Dave came to the bar late. He said he was busy doing something till 10 pm on a Friday. Right! He was probably fooling around with that girl again. I already told him she was notorious for being kind of a slut. She wasn’t there to stay. But well, Dave was a sweet guy to begin with. It wasn’t really a surprised that he would get tricked.
“Hey Dave, over here!”
“Hey sorry! I’m late!”
“Dude, you’re late to your own Dbirthday party.”
“You can’t say it’s a party when it’s only me and you!”
“Hey hey, it’s because I’m all here for you! I’m the nicest!”
Dave just smiled before pulling a chair out to sit next to me by the bar. It was the Friday before break and the bar in a college town would normally be empty. So at 11:30pm there were still seats at the bar.
“Dave, ok ok. Choose your poison!”
Dave laughed. He shook his head a little.
“You can choose. Choose for both of us too.”
I turned around to grab my wallet from my purse. I took out my credit card and pushed it towards the bartender.
“Two shots of Grey Goose please and keep the tab open.”
“You don’t have to get me Grey Goose.”
The bartender brought out two shots of Grey Goose and he took my credit card. I gave one of the shots to Dave and lift my own shot up in the air.
“Nah. I said I’m buying you your first legal shot. I’m not being cheap”
Dave smiled and lift his shot in the air too. We clinked our glasses loudly.
I gained my life experience through meeting people and seeing things. There is always a difference between hearing about someone and actually meeting them. People’s energy are different. That energy fuels conversation and conversations warrant liking. I always make a clear distinction between liking a person and liking their works. I was young once and easily impressed. (I’m still easily impressed now) and I idolized people for what they do. There was nothing wrong with that: people made great music, built huge industries and did great things – they deserve the idolization. But I figured that was not how I felt about them. That was how I felt about their works. I did not know who they are as people.
My standard for liking someone is simple – would I like to grab a beer with that person? And would that person be ok with grabbing a beer with me? Not the type that each person holds a glass of wine while standing next to a hors d’oeuvres table, but the type that you sit by the bar and reach out to your bartender to order two beers from the tap. I know there are other ways to have a connection with people, but I was raised on talking it out over alcohol. Where I came from, if you like someone you asked them out for a drink, you talked business over beer and food, and you built life long connections by the table as well. It isn’t about how much you drink but about how you are when your guard is down, when you are your true self. That is how you like a person. And I miss those moments.
With the quarantine going on, I haven’t talked to a new person at a bar or a new person anywhere in general. And I miss that. I missed the random one sentence remarks we said to one another while waiting for the forever-long red light, or at the scoreboard of a sports game. I haven’t realized how much interactions I had with people before I lost them all. And now, since we don’t know how everything will be, especially in NYC where things did not have any sights of going back to normal, I wonder whether or not I should find myself a new way to connect with people. And if I do, I’m not sure how to yet.