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  • H.M. Jackson

How the 'Friends Era' Began

Today marks one year that I met my very best friends. It is something I am thankful for on so many levels. When I met them, I had just come out of a very dark place, and I had started putting myself first, which meant I didn’t have many friends at the time. I truly was just doing me, and if you were someone that cost me my peace, I didn’t have the space for that. The story of how I met my best friends is a funny one because looking back it does sound wild.

There is a little dive bar up the street. It is one of my favorites. I am not a fan of the club scene, and I enjoy playing darts, which is why this is a go to spot for me. It was a Saturday night and I had gone to the dive bar with one of my neighbors to buy him a beer to thank him for teaching me how to change a tire. He ended up taking off, and I decided to stay a bit. Little did I know, that would be one of the best decisions I ever made.

I am not sure what you picture when you think of a dive bar, but I am telling you - picture the smallest, most ‘dive dive’ bar you can, and that’s what this is. It is pretty much all standing room inside, one pool table, a couple dart boards and a few tables outside on the patio. I was standing outside on the patio, against the wall, just people watching. In front of me there was a table with a group of girls and guys, and suddenly, one of the girls pointed at me and then signaled me over. Confused, I walked over to the table, and they asked me to join them. I did, and boy, was it a good time. We talked, shared stories about where we were from, what we were doing out, and laughed so hard. Then we were discussing getting one more drink, when the bouncer appeared, standing behind, looking down at Ann. He said, “You need to get the Wombat.” We all looked around at each other, and decided why the hell not, 5 Wombats coming up.

After our Wombat experience, we decided to hit another bar across the street. Here I was, just tagging along in their group like we had been friends for years. We danced, and danced, and sang at the top of our lungs at the next bar. After a bit there, we decided to go to one more bar. Ann and her boyfriend, Brady, decided to head out to grab dinner and hit the hay. So, it was me, Diane, and her friend who was in town. We danced and danced at the next bar again and laughed more than ever before. As the night came to end, they discussed getting an Uber, and I said, “don’t get an uber, I live across the street, you guys can stay there if you want for the night.” That’s the crazy part. I literally invited two strangers over to my house, to stay the night, like three hours into knowing them. Looking back, it sounds crazy. But it was the best thing I ever did.

Diane is now my roommate in addition to my best friend. We always joke that I invited her over and she never left. Brady and Ann live across the street from us, which makes it even better. The last 12 months have been full of adventures, memories, laughs, wild nights out, a few tears, and so much love. That night was the start of the ‘Friends Era.’ I never would have guessed I would meet my best friends at a dive bar on a random Saturday night, or that I would just invite two random strangers over, but I’m glad I did. I have the type of friends that value friendship like I do, and it all happened when I had just come out of a dark place. When you heal, there are hard times, but you also start to have the people enter your life that are meant to be there. I truly am so happy I have been able to experience the last 12 months, because I almost wasn’t here to make these memories. I can’t wait for all the memories we continue to make. Here’s to the Wombat and the dive bar on a Saturday night.

⎻ H.M. Jackson

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