An official hearty thanks goes out to Comrade Smirnoff, Messrs J. Daniels and J. Walker and Senor José Cuervo -- all whom spring to mind and bounce off the liver as ever-present and faithful companions to this task. The rest of you can all piss off until somebody pays me for the zol.
Lovejoy, Al. Acknowledgements. Acid Alex. Cape Town: Zebra Press. 2005. xiii-xiv (google books link)
A Friday visit to Jack's Bar & Lounge always goes better when you travel there with good friends and expect to see more friends once you reach the bar.
Tonight was special because I would be attending with my good buddy Sugi. We met at my place and there I learned our friend Eva would be joining us. I informed Sugi that I expected to see Lindsay aka Starbuck and Keith aka Keith (lolz) at the bar.
Shoes were strapped on to feet, beards were combed, guns were taken out, lip liner was applied and off we went into the night in my gloriously green truck.
Happi House offered up its parking lot for our use, forever free of charge, then Sugi and I walked across the street to Jack's.
Tall Nicole was behind the bar and said hello. I introduced Sugi to Jason, who was sitting in his customary area on the short side of the L-shaped bar nearest the door, then Starbuck hollered at me from the back of the bar. Sugi ordered the first round (thank you!) and I went back to hang my coat up and say hello.
In addition to Lindsay I found John and Tuna Can Johnny sitting side by side. Hellos and handshakes were had. At that moment I remembered I'd touched Lindsay's blond hair the other night and recalled just how soft it was. I wondered how it would feel on my lips as I hung my coat up.
Sugi brought our drinks to the back and I introduced her to everyone (she already knew Tuna Can Johnny, but I didn't know that) and I proceeded to be a jerk by sipping my beer before Sugi and I could have a toast. My Major Bad.
I apologized to Sugi, we clinked glasses (to what I can't remember, I was too embarrassed to remember much at that point), then I talked with Lindsay a bit and with the two J's about looking up curling on the internet while Sugi chatted up a rugged looking fellow (call him Sierra Nevada for now) to the left of Tuna Can at the bar about the match between Sweden and Norway(?). I remember thinking that the Swedish Women's curling team were all very pretty, in a blond sort of way. Norway's team all seemed to have hair in shades of red.
Eva showed up some time later and we took over the corner of the bar, using coats and purses to claim seats while we alternated between spending time in the bar or out front.
There was a party of about six women and one man behind us and they were really getting their drink on. They danced alone, danced together and some of them ground their bodies into each other as the music played on the jukebox. One woman kept bumping into me and I tried to guess which of her body parts made contact without looking. I hoped she didn't have a drink in hand to spill on me though.
Turns out Lindsay went to Jr. High with one of the women from that party. Little did I know what a foul mouth said woman had.
Matt the bartender arrived looking handsome as ever and Tall Nicole proceeded to count down her register. Matt has a good, firm handshake and his smile is always genuine. I like that about him.
Not long after Ras Dank arrived and proceeded to exit the back of the bar; there he arranged tables and fiddled with the fences that would form the perimeter of the patio area to be opened up for use by bar patrons later that night.
Sugi and Eva were smoking outside and I alternated between talking with Jason and Lindsay.
- Now if you've never met Jason you should know he's a pretty sharp guy and very handsome, with smooth brown skin. If you tell a lie, he'll likely know it. Spend more time with him and the better he'll get at knowing your truths from your prevarications. Sitting next to him, I noticed he has a small scar on his face like I do on mine: chicken pox, if I'm not mistaken. Jason is from St. Louis, spent some time in North Carolina before coming back and then making his way out here. I asked about St. Louis and he told me that nobody is in a hurry out there. You can talk to people there and have genuine conversations. Here people are in a rush and always seem to have an ulterior motive. When I asked he told me that the best way to spice up my blog would be to include more Jason. Will do! ;)
- From Lindsay I learned that she's a single mom and works to promote local music. She showed me pictures she'd taken today with her phone of a radio station office that's moving (I can't remember which). I told her how when Tower Record on Blossom Hill closed, Sugi took as many pictures of everything as she could to preserve the memory of the place. Nicole was genuinely happy to be at the bar and out of the house. It showed in her smile and the tone of her voice. Before she left for the night Nicole gave Lindsay one of the left over PBR tin cans and that made her even happier.
