Thursday, May 18, 2006

here's to happy couples; Jessica and Nicole

here’s to happy couples; Jessica and Nicole
Jessica had wrangled me away from the crowd and back into my bedroom on some premise.  We were doing shots in the kitchen and then something about needing me to do something for her or something.  That I don’t remember what it was is reasonable.  She wasn’t the highlight of my evening.  Plus I didn’t really pay attention to most of what she said.  It was usually useless bullshit.  Who the fuck cares about being in high school anymore?  That was fucking years ago and shit.  

I knew this moment had been coming since I began stringing this little bitch on after meeting her.  She had wanted my sweet sweet shit from the get go.  And there was something about her that drew me in.  A certain naiveté that I couldn’t help but exploit.  I figured it would come to no good.  But when has a thought like that ever stopped me?  I’m a bad man.  A bad bad man.

She had been drinking more than I had.  Not just the shots.  And her tolerance was clearly much lower.  Not everyone is a power drinker like me.  She was one drink away from covering my bed in dinner and half of lunch.  That only made her all the bolder.  She mumbled something about ‘it’s just you and me now’ as she slammed the door closed; not realizing it bounced right back open.  As if I needed more clues that she wasn’t all there tonight.  As if that would have affected anything in the end anyway.

She took off her shirt in what I assume she meant to be a sexy strip tease.  But it wasn’t.  At all.  People should really stick to what they know.  I stopped her before she took off anything else.  Before she got herself so far gone down the line that there would be no recovering any of her misplaced dignity.  Then she tried to make out with me.  Or I guess, she did make out with me.  For a while.  Because I was thinking of the best way to stop her/not thinking of anything at all.  I wasn’t trying too hard.  Even though she wasn’t that great of a kisser.  The rhythm was off.  We just didn’t mesh.  One more reason, not that I really needed it.  In the end.

“Jess.  No.”  I pushed her away.  She almost fell over.  This just wasn’t right.  And not just because she was too drunk to stand.
“Your eyes say ‘no’ but your mouth says ‘yes.’”  She tried to kiss me again.  After all that I couldn’t even laugh at the stupidity.  Clearly I needed to get out of this situation.
“No, my mouth says no.”  She tried to fondle me; down there.  That’s right.  Tried.  
“Widdle Isaac wants to come out and pway.”
“Just stop.  You’re being ridiculous.”  And annoying.  How do I get rid of her?  Why did I even let her back here?  “Go to bed.  Just go to the guest room and sleep it off.”  So long as they aren’t still using it to blaze.  Not that she would be able to tell the difference.
“I want you to be my first.”  That she was so solemn when she said that, coming almost completely out of her drunken haze made me think she had been planning this shit for a while.  That made me even more depressed.  “I want you to have all of me.”  She tried dancing again.  The girl can’t handle it sober.  The results while drunk were beyond pathetic.  
“You’re drunk and deluded.  
“I’m not drunk.”  She fell over.  Just straight up fell on her cute little ass.
“You don’t want me to be your first.  Not me.  Not like this.  You’re the kind of girl who waits till her wedding night.  Or at least until college.  Not till she has had five beers and six shots of plastic bottle vodka.”
“But I luv ya.”  Now I was offended.  She can go ahead and tell me that all she wants when we’re all sober and joking around and I can laugh it off like its nothing.  But not now.  Not like this.  This isn’t love.  I can’t laugh at this.  This isn’t pretend shit anymore.
“No, you don’t.  You don’t even know what love is.”  Love is caring about someone more than you care about yourself.  Not getting drunk and trying to get laid.  Kids these days.  What the fuck is wrong with them?
“But I luv ya.”  As if repeating herself would make a difference.  She tried to kiss me again and I pushed her away.  Again.  She fell.  Again.  She barely even noticed.  She was about to try again.  And probably would have kept trying all night long.  But Nicki came to the rescue.  Sweet relief.

There she was standing in the doorway.  Black hair cascading over her pale skin.  Her perky tits barely covered by some spaghetti strap or another.  It might have been blue.  Or orange.  My bottle of Corazon in one hand and two shots in the other.
“Love him or not, cutie, it ain’t happening tonight.  So why don’t you just find your way back to the rest of the party.  And leave us grownups to talk.”  I had been more than clear and it hadn’t moved Jess in the slightest.  Nicki shows up and Jess scurries out with her tail between her legs.  The fuck are you gonna do?  Though there was quite a pout going on as she stomped out into the living room.  Nicki closed the door.  And locked it.

“Not into the whole schoolgirl fetish?”  That same impish smile.  Does it for me every time.
“Bah.  The schoolgirl fetish is more about knee socks and micro mini plaid skirts than age.  And like every other fashion statement: if you look good, you’ll look good in anything.  If not, you’re fucked.”  Like you.  You would look great as a schoolgirl.  “Thanks for the help.”
“Not a problem, baby.  So why?  I mean, she looks good enough.”
“She’s fucking 16.”
“Which means she is legal in our fair state.”
“That doesn’t make it right.”
“That wouldn’t bother most of the guys at this party.
“Yeah, well, my friends are degenerates…  I don’t know what it is.  I don’t mind destroying the beautiful, but I guess I draw the line at perverting the innocent.”
“Hate to break it to you, Holden, but she probably won’t be so innocent tomorrow.  With or without your help.”  She held up Jess’ shirt that had been left behind.
“Probably not.  Not going out into that group that drunk and that horny.”
     “And that doesn’t bother you?”     “Not really.  What doesn’t happen to me or around me tends not to concern me.”  I never said I was a nice guy. “But that’s not why you found your way over here.”
“You read me so well.”  Ah, yes: the sarcasm.  I love it when they can keep up with me.  That warm and fucking fuzzy feeling.  Just like that smile.  

She handed me one of the shot glasses and poured them both.

“Here’s to hangovers.”  This was the beginning of something.
“Why not?”  Tonight was going to be a good night.  Or at least it had potential.

