I woke up in a funk when I realized it was my fourth Independence Day that I’d witnessed in Seattle.
I went to pick up all the essentials for my non-barbeque on the rooftop as I would be providing my guests with snacks and wine but most definitely was not hostess enough to fire up a grill. I’d be too busy drinking my wine out of a solo cup as my apartment complex sent out a notification that there was to be no glass on the roof.
I begrudgingly bought paper plates and solo cups to suffice and wondered how strict they would be about their “no booze on the roof” policy after 2pm. My guests were informed to not arrive until after 4pm, but I would be damned if any party of mine involved NOT having booze on the roof.
I had allotted my two guest wristbands for friends who had not been to my rooftop before as I feel everyone should really be able to experience the great view of the fireworks that I’m lucky to have at least once.
Once I grabbed a table and laid out my snack food and wine spread, I knew I could relax. Securing a spot would be the hardest part of my day.
My friends showed up, and we all chatted while making notes on what people were cooking on the grills we were sitting right next to.
One man set his stuff down on our table and asked if it was ok if he waited there while he cooked his food.
I was leery of strangers, but open to the idea of free food.
He told us he was waiting for his friend to show up, but hadn’t heard back from her. I didn’t trust it as he was clearly already shitfaced, which meant he was drinking alone for a long time just waiting for his “friend” to arrive.
He said he owned a three story loft in the building and he was a hairdresser. He showed us pictures of his haircuts on Instagram, stating emphatically, “That’s Teen Miss America!”
He spoke of how the one girl in the leasing office I have a deep vendetta against after she “forgot” to inform me that I had a cooler of steaks downstairs and then “forgot” to leave them out for me later had cut him a sweet deal on his three story loft.
I was like, “That bitch. I knew I hated her.”
He hit on my coworker’s husband. Then he hit on one of the friends I had invited and told her he would go buy her the Mexican street corn being sold at a booth set up on the other end of the roof. I don’t blame her for saying yes. I’d be all over free street corn.
Then he offered us the chicken he had grilled out. I had gone to fetch another bottle of wine, and when I came back the chicken was gone except a leg that I was told they had saved for me to try because it was so good.
The chicken was alright. Again, I don’t often say no to free food. But did he really have a friend coming if he let us eat all of his chicken? I doubted it.
Right as I finished up the chicken leg, and he was over buying corn for my friend, someone pointed out to me that they didn’t know if he ate his own chicken.
“If I just ate poisoned chicken because you assholes told me how delicious it was and now I’m going to be sick, I’m going to be seriously pissed.”
“No. No. I’m sure he ate some,” someone responded, though I wasn’t sure if it was just to appease my rage.
He eventually ventured downstairs, my friend telling me how he kept leaning in close and asking if her eyelashes were real while they were waiting for the corn.
I couldn’t figure him out, but secretly hoped his “friend” had finally showed up.
I played foosball as the security guard watched from a distance. I wondered if he had bigger fish to fry than me yelling at a foosball table, but probably not. I had already brought multiple glass objects upstairs, plus a marble cheese board and a knife, so I was positive I was in violation of nearly every rule they had imposed and I was likely number one on their most wanted list.
But he was easily in his 60’s and I knew I could outrun him if it came down to it.
I ran downstairs one final time before the fireworks started to grab some more wine, when a dachshund turned the corner and started barking at me. The man holding her leash picked her up and let me pet her, and it turns out was my neighbor.
He introduced himself and his parting words were, “Don’t hesitate to knock on the door if you need anything.”
I interpreted that as if I needed him to mess someone up and made a mental note that this was my new best friend in Seattle.
I stood with my friends and watched the fireworks, which did not disappoint. Some girl next to me was narrating them the whole time, which seemed to me to be a trait that she had to know was obviously annoying.
“OOOOOOHHHH! Blue! That’s a hard color to make a firework.”
“Oh my God! Look it’s multiple colors.”
I pushed down my want to tell her to shut up and tried to just enjoy the show.
I watched as the chicken man walked past with the friend he had told us about who ended up being real after all.
I walked everyone out after the fireworks, knowing I had some cleanup time ahead of me.
When I headed back up the stairwell to my apartment, I ran straight into the security officer.
“Hey!” he yelled at me.
“Are you the foosball lady?”
I screamed internally while thinking, “So this is how I go. I get murdered for being an asshole while playing foosball. Makes sense I guess.”
I wondered if I was close enough to my apartment to scream and cash in that offer my new neighbor had just laid down about helping if I needed anything.
“I mean, I played a little bit up there earlier,” I shrugged and tried to say casually.
“You’ve inspired me to play again,” he exclaimed. “You were so good.”
I thanked him and told him I needed to be on my way. I don’t hate a foosball compliment, but I also don’t particularly love being cornered in a stairwell for a conversation.
I sighed with relief as he let me pass and walk back to my apartment.
Lesson learned. If you’re good enough at foosball, you can ultimately get away with more than the average person. I knew someday my skills and bad sportsmanship would pay off.