I call Sars on my cell phone from outside the Q Lounge while I am standing in line. "I'm waiting in line. There's a line. There's a line outside the club, on the sidewalk. Do you remember when this thing was, like, forty people?" "I know," she says patiently. "You should pull a Puff Daddy and go inside." "No, no," I say. "I don't want to be all bitchy and J.Lo. I can wait." There is a pause. I look up. "It's sort of raining on me. Wait, is it raining? It's sunny. But there's water." "It's probably dripping off the air conditioners up above you," she says, still patiently. "Oh. Oh, yeah. It is. Anyway, I have nothing. I was just calling to say hi, because I'm standing in line." "We'll be there later." "Okay."
This is how I behave when I'm nervous.
My initial quest for a beer is rather more eventful than it seems like it should be. After checking in with the very comforting clump of people I know who are just inside the door handling goody bags and gifting and things of that nature, I bolt for the back of the bar to put my stuff down, but my mouth is kind of dry and I'm eyeballing the bar. In the back, I run into Zron and JudyZ. We talk a little, and then I point to the bar and tell them, "I'm going over there. I want a beer bad enough to hurt somebody." "Well," he says, waving his full glass in the air, "you can't have this one." "Oh, FUNNY," I say over my shoulder as I head for the bar.
There, I run into designed, who is a little nearer to the front of the throng that is already forming by the bar than I am, and who asks me what I want. "Corona," I say. "Thank you." The beer-getting is surprisingly smooth after this. Among Poptart's many mad party skillz, it turns out, is a lovely ability to remember to supply me with drinks. People get so good at this, actually, that at a couple of different junctures, somebody brings me a drink before my next one is even gone. Among other things, I get to explain this to Ken and Gerard later. "So how are you?" Gerard asks. "Oh, I'm good," I tell them. "A little overwhelmed. This is my drink," I say, holding up my bottle. I point behind me on the little countertop. "That's my next drink." This phenomenon also leads, unfortunately, to some very incriminating pictures in which I have two beers in the same hand. My mother is thrilled.
As it turns out, those who rode The Amazing Train up from DC had an even more eventful trip than usual. lawtalkin' guy tells me this story, explaining that some very mean old lady was on the train with them and told them that they were all a bunch of "inconsiderate asses" for being too noisy while there was a baby present. Unfortunately, she also later took a cell phone call in which she said something along the lines of, "BITCH! I told you to never call me at this number!" I originally doubt the veracity (or at least the completeness) of his story, but when it is confirmed by several others later, I begin to believe that they actually managed to get in trouble on the train. Reports of bad behavior during the transportation phase are a development for which I am not prepared. Part of the DC contingent also gives me something called "The Original Washington, D.C. Taffy." "Well, because you don't want to get any of that counterfeit Washington, D.C. taffy," they say to me. "You know how they're always bringing it in on the black market from Canada," I agree.
The up side is that lawtalkin' guy spends the rest of the evening saying, "You inconsiderate asses!" to anyone who will listen.