We drank a few.  It was a party.  I don’t know what you do at a party.  But we drink.    
“Came alone again, I see.”  I might as well get to the point.  Coming to my house without her boyfriend and drinking is just asking for trouble.
“You are so perceptive.”
“I like to try.”  
“We might be having a few problems on the home front.”  That doesn’t mean anything.  That one has backfired on me before.
“You know, I’m not so qualified for sympathy.”  It’s not that I don’t try.  It’s just that I’m not very good with emotions and all that.
“No shit.  You’ve been trying to get with me for two months now.  Do you really think I would come to you with a bottle of tequila if I was looking for sympathy?”  Now what was that look all about?  It was almost as charged as when I stare into her deep green eyes and then just … drift … away … and.  No!  Gotta stay in the moment.
“Here’s to happy couples.”  We drank some more.  It was a while before she said anything.  She came to me, I waited for her.
“He is just so needy.”  It was sort of out of the blue.  But I wasn’t really surprised.  “Do you realize that he calls me like 10 times a day.  And does he have anything to tell me?  No.  Is that normal?”  Not really normal.  But isn’t that what girls want?  I always thought they wanted guys to call them all the time to check in.
“Uhh.”  I mean I could see that he was too needy.  He wasn’t good enough for her.  And they both knew it.  And I knew it too.  So did most everyone who knew them.  None of us understood how that fucking relationship held together.  But maybe she was asking a lot of him?  Eh.  I’m not going to feel sorry for the fucker.
“Would you do that?”
“Well, no.”  That’s not how I roll.  I hate phones and I am not a fan of relationship stupidity.  Though Brian was kind of a douche.  He was one step away from calling her ‘Shmoopie.’  We took another shot.
“That’s what I mean.  Sometimes I wonder who is really wearing the pants in this relationship.”  Fuck, Nicki.  You should know by now that you will wear the pants in any relationship you ever get into.  That’s just how you are.  Another shot
“You know I know absolutely nothing about relationships…  Ones that work anyway.”  Fuck.  Why did I have to bring up Amy now?  There goes tonight.  There goes months of solid work.  There goes…
“Don’t worry, Isaac.  She’ll come back to you.  One of these days.”  Another shot.  “But in the mean time there is no reason why you should be lonely.”  One last shot before…

There is something comforting about waking up next to someone you care about.  Especially when she is naked.  Also, no we would not make a good couple.  We won’t start dating.  And I don’t know how long it will be before she tells her boyfriend that I occasionally keep her company through the cold dark night.

Veronica

Veronica
It wasn’t love.  I sort of knew that from the start.  We really just aren’t the sort that falls in love.  Not often, anyway.  And I think I had already fucked up my chance.

I met her first while bartending at Disco Vegas.  She was a fan of dirty martinis.  Well, talked to her first at Disco Vegas.  Got to know her first.  But I had seen her before; when I was bouncing at DangerBar!.  She came in with a group of girls.  Bitches really; every one of them.  Or at least they gave off that ‘I’m so much better than you so leave me alone’ vibe.   The kind of shit that has always pissed me right the fuck off.  So I mostly ignored them.  As an attention whore myself, I knew what would bother them the most.  That and the bored and slightly exasperated look I adopted when I let them jump the line.  Eh.  

She was different.  Strayed a bit from the pack.  There was something in her eyes.  Something… honest.  Or true.  Innocent?  Genuine.  There was something genuine in her eyes.  Just the thing to reel a degenerate like me right in.  Of course I didn’t make a move.  Not when she rolled with that crowd.  For all my bluster and bravado, there are still some girls that I am afraid to approach.

I guess there might have been a few looks, a few smiles between us.  But nothing special.  She would come in with her bitch posse and she would leave with one guy or another.  Or she wouldn’t.  She might just get trashed with the girls.  But that’s what we all did.  That’s why people came to DangerBar!.  That’s why we were the hottest fucking joint no one had ever really heard of.  And when it started getting too popular, I got to move on.

Once DangerBar! became the “scene,” Yoshikawa decided that his first little underground venture was doing well enough that he could afford to open a second.  We had become pretty good friends by that point.  I wasn’t just another ex-pat bouncer.  So he asked me to come along and run the bar.  I moved on up.  And I got my own three feet of felt covered absurdity that could only be called a bar in a nightclub in Roppongi.  Disco Vegas, baby.  Disco Vegas.  Why the fuck not?

Veronica started coming to Disco Vegas a few weeks after we opened.  It was better than DangerBar! because it was newer.  And kitschier.  And she was of the sort that followed those kinds of trends.  Mostly because she could.  She was just that type of girl.  She had enough money and enough borrowed taste that she could afford to be on the cutting edge of cool.  Not that I really minded.  After all, she was beautiful.  And what with me being the only bartender, the communication barrier was broken.  Hell.  Yes.

So after a while of her coming in and ordering martinis (with gin - you know, real martinis), we got to talking and she got to staying later and later.  She started coming in on off nights.  And without her uptight buzz kill friends.  One thing led to another and that led to sex.  Eventually we got to going home together.  Her place.  It was much nicer than mine.  Even as a bartender in a reasonably trendy nightspot, I was hard pressed to find decent and affordable accommodations in Tokyo.  Not that that was really the reason her place was better than mine.  She didn’t fucking pay half what I did.  Her place was like a fucking gift from one of the wealthy gentlemen that fell in love with her at her club.  She was always getting nice stuff from her “benefactors.”  I never asked too much about it.  I never cared too much about it.  What she did when I wasn’t around, just didn’t bother me.  I guess that old maxim still rings true: if you are hot, blonde, and willing to take your clothes off, you’ll probably do ok.

Veronica was Australian.  Like me she had studied Japanese in high school and like me, when she found that she didn’t really want to do anything after college, she had come to Tokyo.  Sure all the fast money of the late 80s was nothing but myth and legend now, but somehow it seemed like we were doing better because we were so far away from home.  She had come to Japan as a model.  She had done a few magazine spots or whatever.  Maybe a billboard or two.  I didn’t really listen.  But ultimately it hadn’t worked out.  And so she did what any reasonable girl in her position would do: danced naked for old leering men.  It’s not like she could go home.  There was even less for her there.  Sometimes you just can’t go home.  I knew I couldn’t.  Something was missing.  And I just wasn’t ready.  Things were broken back home.  And even if they weren’t perfect here, at least they were good enough.

And so we sort of started dating.  Really what it was is that I got to see her during the day.  Afternoon really.  We both worked and drank all night long, so it wasn’t like we were awake during the morning.  Not a fucking chance of that.  And that was great.  She was great.  And we were pretty fucking good together.  Things just worked out.  She was the piece that had been missing during my first year or in Tokyo.  And we had fun.  We had fun.  That was enough.  There were a few fights here and there.  Sometimes I had to go back to my place at the end of the night instead of staying at hers.  But mostly we didn’t take anything much too seriously.  We just had fun together.  And I left it at that.

Then it was August.  I had been in Japan for two years of my young life.  And I had been dating Veronica for the last eight months of them.  And it had been a great 8 months.  Or six and a half.  We had been getting into more and more fights.  Over stupid shit too.  I couldn’t understand why she was always blowing up at me over the smallest fucking things.  She just kept getting pissed that I didn’t care that other guys wanted to sleep with her.  Of course they wanted to fuck her.  She’s hot.  Then I got it.  And it fucking blew me away.  She wanted more.  More than I was probably able to give.  More than I really wanted to give her.  I think it was getting past time I got the fuck out of Dodge City.

