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A Wednesday Night in Bloomington, Indiana: Creative Nonfiction by Sarah K. Ginter

A Wednesday Night in Bloomington, Indiana
by Sarah K. Ginter
            It was the fall of 2009. Jackie and I decided to initiate our senior year at Bluebird, famous for their Wednesday night cheap beer. Jackie played "You Get What You Give” by New Radicals on her phone, and we sang and let the Bloomington street lamps lead us there, twirling over cracks all the way to the back of the line. We paid the $5 cover, and I winked and said, “I’ll get the first round.” I paid the whole 30 cents for two beers, and we weaved through groups of guys and girls standing and laughing to reach the stage. Jackie stopped to say hello to her friend Ryan who stood with a group of guys she knew too. She introduced me to Ryan, and I smiled looking around. When there was a break in the conversation, I leaned in and yelled in her ear, asking who the boy in the Birkenstocks was. “Andy,” she said then grabbed him and brought us over to the back bar. Jackie ordered three shots of vodka with pineapple chasers, and Andy and I spent the rest of that Wednesday night dancing with a tropical taste in our mouths.
            I wasn’t always in love. I spent many nights before senior year at Bluebird - the bar in Bloomington with brick interior walls and girls chatting loudly in the bathroom. The stage with the lady guzzling whiskey and the band that played when I jumped up on stage. I had on light denim jeans. The flare at the bottom could fit over the banging drum. The tank top flared too. Under the right light, you could see through the fabric on my stomach. But it was a beautiful shirt, one my mother loved to see me in. There’s a picture of me stomping my left foot to the music, my arms above my head, and my eyes are closed. Another night a band played and a man got down on one knee before his girlfriend right there on the stage. They could’ve been acting, I know, but she threw the fake flower bouquet to the crowd. I jumped toward it though I didn’t need to leap much because it was headed right toward me.
            Something started that Wednesday night in Bloomington, Indiana, when I met Andy. I was wholly at ease with him. We talked IU basketball, held hands, and danced. I let the streetlights wrap around our dancing legs and the chords swim in the middle of our chests. I went out that night resolved to start the year as myself without seeking anything more than to live freely during my last year of college. But meeting Andy I knew there was more. What I didn’t know though was that after we locked arms while walking down Walnut Avenue through the hilly sidewalks, soon enough we would be walking home together around bends and over long distances - down the aisle six years later dressed in tulle and tuxedo, dreaming and living and in love.

Sarah K. Ginter is from Indianapolis, Indiana. She earned a BA in English from Indiana University and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Butler University. Sarah is a freelance editor and has taught and volunteered for the IWC since 2016. She is currently querying her young adult novel based in Indianapolis and writing a women's fiction book.