Danny– brick layer, my roommate – held the tall glass on his hip, thinking he was hiding it from me. I walked to my room, pulled the door, kept it open an inch.
His back to me, Danny lifted the glass to his mouth and poured four inches of pink liquid down his throat. Ice clinked miraculously, as ice does clink, and Danny wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
I closed the door.
“Randy, Randy!” Danny, drunk, hyper. “I’m goin’ to Tippy’s, and you’re comin’ with me. We’re gonna get laid, Randy. I promise. We’re gonna get laid. That’s what the girls go there for. Buy ’em a couple of drinks, and it’s bam, bam, bam. Ha, ha, ha, ha; ha.”
Five years ago, Dr. Philippian, while looking at the results of my blood test said, “Mr. Click, if you do not stop drinking, you are going to die.”
I, desperate for sexual intercourse, said to Danny: “Okay, I’ll go.”
Hands on the steering wheel, I squinted thinking how I didn’t see as well in the night, as I did 40 years ago.
Danny, a bottle of beer between his legs, lifted it to his mouth, guzzled, wiped again.
We pulled into the parking lot. Tippy’s is yellow, I thought, and I wondered why Picasso never had a yellow period.
Danny: “If you’re gonna drink a God-damned Coca-Cola, put a lime on it so the girls will think you’re drinking, and you’ll be straight. They like that – a guy who can drink and still be in control, can handle his liquor. They’ll think you’re a stud.”
Dark, not gray. A small bar, couches, a guy 60, 65 on a bass guitar – his thinning hair pulled back into a two-inch pony tail. A black woman singing, potential star, gorgeous, gorgeous voice, an out-of-date Afro, though; sexual.”
She was sitting at the bar just to my right with a sexy left leg, the only thing I could see on her.
“This one’s for you, bro,” said Danny. “I got that blonde over there. Look at her tits. What a rack.”
I sat, remembering the last time I tried to pick up a girl – Claude’s. I had had three drinks, had to have four, then five, and I approached her with my belly sticking out.
“Hi, there, sweetheart.” I was pretty sure I didn’t slur my words.
She looked me up, then down, disgusted.
“Go away, asshole.”
I crawled back to the bar for my sixth and seventh.
“So, you live around here?” her thigh still much on my mind.
“Silver Park.” She didn’t look at me.
“What kind of work do you do?”
“I’m a secretary.”
“Do you like your work?”
“I hate it. I’m tryin’ to move on to something better. All the boys ask me the same question: ‘Where do you live? What kind of work do you do?’”
She poured down the remaining half glass of wine into her gut.
“I gotta go. I gotta go to the bathroom, too,” she said.
I was tight. I squeezed the lime and dropped it into my Coke.
“I’ll wait for you at the front door.”
Maybe Danny was right. Maybe it was this easy.
I waited. Five minutes, maybe 10.
She appeared, walking toward me.
Fat, not too fat; I could, I thought.
Faded blue jeans, and orange sleeveless shirt, everything about her drooping.
“I really gotta go home,” she said.
This is where men excel, I thought. Convince her it would be great. Convince her to leave her car here and go home with me. Be a football player.
“Can I take you out to dinner some time?” I said.
I thought of giving her my card: “Independent Film-Maker.” They all went for that at first. Maybe I would film them. Maybe they would be a star in Hollywood, but they never called.
“What’s your number?” I said.
I scrambled for my pen. I always kept one in my pocket. A piece of paper, a piece of paper.
“7,0,” she said; then a pause.
“Look, I gotta tell you. You’re as old as my father.”
I forgot – 62.
“I’m 26,” she said.
She turned and pushed the twirling doors and walked away.
A flat flabby butt. She hadn’t washed her jeans in six or seven or eight days.