I cashed in the return ticket that had been sitting on my dresser for two years.  Things had been stagnant for far too long.  Making the same damn stupid drinks for the same dumb fuck stoned bastards night after night just wasn’t doing it anymore.  And now with Veronica starting to get that old familiar itch, things were exactly stable on the home front.  My job wasn’t changing enough and my girl was changing too much.  Life, man.  It fucking gets you every time.

I didn’t tell her anything for the next 2 weeks.  I just didn’t know how to bring it up.  I was sure that if I told her she would make me stay.  She wanted everything and all of me.  There was no fucking chance she would let me leave.  I knew that if she asked me to stay I would.  And then I would die here.  Slowly.  Long after she had moved on to some other guy on a faster track to wealth, fame, or power, I would still be slinging booze for Yoshikawa at one his “hip night spot for upscale youths.”   I couldn’t do that to myself.  Or maybe we would stay together.  And I could tell my mother that I was “in love with a stripper yo.”  And I would still die here.  Unfulfilled.  Unfinished.  And incomplete.  Because no matter how much Veronica was in love with me, there was another girl.  She was 5,000 miles and 5,000 years away and yet somehow whenever the subject of love came up, she was the only one that ever came to mind.

The last time I saw her was at the train station.  She was going back to her place.  And in a rare move I was going back to mine.  I had packed up yesterday.  Still unable to tell her anything.  We had our last kiss.  Nearly as passionate as our first.  I was this close to going back to my place and unpacking, saying to hell with it all and staying.  Just for her.  Just for that.  Just for one more.  I watched her get onto her train.  She waved as it pulled away.  I waved back.  It was raining.  I just stood there on the empty platform staring at nothing for a long time.  When I finally came out of my trance and looked at my watch I realized that I had missed my own train.  I had to wait 40 minutes for the next connection.

And then I just left.  I would like to think of it in terms of the Lone Ranger riding off into the sunset.  But that wasn’t it.  Maybe it was closer to chasing Bob Lind’s elusive butterfly.  Or maybe I was just cutting and running.  Leaving her before she left me.   Or maybe I actually though I had a chance at fixing what I had broken years ago.  Whatever it was, I still left.  I couldn’t say goodbye.  I don’t know how.

While I was in the airport, right up until take off, I kept thinking about how many times she would try calling.  About what she would do when she finally went round that little shit box apartment I had called home for far too fucking long and found it emptier than usual.  About how long it would take her to find someone new.  And if she would really miss me at all.  Knowing all the while that she was probably better for being rid of me.  But once the cabin doors closed and the plane started to taxi, I realized that I didn’t care.  

As we were taking off I thought about Amy for the first time in a long time.  I wondered if she still felt the same was as she did when I left.  I guess it was about time I called her.  I guess it was about time I found out if I really could fix all the shit I fucked up.  I hope so.  I hope so.

I'm just a soul whose intentions are good

I’m just a soul whose intentions are good

Drunk on whiskey and dreams, I fall asleep on my couch.  Alone.  Again.Tuesday.  My cell rings at 4:37 am.  But I don’t answer it.  I’m half asleep.  And still drunk.  And I’m just not ready to talk to her yet.  Besides, I already know what she’s going to say.  And I don’t have a good story to spin to her.  That’s tomorrow’s bullshit.  I fall back asleep.My cell rings at 4:51 am.  I answer it and toss it across the room.  I can still hear her yelling.  I groan and get up.  I take a piss and head back.  I hang up the phone.  She was still yelling.My cell rings at 5:07 am.  I just let it ring.  My cell rings at 5:11 am.  I still don’t answer it.  I am too drunk and too tired to give a shit.  She has to give up eventually.My cell rings at 5:20 am.  I don’t hear it.  I have fallen into a deep and peaceful sleep.  And not even her rage can wake me up now.She doesn’t call again the rest of the morning.  Or the next day.  Instead she calls all of our friends.  Tries to turn them to her side.  Convince them that I am the asshole.  Dave tells me about it at work.  I’m not surprised.  She’s done it before.  She does it every time.  She’s never happy when we fight unless she wins, convinces me that she won, and then tells the world all about it.  As if they really need to know our business.  I am getting tired of it.  My friends are getting tired of it.  Dave told me to dump her.  Said she was pissing him off.  He won’t answer her calls anymore.  Sounds familiar.Thursday.  My cell rings at 3:57 pm.  She wants to apologize.  I tell her it’s over.  She starts yelling.  She calls me an asshole.  I put the phone down and walk away.  I can hear her from the bathroom.  I sigh.  At least it’s the last time…

Bethany; visions

Bethany; visions
I have been drinking myself to sleep for a bitch of a while now.  The days drift by in the same desperate haze.  The nights are so drowned in beer and tequila that I can barely find my way to the surface.  Not that I’ve been trying.  I gave up treading water in this dream pool long long fuck long ago.  Life goes on, as it must, but no one was saved.  No one ever is.

Bethany came into my store the other day.  God, but she was a vision of beauty in this dark and decaying world.  She smiled at me and all the nightmares went far far away.  Her icy blue eyes saw right through my shallow façade and into my empty sad sorry soul.  And then I forgot about the killer fucking hangover I had (it didn’t take long for me to remember).

I didn’t talk to her.  I couldn’t.  I didn’t know how.  I mean, she was hot.  And that is so fucking intimidating.

That was 3 weeks ago.  I have since said ‘hello.’  She might have smiled at me.  Or she might have just been being nice.  Or it might have been a trick of the lighting that I just imagined and turned into this big deal.  Doubt was never my friend.

So I have been writing more.  And that has been good for me.  And I have been drinking more.  And that has been much the same for me.  

When the highlight of your life is saying ‘hello’ to a beautiful customer who comes in 3-4 times a week, there is really no reason to stop drinking the rest of your life away.  What else is there?  It’s not like I had anything else to look forward to.  Maybe that is bad advice.  So maybe don’t follow it.  But when all that’s left is a trip to Desolation Row or thirteen continuous hours of reality television, I know which way I am going every mother fucking time.  Sometimes forgetting isn’t the worst thing that could happen.  Some lives just aren’t worth remembering.

Some people find truth in the bottle.  Or inspiration.  Or god knows what the fuck else.  I never really found anything but booze.  So maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough.  Or maybe I wasn’t drinking hard enough.  The fuck do I know?  But there was nothing else to take away the boredom.  And sweet fucking Christ but there was no way I was going back to that unarmed.

And work just dragged.  There was no life there.  We were all desperate for something; something different; something better.  We knew everything was fucked but not all of us had given up hope yet.  It is just a matter of wanting to do something about it.  It’s not as easy as you smug bastards seem to think.  Or maybe you never had dreams no one believed in.  That you barely trusted.

“Hey, Bethany… the usual?”  My week has now hit a peak.  I am coming into work hammered tomorrow and I don’t give a shit.  Life is a meaningless wreck.  Bring on the mother fucking booze.  

