Saturday, September 29, 2007

Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.

I started off yesterday evening at a 4:30 spontaneous happy hour with two guys that I work with. I’ve been on a vodka-soda kick lately, and was experimenting with flavored vodkas (Absolut raspberry and soda for instance), when around 6:00 I got a call from the Kaiser that he was at the Pub and I should come join him, so I did. The Pub was packed and I remembered why I used to like it so much. Frankie’s waitress was there, but she was busy and we were not in her section. All the other servers there are still great with me and the Kaiser. We had two beers. He had to go pick up Marie, but said they’d call me and we could meet up. I said OK, and we left the pub a little before 7:00. I had no plan for the evening, but I love hanging out with the Kaiser and Marie.

No later than I had gotten home, I got a call from the Kaiser. We’ve had a long standing boys’ night out planned for tonight (Saturday), and Marie wanted to know if they could make last night a “date night” instead. I love Marie and totally understood where she was coming from, so I told the Kaiser there was no apology necessary when he said he was sorry, and told him to enjoy his evening with his lady, and to give her a kiss on the cheek from me. Thing is, now it was 7:30, and I had no plan for the night, and worse, I was a bit buzzed – certainly enough to get myself in trouble if I did much driving.

Who doesn’t believe in serendipity? My phone rang shortly thereafter, and it was my co-worker Samantha. Sam is demographically very similar to me – in that she’s in her early thirties and single – and really a fun girl to hang out with outside of work. A long time ago, I thought she may make a good match for Frankie, and I made the introduction. Although there were no romantic sparks, they got along really well too, so now we all hang out on occasion, and she gives him all kinds of shit about things like the waitress from the Pub, whom Sam christened “the Knuckle.” Anyway, Sam had gotten a call from her friend Heather, whom I met last month. Heather’s sister was in town from Minneapolis and they were out at an outdoor country bar in BFE. Did I want to go? I was intrigued. But I certainly couldn’t drive there, and I told Sam that. She wasn’t far from my house and volunteered to stop by and be my ride. Suddenly I had a Friday night plan.

The drive to Tumbleweed Flats was about a half hour, and when we got there, it was packed. A wedding party had a rehearsal dinner going on, and the place was chock-full of shit kickers. A bunch of picnic tables and bonfires surrounded a concrete dance area, and an overweight troubadour alternated between the Eagles and Willie Nelson for the crowd. Beers were $2.50, and hamburgers and chili were the bill of fare. All in all, a very cool place. We found Sam’s friend Heather, her sister, and an entourage of folks, all of whom fit in at the place. Somebody had brought a bag of marshmallows and they were roasting them on the bonfire. I bought a bowl of chili, with cheese and onions, and sat to eat it. The folks at our table were all exceedingly nice. Most of them were school teachers, it turned out, and one guy was a state representative with aspirations to run for Corporation Commissioner (huh?). He asked me for a contribution. I told him I was registered to vote in another state (truth), and he said he couldn’t accept my contribution, then. I offered him $20, knowing he couldn’t take it - $15 more than I’d have actually cared enough to give him if he could have taken it.

Here’s a little known fact about Jack Gordon: the fucker can country & western dance. He took two semesters of it back in college. It’s particularly impressive because most people never see that skill coming at all, given his musical tastes. He will stop referring to himself in the third person now, and get back to the story. I started dancing with the ladies in the group. Sam got a kick out of it, since around the office you’d never even suspect I knew a two-step dance from a twelve-step program. As I said, all the people there were very nice, and I think I even caught a couple of the ladies checking me out at one point.

As the night progressed, and I ate my chili, a group of four girls in the group were talking among themselves, I don’t know about what, though I heard Jesus come up once or twice. One of them – the cutest one – started to tear up. Then she sobbed. And then the tears came down. It was the sort of crying that comes from a sad/moving/emotional story – not from anger or insult. Another little known fact about me: I carry a clean handkerchief with me at all times. I have since I was a kid and I wanted to be like my dad. I’ve drawn a lot of shit for carrying a handkerchief (and a comb) in my life, but these moments justify the practice. I passed the crying girl, whose name I never learned, my hankie. She took it and cried into it for a while. Heather’s sister gave me a hug and said “You’re great.” It was a highlight of my evening – and a wholesome highlight at that.

