Of the many fun things about the Fringe Festival, a great part was meeting a ton of people. Artists, volunteers, festival-goers, I got a chance to chat with ’em all. And, by happy coincidence, the venue I performed in was particularly queer-heavy, both in the subject of its performances and in its volunteer staff.
One of the people I met, we’ll call her E, expressed interest in getting drinks or coffee with me after the festival. I said I’d like to, because E is a cool person and I need more queer friends, but I definitely had the thought in the back of my mind that this might be asking me out on a date. Since I’d be happy either way – date or friendly socialization – I didn’t bother asking E to clarify. We set up a time and place to meet on Saturday night, and I tried not to over-think things. (“Things” being whether or not this was a date, what I was going to wear, how much makeup I needed, noticing while walking to the bar that – oh bugger – I forgot to put any on, and so on.)
When we met at the bar, E bought us both drinks and left her card with the bartender. I figured this was a good sign, but still tried not to over-think things. She then pulled out my chair for me and helped me remove my coat, at which point the signs became a little more clear. We chatted for the next hour or so, talking about the Fringe Festival, our previous and future artistic projects, our experiences living in Chicago, the ridiculous drunken people walking past the window; all the things you chat about with someone when you’re enjoying their company, getting to know them, and getting a little tipsy.
As we both worked on our third drinks (mine: a vodka cranberry, hers: a dirty martini) I realized I had almost reached the bottom of my glass while E had barely touched hers. “E,” I asked, “are you trying to get me drunk?”
She looked at me. “Yes.”
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