I went to see Richard III with Betty and Veronica last night. At the beginning of the intermission, Veronica went to the restroom and Betty went to enter her name in the raffle drawing for a bottle of wine.
"Do you want to come?" she asked.
"Nah," I said. "Feel free to enter my name if you want."
Five minutes later, they both came back to their seats.
"I entered our three names in the raffle drawing," Betty told Veronica.
Veronica went still. "What? But...I just entered my own name in the raffle drawing."
Betty shrugged. "Oh, okay, sorry."
"That means that my name was entered twice..."
Veronica stared at her. He was as angry as I've ever seen him. "Why did you do that? Why did you enter my name? Now that means... It won't be fair..."
"Shhh," she said. "Okay. It doesn't matter."
"Yes, it does--" he started to say, and then the stage manager took the stage to make the raffle drawing.
"And the bottle of wine goes to...Veronica?"
Betty and I grinned feverishly as Veronica stiffened and straightened and -- finally, with every muscle in his jaw clenched -- stood up to accept the bottle of wine. It was clearly one of the worst moments of his life.
(I told this story at the bar tonight to Bear, and Veronica stared flatly ahead and said that, in order to make their redress to the universe, he and Betty would be skipping the raffle for their next play. "Maybe even our next two plays," he added.)
At the bar tonight, Veronica and I argued about the definition of a "procedural," and an hour later, when we were leaving (and after I ran back into the bar to find my scarf), I found him waiting for me on the sidewalk with an air of deep melancholy.
"I was totally wrong about that procedural thing," he said immediately. "And then, when you corrected me, I just brought up a totally different genre and pretended like that false evidence supported my argument."
"Um," I said, because I was a little bit drunk and had already forgotten about this discussion. "...okay?"
"I was very wrong," he repeated, and it was clear that this rhetorical sin had been eating away at his puritan soul for an hour.
"Nah, it's cool," I said, a little sleepily, and then I told him about some dumb argument that Lockwood and I had, in order to reassure him that I have doubled down on errorneous arguments in the past as well, and he suddenly smiled in wide, helpless relief.
I stumbled back to the workroom and, through the miracle of social networks, started watching the live feed of the university symphony performance featuring Ariel. I scanned the musicians looking for him, and when I finally found him, I felt the same base glee as a child successfully locating the striped scarf in Where's Waldo. He had one elbow resting along the rounded top of the bass drum, and the fingers of his hand wiggled in nervous energy as he waited for his cue, and I felt such a burst of warm, happy recognition at seeing someone I knew do something so characteristic of themselves.
It has been a good 24 hours, is what I'm saying, I guess.