a change of luck
I had noticed her walking around alone, doing that sit-down, stand-up, walk-around dance that people who are in bars alone do. Looking drunk and sheepish. At 02:30 she sat down near where my friends and I were congregated. For the third time tonight. I’d decided I’d had enough of waiting for her to say something to me so I made the move. I smiled at her until she caught my gaze and blushed. Then, I plopped myself down next to her and delivered my classic line.
“Are you here by yourself?” [coy femme smile]
“Yes — Actually my friends were here. they went home but I wanted to stay.”
“Yeahh, that happens to me all the time!
“I’m a little bit drunk so I’m getting a cab.”
“Well that’s good.”
“So, how old are you?” (always the first question followed by “are you bi?”)
“I’m twenty-something, what about you?”
“How old do I look?”
“I’m not good at guessing games.”
“Are you from around here?”
“Yeah, I grew up here.”
“I see. I live in South Town; moved here from Texas but I’m not from there, I only lived there a year”
“Oh really? Where are you from?”
“New York. I move around alot, I like to travel and I want to see everything before I die.”
“Me too, I love travel, I’ve moved 7 times in 2 years.”
She took the last sip of her water and said she’d be right back. I was plotting. Marian was wearing a blue striped polo, loose jeans and sneakers – a common butch sighting in this particular club. I went to the bar and stood up on my tip toes so that I would be seen (I’m pretty short) – ordered my new favorite drink – disaronno on ice. It’s a nice break from the incessant cosmopolitans and shots of goldschlager.
When she came around again, I was leaning my back against a pillar, faced away from the others.
“Are you here with friends?”
“yeah, them” [I pointed]
“See that girl over there? She’s got my heart. I mean, I’m not with her or anything, but if you ever have a conversation with her, she’ll jut blow your mind.”
Remember this is drunk talk, she probably wouldn’t have said something that exaggerated while sober. I listened intently as she continued:
“She’s really amazing, but she’s untouchable…”
“She’s pretty girly – do you like girly girls?”
“Heh, yeah, I guess I do…”
“Well, if she’s untouchable, maybe you need to find someone… touchable?”
My breast was gingerly touching her elbow, her arm.
“I just got out of a real bad relationship. You know when you put your heart into something, when you think she’s the one…” The rest of that sentence isn’t important. What she basically said was she got her heart smashed and she doesn’t have any intentions of letting that happen again. She said she believes that there’s someone out there for everyone. I find it hard to believe there is someone out there for everyone. “So what’s your story? What’s your deal?”
“My deal? uh… I dunno.” I laughed nervously.
“You know, do you date girls only? Do you date boys too?”
It was inevitable. Remember, she’s drunk and heartbroken. Why do I gravitate toward these bleeding hearts? It’s chronic, I swear. The last three women I’ve talked to have had these sob stories. Marian tonight, that butch latina from the next town over, and then back in October, that musician from my school who just broke up with one of my old classmates a week before she answered my Craigslist ad! No more bleeding hearts, Miss Avarice! Listen to the voice of reason!
“I only date girls.”
“Are you single?”
“Um… yeah! But I haven’t actually had a serious relationship before.” [Maybe not the best thing to come out and say immediately, but why save it for later? Why not just throw it out there and get it over with?]
My memory is already missing some of the conversation. She finally [finally] asked me what I drink, said I should get drunk and enjoy myself. Just as I stepped up to the bar, the lights came on. Damn! Three a.m. Not even three, quarter-to-three and last call had come and gone without me realizing. Instead, she said next time, “I’ll get it for you – when will you be here again?”
“Honey I work nights like you, I work Fridays but today I got out early…”
“Ok, well I’ll give you my number and you can call me, instead.”
So she gave it to me, gave me the spelling of her name, she saw my face in the lights. My friends rushed past us in the direction of the door.
“I guess they’re leaving.”
“You’ll call me right?”
“Yeah if you can get whatsherface out of your head.”
“I can do that, no problem.”
“Then, I’ll call. It was very nice to meet you”
She reached out for a handshake, I took her hand and I leaned in with my other arm for a friendly hug and stole one of those sideswipe kisses – the kind where just the corner of your lips touch the corner of the other person’s lips. It’s kinda like cheating.
I skipped out the door, hurried to my car through the chilled air and sketchy neighborhood, grinning.