Last night, my new housemates gathered for our first dinner together as living companions. We had a great night but split up early to go our separate ways–Gabe is moving out and has cleaning to do, Danielle teaches a 6 a.m. Bikram yoga class, and Andy was going to see Prometheus.
Gunther and I lingered in the kitchen, and he asked, “Wanna go to the bar?” and in the spirit of being a fun, young person, I said, “Sure!” He’s new to the neighborhood, so I thought we’d go to Lou’s Corner Bar–a real yinzer place that I knew he hadn’t visited yet. On our way there, we passed by the Big Idea Bookstore, where Hannah was closing up the shop after this week’s inaugural film of the Squatter Film Fest. We stopped in to say hello.
A band from Milwaukee, The Fatty Acids, had wandered into the store, too. They were young and affable, disheveled and boyish. The one with a knotted ponytail spoke up: “Hey, this is a long shot, but do you know any singer/songwriters in Pittsburgh?” he asked cheerfully. “We’re supposed to play at Howler’s tonight, but our opener canceled! We came all the way to Pittsburgh and now there’s no show!”
Hannah looked three feet to her right, where our friend Caroline was sitting. Caroline is, coincidentally, a singer/songwriter. She overhead and thought it over for a second, nodded, and said, “Let’s go!” and so just an hour later, Hannah, Gunther, Caroline, the band and I were laughing, dancing, and marveling at the power of Pittsburgh’s tight-knit community and the intoxicating feeling of freedom that comes with spontaneity on a warm summer night.
Hannah and I hugged and danced, Gunther sipped a beer and talked to the band, Caroline strummed and crooned, and the Howler’s crowd laughed and kept rhythm to the sounds of Milwaukee.