Around 11:00, Sam asked if I was ready to go, so I bid farewell to the crowd. I was in bed before midnight, and got a great night’s rest. As far as the night went, I only wish I had taken the opportunity to introduce myself to the crying girl. As I said, she was cute, and she had no ring and was not there with any apparent guy. Working against me was the fact that I was a complete stranger to the group, the girl was crying, and Sam was my ride. Neither obstacle was insurmountable, especially given my dancing skills and handkerchief chivalry. In such foreign situations, I can never figure things out fast enough, though. But you know what? So it goes. For all I know, the girl will track me down to give me back my handkerchief. And if she doesn’t, that’s all right too. I had a good night and still have a baker’s dozen of clean handkerchiefs in my dresser drawer waiting for further adventures.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Faith versus Reason

As of late, I’ve been thinking about something that Meno e-mailed me a while back. It was after I complained to him about things that the ex did that drove me crazy, and yet, I couldn’t bring myself to cut her loose. He said:

In love, we are afraid to be rational. For when we are rational, we lie in the tumultuous domain of logic. And logic is a terrible thing, for if we were logical with our love, at one time or another, we would most certainly walk away.

It was only via rational thought that I was able to make it through the break-up, but in the end, sometimes I feel like a lesser person for having put my faith in reason.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Trying to eat where your friend has shat . . .

I’ve got to get the whole Frankie’s waitress story blogged, so stay tuned. It involves a “magic knuckle,” if that’s any sort of teaser. In the mean-time, here’s a nugget from last night. I went to the Pub around 9:30 to have a quick beer after a satisfying rib dinner at the local mayate barbeque joint. I pulled up a seat at the bar, and ordered a pint of Newcastle. It was pretty slow in the place – Monday night and all. Frankie’s waitress was there, and she came over. I really wanted some alone time with my beer, but I was nice at first. As is her tendency, she talked and I didn’t say much. After a while, though, I got bored. Sometimes I think I have ADD, though I think really I just have a low tolerance for people that babble in general. After I’d drank about half my beer and she was still there prattling about things like – I’m not making this up – how she found a pair of shoes, boy’s size five, with wheels in the heel that she had bought herself because she wears a boy’s size five in shoes and she wanted to learn “heeling” – which I understood to mean “healing” but I was wrong and she corrected me – and she didn’t know where she could go “heel” and could I suggest a place? I got tired of listening to her. I don’t want to seem unduly cold, but seriously, it’s always been Frankie that was into this chick, not me. In fact, I was even annoyed by her back when he was in hot pursuit. In what I thought was a tactful way to bring an end to the palaver, I told her that I had a lot to think about and really I just needed to be alone for a while. She got visibly hurt about this, and sulked away to a back booth where she proceeded to play solitaire. I actually felt kind of bad about having shooed her away.

I finished my beer, went home, flossed, and went to bed. At 3:00 a.m. (2:59 to be exact) I heard the text message chime on my phone. I couldn’t imagine who would be texting me at 3:00 in the morning – either the ex or Ubermom, I thought. Curiosity got the best of me, so I checked. It was the waitress:

As i was mentally reviewing my day i thaught [sic] of you. I’m not sure i apologized for making you uncomfortable. I am sorry. Let me know if i can help.
Very strange message. I didn’t respond, since I don’t think anybody’s obligated to return a text after 12:30.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Don't shit where you eat.

Frankie has been trying to avoid his waitress for going on three weeks now. Mainly because she's insane. From what he tells me, and what I’ve observed, she’s incapable of getting the hint. Problem is that this makes going to the Pub awkward for me. Damned inconsiderate of him, if you ask me. Especially since I really liked the Pub. He never really did.

