Tuesday night we make the short drive to Troy and Jason’s place for a somewhat housewarming. It’s just the four of us but it’s the first time they’re having us over. Jason is such a host – there’s a spread of cheese and crackers and dips on the table. He got wine (good stuff: his Dad has a wine cellar) and even ran out for little wine glasses just for me. I wouldn’t have minded drinking it out of a regular cup, but he couldn’t help himself.
Troy is sitting on the couch when we arrive and Jason is nowhere in sight. “He’s actually out walking our new dog.” Whattttttttt. You guys got a dog? She’s a 5-year-old tiny, chubby pug named Pebbles. Basically, the family she was with had a baby who was allergic, so they had to get rid of her. Jason couldn’t let her be sent to the pound. No sooner than we find out does Pebbles and Jason come strolling through the door. A dog! She is such a fat little thing (Troy and Jason have her on strict diet now). Pebbles is a really good dog. She’s so easy – and lazy.
We all catch up and check in with how everything is going. For how close we live to each other, we don’t see each other very often. I remind Troy that he’s stuck with me as a friend. For some reason he always makes me mad, but I still love him. Mike and Troy sip on bourbon, but Mike can only drink one because he’s driving us down to Huntington Beach tonight. Sucker. He drives us down tonight and I drive us back Thursday morning. That’s the deal. Sonny and Jen are having a 4th of July barbecue tomorrow. We were planning on driving down in the morning, but Sonny texted him earlier and said it’s going to be crazy traffic and parking will be impossible, so we should really come tonight. Jason insists we stay and enjoy ourselves and drink, but Mike has made up his mind. I don’t care either way. I still get to drink.
We try to convince them to come down, too. It will be fun to all hang out together for the holiday, but Troy isn’t up for the drive and the parking and the hassle.
I smartly don’t use the bathroom before we leave for the hour drive. Why do I always do this to myself? By the time it gets bad we’re too close to stop. Mike still does, at a gas station – we need to fill up anyway. I run up to the door and there’s the sign. “Restrooms not in order.” Awesome. I jump in the car. “We can still get gas.” No. We can get it tomorrow. Go, go, go. It’s another five minutes to Jen’s place and parking is insane. Mike pulls up so I can run in. Sonny is already at the door as I walk up the flight of about 15 steps to reach Jen’s apartment. Hi, Sonny. Bathroom. Where? He points me in the right direction. Sweet relief.
Now I finally take in my surroundings. Jen’s got a pretty cool place for just herself. So much space. Not really, but comparably speaking. She’s already asleep, so I hang out with her cat, Vivian, while the boys search for a parking spot. Two pets in one night! There’s already an air mattress set up for me and Mike. I’m excited to sleep. I love sleep.
Jen stirs and joins me in the living room. She sleepily asks me if I’d like a glass of wine. Already playing hostess. No, thanks. Could I just have some water? Mike and Sonny come back. No luck. It’s madness. If it’s madness tonight imagine what it would have been like if we waited until tomorrow morning to drive down. Finally, they finagle us a spot right outside the apartment.
Mike cracks open a beer and we sit around talking, watching TV. We all seem pretty tired. Jen and Sonny call it a night and go to the bedroom. Mike and I follow suit. Might as well rest up for the festivities tomorrow.