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Two beers at the Big Time

Yesterday after work I stopped at the Big Time for a couple of beers and a couple of chapters of Iain Banks' Use of Weapons (second time I've read it). I ended up drinking two Yulefests, even though there are at least four other great beers on tap right now. (The Lollipop Weizenbock has been doing right by me for some time now, and there's also the Old Wooly, the Lift Ticket, and the Old Rip Oatmeal Stout.)

As I sat by myself reading the Banks, suddenly this gorgeous young redhead who was standing in line to get a beer exclaimed, "That's a great book!" I told her it was the second time I've read it, and she asked me if I'd read the other Culture novels. Yes, I just read the last one. She said she'd read everything by Banks, including his last novel, which she didn't think was one of his best but was very poignant because it was about somebody dying of cancer. "He's my favorite writer," she said. "Well, one of my favorites." Then her boyfriend came and fetched her, and I went back to reading the chapter where the half-frozen Zakalwe is fetched for the first time by Diziet Sma.

Not long after that I ordered my second pint, and a young guy who ordered ahead of me asked if he could sit at my table. (The place was very crowded by then.) We got to chatting, and I found out that he's a student at the UW studying mathematics, with minors in Statistics and Global Health. He grew up in West Seattle, but he said his dad was originally from Somalia. Interesting kid, although a little bit repetitive in his conversation. I got the feeling he was a bit of a nerd who wasn't real sure of himself. He stopped talking to me at one point and was playing with his phone. I thought he was texting somebody, but then it looked like he was taking random photos of people sitting around us. He had run out of things to say, and that was fine by me.

When he went off to the loo, Wolfgang stopped by to chat. Wolfgang is basically somebody I only ever see at the Big Time, and I've known him for years now. He moved away from Seattle a few years ago, but I'd still see him occasionally and now he's moved back. He always has fascinating stories to tell, and this time was no different. We covered a lot of topics, but the doozy was that he's teaching martial arts in the International District in a basement space that used to belong to a friend of his who just died. The place is apparently packed with junk that this friend hoarded over the decades, and Wolfgang is sorting through it. He has discovered several boxes of stuff that used to belong to Bruce Lee, apparently deposited there after he was kicked out of the family restaurant for not working hard enough. I'm not sure what year that would've been. Wolfgang didn't say what the stuff was, but really the whole point of the story was that it was Bruce Lee's stuff. Wolfgang seems to live a magical life like that.

And so I headed home after a very fun and unusually social couple of hours at the Big Time.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
holyoutlaw
Jan. 18th, 2014 11:52 pm (UTC)
I remember Wolfgang stopping by our table once a while back. I have an online acquaintance who studies in the same basement, and was also a student of the man who recently died.

Sounds like fun, in its unusually sociable way.
randy_byers
Jan. 19th, 2014 07:13 am (UTC)
Wow. Small city, eh? I love it.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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