There’s playing with fire and getting burned, and then there’s dousing yourself in lighter fluid and going full-on Richard Pryor. Ever since the emotionally-abusive cycle with Billy ended, after he spazzed off on me in a jealous rage and things went totally caput, I’ve propelled myself into a Sluttylicious Spree of epic proportions, with party favors included.
Kurt’s on my list of guys to bone. Actually, he’s on the list of guys I have boned. But is he in the friend zone, or is it possible to re-light a match?
We had our blink-of-an-eye fling, sure. But it wasn’t my fault it ended. Kurt suddenly got a girlfriend and banished me from his apartment downstairs. I wasn’t allowed to hang with his roommates or homeboys, not when he was there anyway. Honestly, I like Kurt – we go back, way back. We’re in the friend zone.
This drunken date of ours was slated to happen for, I don’t know, months. Kurt just bought a house in our old college town, a spacious relic on a winding road. So we went on a date to the Italian joint. I drove down; it was a snowy afternoon and the town was empty. Where did everybody go?
Kurt’s truck rumbled up his driveway. “Come on,” he said. “We’re going to the liquor store.”
“What are you, some kind of raging alcoholic?” I said.
“We used to live in the same house,” Kurt said with a grin. “You know I’m a raging alcoholic.”
Yeah, true. We did almost burn the place down once or twice.
Kurt handed me his debit card and I ran across the wine mart parking lot. Back at the house, we situated ourselves inside Kurt’s rustic den. I put on John Denver and rolled a joint. The place had been owned by an “old man” who had been a “hoarder,” according to Kurt, and one with an obvious affection for the wilderness. He left behind in the den two giant walls of books. Their musty jackets loomed over Kurt and I. Kurt gave me one he said reminded him of me.
“Here, this is it,” he said. “Mistress to an Age.”
Kurt swilled Evan Williams and I downed wine. The homespun haze put us in a daze, completely under its spell, until we remembered the Italian joint closed at eight. So we caroused our way downtown, and succumbed to total drunkenness at the Italian joint. It was there I felt the psilocybin kick in. Maybe I shouldn’t have mixed alcohol with a mushroom in the den. My ravioli became something of a muse. We discussed our common Libertarian ideals and emotional instability. Kurt ordered an excessively-huge carafe of cabernet. Back at the house, my face was numb but I pressed it against Kurt’s anyway and we started making out in the kitchen.
Kurt inexplicably woke up at 6:00 a.m. today, even though it’s Sunday, by turning on his light and saying casually that he “had to go to work.”
“Are you for real,” I turned over. Embarrassingly enough, bootleg big booby smut still emanated on mute from his TV. Kurt put it on as we were making out after dinner.
“I have my period, sorry,” I said. “Goodnight.” And I turned over.
“Oh come on,” Kurt said.
“I can see now that I’m not your type,” I said. “I’m not a big booby uggo downloaded from LimeWire.”
“I don’t have a type!”
Yeah, of course I know men don’t have types…How else do you explain Tiger Woods?
“Shhh,” I said. “I need to get some shut eye.”
At some point thereafter, we both passed out. Dead, and still in the friend zone thanks to that carafe of wine. Either way, in the morning light, I kept repeating to Kurt that I needed shut eye, until he shouted “Shut up!!!!” and clomped outside in his work boots. I heard his truck back down the gravel driveway.
I slept for a couple more hours, smoked some weed, folded Kurt’s laundry, and then began to plot our next adventure – for some time, Kurt and I have discussed joining the swingers club in town, and going there as a “couple,” actually…
Let’s see, “Scotty” from The Third Hole re-emerged, in the strangest of ways. Turns out, he broke up with his fiancé. We made plans to go out to dinner, after I wound up at The Third Hole last Saturday and Scotty and I made plans while in a drunken, coked-out stupor. But nonetheless, we made plans to go out to dinner in the Falls.
But I guess he has a child and was to have custody of him for the evening or something like that? How do these things work? Anyway, a few days before, Scotty said we’d have to postpone. So I asked Mick if he wanted to go out instead. He’s always down to go out to dinner, even at the last minute.
“Let’s go to Mother’s,” I said, and I figured I would just guzzle pinot grigio to make the night more enjoyable. Since when have I ever needed an excuse to get drunk? Mick is like 50 years old. But right before, while I was getting ready to go, Scotty texted me and said his son went to the movies with friends, and he was headed to The Third Hole after all!
Great. Now I’m stuck going to dinner with Mick, when I could be having a much more stimulating night with Scotty. Hmmmm.
Mick picked me up at 6:00, which is MAD EARLY, and especially bizarre since we were going to Mother’s and they serve dinner until 2:00 a.m.
“Why are we going out so early?” I put my sunglasses on. “It’s still light out.”
I turned the radio dial to the pop station.
“Oh sure, change the channel,” Mick said sarcastically as “It Ain’t Me” by Selena Gomez emanated from the speaker. “Who’s going to walk you through the dark side of the morning…” I said, not nearly stoned enough. “La la la, it ain’t meeeeee.”
