Oftentimes, when struggling with a first draft or re-writes, I park myself at a bar, preferably a medium-noisy one, where I can consume just enough vodka to temporarily convince myself that I won’t die an anonymous death, buried in a shallow grave beneath my own mediocrity. Writing in bars, instead, makes me feel romantic, empowered, kind of like I’m on a date with myself, that my Self is fascinating and has worthy things to say. My Los Angeles writer bar of choice is Edendale, which is used to be firehouse back in the day, and has this muted fancy and dusty feel. Last night I parked it there for some intense hair chewing and re-writing. My date with myself was particularly romantic, as outside, Santa Ana winds were blowing something fierce, and I was wearing my favorite scarf and tackling a scene in which two kids plan to run away and live up in a tree. A guy and girl, clearly on a first date, saddled up to the bar next to me and swapped facts about how close they lived to Trader Joe’s and whether or not their roommates are mixologists. Then, with perfect timing, the wind blew the power out, and they just sort of stood there awkwardly, trying to keep the conversation going, wondering what a black walnut manhattan is like, if they should try another bar, and if they would in fact marry this person. Being in such close proximity to first dates makes me wildly curious and uncomfortable, but in this case, I was jealous and thrilled. What a story this would be, for their children. And if not for their children, at least for their roommates who may or not be mixologists.