Sunday, July 29, 2012

Night of 100 Weird Things, Part The End

My ADD really wants me to go write something else right now - anything else. Especially now that I'm getting self-conscious because this story reveals feelings about things. But luckily! It does not reveal the true names of anybody but me. Those of you who know me well have either figured this out or planned to call me and ask me who the hell Jan, Lucy, and Rhonda are. I've also thought about going back and changing all of the names of my children in previous posts, thus cloaking their identity like a safety-conscious parent is supposed to do. From now on they will be referred to as Buttons, La La, and Doopsy. Wait, I think those are Teletubbies. They will not like this. Fine, then all of their names are Alan.

Where was I? I was going to the next bar. So, I don't know how this happened but when I walked into L.A.X., everyone from Tribute was already there. Lucy noticed this too.
"Did that whole other bar just materialize into this bar?" she asked me.
"Yes, it did."
It was all of the same faces, with some additions, and more people on the dance floor than at the other place. All of the tables, which were few, were taken, and so were the pool tables. We had nowhere to hide. We had to stand there or dance.

We stood there.

"I'm going to get a drink," Jan yelled above the music. "Y'all want anything?"
"Gin me," said Lucy.
"Diet Coke," I told her, "and the ability to dance."
"That's what the alcohol's for," she said smiling.
"Shit," I said.
"How are you doing over there?" Lucy asked me, after Jan walked away.
"I wondering if coming here was a good idea," I said. "How about you?"
She shrugged. "I'm oddly good."
"That is odd."
"I know." Then she looked over at dancing boy, who wasn't on the dance floor, but was grooving a few feet away from us. "I wonder if he danced here."
As she said that, he stopped. It was like watching a hummingbird perch. It was so weird to see him stand still.
"You dance awesome!" I yelled over at him.
He smiled, full-toothed and sweet. "Thank you."
"How did you learn how to do that?"
"Watching Lusher as a kid. I just practiced."
"No shit?"
He told me a little about himself as he caught his breath. His name was Jimmy, he was 27, and he was there with his mom.
"My mom dated Terry when I was five."
Terry was the woman with cancer. He smiled when he mentioned her name, but it was a sad kind of smile. He struck me as the kind of guy who smiled a lot, happy or sad.
"How is she?" I asked, and immediately felt bad about it. What kind of a question was that? The woman needed a fund raiser, how the hell did I think she was doing?
"She's tired," he said. "You know..."
He told me about how great she was when he was a kid and that his dad wasn't around much so he was surrounding by these terrific women.
"Which one's your mom?" I asked him.
He pointed to a middle-aged woman with long, brown hair and cowboy boots. "That's her. And that," he said pointing to a young blond in a tight, short green dress with a slit up the side, "is my trouble for the night."
She was on the dance floor, with two other friends who were also in short dresses, and fuck-me heels. I'd remembered seeing them at the other bar, and had thought they might be prostitutes.
"What's the trouble with her?" I asked.
"She told her friend she that I was hot, so her friend told me, but when I went up to talk to her, she wouldn't even look at me. So I figured fuck it, right? Then when I was dancing she came up and started talking to me, but then she did it again! She walked away."
"That sounds like bullshit."
"Yeah. That's why I don't go out so much anymore. Too much bullshit."
Then, and I'm not making this up, Green Hooker walked passed us, and brushed her hand against his cheek. She smiled like the kind of person who knows just how hot she is smiles at a person. And when she was gone, he looked right at me and said, "Pardon me."
He ran off to her. Oh, you poor, cute bastard, I thought. I felt a little jealous until I remembered that this guy was ten years younger than me, that other girl looked more like his age, and I was probably closer to his mom's age. Also, my thighs were covered.

