Stories That End with an Ellipsis

The streets were full of zombies and half-naked devils with long legs and effective bras. Tod and I were in line at The Vortex in Little Five Points (L5P) hoping to get a burger and a beer (or several). If you’ve never been to Little Five Points in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s…something. It’s a small neighborhood with cool shops and bars, and it’s populated by hippies and hipsters and just about any other kind of person you could imagine. But the hippies and the hipsters–they run the show over there in L5P.

I also had failed to realize, for the second year in a row, that this was the night of the L5P Halloween parade. That should explain the zombies and sexy devils. (See also Tod’s Comprehensive “Best Parts of Halloween” list.).

Finally inside The Vortex, we pulled the old “we’ll just sit at the bar” to avoid waiting anymore. From the Sexy Hello Kitty bartender, we ordered food and drink and we were quite merry. If you’re ever in Atlanta, you have to visit The Vortex for a burger. Forget The Varsity or whatever other “must-have” burger your friends are telling you about and go to The Vortex, but know that you are walking into a real bar.

Tod was way into this chick back then named Kat. I actually really thought Kat was into him, too, as I was a mutual friend to them both and had, at one time, dated Kat. That one time would turn into “some” times, but that isn’t what this is about. So we talked about Kat and sexy devils and beer and writing. And we drank our lager and got merrier and merrier as the night ticked on.

Maybe we were waiting for the burgers, or maybe we were finishing the beer, or maybe it was on another night altogether, but at some point, I must have said “If things don’t go horribly south, it’s gonna be a good night.” Tod thought that quote was worth remembering, and he jotted it down in red. Also, it was apparently only 8:37 PM. Nights back then ran much later than they do now.

We cashed out and walked down the street. We scooped this bumper sticker from the front porch at a bar called Front Page News that was closed down for remodeling. The mention of zombies made my drunk brain happy, what with all the real life zombies walking around that night. I thought it a nice souvenir. And since FPN was closed, we decided to pop in to this other place called Star Bar and see what the scene was like there.

Star Bar was a loud hipster dance club that played ironically “classic” hip hop like Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend.” Now that I think about it–what an excellent theme song for that night in late October:

And as the liquor continued to flow down our throats, and the costumes around us began to get wet with the specific sweat of a nightclub, I told Tod that he should text Kat and ask her to join us. The phone came out of his pocket, and twenty minutes later, Kat was walking up to greet us…


New Years Eve. Tod and I parked at Indian Creek Station to ride the MARTA into the heart of Atlanta. We had tickets to the Chic-Fil-A Bowl and we were going to ride back to Decatur for drinks and to ring in the New Year. The girl I was dating was out of town, so I would not be kissing someone at midnight yet again. Tod was still trying to navigate his feelings for Kat. He had drafted a confessional message to her. He had finally decided it was time to let her know, I guess, that he was into her…that she had just what he needed, to loosely quote Biz Markie.

We were doing shots out of tiny liquor bottles on the train. We had an unreasonable number of drinks at the game, and on one of my trips to get more drinks, Tod drunk-sent his message to Kat…


3, 2, 1, Happy New Year! At the bar in Decatur, two girls started talking to us. Tod bounced back pretty quick after the blonde started flirting with him. Everyone was pretty rowdy and having a good New Year’s Eve time, which is unusual and a little bit lucky. Tod was drinking chocolate beer and choking through Irish car bombs and just walking down the road to Sloppy Town.

Soon enough, we were all headed to the MARTA station to catch the last train home and watching Tod crawl underneath the gate because he lost his breeze card ticket-thingy. On the other side of the gate, the train took all of us away from the city and into the relative darkness of New Year’s morning in suburbia…


2014-06-11 13.59.12

“If things don’t go horribly south, it’s gonna be a good night.”

The napkin could have been written on any one of several nights that I’ve hit the town with Tod. In fact, the napkin could have been written on one of several nights spent with any number of people. Many nights start out on the up-an-up, but before we know it…

We all have them, don’t we? The moments we live through that turn into stories that are folded up and packed away, tucked in between the pages of a book on a shelf–not quite thrown away, but not quite out in the open. Sometimes we may start telling those stories before we remember the ending only to trail off as we get to the painful parts…

It’s often those friends who are closest to us that protect those stories. I protect some of Tod’s. Tod protects some of mine. Yes, we all have them–stories that end with an ellipsis…


4 thoughts on “Stories That End with an Ellipsis

  1. “The streets were full of zombies and half-naked devils with long legs and effective bras.” Really, an opening sentence doesn’t get much better than this! So am I correct in assuming that each of these stories ends in a painful way? Your napkin scribble “If things don’t go horribly south, it’s gonna be a good night” is quite foreboding, as if you had an uncanny sixth sense. I know I’m incredibly provincial, but can someone explain to me what a hipster is? I keep seeing this word, and I have no idea what it means. And wait–there’s CHOCOLATE BEER?! I have to look into that!

  2. Pingback: In Praise of Restroom Graffiti | Virtual Napkins

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