The chilly, clean-smelling weather today is the same as it was exactly two years ago. I went to work as normal, when the Blade’s offices were located on U St. We took a group photo that day, and here it is:
I didn’t know that later that day, I’d go to a happy hour on 17th Street, get bored and text Jessica. She’d tell me she was thinking of seeing Deerhunter at the Black Cat Backstage, but that for now they were just having beers in the Red Room, and I should come by. All right, I thought. The night’s still young.
I went up to the bar to order a beer, picking a spot next to the cute guy perched on a stool, texting furiously. I looked over his shoulder and saw he was saying something along the lines of “I’m tired of playing games …,” and thought, oh whoa, no thanks! Eventually he noticed me standing there and apologized for his lack of scoot-over.
“Yeah, get your text message elbow outta my way!”
He looked at me, surprised, and invited me to sit down next to him. Clark would later tell people he liked that I sassed him. We told bad pick-up lines. Mine was one I stole from Sarah: “How much does a polar bear weigh?” “I don’t know.” “I don’t know either, but it’s enough to break the ice. Hi, I’m Rebecca.”
“That’s TERRIBLE!” he said. But he’d eventually tell that story to each and every nurse we encountered. And there were a lot of them. I remember I said, I work at the Blade, but I’m not gay. And he said, these things always come in threes … there have to be two more. I said, I was born in Utah, but I’m not a Mormon. It kills me that I can’t remember my third. Same for him, I can only remember two of them: I’m in a band, but I’m not insane, I’m divorced, but I’m not crazy.
He got my number when we went outside for a smoke, and called me the next night … or I guess, Saturday morning at 3 a.m. Happy anniversary, baby.