Getting off the red line, I take the forever escalators up to Dupont Circle.
D’s directions are crystal clear: the bar is located at R Street and 17th Street.
The name of the place is Dupont Italian Kitchen.
D told me if I like karaoke, and if I don’t mind lots and lots of gay people, I’d have a great time.
So, consider the initials of the bar.
I walk in and notice little clusters of men scattered about.
I see D and sidle up to her.
She notices me.
About the city. About the hotel. About the songs one could sing that evening.
She pays for a ginger ale for me.
We discuss what else could go into my glass.
D’s friend, Z, is the DJ for that bar. She’s nice.
A man makes his way around me and puts his hands on my shoulders while doing so.
I wonder exactly how comfortable with physical contact I’m supposed to be.
After fiddling with the equipment awhile, she talks to D about how incompetent her bosses are.
The sound system is messed up, and she needs to rewire.
Z heads down to her car for some duct tape.
D and I talk some more. She’s set on me singing.
I think about singing, too.
Z comes back and says someone smashed in her windows and stole a backpack.
D and Z dash out of the bar.
I’m left alone in a bar full of gay men.
I finish my drink and head out. D and Z are nowhere to be found.
I call D’s cell phone and leave a message.
D appears and asks if I’ve seen a backpack anywhere.
She explains that the burglar didn’t take Z’s backpack, they took hers.
See, I met D at the airport. She got bumped from her flight.
Her luggage was on a plane to Louisiana. She was not.
All she had was her backpack.
She befriended me and invited me to gay karaoke.
So, her backpack is missing.
Fortunately, she’s from DC.
Her heavy jacket is enroute to Baton Rouge.
The backpack held:
wallet with IDs and $$
newly assigned plane tickets.
That’s gotta suck.
She zips from corner to corner, looking frantically for her backpack.
She can’t find the neighborhood homeless person who apparently is also the neighborhood informant.
She runs down Q Street. Far.
I do not follow her.
That is the last time I see her.
I walk back to the Metro station and take the subway back to the hotel.
Airline, I totally blame you.