Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Galaxy Hut

On Sunday, I decided to wrap up a long and productive day of coffee shop blogging with a trip to the movies. Instead of the more serious Israeli flick I'd thought about seeing, I opted for (relatively) nearby fluff: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It was ok. I wanted to enjoy, but it just didn't quite come off. I read the book years ago and I thought it was funny, but I think the narration slowed the picture down. It wasn't a completely satisfying movie-going experience, but it wasn't terrible.

I decided to walk to the next metro station over and on the way I passed the Galaxy Hut, a cool, tiny Arlington bar. I wish it were closer to where I live--or that there were something similar in my neighborhood. I decided to go in and check it out. I was lugging the enormous backpack, but I found a spot at the bar, stashed the bag at my feet, ordered a drink and settled in.

The bar is a tiny room with booths and tables in the front. The stage is directly in front of the picture window. The bar is in the back and takes up about a sixth of the floor space. There is funky art on the walls--weird aliens with tiny hats. Tiny blinking x-mas lights are strung across the ceiling. The ceiling…it's a dropped ceiling with acoustic tiles. The tiles are painted with a sort of starburst--looks like the spiky bubble around the "kapows" on the old Batman show.

I like the feel of the place, but, even though I sort of met a guy there, it's not a great place to meet people. Almost everyone who came in was with her significant other, or in a tight, small group. I can think of at least three CH friends I'd like to take there, but I'm not sure I'll be back, alone, anytime soon. If it were five blocks away from my house, I'd be there all the time. But I'm not trekking out to Arlington to spend the night talking to a guy who asks me if I think it's a good thing or a bad thing that he's a regular. What I said: "It's a fact."

Two different guitar-playing songwriters from New York went on that night. Both sang melodic, rock-type tunes in (mostly) minor keys. Not bad, but not memorable. Made me feel a little sentimental and all kinds of ideas were running through my head. I would have pulled out a book to read, but that seemed rude. I had the laptop in the enormous backpack, but pulling it out was more geekiness than even I could handle, so I opted for my little spiral notebook.

I scribbled away, working on story about my first regular-college-age boyfriend. I listened to the music and observed the people around me. To my right was a mild-mannered 40-something guy with shaggy dreadlocks. He seemed to know the owner (she was working behind the bar, asking the young patrons, "Are you 21 or older?") and I guessed that he worked there too. A friend of his came in and sat on his other side; this was the regular. After I stopped writing, the mild-mannered guy asked me, "Are you writing poetry?"

"No. More like stories. I was eight the last time I wrote poetry--I gave it up back then." How do you explain that you are writing non-fiction stories about your life that may or may not get posted to your blog about dating. Right. You don't.

The regular asked, "Do you use an outline?"

"Yes, mostly." I do have an outline for the RealLife Dating Guidelines™, but it's pretty loose--more like a document where I keep stray ideas relating to that theme.

"But you need an outline--something to make it all come together. To keep track."

"Well, I write more…short pieces mostly. I pick a theme and then I have an example about the theme."

"But how do you…keep track of it?" The regular asked.

I said, "I'm always the main character, so it's very easy." That got a laugh from mild-mannered, but the regular didn't seem to get it.

The regular was not a bad looking guy, but I got the distinct impression that he was drunk when he got to the bar. He drank steadily over the couple of hours I was there. I nursed one beer. Eventually I bummed a cigarette from mild-mannered and soon after that I left. The regular was interested, but there was something off about him and I had to get out before I encouraged him. It was tempting to stay and get my flirt on, but it would have been for all the wrong reasons. It was on towards midnight, so I caught a cab.

I have to say, I'm feeling rather discouraged on the meeting people (guys) front. I have met people, just not ones I liked. Two weekends, two guys: the fellow from El Salvador at the wedding and the regular at the bar. So, I should just calm down and go about my business. Nothing to worry about here.

Grateful for: having nothing to worry about.

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