Saturday, August 14, 2010

bartleby's busy day

Adventure story time!

So last night my roommate(s) and I hosted our third "Gentleman's Symposium" which is essentially a big excuse for us to invite a bunch of our friends over and all be dressed in fancy clothes and be the same silly people we always are only with pompous accents.

Obviously this rules.

Last time a few of us, towards the later end of the evening, got it in our heads somehow that we should wander off into the night and make our way to Baba's, a nearby bar we aren't even especially fond of. Nobody is quite sure who suggested the idea, but it ended up being a fun time because there was a DJ and we sauntered in without paying cover and he played Thriller and Don't Stop Believing consecutively and we got really excited about that and generally had a good time before we wandered back home and adopted our very own grocery cart in a fit of intoxicated charity and thrill-seeking on the way.

So all this in mind we decided that turning the Symposium into a "night on the town" was a fairly fun idea. In fact, before we even consciously sought to do this, the town sought us out as if to ensure we would not leave it unattended by our silly quasi-victorian antics.

Directly across the street from my house, our neighbors were holding their own party. From what we gathered it was some kind of girls' night pub crawl which had attracted a large crowd of ladies who were all wearing blue t-shirts that said "Pretty Little Sailors" on them, and possibly even had a picture of a boat. This detail I am not entirely confident about. Regardless, these ladies were increasingly confused about the number of overdressed people they saw wandering into the house across the street bearing wines and desserts. Finally after several visitors and competing theories as to the nature of our gathering, they grabbed one of my arriving visitants off the street and interrogated him about the matter. After explaining himself and being set free, he reported their curiosity to the rest of us. This, we felt, could not go with only so little closure. A small group of us appointed ourselves party ambassadors, and traveled over to introduce ourselves.

This was how our first new friends of the evening were made! We discussed the natures of our respective parties, our plans for the evening, exchanged names and handshakes, They first told us all their various theories as to what we were doing, all of which painted us as gentlemen with some kind of actual legitimate motive for being dressed up as such (a recurring theme of the evening), inquired about the authenticity of our accents (none of them were real), and in return we took some group photos and trekked back to our own gathering.

After the party in my own house started to dwindle down, a spirit of adventure begin to strike up in myself and two of my comrades, Robert and Conor. The wild Charlottetown nightlife called to us, and men dressed as silly as us were in no position to deny a response. Without any clear destination in mind, we set off vaguely for the general downtown area. We made perhaps half a block of progress before meeting some acquaintance of Conor's on a bicycle who stopped to chat with so that she could inquire as to the nature of our activities, and we could probe for recommendations on our near future.

While this was going on, a man in the second floor of a nearby building opened his window to shout at us. In all my experiences in being intoxicatedly noisy in the streets at night this is generally setting the stage for being chewed out. But this man was as friendly to us as an old acquaintance! His shouting was merely to express his delight at us and what we were doing, and like the bicycle girl was quite happy to give us some pointers as to where we might spend some of our evening.

I can tell you this: carrying on a conversation late at night on the street with a stranger who is hanging out his second floor window is a delightful experience I would recommend to anyone.

And so some X's were added to our treasure map for finding evening excitement. Vic Row, 42nd Street, and Baba's. But the night held much more than mere locations. This was a night of more spontaneous friendships than I can in confidence claim to remember. And the finest example of this, I am sure is a unanimous belief in our group, was the buskers.

After perusing through Victoria Row without making any specific stops, we turned down Queen street to take a peek inside 42nd. On this route we walked by three buskers with a bucket of blueberries they were offering to share with anybody who passed by. This was as endearing as anyone could hope to be to us, and we were quickly engaged in conversation and muching fresh blueberries picked only the day before somewhere in the province of Nova Scotia.

Our new friends and we had a long conversation in which in lieu of names only stories of travel were exchanged. We spoke mainly with one, a particularly charismatic fellow, while the other two continued to play music and sing for the street. This gentleman, we learned was hitchhiking about the country, grew up in Minnesota, and had once spent a couple of weeks living with a pirate in California.

At some point, and for reasons I do not recall (although I feel as so there was actually a fairly legitimate reason), I felt compelled to tell this gentleman a particularly amazing and terrible joke about Will Smith I had recently learned (and had told to every goddamn person I know). Our new friend enjoyed it so much that he borrowed the acoustic guitar from the lady next to him and played the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air for us, with which we and several other strangers on the street sang along to in a choir of surreal and amazing 1990s pop culture celebration.

We soon parted ways with these friends, in all probability to never see them again in our lifetimes, a matter which nearer the end of the evening we discussed in great detail and ultimately felt good about. In all honesty I think there is a certain flavour of friendship that can only be experienced in making a connection with a stranger that you will never see again, and this was a particularly good taste of that friendship (not unaided by the literal taste of fresh berries that came with it.)

to be continued later when i don't have to leave for work

No comments:

Post a Comment