Tonight at the Hangout we had a small gathering for my friend Flax, who is getting married in two weeks. All the old high school cronies were there: Friar, Anacreon, 74, Flax and T-Bone. It was as much of a "bachelor party" as Flax would ever suffer to attend; there were no strippers, fights or poker rounds, but we drank outside and roistered and laughed till late in the night. An atavistic sort of feeling pervaded the evening, perhaps, as we reminisced about Flax's insane father, girls we'd known in high school and what idiot pranks we got up to. But 74 and T-Bone are both fathers, and all of them are married, so there was also a sense for me that I was the odd man out. Even in this jaded day and age, there's a stigma to divorce, and I do feel ashamed and less capable of managing my life than those guys in that respect.
Anacreon and Flax left early, and 74, extremely inebriated, staggered to Flax's car for a ride. T-Bone, the Friar and I stayed at the Hangout long past closing, drinking beers from the walk-in cooler and bullshitting. Finally, at about 3:45, we left. I took them both home, being only mildly tipsy by then, and didn't flop into my own bed until 5:00 a.m. Now that brings back many memories of high school, when I routinely did that.
Something happened that probably bears no mention, but I will anyway. One of the waitresses, whom I've bantered with off and on the last year, sat down at our table, pushing me down the bench and staying quite close to me. We exchanged a little repartee, and when she leaned over to pick up some bottles, pointed out to me how her breasts were bumping into my back (I told her I appreciated it). Then she actually kissed me on the top of my head. So, one might shrug, harmless flirting; happens every day somewhere, right? But she has a boyfriend --- indeed, he came to pick her up at the end of her shift, and she introduced him as such. 74 was extremely perplexed, for he had been sure that this waitress was blatantly hitting on me. I have to admit, I'm a little confused myself.
Another old high school friend, Deep Blue, who lives in Little Canada, is also now married. He got hitched at the Justice of the Peace after his girlfriend Cyan found out she was pregnant. This pretty much leaves me as the only one who can't grow up and get his act together, I guess.