Saturday, December 5, 2015
Regrets (Blogophilia 41.8)
The bandstand was deserted hours ago and almost everyone else had gone home. A red, white and blue neon sign screamed BBQ, Babes and Beer! The screens above the bar were silently running the day’s latest tragedies. But Jack wasn’t having any of that. That all smacked of celebration. This was a vodka and depression kind of night. A wave brought the bottle and the glass was emptied and slammed back as soon as it filled.
“Damn, man. You hardly let me pull up.”
With a sigh, the glass was filled again.
“But this is your last one. Got it?”
“Sssurre.” Came the slurred reply. Using the edge of the bar for balance, Jack slowly stood up. Picking up the glass, he stumbled over to the jukebox. A dollar in the slot brought solace.
The bars are all closed…It’s four in the morning and I must have shut them all down…
He had enough. Or could he really get enough? Damn woman took off out a word, changed her phone number. All because of some argument over a… whatchamacallit? A lady’s shaver? Was that what she called it? It had curved with a kind of wide head and a long handle. He’d never seen anything quite like it.
And if drinking don’t kill me, her memory will…
Of course, he’d never seen anything quite like her, either. A long drink of swamp water, the dark skin and pink stilettos made quite an impression. Guys kept lining up the alien creature, buying drinks and trying to get dances. He and his buddy got to talking to her and she decided he was going to the conquest du jour.
“Run with me and it will be the experience of a lifetime.”
The voice was honey mixed with Tabasco. He was putty and clay. The friend he was with wished him good luck and left. There was yellow caution sign on the wall just to the right of her afro as she said this. He should have listened. This was not going to be an easy night.
A mechanical bull sat in the corner of the room. The first thing she dared him was to ride. He’d never understood why you would sit on a randomly swinging piece of machinery, but he wanted those almond eyes. He paid the twenty and hopped on. The whirligig cranked up and he lasted two seconds. His buddies yelp and the girl laughed as she helped him up.
“Not much of a cowboy, are you?”
The words and beers got him mad.
“Let me back on.”
Another sawbuck was thrown and with a wheeze, the whirligig spit and spun around. Jack hung on for dear life. Lights appeared from right and left. Each stop and start felt like a two by four across the side of his head. A tingling sensation began to build. It was a Damascus moment, the blinding feeling of letting go and landing on the foam mats. He was lifted up with a kiss.
“Now, THAT’S more like it.” Almond eyes twinkled back at him. “Let’s dance.”
The rest of the night was a blur of line dances and laughter. Somewhere, their eyes locked and everything was on.
They ended up the motel next door. He vaguely remembered the room number-118. The door was green and past it was a bed and the normal assortment of furniture. It must have been her room because there was pink and black lingerie on a rod and some lady stuff on the counter.
His shirt came off but he couldn’t remember if she had stripped. The huge, pink thing was coming at him like a weapon. There was screaming and next thing he knew, the friend he had been with earlier was helping him into his car. Six hours later, he woke up in his place with no wallet or keys and feeling like three days death. Somehow, they forgot his phone. Flicking it on, he looked for any follow up messages. Nope. Fishing around in his pants, he found the number the girl had given him and dialed it. No answer.
They did text a picture.
It was an image that couldn’t be drunk away.
The song on the jukebox ended. Glancing up toward the old caution sign at the door, he noticed another one just below it.
“Misfortune tests the sincerity of your friends.”
He staggered out the door to find a cab.
Pic guesses: Saturday morning, Office, Waiting, Morning after, status update, tweets, coffee.