Chapter 10

Good time last night

Sun Jun 01, 2003 at 05:46:44 PM EST


 
Joe's band kicked ass. I drank some whiskey, and didn't even hit on any women. This morning I'm wondering why not - Daughter spent the night at a friend's house, so I could have brought a woman home last night if I'd found a suitable one.
I'd met Joe at Dempsey's last Thursday and promised to see has band last night.

 

 

 



So I walk on down the street at sunset, and the sunset was pretty, but not nearly as spectacular as Friday night. I'm a bit drowsy, so decide to drop by Bread Stretchers for a cup of coffee first.
As I'm about to get there, a fat woman gets out of a car and I smile at her, she smiles back. She follows me into Bread Stretchers. There's only one person behind the counter, a thin, attractive woman. I walk around to order some coffee and the fat blonde is standing there as if she doesn't know why she walked in.
The lady behind the counter says she's not sure if there's any coffee left, it's been there since morning... so I decide to go down to Emilio's for some coffee.
Emilio's, right down the street from Bread Stretcher's, is a Mexican restaurant. It's a real Mexican restaurant with real Mexicans, not one of these Corporo-Amerishit Taco Bell places. The people working there speak Spanish to each other, and the waitresses don't speak English all that well.
The first time I'd been in Emilios I had been downtown and hungry (I seem to always be hungry any more since I started taking the Paxils) and it was the only place close to where I was that had breakfast. The sign said burritos were four dollars and I thought, “damn that's high.” But I was hungrier than I was broke and ordered a breakfast burrito. I expected something like a grocery store burrito.
Damned thing was as big as a football! Delicious, too. I ate the whole thing.
I think I'm starting to gain a little weight, what with all the walking and eating. And muscle spasms in my sleep the Paxil wakes me up with.
But I digress. I walked up to the counter and ask for “a cup of coffee to go.” She rings it up. $2.15.
I'm thinking damn, lotta cash for a cup of coffee. But I'll be paying more for a beer later, so I don't say anything.
She pours two cups of coffee. Misunderstanding - she interpreted “to go” as “two cups”. I smiled said “discúlpeme, uno cafe por vayo por favor.” She laughed, gave me a buck back and said “gracias.”
I walk down to Dempsey's, and the place is deserted. The only one there is Mandy, the pretty bartender, watching Armageddon. I just get a glass of water, to go with my coffee. She tells me she's bored, hopes it's not a slow night, because the time goes slow on slow nights.
I finish the coffee and ask for a Busch. She says they're out, that they told her somebody bought bucket after bucket the night before and drank them dry of Busch.
Shit. If I hadn't promised Joe I'd be there I'd probably gone and checked out Marley's. Probably would have gotten laid, too. I'm trying to think of another inexpensive beer I can stomach, and I can't think of one. So I go with a Carona. I guess the Spanish at Emilios rubbed off on me or I would have chosen Heineken. And I decide to drink slow, because they're three bucks apiece.
Joe and his band “Subaudible” come in and set up their equipment. Joe gives me his business card and a sticker, and they go off saying they'll be back in 45 minutes. Nobody else comes in for quite a while.
Two middle aged women come in, one with a real short lesbian looking haircut. They ask Mandy where Joe is. They get on their cell phones, then move to a table in the back.
The band comes back, and puts playlists on all the tables. It's a pretty good gimmick - they ask for requests after each song, and everybody knows what to ask for because they have the playlist!
I tell Joe all he needs now is an audience. He seems nervous, afraid nobody will show up to hear him play. I tell him I owe his friend at least a shot for getting me high on Thursday but I'll buy him one instead.
“A shot of what?”
Seagrams, I tell him. So I buy two shots and I toast his music. A few more people came in and they started playing.
Good band, party music band. Their covers are actually more interpretations than covers.
More people come in. It's actually getting crowded in the back.
I had staked out my stool with my water, beer, and jacket hanging over the back. There are two young guys and a young lady standing by me, and she's holding a cigarette and asking them for a light, and they don't have one. I whip out my lighter and light it for her.
A minute later her cigarette has gone out, she asks me to light it again. The men she came in with are kind of ignoring her, So I chat with her some, and light her cigarettes.
A few lady friends of hers come in and sit at the table close to my bar stool, and she goes over and sits with them. She takes out another cigarette and looks at me. There are no more chairs at the table.
This game is getting old. Not very fun. So I got a book of matches from the glassfull next to me on the bar and hand them to her. She smiles sheepishly and lights her cigarette.
Ray from the other building at work comes in and says hi, introduces me to his wife. She sits down next to me and Ray stands, we talk a little. I pull the stool on the other side of me around and give it to him so he can sit by his wife.
I think he sat there for maybe ten minutes before he was around the other side of the bar. His wife sat there quite a while before she disappeared.
I'm drinking expensive imported beer and running out of money. So I tipped Mandy before I ran out completely. I'm thinking, I'm going to run out of money before the music runs out, so I ask her what kind of cheap domestic beer she has that isn't Miller. She says they have Coors Light for a buck and a quarter. Damn, I could have gone home with half my money left instead of two dollars. So I get a beer and go to the rest room.
When I get back there is a crowd around my chair, all trying to get served. Poor Mandy is working her ass off - she got her wish. I stand there for a while and push my way back to my chair. There's a kid standing in front of it. I reach for my beer, and he seems embarrassed and apologizes. I tell him “no problem, we're all here to party and have a good time” and raise my beer for a toast. He offers to buy me a shot of Southern Comfort. “I'll puke,” I tell him. “I can't handle that sweet St. Louis whiskey, but I'll drink a Seagrams with you.”
He orders a Seagrams and a Southern Comfort. Mandy asks him for I.D., looks at it, and tells him it's his birthday that he should be getting free drinks. He says he's been getting free drinks all day and wants to buy one for somebody else for a change.
I toast his birthday.
I got pretty toasted last night. I was going to post a link to Joe's email from his business card, but I can't find the card, the sticker, or the playlist. I probably left them on the bar.
They're playing down in Edwardsville next week, I may ride down there with him. I haven't been to Edwardsville since college.

 

 


Chapter 9
Index
Chapter 11

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