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Monday, September 22, 2008

Part II of the 24-Hour Vacation, Wherein We Find Ourselves at the Spring for a Second Time.

Amy and I got off the bus within two blocks of each other. In 15 minutes, we had changed our clothes, bent the ends of our hair a bit, and freshened up our make-up; and she picked me up in front of my house. I jumped in the car.

Amy was smiling. “This is the greatest day!”

The Intellectual Delinquents were playing in a venue called Club Underground in the basement of the Spring, home to comedians, musicians, and other social deviants. Willie was already there, Janice, Virgil, Kate were there. Becky and James joined us. We found that we were on the guest list (thank you, Tommy!), which, of course, meant five-dollar pitchers of Premium (cheap, yes, but a guaranteed headache in the morning). Three rounds later, Amy was systematically going through her purse, pulling things out, looking at them, putting them back, taking them out again.

“Amy, what are you doing?”

“I can’t find my cell phone.”

“You mean the phone here next to your beer?”

The comedy show went on late, but after months on the road, they were playing to a drinking and easily amused home-town crowd. For Shannon Thompson, Benny Quashnik, Justin Caesar, and Tommy Thompson, the place was packed and everyone was laughing.

The day and now the evening had taken on a never-ending kind of feel with the best of all possible meanings. Nordeast Minneapolis is one of those neighborhoods where you run into people you know, and everywhere we turned we saw familiar faces. There was Megan, our favorite ex-waitress from Mayslack’s – the woman never had to write anything down. She ruined us for all other servers. There was Amanda, an old next-door neighbor. There was Andy. And Tommy’s dad. And here comes Erin, freshly showered after painting the window trim on her new place and in a dress!

And now what? What do you do when the night is young and you hope it never ends?

Amy checked her cell phone: there was a text from Kathy. “People gathering on the deck!”

A party on Kurt and Kathy’s deck? Amy and I smiled at each other. “Go get Willie! We’re going to Kathy’s!”

Mall of America, Club Underground, and now an impromptu party on the deck?

Someone’s got to do it.

Tomorrow: Part III of the 24-Hour Vacation, Or What Do You Mean, You Lost in the Second Round?

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