But no big deal. They began playing some line dance song and Jan asked me and Lucy to join her on the dance floor.
"I've always wanted to do this dance!" she said. "Come on, come with me so that I don't do it alone."
"Ok," I said. "Come on, Lucy!"
"No," she said, flatly.
So Jan dragged me out to the dance floor, and for a person with no coordination, I had a really good time. Then they played "I'm Sexy and I Know It," and I had to dance to that because it's got a good beat and it's ridiculous.
At the end of the song, when Jan and I were falling over each other giggling, I noticed that Rhonda was close by and that she was talking to two people. And that one of them was Blue Top.
I flung myself over in their direction the way Jimmy had flung himself at Green Hooker, and then flung myself into the conversation.
"So it's next month at Tribute," Rhonda was saying to the woman who wasn't Blue Top.
"What's next month?" I asked.
"The Pino Party," she said. And then add, "You know, the one I keep inviting you to that you haven't been to yet."
Rhonda had once owned a lesbian bar named Pinos and lately has been having been throwing parties made up of old patrons, bar tenders, and anyone else who wants to tag along, and so far she hadn't held one on a night when I didn't have my kids.
After I pointed this out to her, Blue Top piped up.
"Yeah, I keep meaning to go too," she said, and pulled a pack of Marlboro Lights out of her pocket.
"That's my old brand," I said to her.
"Old?" She asked, tapping one out and sticking it in her mouth.
"Well, maybe not old. I quit not too long ago."
Her eyes went wide and she turned around to light up. "I'm not gonna be a bad influence!" she yelled.
When she turned around she was giggling. It was the first time I'd seen her smile, and it was nice, even if there was smoke funneling out of the side of it.
"I'm my own bad influence," I told her and shrugged. "Before that I smoked reds."
"Me too," she said.
Rhonda and the other lady stepped off to the side to talk, and there I was, alone with Blue Top, talking about what I didn't smoke.
We started talking about the Pinos parties we hadn't been too yet, women we knew, even our kids, because it turned out she had two daughters, and then somehow the conversation led to, "That girl," Blue Top said, pointing to a thin bleached blond woman behind her. "She'll be the death of me."
I looked at her. She was leaning against the wall near the bar, holding hands with another girl.
"We just broke up a month ago," Blue Top explained.
"Oh," I said. "I'm sorry."
Blue Top whipped her head around at me. "Sorry? What do you mean? You know her?"
"N-no," I said. "Just that, she's cute."
"Oh," she said. "Yeah."
She seemed disappointed that I didn't know her ex, and I wasn't sure why.
"Well," I said. "It's only been a month. Maybe you'll get back together."
"Look at her," she said.
I watched her ex pull the other girl close, their eyelids lowering as their lips touched.
"Don't look at her," I said, and Blue Top turned away, stung by the sight.
I thought about grabbing her hand, and saying something like, "Wanna make her jealous?" but just the thought of it repulsed me. Instead I said, "You ok?"
She took a drag and gave me a confused look. "Oh yeah! Yeah, I'm fine! I don't need that shit. Hey, are you on facebook? You oughtta come out more, I never see you out."
"Well, I-"
"What's your name, baby?" she asked, taking her phone out of her pocket.
I gave her my name and she sent me a friend request. "Next time we go out, you gotta come."
We talked for a little while longer, then she went to the bathroom, which was in the direction of her ex.

Lucy walked over to me, eyebrows raised and a sly smile on her face. "So how did that go?"
"Eh," I said. "Her ex is here. She says that she'll be the death of her."
"That's not good."
"Death sucks."
"Which one's her ex?"
"That," I pointed to the wall where she'd been standing, and there was Blue Top, leaning into both her ex and the woman she'd been kissing. "Uh, that one."
Lucy said, "What? That blond one that she's hanging all over?"
"Seems she's really not over her."
This was how it looked: the woman the ex had kissed had her back against the wall, Blue Top's ex was facing her with her hands on her hips, and Blue Top was standing behind her ex, running her hands down her back. She leaned in to say something in her ear, and somehow it became a deeper embrace.
"I feel bad for her," I told Lucy.
"Yeah," Lucy agreed. "That's chasin' crazy."

In my purse, that was probably being stolen at that moment, was a picture of the woman I'd broken up with in May. I thought of her as I watched Blue Top try to pry her ex's attention away from her new interest. I didn't know what I would do if Michelle walked into that bar, much less walked in with another woman. Even though we didn't work out, I couldn't watch her kiss someone else, and if that was happening, I couldn't try to break them apart if I knew I would only hurt her again in the end.  I remembered the girlfriend I'd had before Michelle. A couple of years after we broke up, we got in touch again. She was with someone new and one day she asked me what my motive was in talking to her, in "becoming friends again." In truth, even though I was just talking to her, I might as well have been doing what Blue Top was doing with her ex.

