I’m not a fan of even numbers, which means odd numbers have been favorable. The only even number that has struck a chord is, oddly, 76. It has come as a surprise that 2013, the year of my 30th birthday, was such a beneficial, successful and eye-opening year. More friends and connections were made, more writing–honest writing–got accomplished, and my new love with improv blossomed. It’s will be a one-year anniversary come January. The first class is chronicled, and I believe some of the second class (if not all of it) is as well. Mentions of the other classes have been incorporated into later posts.
It was safe knowing that there would be friends in Empire, so I could retreat to these groups if distress was to glow brighter. At the bar, a beer was ordered, and I immediately retreated to the safety and security of hanging out with friends. There was delusion around the previous engagement, and I probably should have stayed in retrospect. However, as stated, the feeling about the night wasn’t sitting well. Take Kevin Bacon’s character in A Stir of Echoes, whenever he saw a light, a red light, it would glow furiously while a the sinking feeling in his stomach would pit to an abysmal level.
This is not to compare myself to a fictitious character with supernatural powers, but a simple illustration.
Why is red such a warning color? Why do I like it? Well, it’s not necessarily a likable thing as it is intriguing. Love and Romance. Lust. Joy. Negativity. Trouble or danger. Warning. Warmth. Halting. Intrigue. This is why I’m a sucker for it, especially if it pertains to the opposite sex. Redheads. Women wearing the color in general, especially brunettes. Red lipstick. The vintage clothing wearers, dresses especially that boast red/white with white/red polka dots.
I constantly second-guessed my wearing red pants to celebrate. Below is how I figure my attire out, which may or may not be typical. The result was going with the left black-and-white tie and the dark green pants on the right. The only issue with the dark green pants is the button fly. Since the pants were new, it was difficult to get the fastening technique down to a science, but as the night progressed, my skill level heightened. Dressing up is fun for me; I appear and feel more confident.
The thing at the bottom of the picture is my foot, not a multicolored ferret.
Opposite the bar at Empire Brewing Company there is a very small space for people to hang out, eat, and even sit should they choose. The only problem is being in the line of the main traffic. We stood, which was great, and we stayed there the rest of the night, being a clutch spot. Cute Bartender was working, and I tried to get her attention, but I was still served properly. The desire to simply utter an order was brewing, but she was running around crazily. As always, no matter who serves, the pint of Local Grind was timely scooted over to my hand.
Tara is a fellow West Genesee alumna, who I didn’t really know in high school. Because of our siblings, we’ve gotten closer and it’s odd to look back and see how different/similar we are, but the division of groups/classes in high school keep people separated. At graduation, there were four of us who rearranged seating so we could sit next to our friends. I got to sit next to Matt and Tara sat next to Kristen. That was the one major interaction that we had.
She’s family, and I’d take a bullet for her. Plus, I get to hang out and watch her cat.
I first met Molly at Farm Aid in Saratoga
this last year, and she’s a riot. She came to 2TG, a.k.a. Friendsgiving (to others), and we had a great time joking around. It slips my memory on how or why this started, but we egged each other on by rubbing our palms in each others faces. That happened a few times the other night, and she got me with it as soon as I arrived.
Justin, another WG alumna who I’ve known since first grade, and his brother, Jeremy, were there. Our friend John (John Who Lives in Queens) was there in spirit while his youngest brother, Dan, was there in reality. My bocce crew arrived shortly after, surprised to see me there. An opportunity was also there to run into a girl, who I briefly dated at the beginning of the year. This wasn’t a bad encounter, and it was actually nice to see her.
The minutes were passing, steadily approaching midnight. The anxiety introduced another factor into the occasion: the midnight kiss.
As if the holiday season, the stretch of Thanksgiving through New Years, wasn’t difficult enough: the hopeless romantic in me played along. For me and similarly to other people, it sucks to be single during this time of the year. So, pressure is put on myself. Knowing damn well it wasn’t going to happen the other night, I still played along to soothe the anxiousness raging through my mind.
Kissing strangers isn’t the way to go especially at my age. I’m a bit over it. However, a little flirting does not hurt, so I may as well talk to someone. The only thing that my lips were going to touch at midnight was the shot glass filled with Jameson. I bought a shot for Molly and the other two members of the Wildcat Pride, and we all took it at midnight to chase the champagne. The bartender, recognizing me, got me another one so I could do one with him. Which was nice of him.
But, oh, Jameson!
Here would be a list of the Top 5 New Years Kissers, but there is doubt that there have been five. Maybe there are four, but three is a known fact. Of course, it was my ex who is at the top, because it was the most meaningful. That is meant sincerely, so don’t poo-poo my italicizing. The other two, one doesn’t really deserve a slot, but that girl gets one by default. Last year I was dating a girl, but the midnight kiss happened simply just because. The previous one happened years back, and she primarily did so to make another guy jealous. That fact was told to me after the act.
Then I saw the girl with the pixie haircut.
She smiled at me, but I never went to talk to her until Jeremy started talking to her. To make a long story short, she was a medical student at SUNY Upstate, and I turned away after that information was given to me. My luck. This was a sign to turn around and go back to being normal. Due to my last two previous dates with the med student, I didn’t want to push my luck. Reassurance of not wanting to kiss a stranger, especially since it was after midnight didn’t make any sense at all. I still talk to the first med student, and ran into her lovely person the other day. My interest did become lost, for the better, and I returned to the group.
Hammer made his way over, and we talked about life and bocce. He was introduced to the group, and he introduced me to a lady friend whose name I forget. It doesn’t matter since her interest wasn’t with me. She wasn’t up for talking either. You could see it in her eyes. Hammer’s plan may have backfired with introducing her to me, but that shit happens.
At one point my turning around showed Pixie girl and some stranger with their faces uncomfortably pressed together, her hands gripping the lapels of his coat, and I’m pretty sure their tongues were touching each others lungs.
I spent the rest of the night talking with Molly, and this interaction was the only thing needed. Yeah, despite Molly not exactly being a total stranger, time was effectively spent getting to know her, joking and laughing. Maybe I tried to flirt a little. But that’s only a maybe.
The Pixie and The Stranger? That relationship ended abruptly with awkward debating/arguing.
The two-o’clock-hour rolled around quickly, so everyone said their goodbyes. I was the last one left, hanging out in the bar while my ride was coming. The Empire staff was cool with that, and another shot was given to me. Cute Bartender served the shots, and she finally noticed my being there. Another Syracuse personality, another cute girl who I actually talk to when the occasion presents itself, was passing on through. We exchanged hellos with wide smiles, a Happy New Year.
The night made a turn for the better, despite all the nonsense on my mind. It was a silent trip home, but I enjoyed my rest and–thankfully–subdued hangover the following morning. I could have went for a run the next day, but while doing so my body would have plagued me with fatigue. Still, after getting into bed, the covers were pulled tightly up and over to protect me from the impending morning.