We were having ecstatic conversation at a little dim table.  Each item led to the next as though it were all a complex and wonderful joke that we enjoyed retelling.  There was all sorts of writing on that table.  Then C wanted to get out of there, to Jumbo’s Clown Room.  D had no interest in that place.

“What is it?” I asked.

“It’s not like you think,” he said.  “It’s all rundown and funny.  The only furniture is crappy folding chairs, and it’s so funny, I can’t believe you haven’t been there.”

I had to agree, I ought to have been to a place like that, and soon we found ourselves in a room as one might find in many other strip clubs, except smaller and perhaps a little nicer, the women all in lingerie.  I looked at C and he told me that this place must have changed, it was very different the other times he’d been.  “Where are the folding chairs?” I asked.

It was the kind of place I would have enjoyed at 18 or 19 and for that reason all the more embarrassing.  I went to the bar to get water for the girls.

Later that night we were all standing out on my deck.  C played with the dog, I felt a squeeze on my arm and was sure we’d all be friends for a very long time.