I went to Vegas with a cocktail waitress (from a whole different bar) on a whim back in 2004. It wasn’t until I was on the plane sitting next to her that I noticed the scars on her wrists. When she saw me do the double-take, she told me it was from the “last time she slashed her wrists.” The “last time” implication wasn’t lost on me. She clarified that it wasn’t the first time. When we were in our room at the MGM, before we went out on the town, as she took a bottle of ephedrine out and popped a handful before offering me some, I decided to heed Kris Kristofferson's advice: Never sleep with a woman who's crazier than you are. He also said “you’ll break that rule and regret it.” And that’s true, and I have, but I didn’t do so on that trip, and I was able to drink contently at that particular bar for two years thereafter.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dénouement: Ubersaga Chapter IV

As she pulled her dress over her head and removed her bra, I recalled the last few lines of an anonymous 17th Century madrigal that I had long ago memorized:

No beauty she doth miss
When all her robes are on:
But Beauty's self she is
When all her robes are gone.

The room was hot because she made me light the four decorative candles that I had in there, and it was July, after all. We’d left “Mezzanine” playing in the living room at high volume.

The “boundaries” agreed upon earlier in the evening were soon forgotten.

At exactly 8:00 a.m. I was jolted awake by an obnoxiously loud musical ring tone. It was her mobile phone. She had apparently set the alarm on it to wake her. Before I could take stock of the situation, she was up and dressing. I couldn’t register it all at once, but by 8:10 a.m. she had come around my bed, kissed me good morning and good bye, and had scampered out of my room.

I heard her talking to Frankie, so I got up and put my boxers and a tee-shirt on. I walked out of my room and bumped into Frankie in the hallway, as I heard my front door shut. As I greeted him, he went into the guestroom, and I could see that he had made the bed and that his waitress was no longer there.

“Where’s the waitress?”

“She took off.”

“Didn’t you drive her?”

“No, she followed me in her car.”

He had peeked out the blinds in the guestroom and I joined him. We could see the STS pulling out of my driveway. We caught a glimpse of the vanity plate on the Cadillac as it drove away: “UBERMOM.”

Frankie was the first to laugh about it: “Didn’t ubermom offer to give you a ride back to your car?”

“I didn’t ask.”

“So I guess you’ll be needing that ride, then?”

“Let me jump in the shower real quick. Do you mind?”


“Cool. Hey, any interest in catching a 9:00 mass?”


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In another, less jaded era . . .

If you had asked me my favorite book ten years ago, I would have told you that it was Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I remember the first time that I read it, I found it so lyrical that I tried to savor every word of it, even though I knew I was reading it in translation. I went so far as to purchase the book in the original Spanish, and read through my favorite passages with a Spanish/English dictionary for reference. I think the opening line to the book is still one of the greatest openers I've come across: "It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love."

Anyway, I haven't read LITTOC in probably five years. Mostly because at its core it's a book about hope, and its musings about love are a bit much to bear when faced with the realities of multiple unrequited loves.

Remember how Bill Clinton gave Monica Lewinski a copy of Leaves of Grass? Word is that he had given Hillary a copy of the same book at some point in their courtship. What can I say? The guy's a man and men are lazy and stick to formulas that work. I seriously doubt giving it to her meant anything to him. Call me a cynic. After I gave my third "love" in succession a copy of Love in the Time of Cholera, I think I dropped the sense of actually believing in them -- the girl, the book, and the concept of love as Marquez would have us buy into.

