The April Fools
By H.G. Miller
1:46 a.m., April 1, 2001
So, the first thing we hear when we walk into the bar is “LAST CALL!”
No, wait. Let's start earlier than that.
9:18 p.m., March 31, 2001
“Think she's a lesbian?”
“I don't know. Isn't everybody here?”
“We're not,” I reasoned with my friend, Eric.
Our debate centers around this gorgeous blonde girl smiling our way from across
the room. The first stop of the evening - a coworker's house-warming party.
He's finished painting over the water stains and old wallpaper, and now he
finds it necessary to make those of us he works with drive out to the valley
and compliment him on how unlike a construction zone the place looks.
To further preface our conversation, the guy I work with is gay, and my friend
and I have shown up early. Early to the point that I don't know anybody but the
host, and all of the other males in the room are being quite friendly to me.
And, of course, it's nearly impossible to have a perfect-looking female smile
at you without expecting some sort of extenuating circumstance to come between
the two of you and true love. An angry ex-boyfriend, the inability to speak
English, or as might be the case this evening, a lack of interest in anybody
sporting a penis.
“I'm going in.”
I nod to my friend, take a swig of my drink, and subsequently trip on the
corner of the A-40 model IKEA carpet in complimentary tan and gray color
schemes bought on sale for $39.95 (I know this because I own one myself).
Lesbian or not, most girls do not take kindly to having generic brand vodka,
wholesale cranberry juice and a half a glass of ice spilled across their
breasts. So, I politely stand from the Venus's feet, compliment the matching
couch pillows, and show myself to the door.
10:56 p.m., March 31, 2001
You know you've made it as a band when you don't have to steal recording time
in the dank basement of a rehearsal studio in North Hollywood during the waning
hours of the day.
God bless my buddy Brandon, but his band's just not there yet. And the place is
hard to find.
10:33 p.m., March 31, 2001
“Maybe they can't here us. Knock louder.”
I am knocking louder. Any louder and I think I might crack the glass of the
rehearsal studio door I have been instructed to come to after phoning my friend
in desperate need for an excuse to leave the previous engagement.
“Let's try this,” my companion suggests as he pulls on the door handle, causing
the hinge mechanisms to quietly swivel the door away from the frame.
So, sometimes things are easy.
A somewhat stoned individual greets us in the hallway of the studio. I explain
who we are looking for, and he silently points to a staircase leading down into
some dark hole in the back corner of the building.
Oh yeah, we're partying now.
11:40 p.m., March 31, 2001
“God damn, I'm good,” Brandon exclaims as we finish listening to the playback
of his drum solo for the eighteenth time. “Let's load up the gear, boys.”
12:01 a.m., April 1, 2001
Well, it's a new month, and I have already learned that the microphone I
dropped down two flights of metal stairs is worth more than I make in a whole
year of devoted employment.
“Don't sweat it,” I'm told. “We'll just put it in a box with a bunch of others,
and they'll never notice.”
And so, I dump the busted mike into a cardboard box representing the next five
years of my earning potential. This is the poetically-painful part of the story
where we laugh to dispel our feelings of discomfort.
12:54 a.m., April 1, 2001
Driving North on the 405.
1:06 a.m., April 1, 2001
“Okay, just because I've lived here a year and a half now doesn't mean I can't
make an honest mistake at the 101/405 interchange. I know that Santa Monica is
South. Let it go.”
1:32 a.m., April 1, 2001
“Is it O'Brien's?” I ask our growing group of travelers.
“I think so,” Justin tells me. “It's next to Lush.”
“I don't see Lush,” Brandon says.
“Yeah, me neither,” Eric agrees.
None of this is helpful, of course, as we try to find the bar that Brandon's
brother, Justin, assures us has extremely hot females awaiting our studly
selves to save them from the boredom of ordinary life.
“That one?” I ask.
“Sure,” he responds.
“There's Lush,” Eric points.
And we skip past my brilliant parallel parking job (You'd be amazed how easy it
is to park a beat up Grand Am when you have no care about denting the fenders
of the two BMWs on either side of you), and we move to the bar.
1:46 a.m., April 1, 2001
We quickly grab drinks. We scope the room. We all make the same observation.
“Dude, I don't see the chicks.”
“I don't see
“Wasn't that guy at the party we went to earlier?”
“Yes,” I sigh, and point in another direction. “That guy, too.”
So, this month is starting out a lot like the last.