We are at DBGB’s, Jennifer and I, posted up at the bar. Suddenly, a kid who looks like a 21-year-old version of Drake, in a red t-shirt, wobbles up to us.
“Isn’t that red dress a little excessive?!” he says to me, bobbing to and fro slowly, like a pendulum.
“…It’s a Christmas party.”
Then, he leans in close to me and his breath absolutely reeks of like, pure mildew.
I turn to my right. There sits a seemingly-normal gent in a New Era cap, with a mellow demeanor. He tells me his name is Chris. Apparently Chris is a waiter downtown. He tells me his goofy, Drake-esque accomplice is Justin. Justin wanders over to his bar during the day regularly. He also works downtown. Today, the two hatched a plan to partake in the free buffet at the DBGB Christmas party.
Twenty minutes pass. It seems like Chris and I are hitting it off… although, I am rather tipsy.
“Can I get you something from the free buffet?”
I see Chris get accosted by an untidy hobo in the buffet line. So I wander over there and begin gnawing on a mouthwatering wing. The hobo leaves. Chris turns to me…and I notice that both of his front teeth are chipped. Like, bad. I think to myself that he must be a hockey player or UFC fighter, even though he already told me that he’s a waiter. But maybe he’s undercover…
All of a sudden, Chris kisses me right in front of the buffet table. I am completely taken aback. When I pull away, Chris takes hold of my bottom lip with his partial two front teeth and kind of bites me. Like, it feels weird because not all of his front teeth are present.
Now that I have been Bit in the Buffet line, I scamper off and break up Jennifer and Justin. Then, Jennifer and I go back to my apartment to make an oven pizza, take a bleary-eyed scroll through the Newsfeed, and tipsily discuss the evening’s events.
Two nights later, I receive a text from Chris while at work.
“I’m going to a show at Nietzsche’s and it would be cool if you came with me.”
I accept the invitation, then text Jennifer.
“Should I give him a chance? Even though he seems like a dope/doesn’t have all his teeth?”
“No” is her reply.
Wondering and skeptical of how this night will go, we make plans to meet up at Providence Social, because Chris doesn’t have a car. Providence Social is within walking distance of his house, evidently. What is up with that? Men… If they got a car, they live with their mama. If they got their own place, they have no ride. Maybe they even have no job.
I walk into Providence Social and am immediately welcomed by a warm, candlelit aura. However, Chris is nowhere to be found. I glance around and suddenly he appears, swilling a half-full pint.
“Oh, hey…” I look at his glass. “How long have you been here?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Five minutes? I ordered some soup.”
A waiter seats us in a cozy booth in the back and leaves. I have no drink. What the hell is he doing ordering everything without me? The waiter comes back.
“And what would you like to eat?” the waiter asks.
“Those Sriracha wings,” Chris says.
The waiter leaves. Seriously rude, I think. What if I hated sriracha wings?! I don’t know why Chris is so oblivious. I steer the conversation. He is looking glassy-eyed and buck-toothed.
“So, what’s new?”
“Nothing really,” he says.
Dinner is going in a totally boring direction, because I guess Chris can’t carry on a conversation/has nothing going on in life. It’s going to be a long night.
“So…what are, like, your hopes and dreams?”
We conclude our meal and I drive us to Allentown. Upon entering Nietzche’s, the place is dead. I suggest we go across the street to the Buffablog party. Once there, Chris takes it upon himself to get me a PBR. I’m not a high-maintenance bitch or anything, but I don’t like PBR.
“So, what’s your last name?” I ask.
The place is packed full of people; the band playing is super-loud; I swear that he tells me his last name is “Booby.” Glancing around the room sideways, I’m pleading with the universe that I don’t run into anyone I know.
“Listen, why don’t we just sit in the dark corner over there?”
“All right,” Chris says, kind of spitting on me through his broken teeth.
We sit side-by-side. Chris decides to nurse his PBR and stare off in the distance. I’m barely sipping mine and ready to fall asleep.
“Yeah, sorry I’m not more entertaining,” Chris says.
‘It’s ok,” I reply.
“I”m just tired; I worked three days in a row. Let’s go to Caffe Aroma for tea?”
Tea sounds like a great idea, and I’m joyful inside – the night is drawing to an end.
We drive to the café. It’s closed!
“I have tea at my apartment,” Goofy Tooth suggests.
I have to drop him off anyway, I think to myself. Eh, why not? Definitely not going to see this guy again. Jennifer was right. He is a major dud. It’s crazy how better they look while drunk in front of a dark Christmas buffet.
The night has turned into a frozen downpour. I drive my dull companion to his residence on the Lower West Side. He invites me up for some tea. Opening a rusty razor sharp screen door, Chris ushers me into a dark hallway. “It’s right up the stairs,” he says.
“Um, can you go first? I have no clue how to navigate your stairs in the dark.”
So he ascends the ramshackle steps; I clutch the railing and gradually get vertigo. Then Chris opens his apartment door; a wretched unfurnished garret greets me. Taking a chipped dirty mug from a dusty cupboard, he plops in a putrid chamomile tea bag. “Thanks,” I mutter.
“So – do you want to go in my bed?”
I zero in on the chipped, slimy front teeth inching their way towards me. They are ready for action. Like an overzealous beaver, Chris attempts to grab my face again for a little gnawing action, chewing, spewing chamomile…
“I really have to go. I have to get up early tomorrow. Will you walk me to my car?”
Thunder cracks outside as we walk the dreary avenue. Clouds converge in the gloomy nothingness above.
“Yeah – I had a really nice time, thank you Chris.”
I turn to unlock my Pontiac as Chris swivels on his skate-shoe clad heels and runs – literally runs – away from me.