Maybe Blue Top believed she was the best thing for her ex. Or maybe, like me, she wasn't aware of what she was doing. Or maybe she didn't care. Maybe she just missed running her hands down her back. Wasn't that what Dancing Jimmy had wanted too? Someone to touch? I was simultaneously relieved and disappointed that the two people I'd been attracted to had felt more comfortable confiding in me than asking me to see them in their underwear. I wondered what had happened if I'd been more aggressive with either of them, if I would have stroked Jimmy's face and turned his eyes to mine rather than Green Hooker, or if I'd leaned against Blue Top while she leaned against her ex who was leaning against the new chick.

"You know why you didn't do that?" Lucy asked, as we left the place. "Because you didn't want to. You've done it before and you're done. I'm proud of you."
I blew a raspberry at her.
"All right then," she said. "I'm sorry you didn't get laid."
"Thank you," I said.
"I'm sorry I didn't get laid either."
"We should get breakfast," said Jan, falling in step beside me.
"That's brilliance," I said. "What time is it?"
Jan looked at her watch. "2:30."
"Holy crap," I said, and then I noticed that Jan had stopped walking.
She was looking at her car, about ten feet away from us. The back passenger window was smashed in and the glass on the sidewalk.sparkled in the streetlight.
"Oh my God," said Lucy.
Jan and I didn't say anything. I was afraid to get closer, afraid to find out what I already knew - that my purse wasn't on the floor in the backseat. Then Jan approached the car, and Lucy and I stepped close to her, as to shield her from something.
"Did they take anything?" Lucy asked. "Is anything else broken?"
"No," said Jan, pacing around the car. She popped open the trunk and sighed relief when she found her bag.
I finally looked inside.
"My purse is gone," I said.
"You're kidding," said Lucy.
I shook my head. Jan called the police.

It was an hour and a half in between the time we found the car, and finally got to leave. During the time we were waiting, we watched women leaving the club, and some of them stopped and stared at the two cops around the car. A couple of them even asked if we were ok. One of them was Blue Top, who'd walked out of the club with her ex.
"What happened?" she asked, stepping away from the woman who would be the death of her.
"Jan's car got broken into," I said.
"Fuck. Anything stolen?"
"My purse."
"FUCK! I'm sorry, baby."
I shrugged. "Atleast her car's still here. And I had my license and check card on me, so they didn't get that."
I hadn't thought about my phone yet, or anything else I had in there. Just the pictures of my kids.Their faces kept coming to me in the still images that were with a stranger now.
"Thank the Christ," she said. Then added, "Fucking shit."
"I know."
She hugged me, wished me luck, and told me to come out with them some time. Then she walked over to the ex, and took her hand. They got into Blue Top's jeep and drove off together.
"I guess they're back together," I told Lucy.
"For tonight anyway," Lucy said. "Hey, you don't need that."
"I know."
When the cops left, and gave me a copy of the report, Jan said, "Now I really need breakfast."
"But your window..." I said.
She shrugged. "I'm hungry."
We went to a 24 hour diner and got pancakes, then we crashed at Jan's house. And I woke up the next morning feeling bummed about my purse and Jan's car, but I was honestly happy to wake up alone. I didn't have anybody who wanted me but I hadn't gone to bed with someone who didn't want me either.

I didn't realize until that moment that I had changed. I didn't want to chase or be chased. I was tired of, as Lucy had said, chasin' crazy. I don't want to have to grab someone's face and turn them to mine for them to look at me. Either they look or they don't. Either I look or I don't. And either we come together and are happy or we leave each other alone.

Lesson one from that night: stop carrying a purse. Keep my shit on me, and if I have to tote around more than I can't fit in my pocket, then don't go to a club. Or two clubs. Lesson two: it's ok that I've become the girl in a bar who listens to hot people talk about their estranged father or ex-girlfriend. It might mean I'm getting older and not a hottie anymore, but it makes life simpler. Lesson three: when in doubt, dance. It's fun, barely anybody is really good at it, and your purse is probably being stolen from your car anyway, so you might as well dance. Lesson four: when you order a "short stack" of pancakes from City Diner, make sure you're willing to take on three pancakes that are the size of a large pizza at 4:00 in the morning, and when you take them to go, don't look surprised when the waitress brings you an actual pizza box to fit them in.

But that's a whole other story.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Night of 100 Weird Things, Part 2

Don't you hate it when writers say "to be continued" and then don't finish it the next day? Me too. But you have to admit, for a blogger who only posts about once a month, I'm doing pretty well.

