Echo Park Rising and a Brief Story Set in Deland, Florida

So I’m excited to share that I’ll be reading at Stories Books and Cafe this Saturday as part of the Echo Park Rising, which is a community “party” featuring bands and art and food.  It should be a great time.  And I’m lucky enough to read with writers like James Greer, Natashia Deon, Jim Ruland, and Oriana Small — memoirist and porn star.  Check out the whole list of writers’ on the poster to the right.  But full disclosure, the poster says, “Joseph Lapin — of the LA WEEKLY.”  Well, I’m just a freelancer.  Just to clarify.  My writing appears in there sometimes.  And I hope it will continue.

Well, I did much better today with organizing my time and not feeling so overwhelmed.  I sent out a few more pitches, and now I’ll wait and see what happens.  Plus, I wrote two good stories I hope will be in print soon.  But you never know.

So, I had a comment on yesterday’s blog from a friend of mine from college.  It was cool of him to read some of my posts, and he was wondering when I was going to start writing about the golden days at our undergrad at Stetson University.  I thought about telling a story involving him, but I decided it might be too obvious who it was, considering he just wrote a comment.  I’ll probably share some of those later.

Well, I’ll share another story. When I was in college, I used to work at a bar called Central Park.  One of my fraternity brothers got me the job for some extra money to help with food and other expenses.  Before I was a bartender, actually — I almost completely forgot about this — I was a bouncer.  Yeah, all 5’10, 160 lbs was probably the least frightening thing in the world.  A couple times on the weekend when the college kids never showed, I was at the front door with a metal detector, scanning people to see if they had knives.  That freaked me out a bit.

But the owner started to like me, and he let me be a bartender.  My buddies used to show up real early — probably around 8 or 9 — on a Thursday night, because we served $1.00 drinks.  It was absurd.  And my buddies, including this guy who commented on the blog, used to sit there with me until the rest of the school walked in.

And on one of those nights, a girl walked into the bar, and I swear the room had stopped.  I know it’s cheesy to say, but I watched her walk in front of the bar, start towards me as if to order a drink, and then turn around as if I was watching a dream.  This is where I was introduced to my fiance.  I was 19 at the time.  A friend of mine, Burger, introduced us.  Or was it Heron’s friend.  Probably both.

So that’s my college story.  I worked at a bar to make extra money, and I ended up finding the love of my life.  (Maybe it’s too short and the pacing is a bit off, but, hey, it’s almost Friday, right?)  We’ve been together for 7 years, and we’ve lived in three different states and about seven different cities.  We’re getting married in February.  And I’ll be blogging about that, too.

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