Stage 2: Anger
So, you went to the bar.
Don't worry, that was inevitable. After all, Planes, Trains & Automobiles isn't the same without Steve Martin's expertly placed F-bombs, and you finally figured out that rhubarb is actually disgusting. Plus, you are only young(ish) for your 20s… and maybe 30s.
But also inevitable are the stinging waves of retrospective anger at your decision when you walk inside the bar. It looks like a high school reunion, but instead of getting fun name tags, you have to pay for drinks. And for every long-lost friend worth their weight in small talk is another bad memory wrapped in a (surprisingly accurate) cliche.
There's Tucker, the all-state high school quarterback who went on to a thrilling career at his dad's manure depot. He still wears his letterman jacket as "a joke." Right. There's the burnout that never left his parents' basement, who wouldn't miss tonight for a Dead and Co. YouTube live stream. He avoids any direct eye contact with you, but keeps offering his vape pen. There's the girl who seemingly only only came here to pitch her startup ("four words: lip gloss for dogs"). And of course, the only guy who has actually been talking to you, who does so exclusively in Vince Vaughn quotes from the Wedding Crashers era -- you don't remember his name, so rely on a stream of "man," "dude," "buddy," and even one desperate "governor."
You turn to your only respite, the bathroom -- but every urinal and all but one toilet is broken. The floor is wet with a slick sheen of mystery liquid. Your sensible loafers have been soiled. You forgot to take your probiotic. "Don't Look Back in Anger" plays on the jukebox. But you do anyway. You look hard. This is a hellscape. But hey, at least no one's played the "Boys Are Back in Town," right?
Oh wait, there it is. The darkest timeline has been breached.