mostly probably

the last things

Summoning enough self-discipline to climb back out of the warm bed and take an Advil. I don't drink much these days. Three cocktails could prove disastrous in the morning if I don't take precautionary measures.

Then back to the warm bed, where I make him watch a YouTube video of some insane South African dude introducing a pair of kittens to a couple of (fenced off) tigers. The tigers chuff and pace and yowl, curiously sniffing the kittens through the wire. You have to wonder if deep inside these distant cousins is some ping of recognition. Oh, you're sort of like me. Only much, much stronger. 

Or if the kittens would just be so many snacks. The strong can't be expected to be merciful, just for the sake of the weak. The strong have to eat, too.

The vodka, not content with soaking my liver, decides to poke around the glass menagerie of my emotions. I know better than to open my mouth and say what I'm thinking, but I do it anyway. Fears tumble out, bald and ugly. What are we doing, where are we going, what if, what about, blah blah blah. He catches them, setting them down gently on the ground before they can crash and shatter.

It is what it is. It's mostly wonderful. It's probably okay.

the middle things

A second round of drinks at The Stocking Frame. A pizza. Some pasta. Kenny and Alfie on one side of the high top table, Timo and I on the other. I didn't think he was going to make it. Long, bad day at work, which is far across town anyway. But he made it happen, and when he walked in my back was to him, and Kenny's "There he is!" is so delightfully familiar, so genuinely delighted, that I'm treated to that incredible feeling that happens when you get to be simultaneously in the company of the One You Love and the ones you love, and everyone has come to be happily knit together. I feel spoiled.

It's so good to be with these three men, and despite my own long, bad day, I feel myself glowing with liquor and laughter. Equal parts sharing. Everyone has something to say. My history with these friends easily mapping onto new territory with Timo.

We head to the show, The Fratellis at Belasco. Drinks are on me. Tipsy, I tip heavily. Bartender counts the cash, frowns, asks me if I'm sure. I wave gallantly. I'm so rich tonight.

Upstairs just to show Timo the venue, but when a waitress tries to upsell us on getting a table, we spontaneously accept. We'd wanted one anyway, because we wanted to sit down. We're kind of fucking old. We chat and joke through a forgettable opening act. A mildly illicit Kenny-Ellie memory (gay bar, foam party, shirtless dancing) comes up in conversation and I produce my phone. Oh hell yeah I have photos. Kenny sees that I've actually got an entire album of him. He starts sending himself shots he hasn't seen in six, seven years. When I look at one, check the date, and see that our friendship is in fact that old, my heart does a curious thing. Feels less like it grows than it graduates. Why yes, I have managed to keep this awesome friend in my life that long. Achievement unlocked.

The show is terrible. The arrangements are rushed, the sound tinny. It's no big deal. We're casual fans. We blow the pop stand after a few songs and go for late night Chinese food and the most delicious passionfruit cider in the world. Alfie is a regular here, and they keep the kitchen open late just to accommodate us. Noodles and dumplings, spice and heat and salt. Peking Tavern, still one of my downtown favorites.

the first things

I am in an Uber, on my way to meet my friends and my boyfriend. Hair up, bangs down. Jeans, white sneakers with silver satin shoestrings, and my favorite red lip gloss. Work day behind me. Nothing to be ashamed of, little to be afraid of. Los Angeles leaning into another cold spring night. Stars and stars, oh my stars.

I will never tire of this.