“Oh my God, please, can we just have a quiet evening,” Mick droned.
“Sheesh” I said while trying to take a selfie. “The lighting is really bad in here.”
“Complain, complain, complain,” Mick said monotonously, and I knew right then it would be an annoying evening.
Or would it?
When we got to Mother’s, it was totally empty. We sat in the far dark corner by the bathroom.
“It’s so early I’m not even hungry yet,” I said, thinking maybe I shouldn’t have popped an Adderall and 15-day herbal cleanse that I had lying around from Feel Rite, but so what? I was only trying to have a pleasant evening.
“Cannot believe we have a prune mixed with a banana for a president – I mean what the serious fuck?” I said, looking at Mick but he has the personality of a dial tone, and his face didn’t even move. “This scandal with Facebook using our information and pandering to the GOP? Of course they did, and he knew how stupid everybody really is and how to manipulate them emotionally. We impeached Clinton for getting a BJ – but we are going to allow our civil liberties to get ass raped?”
I watched Mick pour steak sauce all over a bloody piece of meat until I felt about ready to puke.
“I stand up for sex workers!” I grabbed a knife. “And freedom of speech! Does the Cheeto with Easter grass for hair, does he really know how to even read the Constitution?”
Mick sat there, detached.
“Who are you talking about?” he said.
“Ugh!” I said. “Do you want to go to the Goth store after this? There’s a party at nine.”
“No, I do not want to go to the garth store,” Mick said. “What is so great about the garth store? If you want to live that lifestyle -”
“Yes, I DO want to live that lifestyle,” I stood up and tossed my cloth napkin aside. “You are insulting my community. Just meet me at Q.”
I walked down the block to Q., and after Mick paid the bill and everything he came in after me. I wonder if he realized it’s a gay bar, with all the subtle rainbow accents? Mick is totally square nowadays.
“Look,” he said, sitting down. “I think after this we should both part ways, you should just go back with Billy, both of you don’t care about anybody but yourselves -”
“Wow, really?” I got upset and walked outside again. That was a low blow, even from Mick. I dialed Scotty’s number not sure if he would be available, but he answered on the first ring.
“If I took an Uber to The Falls,” I said while walking towards Delaware Ave. “Could you drive me home later, or like, tomorrow?”
“Yeah sure,” he said. I could hear The Third Hole background noise. And that’s exactly what I did. I rolled down the car window as we approached the saloon, and smelled smoke in the air. A house fire was just being extinguished.
I’ve wanted to do nothing all day except day drink and listen to Danity Kane. Why the fuck is it still snowing? Luckily, Troy*, my platonic homebody from the past, re-emerged. We met up at a sushi joint right after my hair appointment, so I looked pretty bossed-up if you know what I’m sayin’.
But I wasn’t trying to seduce or flirt with Troy. I wasn’t sure what was going on in his love life.
We were day drinking in the Hertel jurisdiction, D-District, where it all began, back when I lived in a minuscule attic studio more suitable for three blind mice and Troy was still legally married.
But wait – is Troy still legally married? Who knows, who cares. Either way, we watched a drunken Camilla Parker Bowles-look alike chug Michelob after Michelob at MT Pockets. We started gyrating to “Boys” by Britney Spears at Gecko’s. Somewhere along the line, I thought maybe Troy and I were going to make out.
Little did I realize, we would soon be making out in a full-blown PDA episode inside Gecko’s! And afterwards, we staggered into the Video Liquidators theater. Apparently I’m a regular, but they really do have the best selection of slutty lingerie. Anyway, no one else was there, which was weird since it was a Saturday and we found ourselves alone. First I peed in the ladies room, which is painted a dusty rose hue.
We wandered to the back of the store.
What happens in the Video Liquidators theatre stays in the VIdeo Liquidators theatre, if you know what I mean.
But we emerged from its dark, sticky depths still in the friend zone for the most part.
“Do you want to become a mouthpiece of your generation?” I say to Pete, in front of the giant window of Just Vino that looks out upon Main St. I’ve found myself on an actual date with someone I know, but not very well.
“I like your blog,” he says. “I had no idea you were so talented.”
Sure, you say that now… But what about after one is about you???
“It would be okay, actually,” Pete said. “That would be cool. Just change my name. Or don’t.”
I’m driving home from work, a.k.a smoking a jay and circling the block, wondering about how I’ll ever feel normal in relationships again. But did I ever? I’m not exactly “normal.”
I’m chasing the dragon of actually caring. I feel numb to the earth. I’m waiting for The Feeling to sneak up on me again, like heroin probably does, but I’ve never done heroin.
Wait – who’s that? Chasing the dragon, right, that is until I see the guy taking out his trash – t-shirt, beard, tattoos – he looks to be moving old carpets and junk. It looks like maybe he’s moving in…and just on the next block over too…Hmmm…