Until very recently, every Sunday evening was what we cleverly titled “Mimosa Sunday,” during which, on Sunday evenings, we would drink pitchers of mimosa. Well, mimosa with a float of whipped cream vodka, that they’d do up especially for our fluctuatingly huge group that came ’round every week. There would be conversation and creativity early in the evening – I’d bring my notebooks, and work on whichever poem was currently giving me trouble; a few artist friends of mine would sketch furtively in their notebooks, another dear friend would sometimes bring her knitting, and so on and so forth. We’d discuss politics, current events, and all that rot; Atrocious gossip was de rigeur; it was very much our own little Algonquin Hotel. When the karaoke master arrived, art and projects would get put away, and drinking in earnest would begin – how else is one to sing?
The evening shift bartender was an old high school friend of mine, as well. Sometimes we’d skip the karaoke and hit a local drag show, or go up to the independent theatre to catch a local premiere, and other things of that nature. On more than one occasion, there would be an art show either at the Mix itself, or held at the cafe next door. For nearly two years, we had a self-contained little Peyton Place wrapped inside one of Gertrude Stein’s salons, and it was heaven, as is apropos for a group meeting on Sundays.
Now, of course – and this has been coming for some time, you know – we are all in reduced circumstances. Frankly, it often makes me want to belt songs from Rent, but that would be antisocial behavior. The memory of those days: the larks and shenanigans, the friendships made, lived, and lost; trotting down to the Spanish Steps – replicated from a set at some bijou little Spanish palace, obviously – for a smoke or six; watching the nightlights of downtown rise behind the Italianate clocktower of Old City Hall!
Tonight, we raise our glasses of rotgut vodka and rootbeer to those dear, distant, days.