Flying Island is the Online Literary Journal of the Indiana Writers Center, accepting submissions from Midwest residents and those with significant ties to the Midwest.
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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.
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
girlfriendright 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
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.