Tonight it is whiskey.  Cocktails and dreams.  Lost wandering ramblings three cigarettes and delusion set me straight on my way.  And the Muse hits me in the face with a baseball bat called Jack Daniels.  So I write another story about misery or boredom or life looking up or whatever it is I do when I am drunk.

“Hi, Bethany.  How are you today?”  You look beautiful today.  Just like every other day.  Day.  What day is it, anyway?  Am I getting paid soon?  I am out of booze.  And rent is coming due soon, I think.  Or was that last month; week; Tuesday; whatever.  Huh?  She said something and I missed it.  Smile.  Pretending to be pretty is all I fucking got.

Have you ever had difficulty recalling what parts of your life really happened and what parts you dreamt or made up?  

Then it was the weekend.  The one I have been working for all week long.  The guys were busy.  Doing something or other.  And I had nothing else to do, so I drank until I passed out.  On a chair.  I awoke several hours later in a daze.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted to keep drinking, get some water, or take a piss.  While I was pissing, I decided I was drunk.  But too drunk to do anything about it.  I went to sleep.  In my bed.  I think my phone was ringing.  I don’t think I answered it.

Sleeping in a chair doesn’t hurt so much when you are blown out of your fucking mind.  But does it ever fuck up the neck and spine for the rest of the week.  I decided to stop drinking for a day or two.  At least until I could turn my head without trouble.

So it was in one of my rare completely sober moments that Fate slapped me in the face.  Figures.  As if I know how to react when I am sober.  As if I can relate to people, much less girls, much less beautiful women, much less Bethany my utterly perfect female counterpart when I am sober.  It wasn’t that I needed a drink.  I am not an alcoholic.  I just needed something anything a way out.  I had just gotten off work.  Damn.  The fucking timing.  Always the fucking timing.  

Bethany walked in and ordered from someone who wasn’t me.  ‘Hey there, Bethany.  You are beautiful,’ I told myself.  ‘I know you probably hear that a lot from a lot of guys.  And I am sure all of them are more successful than I am.  How could they not be?  But still…’  I had no idea what to say next.  And this was only mumbling inside my head.  If I couldn’t even convince myself why she should talk to me how in the happy hell was I going to convince her?  The world was coming to a standstill.  It was a moment of truth.  Time stopped.  The little dog laughed.  To see such sport.

She sat down two tables away from me.  Of course she wasn’t going to sit at my table.  What the fuck do you think this is, a made for TV movie where even the bad guy gets laid?  She was staring off into nowhere.  And not in the self-reflexive seeing something in the great beyond way that I stare into nowhere while I am trying to write a poem of great depth and meaning or a story that touches the soul of every man woman and child.  No, it was a desperate longing look beseeching the expansive Nothing to take it all back or fix it all or do goddamn something anything other than this please not this.  I wasn’t going to get a better invitation than this.

I went home.  Yeah, so I fucked up the show.  No one knows or cares but me.  Invitations or not, I don’t need to ruin a perfect vision of beauty by actually meeting her talking to her getting to know her and each and every one of her flaws that will destroy break shatter everything I have been dreaming about for the past few months.  Sorry.  Not the way I am going out.  I’ll live lonely still before I go out and do that to myself.  What I need is someone that I don’t have to put on a pedestal.  Someone that I don’t have to idolize before I talk to her.  Do you think there might be a little something wrong with me?  With the way I approach life?  More than just a touch of gray.

And life went on, as it tends to.  And I said hello to Bethany when she came in.  And she said hello to me.  And we smiled.  And did nothing.  Because that’s what people do.  And that’s how shit goes.  I got by.  And pretended it was enough.  And I kept writing sad miserable pieces of degenerate drunkery that I hope to pass off as gold.  

Of course, I kept drinking.  She probably did too.  Alone.  As it was meant to be.  Because if it wasn’t meant to be that way, we would have done something about it.  And we never fucking did.

On second thought, I bet she has a boyfriend.


Katie, a relationship

Katie, a relationship
Regret, ah yes.  My troubled Muse.  How fondly I now think of you, so long have you stayed in my house.  Regret.  Of those things done and those left undone.  Mistakes made, paths not taken.  But this was the big one.  At least, so far.  I don’t know how important she will seem down the line.  But I dwell on the past, not the future.  And so I will continue as I began.  Once it ended I did everything I could to forget her. It didn’t really work.  She may have been my Juliet, but I’ll never be her Romeo.

Katie seemed so perfect when I first met her.  Of course, I was really drunk at the time.

I never loved her.  I can see that now.  I think.  I’m only sure when she isn’t around.  Then everything gets confusing.  Jacob loved her.  Well he might have.  He at least was capable of loving someone other than himself.  Not like Dave…  Or me.  Maybe if Jacob had met her first.  Though she did have those certain “appetites” that would have just fucked Jacob instead.  And he wouldn’t have handled it as well.  But I never loved her.  I hope.  I am pretty certain; almost.  For a while I thought I might.  But that was only because I thought I loved every bitch willing to show me even the slightest attention.  Because clearly that meant they loved me.  Right?  Right.  Even the whores.  Sometimes especially the whores.  And that was Katie.  She loved us all.  She only loved herself.  Goddamn Katie.  She fucked me up.  Real solid like.

I would have to say that the courtship was the best part of our relationship.  It just went so well.  Every sly look, every come hither stare was noticed and reciprocated.  Every joke was a winner.  Every innuendo was understood and surprisingly appreciated.  And for a man who has no touch for subtlety, I was able to convey how I felt for her, how beautiful I found her without telling her.  I still told her.  She was beautiful.  Of course I told her.  But the thing was we just connected.  We fit together.  Our flaws canceled each other out.  As things progressed, I was sure it was “meant to be” or at least that this was going to be a meaningful relationship.  I guess I’m a bad judge.

Looking back on it, it was the perfect place to have my heart broken.  It was so cinematic.  It was so ridiculously out of proportion with respect to the rest of our boring relationship.  It was an epic ending to 3 weeks of passion and 6 months of nothing that special.  It did start off with a bang.  You know the whole cheating on her big man about town boyfriend deal.  I always liked that.  That she felt that I was better than that sellout candyass.  It made me feel for once that I had chosen the right path in rejecting all that common conformist bullshit.  She did break my heart.  But I don’t think I loved her.  I’m not really sure anymore.  I’ve tried to forget.  And I’ve tried to make the break up scene even more cinematic.  That’s what you do if you’re a writer.  Well, not exactly.  That’s what I do, though, as a writer.  I have to make my life interesting or nobody will want to read about it.  How very Tayama Katai of me.  It did seem like a good scene to put into a love story.  I mean there we are sitting there in Murasaki, after having just finished dinner.  The lighting is just right, the mood perfect.  I am about to tell her that I love her (and the way she looks tonight).  I smile.  She smiles back and says so matter-of-factly as to break glass and shatter the last decent elements of my soul and (DOUBT) make me question the purpose of Hope all over again,  “I’ve found someone else.  I’m sorry.”  And then she gets up and walks out of my life for the rest of ever.  I was stunned to say the least.  I mean I know guys always say not to break up with all that bullshit like ‘let’s just be friends’ or ‘it’s not me it’s you’ or some other line, but it really just stuns you when they are so blunt.  That’s when the waiter brought the check.  I tossed it back at him and order a bottle of tequila and a glass of scotch.  