I really liked standing next to those three women. Smart, intelligent and sexy as hell.
Outside I listened to John and Tuna Can Johnny talk about TCJ's day. Turns out TCJ coaches track and field, is a Gemini and noticed the cherry tree blooming in front of his house the other day. He offered me a cigarette and I declined.
About that time someone reached around from behind me, grabbed my beard and used their other arm to lock me in place. Must be Fremont Matt. ;)
Fremont Matt is as big and wide as I am. He has a full, commanding voice and I relaxed in his arms since he got the drop on me and there was naught I could do until he let me go. Once free, I turned around to shake his hand and saw he'd arrived with his lovely wife and a group of about six people. I asked him how his all-day BBQ went, then realized too late that this was going to be on Saturday, not today/Friday.
Eva stepped outside to smoke and kindly repaired the last of Lindsay's two bent cigarettes. Then she expectorated like a cowboy and the drunk party of females were minded by sober friends just arrived to the bar.
Back inside and still Charlie had not shown up. DJ Vagabond, Demodulate and Cole arrived, though. I spoke with DJ Vagabond about his regular crew of guys he works with on Fridays (normally with Overflo and B Rich), but tonight he was with different set.
In fact, he wasn't even on tap to DJ tonight, rather he helped with the setup and got to step back and let Demodulate and Cole (the later works in San Francisco and "...is a monster" per Vagabond) run the show.
And run it they did!
DJ Vagabond said Jack's is one of the best kept secrets in San Jose. He taught me about the concept of dubstep, it's roots in reggae, it's tempo and how you can transition to slower and faster beats-per-minute music with it (from 70 to 140 or vice versa).
Thanks DJ Vagabond for the lesson and for letting me chat with you.
Around 10:30 more friends of the DJs rolled in and Jack's was really filling up. Fremont Matt's party had moved to the back patio and Matt the bartender had his hands full behind the bar, though you wouldn't know it just looking at him. Matt's composed like that.
Sugi, Eva and Lindsay were outside so I saved their seats at the bar. I could see the party of women behind me were many of them drunk as shit. One was all but passed out on a table. I turned around and chatted up the man to my right by talking about beer. I could tell by the shade of his drink that he was sipping on Sierra Nevada. When I asked if that was his favorite he turned towards me and I saw the logo of same printed on his shirt. He then showed me a series of text messages that went something like this:
Brian: Did you call me?
Unknown woman: Nope.
Brian: I'm at the bar. Should I go to sleep?
Unknown woman: Oh is there a bed at the bar? Call me.
Smart-allecky women are the best.
I made to step outside for more fresh air, but introduced myself to my at-the-bar neighbor first. When I mentioned I'd be at the bar all year, Brian said, "I know. I saw you on Facebook."
Holy fuck he already knew who I was, sort of. Not used to that.
I looked up at the TVs and saw Tiger Wood's face for like the millionth time that night. At that point I decided I was extremely tired of seeing the Tiger Woods apology being replayed over and over on several of the flat screens.
About that time Lindsay's drunk as shit acquaintance (hereafter known as stupid white woman) from Jr. High let loose with, "Drunk ass nigger!"
I turned to see Ras Dank patiently escorting her to the door. She cursed him again with the same phrase over and over, but he kept his cool. I went outside and stepped past stupid white woman as she stood stubbornly at the front entrance, trying to explain in a disjointedly drunk way the reason for her saying what she did and why it was justified.
Jason put a stop to her yapping with a well deserved, intelligent rebuke, but stupid white woman rebooted and started over. That would have been an unfair fight, even if she was sober.
I find it remarkable that Dave kept his cool the whole while. I could see Sugi looking after stupid white woman's friend who was puking her guts out in the bushes (Sugi bought puking woman a bottle of water to hydrate since her friend wasn't doing anything useful), and whom I later learned Dave had to escort out because she was too drunk to remain inside (that Dave had to do this is I believe what set stupid white woman off in the first place). Eva was all but furious at the spectacle.
