I went to visit my friend Liz, who is living back in the city after finishing her MA at NYU. We met while I was in grad school in Boston. We were housemates. You may recall my November trip. She lives in the Back Bay, working in an after school program for kids ages 6-12 while she looks for a teaching job. She is an artist, a sailor, and a teacher. I love her because she is outgoing, friendly, and can laugh at herself. In many ways we are different, but I love spending time with her because she's game for anything.
I drove down to Portland after work on Friday, catching a bus and getting into the city about 9:30. I met Liz at the local pizza joint near her house. She had already dipped into one of the two bottles of wine we were to drink that night. After a few slices we went back ti her house. After we polished off the wine and made a couple of silly calls, we popped out to The Crossroads, a local Irish pub. It was 12:30. The Crossroads was an infamous place to me, the only pub I ever got sick in during my illustrious 3 years living in the city. We had a beer, Liz went out for a smoke, and came back in and shouted for me to join her at a table where some people sat whom she met while smoking. It was a brother and sister and their visiting uncle, celebrating the 30th birthday of the brother. We began to chat. Apparently he had a degree in civil engineering but was working for Nestle doing food service. I could almost hear Semisonic playing "Closing Time" as he asked me about myself. For some reason I decided to give him the abbreviated version of my life, telling him how I was widowed but now remarried, lived in Maine, and was a librarian. He touched my arm, running his finger over a scratch I had on my hand, and a crack on my thumb. I blamed my cat and emptying the book drop without my mittens. I was totally ridiculous at this point, after many glasses of wine and two beers. The birthday boy told me that that I had been through a lot for someone my age, and then asked me if I was in an open marriage. That was a new angle. I confessed that I was incredibly smitten with Lars. Then the bartender told us that they were closed and we walked home. At some point while climbing down Liz's spiral stairs to go to sleep, I fell. I then somehow put my pajamas on and conked out. I awoke the next morning in extreme pain, and hobbled around the rest of the weekend.
We talked out all the world's problems during the weekend, walked around, window shopped, recuperated from our wild night out, and most importantly laughed. Liz is Internet dating and has been contacted by a guy who posted pictures of himself that must have been 20 years old. He wasn't bad looking, and seems kind of intriguing but you have to wonder: who shows pictures of himself from 2 decades earlier? Hm.
I love all the different voices in the city, the pace of life, and the ability to visit, but come home again.
Some snaps from my trip:
I love the play on the skull and crossbones.