Looking back on it, I should have punched her in the face.  Or raped her right then and there.  But I am a man of words and I have never been a man of action.  I didn’t even think twice about her leaving me with the bill.  Nowhere to go but up.

She was, I don’t know, 5’8” or so with long blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes.  She kept her body fit and trim (likely with the manic trips to the gym that I only became aware of later on) and liked to show it off.  Her pants were always skin tight and she loved drawing attention to her perfect ass.  Her shirt was just long enough to show off her belly button ring that was perfectly accented by her tiny nose stud.  To say that she was vain would be an understatement.  She was drowning in herself.  But it was her smile that seemed to draw it all together.  She had a smile that could stop a man in his tracks and make him think that they were the only two people in the world (she still has that effect on me).  Her smile was so genuine, so sincere, so misleading.  

When I met her I was drunk and I didn’t care.  I wasn’t so drunk that I wasn’t aware of things (a few beers and some tequila shots) and when she came down into Cliché, my life came to a screeching halt.  That was my watershed moment.  Now I classify my life in terms of before and after Katie.  Katie came in with Dave’s boyfriend (they were old friends from “back home” or something) but when they got there, Bryan went to find Dave.  Leaving her alone.  I wanted to go talk to her, but wasn’t planning on it since I often make awkward first impressions – I have a tendency to fuck things up.  Also, I was drunk.  I figured I would let another guy go in – I didn’t want a pretty thing like that to be wasted (The Universe could never be so cruel as to waste a beauty like that.  Mankind could never recover from such a blow) – and that way I wouldn’t have to make an ass of myself.  
I went for another beer and all the guys in the bar went for Katie.  But for some reason, one after another, she coolly dismissed them.  Seeing that she didn’t have a drink and not wanting to be the only guy who wouldn’t be able to talk around the damn water cooler tomorrow about how this bitch turned him down (I do love my conformity).  So I walked over.  “The lady will have another … ?”  I looked her way “Extra dry martini.”  “And bring me another shot.”  What the hell, let’s do this shit – and I struck up a meaningless conversation.  I don’t really remember what we talked about – it didn’t really seem important at the time – but unlike all the other guys, I seemed to hit it off with Katie.  I didn’t get any of the normal ‘I really don’t want to talk with you just because you bought me a delicious beverage” signals that normally occurred when I talked to girls (and it wasn’t just because I was drunk either – ok, that I can’t verify, being as I was quite drunk, I might have fabricated much or all of the incident.).  I’m sure it was the normal things – what we do: jobs and otherwise, interests: what movies we like, what actors we hate, random filler – but I can’t say for sure.  Whatever I said, it must have been right because as the night faded into morning we shared a cab.

I was, of course, more than willing.  She was beautiful and any excuse to spend time with her, even something as pointless as taking a cab in the opposite direction of where I should have been headed was to be taken up without hesitation.  I don’t know what provoked her to share a cross-town cab with a guy she had just met.  It could have been the booze.  Or she saw something I don’t.  But when we got to her place, I had no expectation that I would be invited in.  The thought never even crossed my mind.  While I’m sure I was thinking how beautiful she was and how I would like to get with a girl like her, I can’t imagine that I actually considered it seriously.  She was way way out of my league.  I was likely thinking about how expensive this night was turning out to be and did I have enough money for the cab.  I did.  But not for the return trip.  So then I was wondering about where the nearest subway station was.  But when we got to her door and I was anticipating awkward silence, she casually invited me in.  I was too stunned to even consider refusing.  

Her sheets are much softer than mine.

(gratuitous sex scene)

I awoke the next morning early and slightly disoriented (waking up in strange places isn’t that unusual, waking up in strange beds slightly less usual).  Slowly looking around, I saw Katie by her mirror applying her makeup.  She turned and smiled.  I still couldn’t tell you if there is anything more beautiful in the world than Katie when she smiles.  It lights up the room.  Even now she can get my heart fluttering.  

“Hey there sweetheart, I was wondering when you would wake up.”  I smiled.  

“Sorry to have kept you waiting.  I hope you enjoyed watching me sleep.”  She laughed.  It was a beautiful lilting laugh.  Not a care in the world.

I got up and started looking for my clothes.  They were all over the place.  And I was missing a sock.

“Oh, I don’t really want my boyfriend to find out we fucked – he’s kinda possessive.  So you’ll probably want to keep this quiet”  

“Boyfriend?”  She had to be joking.  Obviously she wouldn’t bring me back to her place if she had a boyfriend.  That kind of thing just doesn’t happen.  I mean, I’m a sweet dude and all.  But that shit only happens to James Bond or in the fucking movies or shit.

“Yeah, I don’t know if you know him – Jesse Danbury?”  

“No, but I’ve heard of him.  Something of an important man about town or something.”  How does a girl like her end up dating a douche like that?  I couldn’t believe it.  That Jesse fucker was such a goddamn tool.  And I fucked his old lady.  Bastard had it fucking coming.  It was starting to look like I wasn’t going to be asked over again.

“So you’ll probably want to keep this quiet”  

“Not a problem.  I’m down with O.P.P.”  Silence.  Maybe I am not as cool as I pretend.  “Don’t worry, we don’t really run in the same circles.”  

“Right.”  She walked over to the bed, leaned over and kissed me, “So, when can I see you again?”  I guess you could say I was confused.  

“What about the boyfriend?”  

“What about him?”  Good point.  Why should I care about a fucktard like him?  Except that if he ever found out I might be in some trouble.

“Whenever you want.  I’m not really that busy most days.”  

“How about Tuesday?”  So long?  That was three days away.  How could I go three days without Katie?  It wasn’t humanly possible.  I declined to think on the fact that I had gone my entire life up until now without her.  It lessened the drama of the situation.

“Tuesday works.”  

“Excellent.”  She kissed me deeply and then turned to leave the room.  “Bye sexy, I’ll see you on Tuesday.”  I was stunned.  Sexy?  Yeah, I guess she was right.  I am a pretty fucking hot motherfucker.  She probably just forgot my name.

I would have said something, but she had already left the room.  I found the nearest station and caught the train home.  I needed a nap.

