After work I headed over to Pizza Joint to meet some coworkers for Gene’s birthday. I was a little late because they planned to meet at 7 and I didn’t finish up until 7:22. When I walked in the door, looking around for a familiar face, they spotted me first and called me over, and Gene had saved me a seat between himself and Chris.
So I settled in and we got to chatting. Elgin and Fichtel were there, and Kevin showed up shortly, as did a new girl, Kelsey, who turned out to be very cool. A guy Gene knows who actually went to UK and is now a chemical engineer at SRS was also there, which was neat. After awhile Krusher and Jessica arrived, and then Samantha and Kate.
I had a cheese calzone and Coke and just sat and enjoyed all the conversations. Sometimes I joined in and sometimes not. It’s really interesting to hear the newsies talk about their jobs, since I’m separated from a lot of it by the fact that I’m in a different room. I also learned a lot about Gene and what he really wants to do with his life. For awhile there the big topic was football, which of course I know nothing about, but I was content to listen and laugh as the various fans called each other out–Krusher was especially impressive with his knowledge of player trivia.
There were plenty of unrepeatable work stories, of course, many of which are hilarious.
After awhile people started drifting off. Fichtel disappeared before I got a chance to talk with him, which I felt bad about because I’d told him if he came he could talk to me :> Elgin and Kevin and Krusher and Chris and Kelsey and Jessica and Gene’s friend all headed out until it was just me, Gene, Kate and Samantha, and we sat and talked for a long time until finally Kate had to leave to resume painting a house, which apparently she plans to do all night. Yeesh.
I had assumed that I would leave fairly early on, so it was interesting to me that I had stayed to be part of the last group. Not only that, I was starting to feel more and more awake, like the evening had only started. When I announced this, Gene suggested that the three of us go for ice cream, an idea I jumped on. I hadn’t eaten but a fourth of my calzone, but I figured I could handle a little sherbet or something. Kate suggested we go to Bruster’s before she headed out, so we headed back across the river to North Augusta.
Unfortunately, Bruster’s was closed, as it was nearing 11. I pulled off and gestured for Sam to flank me and rolled down my window.
“Wanna try Sonic?”
So we headed up the street a little until we got to Sonic, which was still open, and we parked and walked over to the metal tables and placed our orders. I thought about a simple vanilla cone but ended up getting a chocolate malt, and, shockingly, I finished it as we sat there and talked.
Sonic also closed while we were still sitting there, and we ended up staying 45 minutes after the employees shut down the kitchen and left–the lights and music were still on. I ended up telling my life story, which always happens when people ask me about myself, because one thing leads to another. My love story with Sean leads into having cancer, which leads into how I got into web design. As I told Sam and Gene, it’s like my life has been a path :>
I ended up talking about my college boyfriend some, too, since Gene is from Jersey.
Gene talked about how he’s always wanted kids, and it was so neat to actually hear the thoughts I’ve had my whole life coming from a different person. He said it’s always been his dream to raise children and give them the things his parents gave him. I haven’t heard someone other than me express those feelings in a long time, and of course in my case I try to suppress them seeing as how I will never realize that dream. But it didn’t depress me to hear him say it. It was actually rather refreshing.
Samantha didn’t really open up much, I realized later. We’ll have to see what we can get out of her next time :)
I finally left for home at quarter to midnight feeling elated. It was just so good to spend time with people, outside of things that I have to do like run errands or go to work. I loved just being there because I wanted to be, and hanging out for hours, and only leaving because we knew we’d be useless the next day if we stayed up much longer.
I knew I missed hanging out with people, but I guess I didn’t know how much.
I am definitely going to have to do stuff like this more often!