I’m on a bus in Aspen, Colorado and it’s about 28 hours until 2013 starts. If you’re just joining the story, you should click here and here to get some background on why I’m on the bus and the remarkable journey I took to get to this point. Like a young adult going on a vision quest, I was by myself in a strange place and, while not fasting for days, I was very much in a different state of mind. Unlike a vision quest, all the important stuff like personal spiritual growth did not happen until well after these events were over.
I’m sitting in the back of the bus like the gentleman and scholar that I am, politely planning out how to find my friends when I got downtown. I had no clue where they were going and, if I’m going to be completely honest, I hadn’t paid attention how to get to a single place we had been that night. The only saving grace I had is Aspen is a pretty compact town. Surely my karma would be built up to a point where I’d run across my group? Suddenly, the bus lurches to a stop, a group of people get on and I hear, “What the fuck are you doing here?” in an astonished tone. I managed to get on the bus before my friends had left for town. This is a blessing because there’s NO way I would have found them roaming the streets of Aspen with the BAC of a whiskey barrel. (Once they sat down with me I mumble that I was pretty butthurt when they left me alone with a terrible, edited for TV movie and bad snacks).
Now we’re in some bar that is really narrow. Like, Hank Hill’s urethra narrow. There are people everywhere and we have a table in the very back. I want shots. So everyone gets shots. I need to provide some background; I fucking hate shots. For years shots were a sure-fire way to get me to puke even when stone sober. My system simply wouldn’t accept them as legal stomach currency. One more fact; there are two sure-fire ways to tell if I’ve had sufficient amounts to drink – I’m dancing or buying shots. I’m almost sure I ordered the correct number of shots and then danced them back to our table on a tray without spilling a single one (I actually bought nine shots for six people and drank the remainders. I still want to ask that bartender why he would give a dancing white man a tray full of shots in a crowded bar no wider than a 2×4).
Someone decided to go back to Giselle’s since they didn’t get enough shitty beer at dinner (We actually wanted to visit our friend who happened to be the manager). I don’t think anything worth mentioning happened here. I just went into a mode of deep reflection about what the day had brought me and where it was taking me. Or I was just sleeping with my eyes open (I generally disrupted the dinner crowd, continued to bug the bartender calling him Johnny 5 because he reminded me of the robot from Short Circuit and was not using an inside voice). I had a spirited debate (argued) with several members of our party whether or not I threw up when we were there earlier for dinner. Our manager friend said if I did, I hit all toilet and made zero mess (I still stand by my don’t ask don’t tell statement).
Now we are at a bar called Eric’s. Upon entering the bar, I strike up a conversation with some lady. She had an accent. It was peculiar and familiar, most likely Canadian because I think I told her a billion times that I came from Michigan, the Upper Peninsula is the light beer of Canada and I’m not allowed back into that country anymore. I don’t know how I was putting words together at this point, but I talked to her for what seemed like twenty minutes, so it couldn’t have been more than three (It was 5 minutes and for some reason she kissed my hand at the end of our exchange). After that, I ate a shit ton of popcorn and got into a little spat with one of our group members about who got to hold the basket. The bartender was nice enough to break up the kerfuffle (He actually wasn’t that nice about it and called us girls).
This was the final stop on our tour de Aspen for the night. Like reasonable adults, we calmly got back onto the homeward bus, and sat quietly enjoying the cold, crisp mountain air as it silently wafted in at each stop. (Apparently I tried to sneak a beer on the bus, and when the bus driver clearly stated that was illegal and I couldn’t bring it on I chugged that beer in his face and got on). I still find it appropriate that this segment starts and ends on the bus. The Aspen public transportation system is fantastic especially since they didn’t ban me from it. I don’t feel like sharing any deep thoughts at this point. I’m going to save those for the final installment. Don’t forget, there’s still another whole day and all of New Year’s Eve left in this trip. Tune in next time to see how I ring in 2013 in Aspen.
An open mind and a few beers can make anywhere an adventure.