She broke up with Jesse not too long after that.  Or he broke up with her.  I never really asked for the details.  She caught him cheating on her or something.  Sleeping with his boss or his secretary or both.  I would expect anything from a jackoff like him.  Regardless, he went off with some other little thing and she came home to me.  Everything was right with The Universe.  Or so I thought.

First impressions mean a lot.  But they aren’t always right.  When I first saw Katie I thought that she was flawless.  She was the most beautiful woman in the world.  She was perfection in a box.  I ammended that view a bit over the length of our relationship.  I mean, she is beautiful.  I still think so.  But she isn’t the “most beautiful woman in the world.”  There is no such thing as the “most beautiful woman in the world.”  She has flaws.  We all do.  But I never really minded them.  I thought the relationship was going fine.  Why would I mind a few minor things?  I didn’t think it would make a big difference in the end.  I’ve been wrong before.


  • Isaac, you are so emotionally guarded, I can’t get through to you.

  • What?  What are you talking about?

  • You never let me close.  You never let me in.

  • I let you close all the time.

  • Emotionally.  You never let me close emotionally.

  • Oh great.  Not this speech again.

  • It’s important, Isaac, it’s important if we are going to have a future.  It’s important if you don’t want me to leave.

  • Katie, I’m trying to write.  Can’t this wait?

  • No.  It can’t wait.  I can’t wait.  I’ve been waiting for you for too long now…

(intermission)

  • You’re breaking up with me?

  • It’s nothing personal.

  • The fuck it isn’t.  You’re breaking up with me.  How much more personal does it get?

  • Well, you had to know this was coming.  I mean, we don’t have anything in common.

  • We have tons of things in common.

  • You know what I mean. (getting flustered)

  • Yeah, I know what you mean.  (pause)  So are you fucking someone else or just being a bitch?


I felt comfortable with her.  And that is unusual for me.  That was why I always thought that it was right; meant to be.  I never had to impress her.  In the beginning that was about all I was doing and it nearly fucked it all up.  But once I settled down (after she got rid of that other guy and we “decided” to be “exclusive”) things got better.  And I got comfortable.  I guess that made it worse in the end.  Made it hurt more when she cut me loose.  I don’t know what happened.  Maybe being comfortable made me complacent.  Maybe when I stopped trying to impress her I started taking her for granted.  Who knows?  I just never saw it coming.

Katie, a relationship

Katie, a relationship
Regret, ah yes.  My troubled Muse.  How fondly I now think of you, so long have you stayed in my house.  Regret.  Of those things done and those left undone.  Mistakes made, paths not taken.  But this was the big one.  At least, so far.  I don’t know how important she will seem down the line.  But I dwell on the past, not the future.  And so I will continue as I began.  Once it ended I did everything I could to forget her. It didn’t really work.  She may have been my Juliet, but I’ll never be her Romeo.

Katie seemed so perfect when I first met her.  Of course, I was really drunk at the time.

I never loved her.  I can see that now.  I think.  I’m only sure when she isn’t around.  Then everything gets confusing.  Jacob loved her.  Well he might have.  He at least was capable of loving someone other than himself.  Not like Dave…  Or me.  Maybe if Jacob had met her first.  Though she did have those certain “appetites” that would have just fucked Jacob instead.  And he wouldn’t have handled it as well.  But I never loved her.  I hope.  I am pretty certain; almost.  For a while I thought I might.  But that was only because I thought I loved every bitch willing to show me even the slightest attention.  Because clearly that meant they loved me.  Right?  Right.  Even the whores.  Sometimes especially the whores.  And that was Katie.  She loved us all.  She only loved herself.  Goddamn Katie.  She fucked me up.  Real solid like.

I would have to say that the courtship was the best part of our relationship.  It just went so well.  Every sly look, every come hither stare was noticed and reciprocated.  Every joke was a winner.  Every innuendo was understood and surprisingly appreciated.  And for a man who has no touch for subtlety, I was able to convey how I felt for her, how beautiful I found her without telling her.  I still told her.  She was beautiful.  Of course I told her.  But the thing was we just connected.  We fit together.  Our flaws canceled each other out.  As things progressed, I was sure it was “meant to be” or at least that this was going to be a meaningful relationship.  I guess I’m a bad judge.

Looking back on it, it was the perfect place to have my heart broken.  It was so cinematic.  It was so ridiculously out of proportion with respect to the rest of our boring relationship.  It was an epic ending to 3 weeks of passion and 6 months of nothing that special.  It did start off with a bang.  You know the whole cheating on her big man about town boyfriend deal.  I always liked that.  That she felt that I was better than that sellout candyass.  It made me feel for once that I had chosen the right path in rejecting all that common conformist bullshit.  She did break my heart.  But I don’t think I loved her.  I’m not really sure anymore.  I’ve tried to forget.  And I’ve tried to make the break up scene even more cinematic.  That’s what you do if you’re a writer.  Well, not exactly.  That’s what I do, though, as a writer.  I have to make my life interesting or nobody will want to read about it.  How very Tayama Katai of me.  It did seem like a good scene to put into a love story.  I mean there we are sitting there in Murasaki, after having just finished dinner.  The lighting is just right, the mood perfect.  I am about to tell her that I love her (and the way she looks tonight).  I smile.  She smiles back and says so matter-of-factly as to break glass and shatter the last decent elements of my soul and (DOUBT) make me question the purpose of Hope all over again,  “I’ve found someone else.  I’m sorry.”  And then she gets up and walks out of my life for the rest of ever.  I was stunned to say the least.  I mean I know guys always say not to break up with all that bullshit like ‘let’s just be friends’ or ‘it’s not me it’s you’ or some other line, but it really just stuns you when they are so blunt.  That’s when the waiter brought the check.  I tossed it back at him and order a bottle of tequila and a glass of scotch.  

Looking back on it, I should have punched her in the face.  Or raped her right then and there.  But I am a man of words and I have never been a man of action.  I didn’t even think twice about her leaving me with the bill.  Nowhere to go but up.

She was, I don’t know, 5’8” or so with long blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes.  She kept her body fit and trim (likely with the manic trips to the gym that I only became aware of later on) and liked to show it off.  Her pants were always skin tight and she loved drawing attention to her perfect ass.  Her shirt was just long enough to show off her belly button ring that was perfectly accented by her tiny nose stud.  To say that she was vain would be an understatement.  She was drowning in herself.  But it was her smile that seemed to draw it all together.  She had a smile that could stop a man in his tracks and make him think that they were the only two people in the world (she still has that effect on me).  Her smile was so genuine, so sincere, so misleading.  