Anyway, there was a key detail that I forgot to mention in the first part of this story. I'd left my purse in Jan's car when we got to Tribute, and stuffed my license and my check card in my pocket. All of these blogposts are first drafts unless I go back and edit them, which doesn't serve me well if I'm telling an actual story. I should probably save it once I write it, go back and edit it, and all that stuff, but it's too tempting to hit that button that says "publish" when I'm done. I have atleast two books that I've been trying to get published that I would love to hit the "publish" button for, but alas, it's not as easy as blogging.  So if I ever do get parts of this blog published, remind me to go back and add the purse-in-the-car detail to Part 1, ok? Thank you, thank you, you're a beautiful audience.

So where was I? Oh yes, I was a bisexual in a lesbian bar, pushing myself further towards the brink of sobriety with an ice cold water in my hand, watching people dance and feeling awkward when two good looking people caught my eye, and one of them returned and held my gaze. Why does this kind of thing only happen in a bar, I wondered, and not, say, the zoo?  You're at the seal tank when a beautiful, dark haired young woman notices you at the same time when you notice her and both of you drop your popcorn. Then one of you approaches the other, and you remark that they shouldn't make popcorn bags so slippery and then you get to know each other. You know why that doesn't happen? Because neither of you are sure that the other one is gay. So if that happened to me at a zoo, I would stand aghast at the beautiful person before me, think to say something witty, grow doubtful, and then walk off with no popcorn to find the lion exhibit. But at a bar that is accepting of gay or even half-gay people, your chances are greater of asking someone to dance and not being beaten, or worse, handed a church pamphlet. So why aren't there gay zoos? Where do the sober, nerdy, non-dance music ones go? They're driven to fund raisers at bars when their movies are sold out...remind me to start editing these things. Three paragraphs in and I'm still standing there, drinking water. I hope I'm not boring you guys. For all I know, this whole narrative is boring and I should stick with writing about how remote control buttons confuse me.

But in any case, the lean, pretty girl lowered her eyes and turned to hug someone who just walked in, and the cute dancing guy kept dancing. Lucy noticed him too.
"What do you think is his deal?" she asked, pointing at him with her gin and tonic, my old signature drink.
This was her way of asking me "why is a young straight guy here in a room of gay women?"
"I don't know," I said. "Maybe he likes girls who like girls."
She shrugged. "Probably."
"Maybe he's just having a good time. He's cute."
"Yeah. How does he move like that?" she asked as he fell backwards, touched the ground, and popped back up. It was like watching Keanu Reeves dodge a bullet on "The Matrix."
"I don't know. He must practice at home. So do you recognize anybody?"
Lucy has been out much longer than I have and I thought she might know someone.
"Not at all."
"Wanna shoot pool?" I asked.
There were six unattended pool tables lined up two by two on the side of the room.
"I suck at pool," she said.
"So do I. Hey Jan! Wanna shoot pool with us?"
She walked over from the bar, sipping an icy, brown concoction. "I suck at pool," she said.
"Awesome," I replied. "Let's do it!"
"How do three of us play at the same time?" Jan asked.
"We play Cut Throat. Three people can play that."
I explained the rules and Lucy said, "How do you know an actual game?"
"I used to play with my guy friends. I got good at it for a while, but I'm rusty now. I don't know if I can hit anything in."
"Genevieve," Lucy said. "I don't know if I can hit the white ball."
After some grumbling and groaning they agreed. My logic was, it was better to suck at pool than at not talking to people.
Lucy hadn't been kidding. The pool stick slipped passed the white ball on her first shot. But as she drank, she got better, and out of the four games we played, she ended up winning one of them.
What was great about shooting pool was that none of us really knew what we were doing. I'd remembered on the bare bones rules of the game but that's it, so we just made up the rest.
"What happens if you scratch on the white ball?" Jan asked me.
" can only hit a ball with the color white in it for the rest of the game."
"They've all got white. Even the eight ball."
"Oh. Then red. You can only hit red, and you have to shoot with one hand."
"No. But give it a try."
Playing like that for an hour took the edge off of my nervousness. And I could still gaze at the blue tank top girl and the dancing boy, and appreciate their beauty without having to do anything about it. The guy was in his own world anyway, except for when one obese woman with black framed glasses started gyrating next to him.  But Blue Top would always look back at me when I looked at her. It made me feel good even though we weren't talking.

