Most of last night will have to wait until I can disguise it as fiction. Going out on the town with Amy usually works out that way, it seems. I had left a message with her, looking for a place to sleep, and she eventually called back. She was hanging with Rory and Alabama, two of her friends from out of town. They were at South Beach bar in Ocean Beach (A very nice place with a decent beer selection and excellent appetizers. Best fried calamari anywhere. Behind the bar are picture windows looking out over the beach. A good place for sunsets.)
They were just having some shots when I arrived. It didn’t break my heart to miss out on that round, as they looked like some kind of goofy sweet mixed shot instead of good ‘ol straight booze. Why people go to the trouble to get one of those things and then knock it down their gullet so fast they never taste it is beyond me. For that matter, why people pay for top-shelf tequila or scotch and then just throw it down the pie hole is a mystery I may never solve. If you’re not going to taste it, why not just throw some grain alcohol back and wait for the bomb to hit?
I kept my mouth shut about silly shooters, and Amy’s buddies turned out to be pretty cool. I was just finishing my beer when Erica called. She was heading to Sunshine Company and so were we. Sunshine Co. has a good happy hour special and is popular among smokers because the patio (where smoking is legal) is for all intents and purposes indoors.
It’s funny how many smokers I’ve been around since smoking was banned in bars. The sequence goes like this:
- Smoking is banned in bars
- Jerry starts going to bars more
- Jerry hangs out with other bar patrons
- Most bar patrons are smokers
- Jerry inhales more second-hand smoke
At Sunshine company the pitchers were coming fast and furious but somehow I manage to stay out of their evil grip, nursing two beers the entire time I was there. It was great to see Erica again, bubbly fun sweet and cute, and we talked for quite a while. She’s in love with some boy in Belguim. Our crowd shot some pool, and being the most sober person there I didn’t suck at it. Some girl hit on me – and everyone else in the bar, male and female. It was her birthday and she was looking for a present. She didn’t get far with me, but she didn’t try that hard, either. There were other people in our group she found much more interesting, often several of them at the same time.
Things started to get crazier. A blue-haired butch-looking girl had her hands down Amy’s pants. Amy was trying to use her own sexual wiles to connect Rory and Birthday Girl together. Birthday Girl seemed more interested in Blue-Hair and Amy. Birthday Girl and Blue-Hair were sucking face like a pair of lampreys on spring break. Erica mildly disapproved. Finally it was too much for my poor sober ass. I made Erica promise to come to Prague whenever she went to Belgium, got Amy’s keys and went back to her place.
Amy showed up two hours later with another friend. I made grilled cheese sandwiches (double cheese). The friend would not leave, and It turned into a late night. Finally I curled up on the short sofa and closed my eyes and he took the hint. He’s a nice guy, really; Amy had called him in the middle of the night for a ride home and he had complied. I was just very tired. Making grilled cheese sandwiches can take it out of a guy.
The final image as I turned out the lights was of Amy curled up on the couch, jealously guarding a package of Goldfish even as she slept. I reached out and tugged on the package, open and about to spill, and she snapped down around her precious crackers, contracting like a sea anemone gulping down its prey. I let go of the bag before anyone got hurt.