It was my year to plan the anniversary: we take turns on alternating years to make the celebration plans rather than struggling to make decisions by committee every year. This year wasn’t a particular landmark, and being wrapped up in a new job necessarily meant it was going to probably be low key: the only thing I knew I wanted to do for certain was to hike to the top of Runyon Canyon and put a lock on the fence overlooking the city. We had done the hike once before (which was how I knew the fence was there in the first place) and I’d found an old lock during one of my many walks to the bus at my previous jobs. So it seemed like a sign.

We headed to the park in the late after afternoon with the intention to hike to the top in time to catch a bit of the sunset. We elected, foolishly, to do that the steepest bit first, which proved to be a test of endurance that came close to ending in cardiac arrest. And we clearly weren’t the first, considering that the top of the trail is equipped with defibullators.

But we survived. The downhill slope was much easier, and by the time we reached the bottom, we had nearly caught our breath.

To celebrate the fact that our anniversary celebrations hadn’t killed us, we decided to get dinner at a place called Barcade that we’d been meaning to check out for months. Half bar, half arcade, Barcade was a all slightly-uppity gastropub catering to the nostalgia of Gen-Xers and by the time we arrived, on a Saturday night, it was already mobbed. We walked in, did a lap arround the floor, and I was ready to walk out again based on sensory-overload alone. It was loud. The music was loud. The games were loud. The people were loud. But we’d come all that way and we’d been meaning to do it for so long that it seemed stupid to leave too soon, so we found a place to belly up to the bar and ordered drinks and food. The food was good. The drinks helped to dull the overload, and after a while the environment didn’t feel quite so overwhelming anymore. We got ourselves about twenty dollars worth of tokens and wandered around the room playing pinball and Mortal Kombat and Tetris and PacMan. And once we used up our tokens we called it a night and headed home. A good time was had by all.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on October 7, 2019.

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