I wasn’t going to go out on Halloween. I don’t really know anybody. I usually keep to myself. Except, how am I supposed to become part of the community if I don’t get out and meet people?
I called my friend KatieBird and left a message. I figured if anybody was going to go out on Halloween, KatieBird and Sean would at least be mingling somewhere.
Sean calls me back. It s near the end of Harvest and he’s still at work. But—they will be going out later. Talk to Katie he says. She’ll be out before I will.
I don’t have a costume or anything. I decide to wear some bright red heels, jeans, my new ¾ length leather jacket, and a fedora that I’d bought on Fisherman’s Warf when I’d spent the day in SF with Cindy.
It’s around 8h00 pm. Katie phones and says they’ll be at the B&B or the Ravenous later—around 9h00 or 10h00 pm. I’m half-way out the door already. I decide to head down to the Healdsburg Hotel and treat myself to a drink at the bar. It’s a safe place –for a single woman I think. Pish-tosh. I don’t think I’ll have to worry about fending off rif-raff.
I arrive at the bar. I have no idea what to do. I don’t know anybody. I don’t know what you’re supposed to do when you go for a drink by yourself. I just ask for a red wine. The bartender and other guests tell me they like my hat. I tell them it’s my costume.
After awhile, I talk to the couple next to me. Are you visiting Healdsburg? No. We just bought the building down the street. We’ve opened an organic …. store.
We talk for a while about expensive real estate. I tell them I’m from the Yukon. They tell me about their trip to hell (into the Alaskan wilderness) and back again. We laugh a bit and I promise to go visit their store. They’re exhausted preparing for their store opening—and need to get going.
I check my watch and pay for my drink. Just after 9h00. Time to head over to the B&B to meet KatieBird and co. I know I don’t really have a costume. But somebody’s left some glasses that have pulsating light effects with the bartender. I tease him and say I’ll leave a larger tip if I can use them. I put them on and top things off with the fedora. He gives me some dry ice in a paper cup to add to the effect.
Cool. That’s my Halloween costume. Cool. I smile and walk over to the B&B.
There’s nobody there. It’s completely empty. I check my phone for messages. Katie’s left a message that they’re at the Ravenous. I shrug and head on over.
The place is packed when I get there. I don’t know anybody—so I just look to see if I can recognize Katie—at least. I find her out on the back porch.
We order a drink and talk. I don’t know what we’re talking about when she motions to somebody standing behind her—Jen, meet C. C—Jen. I look up and smile. He finds out I’m from Canada and says something about the last time he went—he stayed at Whistler. I find out it was a business trip. I laugh and say the next time he goes to Whistler on a business trip, I’m coming with him.
We figure out we’ve met before—on two occasions at least. Once a few years ago, I’d gone to a BBQ at a friend of a friend – but that was just before Mr. X moved back in. I chose to focus on trying to repair my marriage than meeting new people. Now—marriage over, I’m back to meeting new people. The second time would have been at Katie and Sean’s 4th of July party. But I only remember my friends Carol and Jimmy there. We’d sat out on their porch, drank some wine, and watched the fireworks show that was set off in the field behind their house.
We continue to talk. I don’t remember what we talk about, but I think I’m now finishing my second drink. I turn around to ask Katie if she wants another—but she’s not there. I turn back, he’s gone too. I shrug and go inside.
The bartenders are crazy. There’s too many people this Halloween night and it’s three people deep before you can find a space to order. I squeeze in. And wait. And wait.
Katie appears and starts talking to the lady on my right. The lady turns and says my friend has mentioned I have space for rent. She needs space for a week or so. As I’m talking to her about what I can offer, he squeezes into the space that Katie just left.
HEY I say. HEY. Where did you guys go? I’m happy now. Happy with two drinks in my system. Happy to see him right there.
Can I buy you a drink? I ask.
He looks at me a sideways, thinks for a moment, smiles and nods his head. Sure.
K. What are you drinking?
Whiskey and water.
Right. I order the drinks and hand them out. The lady says she’ll call me tomorrow about renting the room and disappears into the throng party-goers.
He and I leave the bar and move into a corner of the restaurant. I think we sit down and continue to talk. I’m not focusing on the conversation. I’m staring at his mouth. I like the way he talks. I’m sure I like what he’s saying—but I’m not paying attention to the words, just the movement of his lips.
I look back at his face. Did he notice me staring? Probably. What have I got to loose though? I just ask.
Can I kiss you?
He looks at me sideways again. Thinks for a moment, smiles, and nods his head. Sure.