I texted back: “What, like now?” I shouldn't encourage her to text me at this time of night, but I was curious. Maybe I should just start turning my phone off again when I go to bed. I started leaving it on first year in law school when a friend was sick, so I could be contacted in an emergency. It sucks to be all alone with a kidney stone.
Another beep. “Now would be good but there's a gallery opening tomorrow night. The artist is my friend. Can you make it?”
At least she was limited to 140 characters, but that might mean there would be several more texts coming. I decided they could wait. I turned off my phone, poured some milk into a ceramic mug, microwaved it, downed it, and went back to bed.
I woke up at the crack of dawn and panicked briefly that i'd overslept and had to be at work. Then I remembered it was Saturday, and I rolled over and went back to sleep. I finally woke up for good midmorning and vaguely remembered dinner last night. Slowly everything filtered back. I shuffled to my desk and turned on my phone—3 more texts:
3:17 AM “6:30-9:30, with a party afterward. Camellia Gallery”
Either she expected me to know where that was or she planned to pick me up.
3:25 AM “wear something besides that suit”
She must just assume I'm coming. I'm both flattered and annoyed.
3:31 AM “are you awake?”
It was just after 10 AM. I decided to give her a taste of her own medicine. I tapped out, “am now. Want to get waffles?” in response to her last message. I was not expecting an answer.
I Googled the gallery and found nothing. I wasn't sure I wanted to go to this opening. Probably she wanted to introduce me to some other student or one of her profs. Why would she want ME there? As far as I can tell, we're still just coworkers. And who's so important and keeps such strange hours that they want to meet me in the dead of night?
I. I showered and headed out with my camera to find food and then something interesting. I realized pretty quickly I didn't know where to get waffles so I headed to a cafe to get some beignets and coffee. After that I wandered around the square and watched artists and street performers set up. None of the shops were open yet. I found an information kiosk and perused brochures to see if I could find any info on this gallery Dani was so excited about. I didn't find any, but I did see a notice for a morning yoga class in one of the historic buildings. That could be fun.
Then it occurred to me. I lived in a neighborhood known for the arts. Someone must have heard of Camellia Gallery. That seemed like a lot of effort, though.
I decided to catch a bus to the zoo because I wanted to see it before it got any hotter. At least the bus would be air conditioned. The zoo was packed with families with tiny children. I felt like I stood out oddly. I mean, I had my camera for camouflage but there were no kids dangling off me. Maybe they'd be afraid of snakes. Maybe I could find refuge in the reptile house. The reptile house... was air conditioned.
But no. Little boys like snakes more than I counted on, and their screams echo off the walls (poor snakes). I did get some good shots of the albino alligator, though. That thing is something.
Then something occurred to me: I like air conditioning, and I like food and wine, and I can talk about and take photos. The opening that night would likely have or welcome all those things. Might as well go. The alternative was probably sitting around goofing off on the internet or watching cable. Which would be fun, but I could do that any time.
I picked up my phone and started tapping keys: “yes, i'll come. Thanks. :) where is it/how do I get there? And i've never been to one of these things. What should I wear?”