And as me, Lucy and Jan played game after silly game, I realized that I felt something good that I don't usually feel in a smoke-filled bar with pop-sexy music. I felt comfortable being myself. I was in a room full of Tomboys. I don't feel comfortable around other women. Usually I feel like I have to stretch to act like someone else, and it's exhausting. But I could be myself here, all of me, the Tomboyish and feminine parts of me, and relax. It wasn't because everybody in there was gay either. Jan's straight as can be. She just knows me, as I really am, a playful Tomboy. I don't get to be that playful Tomboy everywhere I go without getting strange looks.  Nobody else played, though there were five empty tables, but when one of us made a shot, sometimes we got encouraging calls from a group of women sitting near us. I began to glow from that small camaraderie.

"You don't seem to be tired," Lucy said to me after a while.
"No," I said, smiling. "I'm having fun. Maybe I should get caffeine, though, just to stave it off."
"Can't hurt," she agreed. "You're the designated driver."
I went over to the bar, ordered a Diet Coke, and interrupted Rhonda in the middle of her talking to the woman next to her and texting at the same time.
"How's it going Rhonda?"
"Good, good. You having fun?" she asked, her eyes on her phone.
I ducked down, blocked her phone with my face, and grinned wide.
"Get outta here, jackass," she giggled, pushing me away.
"Look at me then, goddammit," I said. "Come shoot pool with us."
She set her phone on the bar. "I'll come down there in a bit. Y'all," she said to the other ladies around her. "This is Genevieve."
I shook hands with them, one middle aged couple and a bleached blond woman sitting to Rhonda's right who'd been talking to her before I wrangled her attention away.
"We're all going to L.A.X. in a few. Y'all should come," one of them said.
"L.A.X.?" I asked.
"It's across the interstate," Rhonda explained. "It used to be Angles."
Then I remembered seeing the sign as I drove passed on my way to work sometimes. "Ooooh, that place X-lax?"
Rhonda made a face. "X-lax?"
"Yeah, it's got a big 'x' and the 'l.a.'s are around it. X-lax. Terrible name for a club."
"It is, but that's not the name of it, you jackass, it's L.A.X."
I looked over at Blue Top, who looked back at me. "Everybody's going?" I asked.
"Yeah, in a minute. Go tell the girls."
I grabbed my Coke and went back to the pool table. Jan agreed, and Lucy, on her second or third gin and tonic, said "Sure."
Rhonda came over to us, all smiles, and said she was glad we were there. That confused me at first because we hadn't really hung out with her yet, but then I understood. It was the way I felt about being in that big room of people without talking to them, and the glances between me and Blue Top. It was just a feeling. It was why I agreed to go to the next bar even though it was 11:00 at night, and I had a long drive home.

It was also because of a little thing that happened when I was sizing up a shot at the pool table. I was walking backwards, studying the possible shot from every angle, and a woman in jeans, a polo shirt, boots, black short hair, and a tan, lined face walked towards me. She was not pretty and not handsome. She was not approaching me exactly, but was walking towards the bathroom behind me. Still, as I walked backwards, she marched forwards, we looked at each other and for a few seconds, it felt like a chase.
"I know you," I thought, as she came closer. "You look nothing like me, but you are me."
I don't know what she thought when she looked at me, sizing me up like I'd sized up that pool shot, and then passed me by, brushing my shoulder. But I thought two things: I feel like her inside, a Tomboy chasing something, and also, as I remembered the panther tattoo on my leg, I like to be chased.

In my purse that was stolen, was a phone list from a women's AA meeting I'd gone to a few days before. Out of a list of twenty women, there were only two that I'd felt comfortable enough to call, and really be myself with. I could to talk to them about the thoughts and feelings I sometimes wanted to numb. Especially my tendency to be attracted to and obsess over someone who is intense, wants me, and chases me, but doesn't really love me. And as it has been explained to me, that's not loving behavior from my end either.

"Goddamn, that's the last thing I need," I thought, after the mannish woman passed me by. "This is one more reason why it's good that I'm single."

That's the only contact I had with that woman at all, and it was barely anything. She was at the next bar too, but we didn't talk or acknowledge each other. Noticing her wasn't really about her anyway. It was something about me, about that boyish girl who I've kept buried inside of me, ashamed, for two decades, and what she likes. What does she like? Is it possible for her to like ANYTHING healthy? I'm still feeling that out.

