Thursday I took a leap and decided to go out and meet an old friend. It's amazing how Myspace can be so helpful in that way. As I drove up Euclid, and turned to find a parking spot, I saw Daphanie and Yoichi walking out of the corner of my eye. Immediately I became even more excited. It was really a weird feeling. Almost peace and nervousness at the same time. I hadn't seen Daphanie in person for 10 years. She lives in Japan, I live in StL. Yet we have communicated so much in the past few months that I really did not feel like much time had past at all. But for some reason, I was still a little nervous about showing up that night. Fortunately, there was no reason to be.
I went in the place, and could not find the two for the life of me. The owner asked who I was looking for and I said just some friends I haven't seen in a long time. But I kept going through the different parts, only to see nothing. Though, I did see someone who looked like someone I went to high school with. Not sure at first if it was him. Turned out it was. Talked with him and his creepy-gaze friend for a bit later that night. (Oh, KBO -- it was the guy from The Pageant... the rapper with the big ear and shit. He's not rapping any more, though. Just producing and doing real estate.) Again, good times talking with old friends.
Finally as I am on the phone telling Leo how I know I saw them walking this way, I see Yoichi sitting down next to a woman who can be no other than Daphanie. Weird how I recognized him first sitting there. Both looked great. But, I promise that they were not there originally.
Went over and the night began. It seriously was so easy and so natural. We caught up a little bit. Drank a lot more. Turns out she used to work at the restaurant/club when she was in school. The people there were really amazing. I was tempted to ask Barack if I could have an application and begin working there at least for the summer.
Everyone was beautiful, inside and out. And it was all so comfortable. Talking with the DJ, with the bartenders, with the owner (who I should have told who I was looking for when I was walking around lost, since he knows Daphanie really well), Daphanie's really funny friend who I can't remember her name right now. She was really cool, though, and sat with us most of the night.
One of the most wonderful, inspiring things was hearing more of Daphanie's story. Both from her and from the owner of the place. She was really changed by working at the club. Helped her to see what the world had to offer. I think that is shit that I kind of took for granted growing up with people from different countries. But something that I really treasure today. And what I really enjoyed about that night. It was International Night at the club, and you could tell. There were Russians, Ethiopians, Croatians, Italians, Japanese... it was everything I love -- people from all over having a wonderful time, listening to Robell's wonderful mixing of music from all over the globe.
Her story was great. Her husband is great, too. It really amazed me how good she is with the language. I know in some emails she has said that she doesn't speak English a whole lot any more, but it is really different to hear someone in person speaking a second language so fluently. It was enthralling. And she has not been speaking it for a super-long time. Being engrossed in the culture and being married to a native speaker really helped her become fluent in her Japanese. Her husband speaks English, but I talk really fast, and he couldn't always understand what I was saying, even when I tried to slow down. But Daphanie was there to translate. Daphanie as a translator! Daphanie, who used to run around with me at Sara's stinky place with water balloons in our bras, who used to try (along with the others) to not touch too much at Sara's, who used to sit and try to listen to Glynis's crazy stories of her family shitting on walls in a hotel, and then smoke a fat blunt in the back of her house that Glynis wouldn't get in on. Daphanie is all grown up, beautiful, and bilingual.
The night continued to get better. Drinks can really do that. Especially when the bartender makes them right. We closed down the place, decided that we couldn't end the night there, and drove over the bridge to the East Side. Went into one of the strip clubs and sat and chilled. The nudity was no big deal. The most disturbing thing was the drink I ordered. The alcoholic one was fine, but the water tasted like shit. I think the bartender might have thought I ordered water with vodka or something. The shit made me want to throw up, though.
We stayed in the club until they closed. Daphanie and I danced. We talked more about life, Yoichi, drinking. Some of the people from the club joined us -- Brian, Robell and the bouncer who I cannot remember his name, and couldn't figure out which country he was from either. Our waitress came over at one point. Real cute girl. As she asks our orders, Yoichi asked if she was Japanese. She really did not look too Japanese to me, but I guess he can tell that shit better than me. The girl was shocked and said no one had ever identified her by sight as Japanese, the three then said some words in Japanese, until the girl realized that Daphanie and Yoichi were much more fluent than her, then she went back to serving.
Daphanie and Robell convinced me to go up to a girl and touch my first implanted boobs. Robell found a girl with some really realistic ones, that felt really nice. Almost made me think twice about getting the shit. They didn't sit all high, they didn't look like melons, the were malleable. Nice.
The night ended soon after that when the club closed down. We tried to get some food from the stand outside, but the people were really adamant about getting us up and out so the girls could leave the place. The sun rise was beautiful, but deceiving since I could have sworn the place I was seeing the colours was really North. Argued with Brian over that for a little bit, too. Even got him to start believing it and trying to convince me it was North and that it was some sort of illusion that made it look like the sun was rising there.
We said our good byes in the lot. Daphanie, Yoichi, and Robell were about to go to another club, I was about to head home for the night. It was honestly the best time I'd had in a while. I really needed it after all the shit I'd been dealing with in the last week or so.
It was great hanging out with beautiful people. People that were comfortable, funny, intriguing, amazing, helpful, inspiring. It was even greater seeing Daphanie again. Greater, still, that we meshed so well, just like old times. I know there is a ton of family and other friend shit until Wednesday, but we hopefully will meet again before her million-hour flight back to Japan. If not, more of a reason for me to fly out there and see the Land of the Rising Sun.
Another highlight of the night was being awakened around 7 to Leo laughing telling me of his dream. Some type of Montel Williams setup with a girl about to go off on a guy saying "Ok, Big Daddy with the titties. You just let them keep jigglin' and jigglin'. They move around more than mine without a bra." Comedy, early in the morning, while I'm still kind of drunk. Woke up, surprisingly, with no big hangover, at least in the head. Just some undigested vodka in the tummy. But ready to do it all again.