I live in a row of townhouses, downtown in the city. This week a new neighbor moved in next door. The first thing I noticed is that the movers were moving in one of those BIG TV sets. Later in the day I realized that the BIG TV, complete with a BIG audio system, had been installed along the wall that backs up to my living room. I realized this as I was sitting on my couch watching my TV and all of a sudden I could "feel" what my new neighbor was watching ... and it wasn't the same program.
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One Friday night about a year ago I was at a neighborhood bar, sitting by myself, planning to have just one drink during happy hour. After I was there about ten minutes or so, two young -- VGL -- guys walked in, sat across from me at the bar, and ordered Red Bull and vodkas. We exchanged the obligatory head-nods and smiles, and then one of the guys asked if I wanted to join them in a game of billiards. I said, "Sure, I'd love to," even though I thought, "why in the hell are they asking me; I'm clearly old enough to be these guys' father."
It turned out that the two were brothers. The older brother, about 30, was newly married; the younger brother, about 25, had just recently graduated from college. After playing pool for about an hour -- accompanied by several shots of peppermint schnapps -- they said that they were planning to go meet some of the younger brother's friends at another bar and asked if I wanted to come along. "Sure, I'd love to!" I replied.
We made our way to the trendy part of town, home to all the bars for the twenty-something’s looking for a good time. We meet up with a group of about five guys outside a bar I’d never heard of. One guy paid the cover charge for the whole group. (I was clearly old enough to be the bouncer’s father, but I got carded anyway.) We went in and another guy orders martinis for everyone in the group plus for four ladies sitting at the bar. (I was clearly the oldest guy in the bar.)
We were there only about five minutes when the older brother asked me if I wanted to go to a gay bar with him.
I thought, “What the heck does this just-married guy want to go to a gay bar with me for?”
I said, “Sure.”
We left the rest of the group and headed out.
It was a drag bar. I’d never been there before. I really just don’t understand the whole concept of men in drag, however we pulled up two stools at the bar and became friends with the bartender. After several rounds of the bartender's special, my new friend said, “I know another bar we can go to.”
I said, “Let’s go.”
It was another gay bar and it was jeans and leather night. The place was packed, wall-to-wall bodies. I made my way up to the bar, ordered two drinks, and turned around to hand one to my friend. Somehow in the crowd I lost him.
Coming to my senses, I realized that 1) I was very, very drunk and 2) I had no idea why I was barhopping in gay bars with a just-married guy a lot younger than I was. The situation "felt strange to me.” It surely must have “looked extremely strange to everyone else.” I was uncomfortable, even embarrassed, by the whole situation. I decided to put the drinks back on the bar and head home.
The next morning I woke up on the kitchen floor.
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Yesterday, I decided that I should be friendly and introduce myself to the new neighbor. Plus, I figured that if some night I couldn’t sleep because the BIG TV and stereo system were vibrating the whole block, it would be nice if I at least knew the neighbor’s name before I complained.
After a trip to Dunkin Donuts, I went next-door and rang the doorbell, armed with a box of dozen donuts.
I met the new neighbor. It’s the younger brother.