After every improv class on Tuesday nights, a bunch of us go to Dusk, a bar and lounge in Chelsea (bit of a walk from South Midtown where class is held, but when you’re with 5-10 other people it’s all good). Ari and his fiance Betsy recommend Dusk to their students, and because it’s early in the week, often the only people there are current and former students of the two of them. This includes the bartender, Cheryl, who always greets us as a comrade and who knew most of our drinks by the second week (mine being a Corona with a lime; one downfall of Dusk is that they have no Guinness! at all! not even bottled or canned!).

The ambience of the place is fantastic. First, the sign above the place outside is a lightly lit blue sphere that says “Dusk” in tall small classy black letters. Then you walk in and, good to its name, it’s dark- but not too dark. There’s a pool table right when you walk in, the one thing that’s lit more than anything else, by a pool lamp above it. The entire right side of the bar is lined with couches and low tables, and couch-like stool-things that you can arrange to make a friendly, all-inclusive square for larger parties (which ours often is). Good jukebox, though I’m not one to plug in the money, I enjoy others’ selections. And the best part? The bathrooms have one-way mirrors! I am, of course, eternally fascinated by this- I feel like I’m in “Law & Order,” well maybe a cross between “Law & Order” and an artsy, more mixed-class “Sex & The City” or a less drunken, less British, more mixed-class “Absolutely Fabulous.”

Scary thought…
but somehow very intriguing…

This past Tuesday was Week 5, and I have been to Dusk afterward every week, one of the few who has managed that spotless record (even Ari didn’t come one week). Usually I stay only until midnight or 1, and my last-to-leave/first-to-leave record is fairly scattered (as is my how-drunk-I-am record).

Last week I finally played pool, doubles with Angela (fellow student). Our first game was against Ari and Bill (fellow student). I hadn’t played in years, and I’ve never been terribly good, anyway. Angela got all ours in until the very end, when it was down to two of ours and the eight-ball. I was up, and wham bam ba-slam, I got ’em all in! It elevated my buzz indefinitely and Angela and I cheered whilst other bar-goers looked on amusedly.

I gloated immensely to Ari, who sat in silence and took it for a time until I paused. He said, “Well- you’re not funny!”

My face fell in mock horror and sadness. I began to cry and turned away, sitting down on the nearest couch. Ari came up- saying “awwww!”- crouched down and hugged me. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it- I was just using the only card I had!”

Ah, good times…

The next game was us against Jessica (fellow student, my friend from San Francisco, well she’s from Nashville but we interned together in Tennessee) and James (student of Ari’s from another time we met there, Jessica’s current boy-toy). Same thing happened- Angela’s got all ours in until the end, I was up with our last and the eight-ball- wham bam ba-slam!


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