The four of us walked out of Tribute and went to our cars. We found Jan's car untouched, and my purse safely inside. I thought about how I didn't really want a purse, I never had, but that it was a girl thing to do so I carried one.

Then we drove to X-lax. And this will be continued.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Night of 100 Weird Things, Part 1

This month's copy of Yoga Journal was in my purse when it was stolen last Saturday night, but that's not the worst of it. Maybe it my pictures of the kids that was the worst? That bothers me, but, unlike the kids themselves, the pictures are replaceable. Still, I don't like the thought of someone who had it in them to smash my friend's car window, reach in and grab my purse off the floor, to be looking at my children's faces.

It happened while me and a couple of friends of mine were in a bar, some time between 11-2:00 in the morning. There are a few things out of place with this. I don't drink so I don't go to bars, unless there's a specific reason to, like if there's a good band playing, but that wasn't the case Saturday night. The second thing that's weird about this is that I'm hardly ever awake between the hours of 11-2 anymore, and if I am, then it's because I am lying awake worrying about something while my purse is sitting safely in the next room. Also what was weird is that this was the SECOND bar I'd been to that night.

It started of with just me and my buddy Lucy going to see "Moonrise Kingdom," which I've been wanting to see for weeks, and it finally came out in one theater in town. But when I met up with Lucy at Canal Place she walked over to me with a perplexed look and said, "It's sold out."
"It's sold out?" I asked. "But we're a half hour early."
"I know."
"Yeah," she said.
" in all the tickets are sold?"
"So like...there were tickets but so many people bought them that there aren't any left for us?"
"Yeah," she said, just as weirded out by it as I was.

I gazed around at the mostly middle aged, well-dressed people around me. Canal Place has recently become swanky, serving dinner and wine with the movie, and it attracts, well, people who can afford wine and popcorn drizzled with truffle oil. These people were not here to see "The Avengers" in 3D. These people were here to see my obscure, artsy movie that no one else is supposed to know about. In the weeks leading up to its release, every time I'd mentioned it to a friend or a co-worker they would say, "I haven't heard of that one," and I would assure them that it looked good and that the writer/director was one of my favorites. To this they would say, "Who's Wes Anderson?" But apparently, I'd been asking all the wrong people. The bunch of winos surrounding me who all had tickets in their hands for the 7:40 showing had heard about it, and beaten me to it.

"These bitches sold out my movie," I told Lucy.
"Yeah, and the next one's not until 10-something."
"I'm not going to be awake for that," I said.
I was basing this theory on experience, and the fact that I was already tired. I'd been out to see my friend's band play the night before (which is as you recall the only reason I go to bars, except for when I want to have my purse stolen) and I'd gotten in unusually late. As far as I was concerned, I'd filled my late-night bar adventure quota for the year.

Lucy and I leaned against the wall of the theater, scowling at the people around us. We must have looked like hoodlums. In the midst of well-dressed, button down shirt, pearl wearing men and women, I stood there in my Dad's old black Ken-Po karate t-shirt, jeans shorts, and sneakers next to my short-spiky-haired companion. I was hoping we'd make people nervous, and that in our cool, dangerous silence they would consider handing over their tickets, lest they be whacked over the head. But we didn't look like the head whacker types. We just looked not-preppy, and so no one gave us their tickets.

"How do you feel about Jan and Rhonda's invitation?" she asked me.
"What the fund-raiser dealy at Tribute?"
"Yeah," Lucy said looking reluctant. "I don't know if I want to go to a bar. It'll be crowded."
I shrugged. "It's for a good cause."
"That's true."
"Jan said the lady they're raising money for went from stage 2 to stage 4 cancer in two weeks."
"Yeah. And the bar will be full of lesbians."
"That's also true," and then she hesitated. Lucy's open to the idea of meeting a new girlfriend, but not necessarily someone she'd pick up at a bar.
"Yeah, I know," I said. "But I think Jan and Rhonda are counting on us to go. And we could just skip it if OUR MOVIE HADN'T SOLD OUT!"
"I know!" she said.
"So what are we gonna do?"
Lucy sighed. "Well, I guess we're hittin' the dyke bar."

Later I would remember that my new camera was in my purse. It had pictures of the kids mostly, who were at their dad's that weekend. I never go out on nights that I have them. But there were also pictures of my friends, the beach, and some blurry ones of speeding cars at the Indy 500, that I'd gone to last month. There were none of my ex-girlfriend because I'd bought it after we broke up in May. But like the other people in my camera, her face is still in my mind, and I thought of her when I walked into Tribute, about how much she would despise that place. Crowded, smoky, and full of potential drunken drama.

