After the reading, I ended up ditching out on Matt and Juliet. They were going to have dinner with their families, and part of me felt a little weird going with (and another part of me wanted to run off with my other grad school friends). Since I hadn’t seen so many of them in so long, I hitched with Meghan and made plans to meet up with Matt and Juliet later on.

The post-reading party would be at Larry’s, the old dive bar we all used to frequent back in the day.

Beer and chicken at BW-3’s, next door. Funny thing was, I had come here earlier in the day with Matt’s family for lunch. Oh well!

L to R it’s Jeannine , Meghan, Jacki and Kristina.

Mike and Jeannine .

Jacki and Dan, having a smoke outside.

Larry’s Bar, Grill and Seminar. A home away from home.

Oh, how things have changed. Back in the day, there was a pool table wedged into this corner. It was so close to the wall (where the painting is), you had to use a special half-cue, just to get a shot off.

This shot right here? This is what you would have seen, walking in to Larry’s back when I was in school. A bunch of writers lined up at a table, talking shop and drinking beer.

A bit later on, I find Jeannine at the bar with this guy named Joe. As it turns out, a while back… Joe was a 6th grader and had Jeannine for a teacher. They found one another at the bar, and he bought her a shot.

Now me? I’ve gone back to visit old teachers of mine. But I have yet to buy one of them a drink. This, I think, is a goal to strive for: to become a teacher and, one day, have the students return to praise you with shots of booze.

Yours truly.

Mike, toasting with the Miller High Life.

Meghan and Matt.

Juliet, me and Mike. We were all in the process of grunting like gorillas (I forget what started this), but man… I look like I’m totally smashed in this pic.

This place is way brighter than I remember it being. Anymore, there’s a no-smoking rule in all the bars in Columbus (sort of a sad thing, really). That, and there are lights all across the ceiling – I remember this place being much darker, much smokier. More peanut shells on the floor and more dogs roaming around, between the tables.

Juliet wanted a photo of this, for some reason. The word “Bajina” had particular significance for her, but she wouldn’t say more than “You HAVE to send me a copy of that!”

Shortly after this, I was convinced that I had carved something into one of these tables, back in the day. Juliet and I then went on a graffiti hunt for a message from my past self. We kept searching (unsuccessfully) for a pretty embarassing timeframe.

Jeannine , Matt and Juliet.

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