Monday, August 2, 2010

A Night To Remember

August 15, 2010  

Chris introduced me to the most amazing artist while in England by the name of Banksy. You may have heard of him – I was surprised I hadn’t. Basically, he is this super secret graffiti artist that has done famous pieces of work all over the world. It just so happens that he is from Bristol – and it just so happens that there is a Banksy exhibit going on while we are here…. AND it just so happens that the line for it is over four hours long!!! We were planning on checking it out today but none of us could really muster up the energy to stand in line that long. So, Chris gave me one of his Banksy books instead which I will gladly take home and cherish as some of the pieces in it are absolutely moving. Here are just a few examples of what he has done. I strongly recommend checking out his work as I found it remarkable.

Chris had to take care of a few things with his motorcycle this morning (big Harley lover – actually, Chris’s love for Americana makes me proud to be an American) and so Danni took us into town and we are having breakfast at a place called Boston Tea Party waiting for Chris. Dan and Ren are here as well – we are discussing what to do with the day and planning for this evening. 

After breakfast, Dan and Ren went on their way and said they would meet up with us later that evening. Chris, Danni, Cory and I decided to take a walk around the city and do some shopping. It feels and looks a lot like Boston to me. I can definitely see the influence in the whole New England area – so different from the “newness” of the West Coast.

I did some shoe shopping and then Chris and Danni took us to a mall where I got a few souvenirs for the boys back home – football jerseys, of course. Picked up one for myself as well! I guess it’s time that I get into football now!

We are enjoying a cider outside of a great little pub called the Old Duke. I really love the fact that the four of us are easily entertained by simply being together and taking in the sights. It’s not always easy to hang out with couples at home as there tends to be a lot of nagging, whining and overall sucking of energy going on. Chris and Danni don’t require that kind of attention – they simply enjoy each other’s company and, in return, others enjoy themselves around them. At least that’s been my experience.

We are going to grab a bite to eat and then head back to the house to clean up, gather ourselves and some of the troops and set out for a proper Saturday night out. I am expecting a bit of an epic night.
I was introduced to a couple of Chris’s friends who met at the house to pre-party before heading out. James, who is an absolute riot, is a little hard to handle at first as he is a handsome ball of outrageous energy that I can already tell is going to keep us on our toes tonight. Joe is a lot more mellow and sweet as can be with just the right amount of image awareness to keep his friends in constant jokes. Nick is going out with us tonight too which is great as I really enjoy his company and the fact that he provides stimulating conversation. He is also adorably humble which is one of my favorite qualities in a person.

We all piled into a bus/taxi at around 8:15pm that took us to the Cori Tap where we started our evening. It was so different than when we were here the other night – it was completely packed! Inside, outside, there were people everywhere and the cider began flowing at a rapid pace. Things started getting silly quickly with James hitting on a table full of girls and Cory making friends with everyone outside of the pub. Cory has always been known to be a bit of a wanderer and has most definitely come into his element in the last few days which is nice to see. The only thing is that he starts to become a little hard to keep track of as he meanders from person to person, making friends with pretty much everyone he met.

We did manage to gather everyone at one point and went to one of Joe’s favorite pubs called the Albion where, for some reason, Cory felt compelled to lick a brick? I wish I could remember what this was all about. More drinks were passed out and a little bit of rainfall was really making it a neat experience for me as I was drifting somewhere between sobriety and drunkenness but filled with happiness and excitement of all the new things going on around me.

 The group was getting more and more difficult to keep together and Cory started complaining of his empty belly again – somehow, we managed to get into a cab and get to a kabob place where we all waited for Cory to become human again as he filled his belly with more fast food that looked and smelled awful. Afterwards, we all managed to end up together at a club called Syndicate where there was an honest to goodness foam party going on and I couldn’t wait to be a part of it! Danni and I immediately went out to the middle of the dance floor and held our hands up high as big loads of soapiness came tumbling down onto the crowd. Green lasers shot across the room and the music blared and I lost myself in a world of girly silliness and laughter.

Unfortunately, things took a bit of a turn at this point. I hadn’t picked up on the fact that Chris was struggling with trying to keep everyone together and was more than frustrated at the fact that Danni and I had been gone so long without checking in. It was clear that he was no longer having fun and since it was getting pretty late, it made sense to go ahead and call it a night anyway. It took us a while to get a cab and get home and once we did, I figured we’d all chill out in the back and mellow from the evening. However, when I mentioned smoking a joint, Chris, unlike the previous night when it didn’t seem to be an issue, got very upset and asked me to go down the street and smoke instead. Even in my drunken state, it didn’t really upset me; I just felt bad that Chris was so stressed out and decided to give him some space.

I was wired from the night and had really enjoyed my time so I went out front with Nick and he and I ended up staying up, smoking, talking and drinking Stella Artois until almost 5:30 in the morning. His wonderful ability to listen and give honest feedback really helped give me some insight on some things that had been weighing on my mind about Aaron, Cory and just life in general. I don’t know if I’ll remember everything we talked about that night, but I know that it is nights like those that I keep with me forever. That real, genuine human connection is just not that easy for me to find and I absolutely cherish it.

At some point, I shifted in my seat and my bottle of Stella fell from the bench and broke on the ground. Moments later, Chris and Cory came to the front of the house to make sure everything was okay – apparently they had also been up all night talking out back. Chris looked at me sheepishly and apologized for his behavior which I found to be completely unnecessary. I had just had one of the best nights of my life during a truly memorable vacation. There was really nothing that could bring me down. And I relate a LOT to Chris. I am also a bit of a stress-cadet and could understand his frustration with the night not turning out as he expected. I only hope he realizes how much it meant for me to see a bit of his vulnerable side as it is, once again, a part of that human connection that I love and crave so desperately.

Chris and Cory went back inside and Nick and I said our goodbyes as the sky was starting to lighten up and I figured a little sleep would do me some good.

I have had a lot of fun nights in my day… but this one will surely be one that stands out as one of the most meaningful to me. I’m not sure what will happen in the future and if I’ll see some of these people again once I head back to the states, but the memory of the connections I felt tonight will stay with me always. For that, I will remain forever grateful. 


1 comment:

  1. I must say that you have a way with writing, it reminds me a little of how I blog sometimes. I like the little things you write about that makes us feel like we are all peering in onto your experience like we are all there sitting in our lawn chairs looking at what happens in your life as is unfolds to us. Keep it up!