Chapter 13

Vielie's Planet: Bummer

Sun Jun 08, 2003 at 02:09:54 PM EST


 
I spent too much money Friday night.
The words aren't coming out of my fingers as easy today. And I've had a touch of the blues since Thursday morning, and I can't really figure out why. Maybe I need to cut back on the beer or something. Maybe writing this little missive for my friends at K5 will help me figure it out.
I hired a lawyer Wednesday.

 

 

 



I had the appointment with the lawyer right after work. Her office is almost halfway between my house and my work, so I walked straight there after work.
I had tried to hire another lawyer several months ago, and that guy wanted two thousand dollars for a retainer, and was clear that he really couldn't do much for me, that I was better off continuing the mediation.
The mediation had come to an abrupt end earlier. Evil-X wouldn't cooperate. I had already spent nearly a grand on mediation, and still owe the mediator another thousand bucks. Now this guy wanted another two grand.
But I wanted this divorce to be done. I want that evil bitch out of my life. She's been gone since September, and her name is still on my car and house, and mine is still on her car. She calls and bitches at me to catch up on my gas bill so she can get her gas turned on. And I'm paying her insurance. And it would be nice to get a little child support for my younger daughter. The Two Grand Lawyer said X didn't make enough money to ask for child support and besides, the eldest, 18, is living with her.
The new lawyer was different. For one thing, she was a very attractive woman. I was hoping she would be fat, old, and ugly. I don't need the distraction, you know? And I don't want to hit on my own lawyer...
She had a big ruby on the wedding finger.
It was a strange meeting. Of course, I have little experience with lawyers, but this lady was extremely personable. I told my story, and she told me that when I had to take the kids to their mom's work on Christmas just so they could see their mom on Christmas, and then we had no phone number or address for her and she never as much as called for three weeks I should have seen her right then.
“How did she meet this guy? Who is he?”
I told her that he worked at my (then) mechanic's shop. “Gee,” she said, “why doesn't anything like that ever happen to me?”
I looked at the ruby on her finger again. A lot of the conversation had absolutely nothing to do with my case. I really enjoyed talking with her.
This lady seems to take pleasure in helping me stick it to Evil-X. And she only wants an eight hundred dollar retainer. That's almost my whole paycheck, and it's going to have to be the money I was going to use on catching up on my mortgage, but hell, that's life.
Maybe that's why I woke up blue Thursday. Because I'm broke and in debt and my house is a mess and my car is broke and two of my three toilets don't work and I'm so lonely and that lawyer was so attractive and pleasant...
But I was going to write about the Friday night bar adventures. A bummer.
A black one. I wasn't halfway downtown when he walked up and asked for seventy five cents.
“Sorry,” I told him, “The only change I have is a buffalo.”
“Well gimme a dollah, man!”
“I need all these dollars. I want to hear some music, and they want covers. And the beer's expensive. And I have to work for these dollars, dude, nobody gives 'em to me.”
He walked the biggest part of the way there with me, trying to talk me out of a “dollah”. For once I was glad these places charged covers.
A woman in business attire was standing in the doorway of an office building, lighting a cigarette. Bummer stops, “Hey, can I buy a cigarette from you?”
I went around the corner and did the disappearing act I learned in Thailand.
I had checked the Illinois Times this week for Friday music, and the two best prospects were Marley's, and Veilie's Planet. I'd never been to Vielie's, although my daughter has been there several times for the “all ages” shows.
Marley's was billed as having an Irish rock band. They wanted a four dollar cover. I figured, well, maybe it's an expensive band, all the way from Europe and all.
I went in and got a draft. The band wasn't playing, just messing around with their instruments and so forth. After standing there for maybe five or ten minutes, the singer introduced a song, and he sure didn't sound Irish to me. So they sang the song, and the song sounded Irish. At least, it had a mandolin and an accordion.
And then they took a break. So I decided to check out Vielie's.
As I'm walking down the street, here comes Bummer.
“Hey, man, gimme a dollah!”
I'm thinking, gee, I've seen an awful lot of cans on the street lately, these fucking bums aren't doing their jobs. “I told you, man, I have to work for this shit.”
He sees another “client” and runs across the street. “Hey man, you got a dollah?” I walk on to Vielie's.
I get there, and there are a half dozen rough looking guys standing around a van. “You the band?” I ask.
“Yeah.”
“What kind of music do you play?”
“Rock. Kind of metal.”
“Cool,” I say. I look at the signboard - “Vielie's Planet Friday Pound for Pound.” I point at the sign and ask when they're starting.
“That ain't us, they suck. We came here all the way from New York. We go on in about an hour.”
I tell them I'll come back later, and walk back to Marleys.
Bummer is pissing on the railroad track. “Hey man, gimme a... oh, fuck it.”
At Marley's I show the doorman the green “M” stamped on my hand. All the bars in this town seem to want to be Irish pubs, even if and despite the fact that they have little or no food. They all have shamrocks on the walls, or “pub” in the bar's name. Even “Duffy's Pub”, the redneck bar down the street from my house.
I get another draft and sit at the last empty stool at the huge circular bar, between two attractive women. The one on my left seems to be with some guy, and the one on my right is especially good looking, with an average looking woman next to her and a dog next to her. There are few men, and I seem to be the only one here without a woman. Except for the few couples, the audience seems to be composed of groups of three women, all of whom seem to be here solely for the music. None are interested in me, of course.
The band stands there and doesn't play. I strike up a conversation with the three women on my right, just to relieve the boredom of the band that cost an extra dollar cover and won't play.
They finally play another Irish sounding song, and then don't play some more. I get another beer. By the time I've finished the beer they still haven't played another song, and I drink slow.
So I decide to go back to Vielie's, and leave.
Bummer is standing next to the railroad track, counting a stack of ones.
At Vielie's I give the doorman my four bucks and show my ID, even though any twenty year old that looked like me would surely be close to death. I hear metal sounding music. I go to the bar and order a draft. They want more for a draft than the other bars want for a bottle!
The place has character - It's a dump. Windowless sagging dirty brick walls, concrete floor and black ceiling. “Through the Discipline,” the New York band, is on stage playing what my daughter calls “hardcore”.
They're playing their asses off, to an almost empty place. Five guys in the other room by the bar, and maybe five more in the room with the stage. Two or three young looking, not very attractive women, all wearing platform shoes.
One better looking dog pulls out a cigarette and stands there. I light it for her. She frowns, and I walk away.
I finish the beer and walk into the other room and get another overpriced draft, and drink it. I get another, and walk back into the room next to the room with the band, where tables are set up with CDs for sale.
Cigarette woman is standing there smoking. I walk up to buy a CD and she lights into me. “Fucking asshole, leave me alone, I'm not interested in you, fuckhead!”
I give her a funny look. “I don't know what your problem is, bitch, I came over here to buy a CD. Go fuck yourself.”
I buy two CDs for eight bucks, and the guy gives me a third. I walk back to get another draft, and rankle at the price. Cigarette bitch has me in a bad mood. I drink the beer and leave.
Back to Marley's? No, fuck it. I walk home.
Dempseys Saturday was much better. But that's another story, and I'll save it for tomorrow.

 

 


Chapter 12
Index
Chapter 14

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