English, Spanish & Friday Night

I’m pleased as punch that I stopped by Derek‘s gallery404 tonight, and ran into Dave English in person. Literally ran directly into him; I think I remember sobbing, but it may just have been the emotion of sobbing. I always forget that I introduced Derek and Dave, and I’m writing this down so I remember, but also because I’m proud as punch that I introduced two talented artists. Their hairstyles are complementary.

Hunter S. Thompson keeps coming up in my interactions with Derek, so I’m…going to have a drink. My Spanglish friend Carpo told me tonight that he wants to learn to drink with me, and I think it was a compliment where he comes from. Where Carpo comes from, they have one person for English, one person for Spanish, and one person for Wednesdays. I told him he should come with me to the Kentucky Derby, which may no longer be decadent and depraved in the press box, but where there is still plenty of mud on the infield.

This conversation with Carpo happened after the official events of the evening, with Debbie & Ethan at Ritter’s Diner, a landmark known to anyone who has ever enjoyed life in Pittsburgh. Debbie & Ethan have been around for some of my favorite conversations as of late: virtually any conversation with G on strong narcotics, and most conversations with Carpo on anything. And tonight, they got to see my usual conversation with Nate the cook.

Nate lives in my neighborhood and works at Ritter’s Diner, also in my neighborhood, but we only see each other every few months. On these late nights, Nate comes out of the kitchen, sees me, and rubs his belly. He tells me I’ve gotten bigger, but I’m never sure if he means in the last ten years or the last few months. Anyway, the way he says it I’m pretty sure he means it as a compliment, the way only a naturally skinny person would.

Nate then asks what I do and where I live, and tells me where he lives in the neighborhood. This happens every time, and it’s good. At some point, Nate will tell whomever I’m with that he used to work for me, which makes me uncomfortable because I think it inadequately delineates our relationship.

The night is over, and I forgot to stop in the kitchen and say goodbye this time. It’s been a long time since I visited. I think I’ll go more often. I think that every time.