So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

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Saturday night, I attended the closing party for the 280 Elizabeth Street location of Dad’s Garage, the theater where I’ve been taking improv classes. On the one hand, it was bittersweet–I have been going to this theater since I was 12, and it is weird to see your hometown change. On the other hand, the party was insane.

Before we even wandered into the party, my friend and I had our first encounter of the evening: as faithful readers may recall, a few weeks ago I hit on a will call volunteer via Twitter at this very theater. Because my life is fun, he was in fact working will call for this event. Awkward banter was exchanged, we were set up with wrist bands, and my friend and I wandered inside. (The boring conclusion to the Twitter bro story is that he seemed to have a lady friend at the party, so, uh, whoops.)

A kindly volunteer, seeing my friend and I wandering around after we had come in, oriented us to what was happening: the main stage had turned into a four-table flip cup tournament moderated by Lucky Yates (who had a bullhorn because reasons), the part of the theater that had previously been offices had been transformed into a sweet black lit dance floor, and the back corner of things had been turned into something with a sign proclaiming it “The Bone Zone.”

“It was Lucky’s idea,” she said. “Don’t go in there. You’ll get pregnant.”

With that somewhat ominous warning (which we did heed), we headed off to wander. For the first hour, that was most of what we did–we’d wander into the dance floor, see that it was still empty, and wander back to watch flip cup or read some of the wall graffiti that was being added to the building. (Since the place is being destroyed soon, vandalism was encouraged so long as it didn’t involve punching through walls, because no one likes an electrical fire.)

Between the dance floor of people looking slightly uncomfortable, the flip cup tournament up front, and the dedicated portion of the theater for semi-public theater sex havers (or people doing cocaine, I have no idea), the whole event basically served as a reminder that frat parties pretty much never totally leave you. Unlike a frat party, however, the beer was good and the floor wasn’t even really that sticky.

For my part, since I made the mistake of wearing a Target clearance rack sweater made mostly out of acrylic and dreams, I was sweating like a stuck pig 20 minutes in. Seeing that that was how things were going to be regardless of whether or not I danced, I decided to go for broke, and spent most of the night drunkenly busting a move with my remarkably tolerant friend.

That dance floor constitutes the only place outside of my dorm room circa 2010 that I’ve ever heard Le Tigre, the Eurythmics, and “All I Do is Win” one after the other. It was awesome.

It was only after getting really into the dancing that I looked over and realized that the enthusiastic dancing dude in the next little dance group was in fact my improv teacher. (The fact that I hadn’t really noticed prior to that is a testament either to the power of Sweetwater Blue or the truly excellent strobe lighting that was happening.) He apparently recognized me as well, and came over to say hello while my friend and I were taking a break from dancing to gasp and (in my case) contemplate taking up a lunge regimen so that my legs don’t shake the next time I want to dance for several hours.

However, there was an issue in that we were standing six feet away from a professional grade sound system blasting dubstep remixes of the 80s. “Emily!” he shouted. I waved. He then shouted my name again, at which point I pointed out that I knew my name and that he might have been intending to shout my name in the direction of his date (who did not know me). He did so. Then he shouted her name back in my general direction, and shouted my name again before pointing at my friend. I shouted her name back at him, and then he leaned over to her (presumably to shout his name at her). After a few minutes of this, everyone waved, and we parted ways.

Not a single verb was exchanged. As far as I’m concerned that just made it more delightfully strange.

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