SEATTLE… ALMOST

It’s 3:30am in the morning, and I just turned down a chance to go to Seattle. Adrian, Patrick, and Kiyoko are going. They are going now… not tomorrow or Sunday… now… at 3:30am in the morning.

Let me back up the story a bit. I returned from dinner at the Naam around 11pm. I was expecting to get to bed early so I could recover from the long work week. In the hallway, I run into Adrian.

“Hey Erwin, we’re going out to a lounge in Yaletown, let’s go.”

I say no at first, but then I realize I’m not that tired and well, you only live once. I decide to go.

We get into Adrian’s car and it’s me, Adrian, Patrick, Kiyoko, and Evelyn. We wind up at the Opus Bar, the lounge in the Opus Hotel. It’s a bit swankier than us poor grad students are used to, but it was a nice place. I knock back three drinks in quick succession. We talk and drink, and before I know it, it’s 2am. I drop $30 for my three drinks. My earlier vow of fiscal restraint goes completely out the window.

On the way back from the bar, Adrian and Pat mention how energized they feel. Someone mentions going to Calhoun’s to finish the night / morning. Adrian and Pat are all for it. I’m indifferent. Then, out of nowhere, Evelyn mentions something which would change the course of the evening…

“Hey, why not go to Seattle?”

The boys start listing off the things they can do in Seattle. Pat says he’s never been. Kiyoko says the same thing. I’m a bit hesistant at this point. I turn and look at Evelyn. “I was just kidding,” she says to me.

We’re approaching SJC now and Adrian says he’s awake enough to get to Seattle in his car. There’s talk about passports and birth certificates. Part of me is now leaning towards going. I’ve never underestimated the fun of a road trip.

We get out of Adrian’s car and we start walking down my hallway. We agree to meet in front of Pat’s room in ten minutes. Pat, Adrian, and I pile into my room. I crawl into bed. I’m not sure about this anymore. The last two times I went to the US was to go to Seattle. I’ve been to the Emerald City lots. Sure, it wasn’t with these people though.

Adrian says he needs to run to his room in Totem. He leaves me with Pat. I tell Pat I can’t go. He attempts to change my mind. Kiyoko comes down and tells us Evelyn isn’t coming anymore. Then I find out that Kiyoko has both Japanese and Chinese roots. Neat. She tells me she speaks Cantonese. Using my limited Cantonese vocab, we start conversing. Pat just watches.

Minutes later, Adrian returns. I walk them to the car. They want me to go. I can’t go. I’m too tired. I don’t want to go through a 3 hour car ride each way. I’ve already been to Seattle many times. They’re also spending only three hours in Seattle before the have to come back. Three hours to get there, three hours in Seattle, and then three hours to get back. It’s just not worth it.

Of course, these are all lame excuses and everyone, including me, knows it. Road trips are fun, and not purely because of the destination, but because of the journey, and the people you go with. This is the kind of fun that I hoped to have when I went back to school. But I’m turning it down…

As everyone gets in the car, I tell Kiyoko in Cantonese that I’m old and tired. She responds by saying you’re only crazy and young once. I can’t argue against that.

They pull away from the curb as I wave goodbye. Adrian drives away for a bit and then does a u-turn. He rolls down the window, “Come on… come with us”. I tell him I can’t.

As I watch them drive away into the distance, part of me feels like I should have gone. Back in my younger days, that feeling would have bothered me. “Why didn’t I go?” I would ask myself. Now though, I’m just glad that I still feel regret, because it means I still care about being a bit crazy. If I didn’t feel any regret about turning down a chance to go to Seattle on a 3:30am whim, then I’d be concerned. I’d truly be an old man at that point. I do feel regret though, and strange as it may seem, it’ll make me sleep easier and better tonight.

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