The three of us—Sheila was to meet us later—set off for drinking on North Denver from inner NE, dressed in hoodies and shorts. Monica provided most of the entertainment on the ride there as she, hopped up on bongloads, loudly lamented the irritating preponderance of the Geico gecko ads. Carl and I were just two fags, taking our straight women friends to a strip club (and two other places). None of us wanted to drive, so we took the Yellow Line MAX, which meant we would have to catch the last train back into town at 1:10 am.

The six-block walk from the Kenton/N Denver station to our first spot was refreshing, the 10 pm breeze swaddling our shins. We finished our cigarettes as soon as we rolled up to the Tiny Bubble Room (2025 N Lombard), an adorable tavern attached to Lung Fung Restaurant. Right on the corner, it is tiny—but with no beers on tap (only bottles), it wasn't really our speed. But, with nailed-leather booths and the only jukebox at that intersection, it is a place to consider for your civil-union reception.

We crossed the street to the Farmer's Barn (7421 N Denver), and from the 12 or so selections of draught beer, we all chose Pabst. I noticed a sign behind the bar: "We are happy to report that Marvin's Gardens has dried up." When I asked the bartender, she replied, "Well, he was a long-time customer of ours who, after nearly dying, stopped drinking." Foolishly, instead of inquiring about his apostrophic name, I asked whether he still comes in. He does.

Although we were comfortable in the roomy, breezy Farmer's Barn, we soon got a call from Sheila. She was in a taxi and wanted to meet us at our next stop: Dancin' Bare (8440 N Interstate). There's no cover and the place is classier inside than it may seem from the street—but they certainly fleece you at the bar, where sodas are $2.75. The staff—excepting, perhaps, the bouncer—is congenial and the menu is extensive. Monica was telling us about tripping on mushrooms during a Steely Dan concert when Sheila arrived, well-dressed and visibly intoxicated.

They let her in, but refused to serve her. The burly bartender: "I'd be happy to give you coffee or soda, sweetheart." She rolled her eyes and held her tongue but, as soon as we got back to the table, she yelled at me while a stripper 20 feet away twirled to "Janie's Got a Gun." "How dare they cut me off? I know I'm a drunk-ass bitch, but I can be much worse. I'd like to show them drunk-ass bitch." She stood, stumbled, and flipped open her phone. "I'm going back to Southeast, where I can get kicked out of one of my neighborhood bars!"