From early 2004 through mid 2005, Chace and Keith were furious consumers of Shanghai’s cheap and unending decadent swill. They were, of course, stars of this blog during the early years, mainly because they were my primary accomplices in plowing through my beloved city’s heady nightlife. Then, Keith moved back to Vancouver and settled down. Although Chace and Mike and I tried to keep it going, we could never really match the tempo that we had when Keith was here. I think party it was because the city was so new to all of us; we had yet to have the smell of it really embed itself into our clothes and hair back then. Keith was Clark to Chace’s Lewis (Mike was more like Sacagawea), and we all explored ever dirty facet of Shanghai until we couldn’t breathe…and Bi Feng Tang stopped serving pineapple buns. Then Chace left last year, and it was all over. No one in my remaining circle would ever leave a club and urinate over a vomiting patron. I missed that.
So it was with great excitement (and a bit of trepidation) that I returned to San Francisco two weekends ago to celebrate our friend Steve’s wedding, an event that both Keith and Chace had committed to not only to honor the happy couple, but to bring back yesteryear. Plans were made, deals were struck, schedules were worked out. And at the end of the day, all of it was thrown out the window when the drinks appeared in front of them. I had some wedding party duties to attend to, and had to implore the darling Cathy Mar (recent returnee to the Bay Area) to host my out of town friends while I attended rehearsal dinner.
Me (at 5:30 pm): I’ll be up there as soon as I can, probably around 10 pm.
Cathy: Sure, no problem, I’ll find somewhere to take them them for dinner and we’ll meet up at a bar afterwards.
Me: Yes, don’t start drinking until I get up there.
And so it was, that at 7 pm I get the following text message from Cathy: “Your boys are so drunk.”
Of course they were. I should have known better. I scrambled out of the restaurant and took the BART up to the city knowing that in short order, glasses would be shattered against the San Francisco pavement, undershirts would be ripped off and thrown at pedestrians, and worst of all, I would not be there to witness it. I had to see the old magic, I just had to be there.
And when I did see them again, trudging up the slick and rainy slopes of SF toward Chinatown, of all places, for a drunken midnight snack, my heart was briefly at home again. Although both of them are now engaged to separate human beings, wonderful women nonetheless incapable of appreciating the sheer pathos of Chace and Keith’s separation, their reunion forged something breathlessly magical. See for yourselves, their path to regal glory: