I Can Tell That We are Gonna be Friends

Can't say no to a deal

I have off Saturday so the four roommates are actually all at the apartment today. Troy and I take a trip to Trader Joe’s and stock up on some $1.99 wine. It’s my first time purchasing it and I feel like I’m stealing, giggling a little as we put them in our cart. We stop at Laurel Tavern for a beer before heading back to the apartment. I’ve been itching to get out all day. This place is awesome with really good beers on tap. I go with what I know and order the North Coast Pranqster on draft. A Belgian style, naturally. I’m loving this place. Why haven’t we hung out here more? Right, because we don’t go out. Oh well, Venice here we come.

Back at the apartment Mike and Sonny get yelled at for playing washers in the parking lot. Everyone proceeds to drink cheap wine – except Troy. He opted for some Trader Joe’s scotch. He stood in the liquor aisle debating for a while on the good stuff or the cheap stuff. Go cheap. Get the good stuff when you have something to celebrate. He doesn’t take much convincing.

On Sunday, I basically get to watch the first two minutes of the Giant’s-49ers game before I have to leave for work. Such a tease. I listen in the car on the way and put the TV on as soon as I walk into the bar. It’s an insane game and goes into overtime. I’m getting really into it and yelling at the screen a bit. We’re not too busy, so I can get away with it. Francis comes out of the kitchen to watch and seems amused at my interest in the game. I think he’s going to tell me to get back to work. “Are you OK?” He pats me on the shoulder. “It will be OK.” He continues to watch the game with me. I love working here.

Celebrating with the fam 2008

The Giants win and all is right in the world. There were no real San Francisco fans in the place – of course there were people rooting for them – but I haven’t offended anybody. There’s more Giants fans here – one guy is even from Monmouth County. Small world. The G-Men are in the Superbowl! Courtney texts me. “So you coming home for the game?” Yea, I’ll be there, Court. I wish. When we won in 2008 it was one of the biggest high’s I’ve ever had – probably the biggest high where I wasn’t actually playing a sport. We watched at home, and Mike came over. He’s not a Giants fan, but he’s not a jerk about it, so Mom let him in the house. It was madness when we won. Screaming, celebrating, laughing, maybe a few tears. We couldn’t believe it. I really felt like I had won the Superbowl. I can’t believe we’re playing the Patriots again. I loathe them entirely. Bring it on.

Now comes decision time. Take off work for the Superbowl, or the Oscars? Decisions, decisions. Well, going to a Superbowl party would be fun, and I could actually enjoy the game with drink in hand. I watched the Golden Globes at work, and enjoyed the company of customers and chatting about film and television, but I’d much rather talk to Mike and Troy about it. The bar will definitely be busier for the Superbowl; at least it should be. OK, I’d rather take off for the Oscars. AND, we’ll be in our new place. Maybe we could even have Troy, Rich, and Tara over. We can all squeeze into our small studio and watch the Academy Awards together.

Sunday night I close the bar, so Francis leaves and Corinne soon after since it’s a slow night. I start cleaning up and get ready to close when Nell walks in. Nell and I worked together at the Turtle Club. We always said we wanted to move out here, and here she is, two months after me. I’m so excited for her to be here. We’ve been talking since she got here and she said she might stop in tonight. Nell went to culinary school in New York, so she’s out here to be a chef. She’s a little foodie. Her and her boyfriend came out together – this is my first time meeting him. His name is Paul, and with them is Paul’s brother and wife, who also live out here. They sit at the bar and I can’t stop talking to Nell. I can’t believe we’re both here! Nell, we’re going to be real friends now. She laughs. But seriously. I was “friends” with everyone at the Turtle Club, but never really hung out with them. I really only hung out with the Liberty crew (my first bar in Hoboken).

Nell and Paul just found a place to live in Santa Monica, and Mike and I just got the place in Venice. We’re going to be neighbors! Paul seems like a cool guy. I find out he’s a filmmaker. Nell comes back from the bathroom. “Did you tell her?” “No, I thought you should.” I don’t know what they’re talking about. Nell is giggling. She flashes me her hand, still laughing. “I’m engaged.” Still laughing. I don’t get a good look at the ring. I’m just sort of laughing with her. It looks super thin with little gold circles. It’s beautiful – but unlike any engagement ring I’ve ever seen. Wait, what’s happening right now. Are you really engaged? “Yes!” Oh my God Nell, what is wrong with you, you weirdo. She is too funny. Paul asks me to help her figure out a better way to tell people. She’s not very good at it. I’m laughing. Anyway Nell, why would Paul tell me? I’ve just met him five minutes ago.

We chat a little longer and figure we’ll all go out as soon as we’re all settled in our new places. It’s great to have another friend out here from the east coast.

*Jack Johnson

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