03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Marriage, Minus The Monogamy

Our hero gets engaged to the girl of his dreams, a friend of a friend who just so happens to hate the concept of marriage, and who prefers the convenience of an open relationship. Here, an introduction to their not-so-traditional first encounters.

It's just after midnight, and I'm huddled into a bar booth next to Ray, an old college friend who has lately become my very frequent drinking buddy. Ray and I went to the same state school in Pittsburgh, and although we both fled town almost as soon as we graduated-Ray went to New York City and then L.A., while I lived in San Francisco and Seattle-for various reasons, we've both moved back. Neither one of us is especially pleased with the way our adult lives are turning out. And that's probably why we both end up at dive bars three or four times a week, bullshitting about college, and guessing at the fortunes of our old friends-especially the ones we haven't heard from in 10 years.

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