I was in a strange mood for a few days last week. Like, sort of on edge for no reason. And worried about nothing, which made me a little quiet and complacent. I don't know why, but I let it be. So, of course, I thought I didn't have enough enthusiasm to pursue an outing at all. Well, then, dear Raffi called me up and saved the day!
He invited me to go out and grab a drink at a bar in West Hollywood owned by his friend from the gym. Well, now, that was a nice and spontaneous surprise! Of course I said yes. I mean, I'll always go and do just about anything, but that was great timing. I needed to get out and snap out of my funk. And even better to be going somewhere new and unknown to either of us.
So on the way there, I asked Raffi what the name of the place was and he told me it's called Debauchery. Ok. Hold it right there. Screeeeech. What in god's name are we doing going to a place in WeHo called Debauchery? I was just thinking to myself, surely, this place must be some hedonistic nightclub where men dance in underwear on the bar and spray champagne onto the crowd. Not quite my scene. But, obviously, I wasn't going to decline at that point. Also, I was impressed that Raffi was willing to brave that sort of scene to support a friend. If he was, then so was I.
Well, don't judge a place by it's name and location! I was wrong. We got there and when we walked through the doors it was into a narrow blue small and cozy bar with a little patio and a few tables along one wall. Not a soul was in there but the bartender, who, it so happened, was Raffi's friend, heretofore referred to by his name, Anthony, or Tony, to mix it up. So there we were, Anthony, Raffi and I in a quiet little blue restaurant.
Honestly, Raffi and I seem to have begun this track record of never knowing what we're in for, finding it to be nothing like what we would have thought (perhaps what other, less pliable folk might call disappointing), and ending up having a better experience than we could have wanted. That's why Raffi has proven to be a great companion for adventures. Because both of us are eager to see what the world has in store for us, rather than hoping for things to go any particular way. And we make the best of what we get, and I'd even say we make better than that.
So we made ourselves comfortable at the bar seats. What a unique display upon that bar, I must say! Anthony had a string of mason jars lined up, each filled with a different fresh herb. That is something I appreciate to the highest order. I mean, when I saw that, I knew I was in for a treat. This was someone who cares about his craft. It was so cool. There isn't even a drink menu, at least, nary to be seen by our eyes. Rather, good Tony became like a drink psychologist.
Technically, he considers himself a mixologist, but I think he takes it way further than that. Because he just started asking me about things I like, and I swear I could get as figurative and poetic as I pleased and whatever we ended up with was the most delicious little concoction that I may possibly ever have tasted. I mean, I said I like spicy, that I know, but anyone can do spicy. Anthony was grinding things, mortar and pestle style, and adding pinches here and flames there and mixing and adding more. The details of that thing! There were so many delicate and diverse flavors in that cone-shaped tumbler.
It was really quite incredible. I've never seen anyone put that much care into making a drink. It was the perfect complement to our food, too. There was a food menu, by the way. Apparently, he specializes in hummus. How rad! Who specializes in hummus? We ordered the mushroom hummus plate. It was beyond what I would have expected. Teriyaki sautéed mushrooms surrounded by a ring of creamy hummus and pita bread. So this was debauchery. Taste bud debauchery. I loved it all. I really did.
And I loved, too, how we were all just so comfortable together hanging out. We just meshed well and sometimes it felt like we'd all known each other forever. Tony was acting DJ all night and, at some point, he put on Sinatra and I got out of my chair and slow-danced by myself around the room. It was like we were guests at his home. So welcomed were we.
How sweet to get to share this life with so many different people. And each experience so unique because of the participants. Sometimes, I stop and think upon a roster of various memories. A variety of moments speckled throughout my life. It's just like a beautiful kaleidoscope of faces and views and friends and laughter and cities and places and airports and homes and meals and streets and tears and joy and sun and snow and people and feelings and colors and dancing to Sinatra in an empty bar.
It looks like snippets of dream after dream to me, but that's my life. It was all real and I was there for it. It was real, I have to remind myself, and so I guess all of it still is, even though it feels like it went somewhere. Though I sure don't know where that stuff gets stored. But, damn, have I accumulated a wellspring of moments! It's a robust and lively memory montage, but also, it's my actual life.
Where and when does all of that exist, exactly? I don't know.
But I'm enjoying it so much. And that night out with Raffi, that put the world back in order for me. Everything was in it's place once again in this confusing and extraordinary experience.