I have two friends I worked with back in the mid-80's. One of them, Donna, has stayed my friend since then through thick and thin, through job changes (mine), through babies and divorces, in sickness and in health. The other friend, Mary Ann, and I lost contact for about 10 years. A couple of years ago, Mary Ann insisted that she and Donna and I start meeting at least once a month for dinner and drinks (of course) so we could reconnect and stay connected this time. So far, so good.
Tonight was going to be one of our typical dinner and drinks (of course) but what a night it turned out to be. Two of Mary Ann's friends joined us, Melissa and Jennifer. We told ghost stories (Jennifer has some serious shit going on at her place, let me tell you). We found out that Mary Ann's mother, my grandmother and Melissa's great-grandmother all came from the same very small town in Louisiana and must have lived there and grown up there at about the same time. I've known Mary Ann for almost twenty years and we just found this out tonight. It's the first time I've met Melissa and we discover our common roots within a couple of hours. Very strange.
The most surreal part of the evening was when Mary Ann's husband joined us. The restaurant we were at has open mic night on Tuesday. I was unaware of this. At around 9:00 p.m. all these men start coming in carrying all manner of instruments, Mary Ann's husband being one of them.
When Mary Ann and I used to hang out together way back when, her husband was in a band called "Hazardous Waste." What a great name, eh? I went to one of their shows at a biker bar here in Beaumont which was exciting and scary at the same time. I went to another of their shows at a small bar on the river on Halloween. The main thing I remember about that night is that one of the wives of a guy in the band smoked clove cigarettes. I've been trying desperately to pull more memories of that evening from the recesses of my rapidly deteriorating brain but it's only coming in bits and pieces. I can't even remember if I wore a costume or not.
It was amazing to see Robert and Tom (the clove smoker's husband) up there on stage again after all these years. It was absolutely surreal. What started out as a normal night out with the girls ended with a nostalgic flashback complete with clove cigarettes, memories of great house parties at Mary Ann's and with Robert on bass...once again...as it should be.