When I met her I was drunk and I didn’t care.  I wasn’t so drunk that I wasn’t aware of things (a few beers and some tequila shots) and when she came down into Cliché, my life came to a screeching halt.  That was my watershed moment.  Now I classify my life in terms of before and after Katie.  Katie came in with Dave’s boyfriend (they were old friends from “back home” or something) but when they got there, Bryan went to find Dave.  Leaving her alone.  I wanted to go talk to her, but wasn’t planning on it since I often make awkward first impressions – I have a tendency to fuck things up.  Also, I was drunk.  I figured I would let another guy go in – I didn’t want a pretty thing like that to be wasted (The Universe could never be so cruel as to waste a beauty like that.  Mankind could never recover from such a blow) – and that way I wouldn’t have to make an ass of myself.  
I went for another beer and all the guys in the bar went for Katie.  But for some reason, one after another, she coolly dismissed them.  Seeing that she didn’t have a drink and not wanting to be the only guy who wouldn’t be able to talk around the damn water cooler tomorrow about how this bitch turned him down (I do love my conformity).  So I walked over.  “The lady will have another … ?”  I looked her way “Extra dry martini.”  “And bring me another shot.”  What the hell, let’s do this shit – and I struck up a meaningless conversation.  I don’t really remember what we talked about – it didn’t really seem important at the time – but unlike all the other guys, I seemed to hit it off with Katie.  I didn’t get any of the normal ‘I really don’t want to talk with you just because you bought me a delicious beverage” signals that normally occurred when I talked to girls (and it wasn’t just because I was drunk either – ok, that I can’t verify, being as I was quite drunk, I might have fabricated much or all of the incident.).  I’m sure it was the normal things – what we do: jobs and otherwise, interests: what movies we like, what actors we hate, random filler – but I can’t say for sure.  Whatever I said, it must have been right because as the night faded into morning we shared a cab.

I was, of course, more than willing.  She was beautiful and any excuse to spend time with her, even something as pointless as taking a cab in the opposite direction of where I should have been headed was to be taken up without hesitation.  I don’t know what provoked her to share a cross-town cab with a guy she had just met.  It could have been the booze.  Or she saw something I don’t.  But when we got to her place, I had no expectation that I would be invited in.  The thought never even crossed my mind.  While I’m sure I was thinking how beautiful she was and how I would like to get with a girl like her, I can’t imagine that I actually considered it seriously.  She was way way out of my league.  I was likely thinking about how expensive this night was turning out to be and did I have enough money for the cab.  I did.  But not for the return trip.  So then I was wondering about where the nearest subway station was.  But when we got to her door and I was anticipating awkward silence, she casually invited me in.  I was too stunned to even consider refusing.  

Her sheets are much softer than mine.

(gratuitous sex scene)

I awoke the next morning early and slightly disoriented (waking up in strange places isn’t that unusual, waking up in strange beds slightly less usual).  Slowly looking around, I saw Katie by her mirror applying her makeup.  She turned and smiled.  I still couldn’t tell you if there is anything more beautiful in the world than Katie when she smiles.  It lights up the room.  Even now she can get my heart fluttering.  

“Hey there sweetheart, I was wondering when you would wake up.”  I smiled.  

“Sorry to have kept you waiting.  I hope you enjoyed watching me sleep.”  She laughed.  It was a beautiful lilting laugh.  Not a care in the world.

I got up and started looking for my clothes.  They were all over the place.  And I was missing a sock.

“Oh, I don’t really want my boyfriend to find out we fucked – he’s kinda possessive.  So you’ll probably want to keep this quiet”  

“Boyfriend?”  She had to be joking.  Obviously she wouldn’t bring me back to her place if she had a boyfriend.  That kind of thing just doesn’t happen.  I mean, I’m a sweet dude and all.  But that shit only happens to James Bond or in the fucking movies or shit.

“Yeah, I don’t know if you know him – Jesse Danbury?”  

“No, but I’ve heard of him.  Something of an important man about town or something.”  How does a girl like her end up dating a douche like that?  I couldn’t believe it.  That Jesse fucker was such a goddamn tool.  And I fucked his old lady.  Bastard had it fucking coming.  It was starting to look like I wasn’t going to be asked over again.

“So you’ll probably want to keep this quiet”  

“Not a problem.  I’m down with O.P.P.”  Silence.  Maybe I am not as cool as I pretend.  “Don’t worry, we don’t really run in the same circles.”  

“Right.”  She walked over to the bed, leaned over and kissed me, “So, when can I see you again?”  I guess you could say I was confused.  

“What about the boyfriend?”  

“What about him?”  Good point.  Why should I care about a fucktard like him?  Except that if he ever found out I might be in some trouble.

“Whenever you want.  I’m not really that busy most days.”  

“How about Tuesday?”  So long?  That was three days away.  How could I go three days without Katie?  It wasn’t humanly possible.  I declined to think on the fact that I had gone my entire life up until now without her.  It lessened the drama of the situation.

“Tuesday works.”  

“Excellent.”  She kissed me deeply and then turned to leave the room.  “Bye sexy, I’ll see you on Tuesday.”  I was stunned.  Sexy?  Yeah, I guess she was right.  I am a pretty fucking hot motherfucker.  She probably just forgot my name.

I would have said something, but she had already left the room.  I found the nearest station and caught the train home.  I needed a nap.

She broke up with Jesse not too long after that.  Or he broke up with her.  I never really asked for the details.  She caught him cheating on her or something.  Sleeping with his boss or his secretary or both.  I would expect anything from a jackoff like him.  Regardless, he went off with some other little thing and she came home to me.  Everything was right with The Universe.  Or so I thought.

First impressions mean a lot.  But they aren’t always right.  When I first saw Katie I thought that she was flawless.  She was the most beautiful woman in the world.  She was perfection in a box.  I ammended that view a bit over the length of our relationship.  I mean, she is beautiful.  I still think so.  But she isn’t the “most beautiful woman in the world.”  There is no such thing as the “most beautiful woman in the world.”  She has flaws.  We all do.  But I never really minded them.  I thought the relationship was going fine.  Why would I mind a few minor things?  I didn’t think it would make a big difference in the end.  I’ve been wrong before.


  • Isaac, you are so emotionally guarded, I can’t get through to you.

  • What?  What are you talking about?

  • You never let me close.  You never let me in.

  • I let you close all the time.

  • Emotionally.  You never let me close emotionally.

  • Oh great.  Not this speech again.

  • It’s important, Isaac, it’s important if we are going to have a future.  It’s important if you don’t want me to leave.

  • Katie, I’m trying to write.  Can’t this wait?

  • No.  It can’t wait.  I can’t wait.  I’ve been waiting for you for too long now…

(intermission)

  • You’re breaking up with me?

  • It’s nothing personal.

  • The fuck it isn’t.  You’re breaking up with me.  How much more personal does it get?

  • Well, you had to know this was coming.  I mean, we don’t have anything in common.

  • We have tons of things in common.

  • You know what I mean. (getting flustered)

  • Yeah, I know what you mean.  (pause)  So are you fucking someone else or just being a bitch?


