I had asked a guy over the internet that was in Israel if he thought 10:30 was too early in the morning to start drinking. he told me he thought I was being childish. so I chastised him.

"What about Charles Bukowski?"
"well look at the musicians though. they didn't last very long" he replied.
"well thats cuz they didn't have enough method to their madness." i stated in defense as I popped the cork and started enjoying my beverage.

the phone rang. It was Natalia. acting chipper as usual.

"what are you doing?" she asked.

"What do you think I'm doing?" I asked rhetorically.

"drinking wine?" she responded. I could tell she was smiling on the other end.

"how old are you 23? 24?" I gingerly commented.

"I'm 29." she said with a long ending nine.

birthdays. I stopped counting mine years ago.

I hadn't been invited or else I probably would've tried to show more restraint concerning the bottle I'd bought the day before. but I knew once I saw her number come up on my phone that my invitation had finally arrived.

"do you want to come with us? some friends of mine are throwing me a little get together"

after some fun discussion I finally agreed to take a shower and put on some clothes and meet them once I had myself together. on my way to the shower I was greeted by my indifferent room mates. boasting with laughter. then quieting once I passed through. I took a nice long shower. something I don't normally do. I guess the wine had slowed me down enough to enjoy it this time. once I got out I could sense the quietness outside again. I went back in my room passing by sour looks and blasted some exciting music. "Sightings / Absolutes" while the music blasted I had trouble figuring out what went with what as far as clothes were concerned.

brown blazer. yellow tie. blue button up.

no.

blue shirt yellow tie brown cardigan.

no. that didn't work either.

I noticed the time and went with a tried and true. whatever works.

as I was brushing my teeth I noticed a humongous zit had emerged on my right nostril. "now thats just great." I said under my breath to myself as I spit out a mouth full of tooth paste.

I got my keys, my drugs, took one last quick sip of wine and headed down stairs.

knock knock. Natalia greeted me. looking as rushed and confused as ever. yet calm and resolute. Scott gave me a warm greeting. everyone smiling. I was tired though. and made no illusions that I wasn't.

we gathered ourselves and made our way to the train.

the train was jam packed with people. standing room only. we slid our way into the middle of the aisle and braced feet as the doors closed and the train started to ride. along the way Natalia told me of a new song that she had written which she sang into my good ear. the train was screaming but her soft melody was transcending and I listened carefully as we roared under the ocean.

once we got to town Scott left us to pick up his bike and we gave each other some simple farewells. I followed Natalia up the escalator and around the bend. I'd follow her nearly anywhere. cause where ever she's going there's fun to be had. once we got to a certain street we turned left and were faced with a very steep hill to climb. I turned and walked it backwards. She walked up behind me talking the entire way. even when she's out of breath she's got words she's trying to spit out. she was telling some story about how she saw some friend of hers and she couldn't tell if the person had seen her or was ignoring her and how she had helped her move into the house next door to the house we were going to.

as she finished her story we arrived. at which point we were very graciously welcomed by her hosts. The place was immaculate. great furniture. wide open spaces. good music playing. a giant back yard. with beautiful trees. After scoping out the place one of her hosts opened up a bottle of champagne. I worried that that might be all there was to drink. but my fears were quickly resolved when he offered "hey we've got lots to drink. there's champagne. we've got white wine. red wine"

"red... please" I said feeling relieved.

a nice tall dark glass of red wine appeared in a nice glass that I quickly took to sipping on as I went back to scoping out my new surroundings. they talked about everything that came to mind. I did my best to not seem out of place. They seemed friendly enough though so I didn't worry too much.

as they were discussing the choir and a certain member in particular named Sarah that Natalia laughed "the hot one". which I guess everyone was in agreement with me about since it was enough of a consensus for Natalia's joke to be fully understood. A knock on the door. and speak of the devil in came the hot one dancing and bursting with energy. the volume of the conversation immediately changed. suddenly there were 3 conversations happening at once. in 3 different directions. all mostly being directed by the girls in the room.

I sat and tried not to stare. I had noticed her at the show a few weeks prior. but then again who didn't. they were talking about things I always have no where to go with. work. college. school. places I've never been. things I've never seen. people I've never met. But I did my best to nod and inject whenever I saw fit without being imposing. another knock. and more beautiful women.quickly the house was filled with beautiful women all with warm spirits and heart felt smiles. Some just stopping in for a moment. some pouring themselves drinks and settling in. Her mother and sister stopped by along with her little niece who must have been 1. maybe 1 and a half at the most. we laughed as her niece put on Natalia's shoes as Natalia put on her tiny shoes. the way they waddled in perfect unison being the funniest of all. like a school of fish. the gene pool never being more obviously conveyed.

Scott dished out some excellent looking orderves. some kind of fruit with goat cheese and what looked like parsley or mint. they looked excellent but I passed on them anyways. Natalia sang her new song for everyone. and we all sat and stood quietly. except for her niece who much like her aunt demands attention. her sister took her off to enough of a distance for Natalia to get through her new song and we all enjoyed it and genuinely applauded once she was finished.

The drinks kept coming and I kept drinking. I asked him what kind of wine he was serving. If it was french or Californian. He seemed to think it was local. If it was local it was a good blend. not quite as meaty as I prefer it but tasty and not too sweet and not at all spicy.

One of the guests was boasting about her worldly travels. another complaining about how she's never been adventurous enough. the night smoothly running it's course till it was time for her family to leave with the tiring child. And with them leaving they left all of us feeling like we could smoke and drink a little more casually.

The music got louder as did the conversation. laughing out loud. joy being passed around in glasses and through pipes. My eyes kept wandering in the same direction even though they were surely unwarranted. So I kept drinking and smiling with smiling people. politics in music. politics in politics. why what songs were being played and who was playing them. the city. the country. what the future will be like. and how the past looked so far.

on our way home. the moon was as full and bright as I've ever seen it. street lights weren't necessary. I stopped in one of the liquor stores along our way back to the train and grabbed me the cheapest bottle of red french wine they had. not a bad selection just as Scott said before I rushed in. on the train we found seats and felt good. good people. doing good things for good people. why do we have to wait for the day that we're born to celebrate being alive?..