A weekend in Columbus
“Gonzo journalism!” I exclaim. Badtz nods her head vigorously in agreement. Her bangs bop up and down over her forehead. “We’ll start a new wave of the genera!” We sit in a room about eight feet long and six feet wide. It’s like a club house it’s cool. “I’m going to start introducing you as my lawyer.” Poor Badtz recently got fired. She lives in here in Columbus in what I like to think of as a cupboard above the stairs because it reminds me of Harry Potter. The walls are decorated with hand made art and postcards and pictures. One third of the room is a desk with a laptop computer. Badtz sits in the chair I sit on the floor.
I should tell you this conversation is in regards to an article for a class I’m taking in college. I also plan to put this in the travel blog I’m currently trying to start. It’s about looking at boring mundane life and seeing the adventure. About general travel, life, adventure, and quite likely it will appear in a creative nonfiction/gonzo format.
In Kroger’s we stalk for booze. I haven’t Mr. Thompson s degree of extreme so we’ll stick with the drink. Cheap beer and cheap wine. These are the beverage choices for only the poorest of souls.
I get it into my head that I want chocolate covered coffee beans and well we have some time to kill before the music show so we roam up and down the isles of the grocery store. After failing in the candy isle I simply grab a raw coffee bean. It crunches loudly in my mouth and requires much effort from my teeth.
“It’s like shards of coffee glass are stuck in my teeth,” I said after a rather long pause. “Need a drink.”
So after Kroger’s we roll to a parking lot closest to the music venue. Here we drink and talk. The bizarreness of the subject matter steadily increases as we drink. After a certain amount of time we are buzzed and it’s time for the show.
Kafe Kerouac is most definitely one of my favorite places in Columbus. First of all it’s a used bookstore with board games available and tables encouraging people to just hang out. Secondly this place is a coffee shop. A coffee shop with fantastic coffee and a variety of drinks named after famous authors. Thirdly Kafe Kerouac is a bar. Yes where you walk up to get your coffee from is a bar counter top with stools. Yes there are drinks with both coffee and alcohol also appropriately named.
It’s so crowded we have to squeeze in the door. The throngs of people are thicker around the bar. We have to squeeze and fight to get through them and to the bathroom. We both write and draw on the walls which is welcome here. I stare in the mirror at my red, buzzed dancing eyes. The mirror is smudgy but it seems appropriate. I take the orange marker in my hand and I draw a heart on my left cheek. I draw a star that reaches up to my eye on the right cheek. I walk out and the sound of the horde around me instantly makes me forget that I have weird things on my face.
The first band is good and it’s some guy I’ve met once before. We leave to the car for more drinks. We are planning to stay at the cafe late enough for Badtz to sober up.
Upon returning the music had stopped and the next band, the one we are friends with had showed up. Badtz and I spend some time talking to Brian Baker who is the singer of the Pharaohs (who we’ve come to see) and musician for several bands we both know. He lives here in Columbus and he is as drunk as we are if not more. He seems unsteady on his feet but upbeat as he tells us about his job at a T-shirt printing factory and quitting school. He is pulled away and more people make more small talk.
The Pharaohs play and they’re good as usual. Suddenly someone asks where Badtz car had gone. We run outside to the parking lot. My feet felt heavy my head felt numb. The car is gone. The empty spot reveals a no parking sign. Badtz throws her phone which breaks instantly in that open space where the car had been. From here on out we would be relying on my phone which had one bar of battery remaining.
Even though we’d come to see the band we are both feeling so defeated by the towing of the car that we decide to simply walk home. It is a rather long and sobering walk. We cut through campus. It’s dark and eerily deserted.
I get a text from Keith a member of the Pharohs and Badtz former roommate. He hadn’t been outside between bands so we never got to see him. I explain to him about the car situation and he instantly offers us a ride home. Unfortunately we’d already walked half way and he sill needed to pack up supplies.
We were literally a block away when Keith pulled up.
Back in that room Keith instantly grabs the pink and purple wig that hangs on the hook near the door and puts it on. Both Badtz and I are delighted by this. He continues to wear the wig as Badtz takes pictures on her webcam. She puts a movie on the TV and I sit back against the wall. There are no real chairs. I doze off and wake off to Keith asking if Kate had fallen asleep. My eyes pop open and I immediately denied such claims. I did admit to being tired. Truth be told I had fallen asleep so I don’t know how long Badtz and Keith were talking before she told him he had to leave.
I passed out and stayed that way until morning. Morning which came blaring in the window like the furious glare of a pissed off sun god. The unpleasant reminder of the car situation was the first thing to hit me as I sat up that day. More adventures and challenges await for the weekend had just begun.