What's that? It is a Wednesday and you really want to go out? You are feeling stir-crazy and just can't wait for the weekend? Alas, all your friends have real people jobs and wake up at real people hours. What ever should you do?
So I got a phone call the other night from a friend. Technically she was more like an acquaintance at the time, but you can fast-track friendship with one solid evening. She invited me to join her and some of her friends out at a place called Juanita's, a little Mexican joint with a nice big patio in the back and a live band. A place where either a pint of Dos Equis is two bucks or they gave me some freebies. My return business can be expected regardless. Now it is a bit intimidating to meet a bunch of strangers out on your own, but how could I turn down the girl who invites the new kid in town to tag along? Such generosity needs its just reward. It probably didn't hurt that she was also a looker. And it was a Wednesday; the hell else was I going to do on a Wednesday?
It took me a little while to find the place. In my attempts to sound suave and cool on the phone (like the sort of stranger you would want to hang out with) I didn't pay close attention to the name of the bar. All I really had was the block it was on and a vague notion that it might start with a "w". Damn foreign words.
After I found Juanita's, we hung out on the back patio while the band warmed up. I did the rounds making small talk and asking all the socially required introductory questions. Answering my own too, "Why yes, I am actually an unemployed bum who spends most his time on the beach. But have you noticed my sweet tan?" All the while trying to take mental notes in case I meet these folks again. Supposedly associating animals with names helps to remember. Harry the hippopotamus. No, he's too skinny for that. Harry the hippogriff! He sort of looks like Harry Potter minus the glasses too! We will just put aside the not being British bit. Wait, was his name even Harry? Was it Henry? Fuck, that's not going to work.
The band started up and it happily rocked my socks off. They were particularly perfect for that sort of narrow, divy bar feel. With good reason, they called themselves Jordan Igoe and the Shitshow. The lead, Miss Igoe, was a cute chick with an amazing voice. There were a couple of songs where I swear the whole bar quieted up to hear her sing. She had a Beatles shirt on and I briefly contemplated the effectiveness of a pickup line like "Hey! I like the Beatles too! What are the odds?" though I never worked up the nerve. The rest of the band was appropriately classified as a shitshow. There were maybe ten of them with five on stage at any one time. All constantly rotating out with different people singing, different instruments or styles--pretty sure I saw mandolin, but don't quote me on that--and all playing both covers and originals. It was a blast to watch and we stayed there till the bar closed down.
But the night was young, as it always is for nomads and vagabonds like myself. A few of us made off to the nearest gas station and picked up some more beers. Then off to find the water. This is Charleston; you never have to go far. A small hidden beach, the crash of waves, and an almost full moon. I've been to the beach many times since I've been here, but somehow I forgot what she looked like at night… She called and I swam. Surprisingly, I think that was only the second time I've skinny dipped. The last was in the Adriatic and a girl stole my pants. I had to chase her naked through the night. If that sounds sexy, it is because you haven't run naked: free flapping turns painful quick. I think you might be able to pull up a facebook photo where my pants are barely held up and I'm flipping the ole double bird to the world. This time, however, was much less antagonistic. Just me, the moon, the sea, and some strangers catching a glimpse of a second pale moon against the black. I wrote a poem to God. I am under the impression that's all you can do under such circumstances at four in the morning on a Wednesday.
God, I have found you.
In the moonlight.
By the sea.
I have found you.
Not the work of a poet laureate I will admit, but hey, I was drunk at the time.