From this week's Bouncer column:
... I thought it might be a good idea to spend my birthday alone here, lost in thought. This makes no sense, because that would make my birthday no different from any other night. But ideally, I would be contemplating the previous year and looking toward the upcoming one. However, I kept forgetting that it was my birthday, and drifting off into thoughts about Fabio from Top Chef, and whether he was married or gay, and speaking of which, is the guy at the end of the bar waiting for someone, or is he alone like me, and should I do something really ballsy and go and talk to him? The Buccaneer is the kind of place you go to with a group of friends. If you are alone, it is only because you are a weirdo and it is your birthday.
He was still alone. It must've been his birthday, too.
The Buccaneer is one of those places I went to years ago, loved, and then promptly never returned to, because it is in Russian Hill, a part of town I rarely get to. I suppose it has a "pirate" theme, but it doesn't hit you over the head with it, which is good, because pirates are so 2005. There's a pool table in the back, but the bar itself is narrow, like a galley. Hurricane lamps contribute to the effect; add sepia tones and the faint smell of a slave ship, and you have yourself a saloon.
Yes sirree, there I was, alone, in the hull of a ship, beginning to feel sorry for myself, if truth be told. Whatever gave me the idea that I wanted to spend this evening solo? Plenty of my friends had offered to take me out for drinks. I could have organized some sort of dinner for myself. And why, of all the thoughts that a nautical-themed neighborhood bar that the locals call the Buc could conjure up, would I think of a peaceful, lost race of indigenous people who were later enslaved and wiped out? Because my default setting is genocide, that's why. It's the same part of my brain that would never will me to go over and talk to the guy at the other end of the bar. It's the same impulse that tells me that being alone on my birthday is what I really want.
... continue reading this week's Bouncer column.