I went out with a whole lot of work people one night. We went to the prestigious Ivy Bar.
I don't mind the Ivy, but there are five bars to choose from, but choosing the wrong one can end up with a dull evening.
The Pool Bar upstairs generally won't take people in in large groups. If you're with a couple of pretty girls, dressed nicely though, you're in without a second glance.
The place is gorgeous. The people are gorgeous. The staff are gorgeous. It's actually quite sickening. But it's a nice bar. The Change Rooms downstairs from the Pool Bar have little beds, sometimes curtained off...
It's an easy place to be, never pay for a drink, if you're into that kind of thing.
There were too many of us to get into the Pool Bar, and we headed to my favourite Playground instead.
This was, of course, quite conflicting for me; Play and Work, both in the same place... Play won out.
We do our lap of the bar (I'll come to explain this in the Guidelines) and settle ourselves down in my favourite spot at the bar. I am with a darling friend of mine from work at this point, a very very camp friend of mine, and we were at the bar sitting quite close together, scoping out all the decent men in the bar.
Sitting about a half dozen people up from us at the bar is a very attractive man, with a girl on each side. He has about an inch of beer left in the bottom of his glass and he looks a tad bored.
It's hard, here, to explain the look of these girls without sounding somewhat judgemental, because that is what I'm being - I judged them on first appearance... And the only word that comes to mind is, well, skanky... This is a bar usually full of suits, and these girls were in micro-minis with VPLs, and faux-leather... So not-pretty.
As I'm buying myself and my friend a drink, I ask the bartender to replace this mans beer. This is done, he looks over slightly confused, I raise my glass, cheers him, look away and go back to my conversation... and place a bet with my friend as to how long it's going to take him to walk over.
After five minutes, my new friend wanders over, but, seeing me sitting very closely to my male friend at the bar, stammers a "thank you for the beer", and backs away. My friend scoots off to find the rest of our colleagues, and I smile at my new friend, and explain that a girl is always safe with a gay friend at the bar.
We get to talking and he's a 39 year old man from Chicago, over here on a sabbatical.
American accents are sexy. Most would disagree, but they make me weak at the knees. I found this particularly entertaining, because I'd been message swapping with a guy from Chicago who'd been living in Sydney for a few years, over internet dating.
So I ask 39, what's a guy like him doing in a bar like this... by himself. He explains that he was with his little brother, but his brother had to go meet up with a girl on a date... You see... he's been doing this internet dating thing.
Of all the bars on all the nights in all the world... chances were I couldn't have randomly picked the one guy who's brother I'd been chatting up online.
We integrated with my work mates, got to chatting, and 39 asked if I wouldn't mind texting his brother to let him know that he was still in the bar (no mobile here in Aus). He replied saying he was five minutes away.
The second he walked into the bar I spotted him. Undeniably. What are the odds do you think?
This website boasts of over 350K+ Sydney based singles. At a half, 175,000 men, and I end up chatting up his brother?!
I said nothing. 39 introduced us. He asked me if we'd met before, said he recognised me from somewhere (funny that). I changed the subject, asked him how his date went, and he rambled on about her being a crack-whore. Then he twigged (hopefully not from the crack-whore comment).
What was most distressing at this point, as it all unfolded there at the bar (workmates present), was the look on 39's face as the groundwork unravelled before him. He turned around and walked away.
Little Brother aka 36, insisted that I go and sort it with 39. I took his advice, found him at the bar, and somehow managed to explain that I'd been tuning his little brother on a website. 36 left. 39 and I had a few more drinks and at about 2am it was time to leave. I ended up back at 39's place, which actually ended up being 36's place... Hmmm.
The rest of the night was average, we were both pretty drunk and I think top of my agenda was sleep...
39 was playing golf the next morning, so we were up at 6. He got up, thinking I was still sleeping, and through the paper-thin walls I heard the following conversation:
36: How did your night end up?
39: Fun, good clean fun. Yours?
36: Quiet, I called it.
39: Oh really? We thought you brought someone home with you...
36: So, are you going to see her again? Dinner is on tonight at The Victoria Rooms. I'll write it down and you can pass it on.
(36: Exit stage left)
He brings me a glass of water. He kisses me good morning. I pretend to wake up. I mumble something about the time and having to get to work. The last thing I'm wanting right now is a dinner invite - not that I'm presuming to get one - but I don't need that kind of awkward at 6am. I get dressed whilst he's in the shower, and after he's out of the shower, say a quick goodbye and drop him my card whilst he's still in a towel.
A couple of hours later, I bounce into work only to be greeted with grins from my colleagues and expectations of stories... I try to relay what on earth went on, only to have to explain it as I have above, 39... and his brother, 36.
About a week later (after 39 had gone back to the states) I get a text message, from 36... just saying hello...