Check out this piece I wrote in Native Magazine.
Meeting someone for the first time in a crowded place without ever having met them is some kind of psychological telltale. I’m no Carl Jung, but I can generalize pretty well. There are the control freaks. You might get a series of texts from them like: “I’m in the corner under the picture of Charro . . . I’m at the bar in a ridiculous hat . . . I’m about to walk in the main entrance right now.” Then there are the more carefree types who decide to rely on instinct. The latter is way more fun. I’m secretly hoping that one day I’ll agree to meeting a stranger in a bar, and when I get there, it will be that serendipitous day when one hundred other people will also be waiting for carefree strangers. For now, I’m just sitting in a taco joint, waiting to meet Hazel Jones, a burlesque dancer from the newly reopened Skull’s Rainbow Room in Printer’s Alley.
My first email from Jones read: “I can show you around the alley, we could chat in my bou- doir, or if you like, we could go on an adven- ture. If you like to talk and shop or talk and ride, we could hit the vintage shops or cruise in a classic car for our chitchat. Let me know what you prefer. XO, Hazel Jones.” Few first meetings offer that kind of intrigue. Yes to all of the above.
Dwight Yoakam is playing on the shitty-awesome speakers at Mas Tacos. I’ve just finished a Mexican Coke when the door swings open. Her personality seems to slip in the door a minute or two before her springy red curls. Dressed in a mohair crop top and Jackie-O shades, she’s barely in the cantina when she spots me and hollers across the room: “You ready?” Clearly she’s one of the carefree types.
I hop in the passenger seat of a gigantic truck, and we head toward downtown. She picks right up into conversation, like we’ve known each other for years.