The sober bunch of that group got their drunk friends out and into cars and the lone guy came back to apologize. Jason advised him not to apologize for something the man didn't do, but he apologized all the same.
I'm a little surprised the house didn't ban stupid white woman for life. She got away with waaaaaay too much, in my opinion. Eva remarked to Dave that he was a very good man and always cool.
I could tell Dave was hurt by the remarks, but he let off his stress slowly the rest of the night through conversations with Travis and other people at the bar.
Aaron and another group of friends rolled up to the bar after that. I like Aaron because he's handsome like Jason, has a friendly smile and -like me- keeps a shaved head. Lindsay got her hands on both our heads at one point and rubbed them at the same time for good luck.
Jason left around 10:30-ish and I walked by the two J's as they did shots of Jägermeister on my way to the back patio. I enjoyed the warmth radiating from the three heat lamps and watched Fremont Mike as he told a story to someone I didn't recognize by using his hands as much as spoken words.
TCJ came out back to smoke and offered me a cigarette again but I said no thanks. I talked with Lindsay about single parenting and zodiac signs and I remember thinking about how all the zodiac talk made me think more and more of Battlestar Galactica.
I looked up at the sky and saw a wedge of moon had risen over the northwestern sky.
TCJ insisted on buying me a drink (good man!) and someone surprised him by buying him a drink. Thank you for the sweet taste of Jack Daniels, TCJ!
After finishing his shot, John turned to me and says, "Have you seen Son of Anarchy?"
I immediately think of Jason aka Son of Anarchy, then it occurs to me John meant the TV show Sons of Anarchy, so I say "yes" and he looks at TCJ then back at me, pokes me in the chest with his index finger and says, "You're Opie!"
I reply, "But I don't have any hair!" To which John replies, "It doesn't matter, keep the hat on!"
I have a friend back in Colorado that I haven't spoken to in far too long. He is a roadie for Insane Clown Posse and made the nickname 'Opie' look good far before the actor Ryan Hurst came along to be decorated in fake tattoos and play a character of the same name on Sons of Anarchy.
My nickname back then was 'Fish' because I swam all the time and was a lifeguard, so I'll accept Opie in my buddy Matt's honor, knowing full well there are others who wear it far better than I.
Opie from Sons of Anarchy:
Back outside Ed rolled up to the bar on foot and Travis had arrived to watch the front door sometime before that. Travis talked about pulled pork and summertime BBQs at Jack's on the back patio. According to Travis the lunch crowd kind of ebbed and flowed this week, with things going slow mid-week but picking back up on Friday.
Travis also told me (three times) that he can't get over how much I look just like Yukon Cornelius. You be the judge:
Speaking of Ed: At some point during the night I told John and Tuna Can Johnny that Ed used to be able to put his legs behind his head. He'd do that during stretching for basketball practice.
Charlie rolled in around 11 o'clock and all the DJs and DJ friends hollered whenever one of them played something the others like. One of the DJs played Let's Get It On and Charlie started dancing behind the bar. I shook Charlie's hand at one point and remember him smiling and saying, "I've heard stories about you."
Not long after that Eva departed for home. I remember hugging Lindsay and wishing her goodnight, but I don't remember when that was.
Sugi was thoroughly buzzed and insisted on driving home. Carter had her keys, smiled at her as he held them out of reach and said, "Don't you need these?" to her playfully as she made several 4' 10" tall drunk-person leaps to try and grab them.
I shook hands with Carter, said goodnight to Sugi and Travis made a bit of a grunt as Sugi turned, drunk-smiling, to wave goodnight and give us a thumbs up. At the time of this writing her car is still parked in front of my house. Wonder if they forgot about it? ;)
I left Jack's at 11:48 pm, wishing I had the funds to stay and get thoroughly wasted. Friday I'm In Love by The Cure was playing on 92.3 so I switched off the Sugi-friendly music and turned on the CD player, letting Lamb of God sing me home.
See you Saturday at Jack's!