Everyone has woken up unsure of where they are. But when the feeling lasts too long you have to accept it as a reality. The next thing you realize is you have no clothes on. Then, as a good cold sweat settles in, you notice you’re not alone in the strange place. For a second this subsides, and I get excited, thinking somehow I could be at Myra’s. Looking over at the woman with her back to me, I can already tell her hair is a different color in the dim light. I reach out to my fellow human, as you must in such situations, and tap her on the shoulder.
“I don’t want to. Just go,” was all she needed to say.
It’s a relief to find my clothes nearby. As I make my way out it’s all familiar enough, but I still don’t remember it. The experience is similar to deja vu. I’ve been here before. Any other details fail to materialize as I make my way out. I reach the door, and I’m faced with the dilemma of locking it behind me.
Outside I’m confronted by a bright sun. I start walking in search of the nearest major intersection. From there I will find my way. Once this happens, I can contemplate the few words she managed, and what memory it seemed to bring back to me. The hoarse condescension of her voice somehow clued me in, I know we met at a bar. Aside from that it’s all a blur. At least for now.
Where or when we left, how we got back to her apartment, what we did there? Although the last one is kind of obvious. Not guaranteed of course. I don’t know who or what created us. But the design of humans is ridiculous. It must’ve been decided to add one last feature before going to market, and it was put in between a person’s legs. Whenever someone touches it, they’ll go crazy because it feels so good. And everyone will have one. And we’ll make them fit together, hilarious.
As I’m walking bits and pieces return in reverse. Then I can put them in order. But I have to wonder for what purpose. Earlier in the day I had drank myself halfway into a stupor at a bar near Central, and called a taxi.
I would have been more than content to ride in silence, and even better off passing out. I talk to the driver out of habit. Again, fellow humans. In this case very little prompting garners a lot of information. She is a mother of five. This particular taxi app doesn’t pay enough. She will drive until she makes a hundred dollars for the day. All I can wonder is who is watching all those kids everyday?
From time to time I feel a vibration under my ass, but I figure it’s just worn there. Perhaps I’m sitting funny. Creating a direct line from the cracked pavement, up through the chassis, into a weak spot in the cushion. Finally, I reposition and definitely feel something move. I reach down and pull out a phone. It has 57 missed calls. So I answer the next one.
“Who is this? You’ve got my phone,” a woman says on the other side.
“I think you dropped it in the taxi.”
“You shouldn’t ride with that lunatic,” she says.
“Can you bring me my phone?”
“I don’t know. Depends on where you are.”
“I’m nearby, just be a good person and bring it to me.”
“Where are you?” I ask.
“North and State.”
“That’s not nearby.”
“Don’t be such a fucking dick! What? Are you gonna steal my phone now?”
“Nah, I was just going to throw it out the window.”
“Don’t you fucking dare! Where are you? Tell me right now!”
“In a taxi.”
After that there’s a lot of yelling. I take the phone away from my ear until it dies down, and then ask if everything’s all right. She still wants to know how to get her phone back. I tell her to meet me at a bar half a mile from where she is. I’m not there yet, in fact, I was fairly close to North and State. I figured I deserved a reward. And free drinks are my favorite. Knowing I’ve got some lead time at the bar, I start a tab that phone girl can pay for when she arrives.
I’m three shots, and two beers in when I see this woman stop just inside the door. One of a few catty friends in tow hands her a phone. She dials and scans the bar with it up to her ear. Somehow she misses me staring right at her the entire time. Meanwhile her phone vibrates again on the bar. I place my hand over it.
“Hey,” I call out to her. “Don’t leave your phone on vibrate.” This of course causes her to storm over and demand the phone. Instead I call over the bartender Joe, and inform him that she’ll be picking up the check.
“I should call the police,” she says.
“That won’t work,” I respond, laughing into my beer as I manage another gulp. Frustrated, she produces a credit card and hands it to Joe.
“You whoring yourself out again?” Joe asks me. I shake my head no, laughing some more.
I hand over her phone. She proceeds to continue expressing her disbelief to said catty friends. I continue enjoying myself. The bill comes back, and she finds Joe to see if it’s accurate. He nods.
“How long have you been here? You’re really taking advantage,” she says.
“Lemme repay the favor. Hey Joe, the usual for my new friend here.”
“What’s the usual?” she asks.
“Shot and a beer.”
This gesture wins her over a little. She goes along with it. I try to relate by telling her what I’ve lost lately. The package, commissions, prospects. The catty friends recede. Eventually they begin dropping out, the last one checks with her to see if it’s okay to leave. She says to go.
It’s getting late. After these few drinks she’s at least a little appreciative. I try to push the limit of finding out exactly how much. In reflection, it’s not as much as she will be. But that also applies to me. I don’t know what it was, but I really went to town. I’m not bragging. Truth is I usually can’t even get it up. Alcohol thins the blood, and my friends don’t call me Whiskey Dick for nothing. Ha, friends yeah right. So many of those.
I’m sitting at a bus stop now. I haven’t bothered to see when it’s coming. The sun makes it difficult to keep my eyes open. I’m squinting hard. I’ve decided these recent events were a necessary distraction after the day I had. But they kinda make me want to go to a meeting. And that is startling.