I felt comfortable with her.  And that is unusual for me.  That was why I always thought that it was right; meant to be.  I never had to impress her.  In the beginning that was about all I was doing and it nearly fucked it all up.  But once I settled down (after she got rid of that other guy and we “decided” to be “exclusive”) things got better.  And I got comfortable.  I guess that made it worse in the end.  Made it hurt more when she cut me loose.  I don’t know what happened.  Maybe being comfortable made me complacent.  Maybe when I stopped trying to impress her I started taking her for granted.  Who knows?  I just never saw it coming.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Bethany; visions

Bethany; visions
I have been drinking myself to sleep for a bitch of a while now.  The days drift by in the same desperate haze.  The nights are so drowned in beer and tequila that I can barely find my way to the surface.  Not that I’ve been trying.  I gave up treading water in this dream pool long long fuck long ago.  Life goes on, as it must, but no one was saved.  No one ever is.

Bethany came into my store the other day.  God, but she was a vision of beauty in this dark and decaying world.  She smiled at me and all the nightmares went far far away.  Her icy blue eyes saw right through my shallow façade and into my empty sad sorry soul.  And then I forgot about the killer fucking hangover I had (it didn’t take long for me to remember).

I didn’t talk to her.  I couldn’t.  I didn’t know how.  I mean, she was hot.  And that is so fucking intimidating.

That was 3 weeks ago.  I have since said ‘hello.’  She might have smiled at me.  Or she might have just been being nice.  Or it might have been a trick of the lighting that I just imagined and turned into this big deal.  Doubt was never my friend.

So I have been writing more.  And that has been good for me.  And I have been drinking more.  And that has been much the same for me.  

When the highlight of your life is saying ‘hello’ to a beautiful customer who comes in 3-4 times a week, there is really no reason to stop drinking the rest of your life away.  What else is there?  It’s not like I had anything else to look forward to.  Maybe that is bad advice.  So maybe don’t follow it.  But when all that’s left is a trip to Desolation Row or thirteen continuous hours of reality television, I know which way I am going every mother fucking time.  Sometimes forgetting isn’t the worst thing that could happen.  Some lives just aren’t worth remembering.

Some people find truth in the bottle.  Or inspiration.  Or god knows what the fuck else.  I never really found anything but booze.  So maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough.  Or maybe I wasn’t drinking hard enough.  The fuck do I know?  But there was nothing else to take away the boredom.  And sweet fucking Christ but there was no way I was going back to that unarmed.

And work just dragged.  There was no life there.  We were all desperate for something; something different; something better.  We knew everything was fucked but not all of us had given up hope yet.  It is just a matter of wanting to do something about it.  It’s not as easy as you smug bastards seem to think.  Or maybe you never had dreams no one believed in.  That you barely trusted.

“Hey, Bethany… the usual?”  My week has now hit a peak.  I am coming into work hammered tomorrow and I don’t give a shit.  Life is a meaningless wreck.  Bring on the mother fucking booze.  

Tonight it is whiskey.  Cocktails and dreams.  Lost wandering ramblings three cigarettes and delusion set me straight on my way.  And the Muse hits me in the face with a baseball bat called Jack Daniels.  So I write another story about misery or boredom or life looking up or whatever it is I do when I am drunk.

“Hi, Bethany.  How are you today?”  You look beautiful today.  Just like every other day.  Day.  What day is it, anyway?  Am I getting paid soon?  I am out of booze.  And rent is coming due soon, I think.  Or was that last month; week; Tuesday; whatever.  Huh?  She said something and I missed it.  Smile.  Pretending to be pretty is all I fucking got.

Have you ever had difficulty recalling what parts of your life really happened and what parts you dreamt or made up?  

Then it was the weekend.  The one I have been working for all week long.  The guys were busy.  Doing something or other.  And I had nothing else to do, so I drank until I passed out.  On a chair.  I awoke several hours later in a daze.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted to keep drinking, get some water, or take a piss.  While I was pissing, I decided I was drunk.  But too drunk to do anything about it.  I went to sleep.  In my bed.  I think my phone was ringing.  I don’t think I answered it.

Sleeping in a chair doesn’t hurt so much when you are blown out of your fucking mind.  But does it ever fuck up the neck and spine for the rest of the week.  I decided to stop drinking for a day or two.  At least until I could turn my head without trouble.

So it was in one of my rare completely sober moments that Fate slapped me in the face.  Figures.  As if I know how to react when I am sober.  As if I can relate to people, much less girls, much less beautiful women, much less Bethany my utterly perfect female counterpart when I am sober.  It wasn’t that I needed a drink.  I am not an alcoholic.  I just needed something anything a way out.  I had just gotten off work.  Damn.  The fucking timing.  Always the fucking timing.  

Bethany walked in and ordered from someone who wasn’t me.  ‘Hey there, Bethany.  You are beautiful,’ I told myself.  ‘I know you probably hear that a lot from a lot of guys.  And I am sure all of them are more successful than I am.  How could they not be?  But still…’  I had no idea what to say next.  And this was only mumbling inside my head.  If I couldn’t even convince myself why she should talk to me how in the happy hell was I going to convince her?  The world was coming to a standstill.  It was a moment of truth.  Time stopped.  The little dog laughed.  To see such sport.

She sat down two tables away from me.  Of course she wasn’t going to sit at my table.  What the fuck do you think this is, a made for TV movie where even the bad guy gets laid?  She was staring off into nowhere.  And not in the self-reflexive seeing something in the great beyond way that I stare into nowhere while I am trying to write a poem of great depth and meaning or a story that touches the soul of every man woman and child.  No, it was a desperate longing look beseeching the expansive Nothing to take it all back or fix it all or do goddamn something anything other than this please not this.  I wasn’t going to get a better invitation than this.

I went home.  Yeah, so I fucked up the show.  No one knows or cares but me.  Invitations or not, I don’t need to ruin a perfect vision of beauty by actually meeting her talking to her getting to know her and each and every one of her flaws that will destroy break shatter everything I have been dreaming about for the past few months.  Sorry.  Not the way I am going out.  I’ll live lonely still before I go out and do that to myself.  What I need is someone that I don’t have to put on a pedestal.  Someone that I don’t have to idolize before I talk to her.  Do you think there might be a little something wrong with me?  With the way I approach life?  More than just a touch of gray.

And life went on, as it tends to.  And I said hello to Bethany when she came in.  And she said hello to me.  And we smiled.  And did nothing.  Because that’s what people do.  And that’s how shit goes.  I got by.  And pretended it was enough.  And I kept writing sad miserable pieces of degenerate drunkery that I hope to pass off as gold.  

Of course, I kept drinking.  She probably did too.  Alone.  As it was meant to be.  Because if it wasn’t meant to be that way, we would have done something about it.  And we never fucking did.

On second thought, I bet she has a boyfriend.