I've been at the hostel for a few days now, in that time I've met more than a few interesting people: a guy named Benji from Bern, very social and an all-around fun guy to hang out with; Lauren, a Cisco networking guy from Phoenix, who knew all the best places to people watch, eat pizza and just socialize; a pair of Dutch guys that I never caught the names of, constantly aloof and very full of life; Tashira (I've probably butchered your name, but I never got the spelling, just that I should remember "To Share A"), a bubbly Italian beauty that's piqued my interests in her mom's recipe for chicken gizzards; and a few others that I've not yet learned the name of. Sure, there have been others somewhat suspect: the guy from LA that didn't really know why he was staying in a hostel, but was very forward that he was from LA, worked in the film industry (a best boy maybe?) and traveled a lot; the Japanese jazz-lover that shared our room, who went to the bathroom every 20 minutes and talked to himself all night, asleep or not; the young woman who had to get down the coast, by any means necessary, but was unwilling to accept any offered advice or help. The owner of the hostel, a guy named Mac, seems an all-around good guy, he's quick to smile, quick to make small talk, engaging and well-roundedly interesting, plus he has a super chilled-out mutt, Oso, who's really more of an Otis.
I like staying in hostels; anywhere you can meet interesting people, cook your own food and not pay an arm and three legs for lodging is a prime spot to be. All of the hostels that I have stayed in tend to be in prime locations, easy access to food or entertainment or museums; likewise this. The people too are cut from different cloth than those that you meet in insipid hotels or resorts; most are traveling the world or moving to the area, it's a sort of instant friend pool and support group, with a few foreigners thrown in just to make things all the more interesting.
Last night Mac and his band gave an in-house performance, the local beer was tapped and the music was made. Last Fridays in Eugene are showcases of all things artful from one neighborhood to the next; tie-dyed t-shirt sellers and wandering musicians and abstract painters and any other form of art one might conceive. The shops in the area were open late, most having a resident or visiting artist; local wine was flowing, people from all walks of life were browsing and communing. Judging by the late sleepers this morning, I'd say a good time was had by most.
Last night I met a couple of the guys from the next dorm over; one sharing my name, another blessed with a name even more common. Good guys both, but one was a little high, the other a little inebriated on alcohol; it doesn't really matter which was which. One is gay, the other somewhere outside of confused--they'd been banished to my dorm by a fellow sleeping traveller--I was awake, lights on, so it was left to me to listen and agree with what they were saying... I warned them that I'd have split attentions, sharing my intellect with both friends on screen and the two of them; an issue it did not seem to be. Their talk was all over the place, punctuated by obscure references to philosophy and other arcana; I did my best to contribute when I could, feigning indifference when needed. More than once I wondered if our conversation was going somewhere, the vibes that both seemed to be throwing off were more sexual in nature than mere curiosity; I half expected one or the other or both to proposition each other or all three of us. About an hour after they arrived, they departed for bed.
To say this morning was awkward would be untrue; for me, it was not. The two of them though? Stilted glances and hit or miss glares; I wondered what had happened (or not) after they'd went off to bed. I had coffee with one half of the pair, made small talk and avoided topics of discussion from the night before. It was oddly one-sided, but I wasn't sure if I should cheer my new found gay friend for boldly pursuing the straight man or if this would add salt to some unseen wound; better to play it mute. The fact that the two of them went from avoiding eye contact, to making plans as the day progressed further threw me for a loop; still unsure how to address either of them I let that dog sleep--knowing full well that later, said dog will either be heard panting profusely or whining at its exaggerated sense of self.