crowds.

Though repeatedly buffeted by the crowd, we found a corner with some tables where we could put our jackets. There was a little more space there, although not enough to prevent the girls accidentally (maybe) dancing with people behind them, leading to some interesting conversations. There were others there who apparently the girls knew and we followed them up a few stairs to a raised floor in the back of the bar, more of a sitting area really with couches and such but now filled with dancers made conspicuous by lighting and height. Fun though, especially when I noted that some of the odd lighting came from the myriad of phones being used by girls texting around us. It made the sunglasses one guy wore a little more ironic and little less stupid-looking, even though Allison wanted to steal them. We ended up soon going to the upper level of the bar where it was a bit quieter. Beth kept enamoring guys before realizing she didn’t want to while we danced nearby and she used me as a shield between them, much to my continual bewilderment as I kept being pulled by her into new spots. Diva vanished around then, so it was down to Allison, Beth, and I to share a round of shots from the bartender with the worlds shortest memory. Somehow this led to me getting spun around on a stool by Allison, who giggled with glee every time I completed a revolution. Most of the time up there, Allison and Lauren danced with quickly acquired momentary paramours, recalling the first night I met her and our time at Mad Hatter.

Of course the night ended far too early in my opinion, but after playing New York, New York (while the girls did the can-can) the club indicated it was time for us to get out. Outside, the others decided they wanted empanadas again so we walked over to another location of the place we went to last week, while Allison explained why she wouldn’t give a guy her number unless he asked and Brittany, Corinne, and Beth attempted to walk something resembling a straight line. No sooner did we get in the long line for food that the consensus rapidly shifted to preferring pizza. So off to the insane, overcrowded and overpriced pizza place we went. I wasn’t hungry but the others got their greasy slices and eventually we reconvened outside the store, where Beth explained some complicated story involving falling over a table as to why she had a cut on her hand (later she said that was probably a lie). Beth, Corinne, and Brittany took their slices and wandered off home without as much as a goodbye. I wondered if they would be okay but they insisted they would be. It was only the next day I learned that Beth had gotten free cab ride home after walking in the wrong direction for an hour.

Allison, Lauren, and I went back to Lauren’s as we discussed our mutual enjoyment of Settlers of Catan and sat while they ate and explained to me some rather complicated romantic issues. After that, Allison and I left to get cash before hailing (after no little difficulty) taxis to go home. Observing a couple having an argument on the street, Allison promised she’d get involved if it got violent and how women should be treated like goddesses before pouring herself into a cab. I caught one moments later and minutes later sank into bed, pleased with another Saturday night.

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