We got there in the middle of a PowerPoint presentation on the enormous flat-screen on the wall. Pictures faded in and out of the woman we were all there to support, the one I'd never met, but knew of her plight through friends of friends. It played along with a song I didn't know, and every time a picture of her kissing her partner would fade in all the ladies would scream. The one of her behind a bar curling her arm like Popeye the Sailor got a lot of hoots and hollers too.

I wondered what pictures my friends would show of me if I were in the same position, and then I realized there weren't many. Mostly I was with my kids, not my friends, and mostly I took pictures of them. I, like most people I know, don't like having my picture taken and I'm comfortable being the picture-taker instead of the take-ee. But this woman, a bar tender who knew more people than Facebook, had a big smile ready for each shot, like she knew she was the kind of person that people wanted to remember with a picture. I decided to have my picture taken like that from now on - with big smiles even though I don't like my smile. And maybe some Popeye muscle.

Lucy and I had met at Jan's house and she'd driven us there. Rhonda had been there for an hour and was already mixing it up with the ladies at the bar.
"How many women is Rhonda dating now?" I asked Jan, as we walked over to her.
"FIVE??" Lucy and I said.
"How?" Lucy asked. "How does she keep track of that?"
Jan shrugged. She's going through a divorce and the complexities of dating aren't on her mind.
"I don't know. Rhonda!" I hollered.
The PowerePoint show ended as we approached her. She didn't hear me, though I was only five feet from her. She was talking to three different women at once. I had to lay a hand on her shoulder and shake her.
"Hey!" she exclaimed and kissed my cheek.
I didn't return the kiss. I just said, "You're seeing FIVE women?"
"Yeah," she said, through a grin.
"How do you do that?"
"They don't live in town. Never in town, that's the rule."
"It is?"
"Yes," she pointed at me. "That's been your problem."
I wanted to argue that during my last relationship we lived an hour away from each other for the first six months, and also that I suffer from several problems, but she was already talking to eight other women by then.
Maybe that's also my problem. I talk to women one at a time. Rhonda needs to write down these rules.

Jan went off to talk to a few other people, and Lucy and I just stood there for a minute before she said something about needing a drink.
"Want anything?" she asked.
I looked over at some people who were dancing. I thought about saying that I wanted to know how to dance because it would be something to do.
"Water," I told her, even though I knew that to further hydrate myself meant I was even less likely to dance.

When she walked off I saw two people who were not standing next to each other, but were both in my line of vision and both extremely noticeable. One was a really cute guy who was dancing by himself like Napoleon Dynamite. The other was a tall, lean-muscled woman in a blue tank top who stared straight at me and smiled.

To be continued...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

This would make a good blog post

Why does my car smell like bacon in the sand? I know that I've taken the kids to the beach lately, but...bacon? I've done no frying in my car, and bought no McBacony Bacon Dippers or anything. And it doesn't smelll like bacon AND sand or bacon ON the sand, but distinctly bacon IN the sand. I smelled it and thought two things: 1) Why? and 2) This would make a good blog post.  But alas, it offers no resolution. I've looked under my seats, in the trunk, the CD player and the glove compartment, and there is no bacon anywhere. The best I can guess is that the sand in my car has grease in it. But what do I know, I've got a degree in English, not in Breakfast Foods.....mmmmmmmm, a degree in breakfast foods.

PS - yes, that's it, that's really the end of this post. I told you, it offers no resolution! Other than vacuuming my car, and you and I both know that I'm not going to do that, so forget it!. Dude, she gets snippy when her car smells like bacon.

PPS- I should write a series of blog posts that follow in the spirit of A Series of Unfortunate Events. You know how in A Series of Unfortunate Events, the author warns you throughout the entire series that the main characters' lives are just going to get worse and worse and the ending is going to disappoint you? Maybe I should write A Series of Unfortunate Smells, where I blog about strange odors and never find out where they're coming from. And it would never be anything you'd expect like gas, or rotten eggs, but average, not even bad smelling-smells in places you wouldn't expect, like maple syrup in a freshly mowed the lawn, or the scent of rain in McDonald's. This is genius. Someone get me an agent!