Check, Please Parts I, II and III

Bret’s always writing neat anecdotes in his blog and Janaki once commented that I don’t write enough stories in my blog anymore.

Check, please, Part I of III or so

I was a month out of a relationship that had a fairly thermonuclear break-up. I got a nice apartment in the middle of a cornfield in the middle of nowhere.

Got asked out by a girl with pretty hair and a nice chin in a class on Elementary Education. She asked me to go pick apples and then go home and bake a cake. That sounded like the bestest date idea ever.

We set the date for Saturday.

She stood me up.

But she asked me out?

I dunno, man, she stood me up.

Next day in class she was trying to make eye contact and I was Mr. What-the-fuck-ice-man-nostrils-flared. She apologized, and gave some half-ass explanation about shit being complicated and I knew I didn’t want anything to do with her, having just gotten out of one complicated situation, still getting the radiation off of my life.

She invited me to a party. I gave her a -maybe-.

I went.

So, I show up and she’s all over this guy, which is fine, I have no bond or committment with her and was all set to leave when a buddy started an interesting conversation, so I sat down and shot the shat. Noticed out of the corner of my eye that she walked the guy she was all over to his car, a little tipsy but that’s not important to this story.

What’s important is that when she comes back she screams across the party to a friend:

“He said he loved me! He doesn’t love me. He only loves his BADGE and his FORTY-FIVE.”

I walked cautiously back to my car and drove back to my corn field.

Check, please.

Check, Please part II of III or so

I was in a bar called Diamond’s. They poured their drinks heavy, there, so we’d go there, have a few drinks and then not really be able to taste anything else in the other bars around town. Tainted Love always seemed to be playing on the jukebox without any sense of fucking irony. It was that kind of place where career drinkers, locals and career students all mingled and created bullshit drama; some patrons were all three at once.

Jason, my wing man for the night, was talking to a pretty girl whose dress was short enough so that I could tell that she was wearing complicated underwear with garters and such. Knowing Jason, I had to assume that he was hitting on her, so I turned my back to him and let him to it.

Oddly, Jason runs through many of these stories.

I was asked to be the 4th person in a 2 on 2 dart game in the back of the bar. A couple I knew were playing darts with a lady and she needed a dart partner. I threw darts. We talked. Her ex-boyfriend, sitting nearby, watched us chat and giggle while grew drunker and drunker. Jason continued chatting up the lady with the short skirt and nifty under-garments.

You see where this is going.

The ex-boyfriend waited until I ordered another drink and then pushed on my back, asking me a slurred question that involved the world -fuck- and something about me having a problem. I briefly considered violence, as he had laid hands on me but the truth was, I didn’t know very much about violence. It was, as my father put it, “A difficult thing that you don’t know very much about.” So, rather than turning and responding with newly learned tricks concerning my elbows, I turned with my hands up in a nice fashion, as if I was just a guy who talked with his hands, hoping that if he started throwing punches at me, that would be something between us.

“This isn’t worth any kind of fight to me. I have nothing in this. What do you want?” It was my nice voice, the voice I would use with angry court-appointed teens whose lives had been destroyed by poor parenting and social services mishaps and also on angry library patrons in the decade to come.

The question threw him off. For a second, he lost steam, or maybe he was just working up to it. There was a very drawn out silence while he decided what to do, how to kick my ass or maybe just what he wanted.

His ex-girlfriend threw a shot glass between us and it shattered. She screamed something filled with tears and anger at him and ran out of the bar sobbing. He went from alpha Neanderthal to apologizing drunk slob as he followed her into the street and the loving arms of a police officer.

Jason never stopped talking to the lady and oddly, never hit on her. They become friends. That’s nice.

Check, please.

Check, Please Part III of III

This one is nice and short.

So I was in Japan, at a bar with some British guys, drinking. This is remarkably easy to do in Tokyo.

This guy and gal show up together. I knew them from my office and had a kind of crush on her and thought he was, as my drinking buddies might have said, a toe-rag, I think.

This establishment sold carafes of wine and for some reason, with carafes, I always drink more. My fingers and lips were numb and the tunnel that words have to travel through on their journey from my brain to my lips was getting shorter and shorter.

They left together, arm in arm and I turned to my buddy, Alisdair and said,”Why the fuck is she with that asshole when she could be going home with me?”

Alisdair, without missing a beat, said, “Because she was asshole enough to go after her, mate.” Jason and Alisdair would have gotten right along, I think.

They lasted a week together and broke up fairly amicably. I asked her to make out with me a few weeks later after a long night of carousing and she politely declined.

Check, please.

Check, Please Epilogue

The girl with the pretty hair and the chin was angry with me for the rest of the time she was in Ithaca. I’m still trying to figure out over what. Oddly, Jason and I walked out of Diamond’s one night, years later, and there she was, drunk and belligerent. She started cussing me out in the street.

Jason looked at her and said, “This is the gal who stood you up that time?” I nodded. “Shit, you can do better than her.”

She stopped cursing at me long enough to look shocked and we walked away. I never saw her again and it was not the last time Jason was an asshole in the name of friendship, not be a longshot.

The lady I played darts with I never saw nor heard from again. I don’t remember her name and couldn’t pick her out of a line-up.

Jason was friends with the drunk guy and asked me what the big to-do was about later in the evening. I told him and the next night, at Jason’s request, the drunk guy apologized to me, admitting that he didn’t remember any of it.

The drunk guy married a tough gal and that gal was at a bridal shower with my girlfriend. Oddly, the bridal shower was for the lady in the complicated underwear. Huh, small world, ain’t it?

The drunk angry guy’s wife gave the following advice to the soon to be bride: “Men are dogs and must be trained as such.”

I met up with Alisdair and the pretty lady from work on Facebook. Her name is Lynne and she recently got married to a nice geek. I was pleased as punch.

Its funny, I thought this was going to be a story about me and women but I think it was more about me and the guys I used to go out drinking with.

Funny, that, how stories can get away from you.

The End, I think.

11 thoughts on “Check, Please Parts I, II and III

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