1. There’s a bartender who works at this place downtown I used to go to every Thursday. He has a beard and this thunderous laugh I could always hear from across the bar, and I only ever approached him when I was sloppy and courageous from one too many shots. He’d always pour me a drink — “On the house,” he’d say with a wink — and we’d talk until his attention was pulled toward another customer. I saw him around town during the day too, but we’d pretend like we didn’t recognize each other.
2. I once had a friend — if you could call him a friend — that I met at a Halloween party. He snaked his arm around my waist and offered me sips of his drink. “You’re seriously the best,” he told me right before I left. I ran into him a few days later and he wouldn’t even look at me. I thought he just forgot about me, but a few weeks later we saw each other at a house party and he wrapped me in a hug. “You’re here!” he said. “Let’s do shots.”
3. I met a guy through an acquaintance and we got along great. We always met up at bars on the weekend and took turn buying each other drinks. We’ve known each other for a while now, but he only ever texts me when he’s already hammered: “Come out tonight!” I only ever respond when I’m hammered, too.
4. I always run into the same girl when I’m out. Not every time, but a lot of times. By now we recognize each other, and we laugh about how funny it is that we always happen to go out on the same nights and end up at the same bars but never see each other anywhere else. I don’t really know a lot about her except that she likes tequila. She’s nice.
5. There’s this guy who broke my heart. We don’t talk anymore, but sometimes I send him messages when I get home at 4 a.m. and the room feels like it’s spinning and I am so, so sad for reasons I can’t comprehend. He never texts me back and I convince myself he changed his number.
6. I used to be really close to one girl. And when I say close, I mean I opened up every closet and let all my skeletons pour out. She did the same for me. Back then, I was surprised how easily I could get along with someone. Now we only speak with beers in hand about current events and all the fun we used to have.
7. Every now and then, I send a drunk “I miss you!” to friends I haven’t spoken to in months, years. Sometimes they respond, sometimes they don’t. Usually I don’t hear from them again.