At any rate, it appears that they've turned the book into a movie. And you know what? I'm actually sort of excited about it. Nevermind the fact that I can't imagine that the movie will do any justice to the book. I saw this movie poster, and some of my old feelings stirred within me. Between this movie and another trailer I saw lately: Manolete, I may have to break out the old Spanish/English dictionary again.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cocktail tip #23

With special thanks to Dr. Del, who introduced me to this pearl of wisdom at a wedding reception last night: You can mask the taste of inferior gin in your gin and tonic with a dash or two of bitters.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Seven Hours Later: Ubersaga Chapter III

The STS pulled into the spot in my driveway normally occupied by my car, which, you’ll recall, I left behind. As we entered my house, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was in store for me there . . . given that heretofore the night had been going so smoothly. I turned on the light as we walked in and she made a bee-line for the stereo and my music collection.

“What are you drinking?” I asked.

“Surprise me,” she answered.

I opened my liquor cabinet and stared at it for a moment. I settled on one of my favorites for the fairer gender: a shot of vodka and a shot of Pama pomegranate liqueur, topped off with tonic water in a rocks glass filled with ice. No garnish. Because I’m lazy that way. I poured myself a glass of Crown Royal, and walked into my living room, where she had put the Cure’s "Disintegration" album on and was busy dancing to "Fascination Street." I sat and watched her dance for most of the song.

I had forgotten he was on the way by the time Frankie showed up with his waitress. The waitress brought a cooler full of Beck’s beer with her. My girl paid no mind to Frankie and his lady friend, but kept on dancing in a sort of preternatural fugue.

“We’re gonna hit the hot-tub,” Frankie announced triumphantly. His waitress said nothing, but it was evident she regarded my lady much as one regards the average cockroach. Frankie found the towels in the linen closet in my hallway, and he and the waitress popped into my guest room, emerging in the towels a couple of minutes later. They went out my back door, leaving me alone with the dancing blonde.

The chick sat to drink her drink, and lit a cigarette as she did so. We sort of talked, but there wasn’t really much to talk about. After drinking about half of her drink, she asked if I had Kahlúa. I said I did, and she asked if I’d mix her a White Russian. I got up and did so, and she changed the CD to Depeche Mode’s "Violator" album. I brought the White Russian back to the couch. Even though I'm in my third decade of life, I never seem to remember the formula for doing this, which I've been using since adolescence, but somehow I made my move, and we started making out. We kissed for a while, and when she came up for air, she spoke:

“Do you have any weed?”

I don’t smoke weed. I have no weed at my house. Maybe I should, for just these sorts of moments. I don’t know. I don’t even know that I would know where to get any weed if I wanted to anymore. And even if I had some, I don’t know that I’d smoke it, even if a hot chick wanted to smoke out with me. I’ve never been a big fan of psychoactives. All in all, I love my booze. It occurred to me that back in October of 2004 I bought a case of whippets as party favors for a bachelor party and I had sort of forgotten about it. Also, my buddy Laz’s ex-girlfriend was Czech, and on one of her trips to Prague, she had brought me back a bottle of absinthe.

“I don’t have any weed, but I do have whippets if you want. . .” Don't think that the juvenile nature of the suggestion was lost on me. I may as well have suggested that that we huff some Liquid Paper out of a paper bag.

“You do???” I dug my cracker out of a junk drawer, and brought the box of whipped-cream chargers over to my coffee table. I filled a balloon full of N2O for her and passed it over. As she fazed out, I did a whippet myself. Then I refilled the balloon for her and she did a second whippet. As she was blowing in and out of the balloon, Frankie walked in and looked at us in what I can only describe as confusion. He said nothing, fished a couple of beers out of the cooler his waitress had brought over, and went back outside. I resumed my make out session, which we punctuated by cigarettes, whippets, and more drinks. That went on for a while.

“Look, we need to establish some boundaries,” she interrupted, “because I don’t usually do this sort of thing.” I love the inevitable disclaimer that every woman seems to give in this situation. I call it the I’m not usually this slutty speech. I let her talk, anticipating her ground rules as if she had read the same guidebook that they must distribute to girls in middle school: in summary, everything short of actual intercourse would be OK, but she wasn’t going to have sexual relations of the Clinton variety with me. I agreed. Eventually, we went through all of the whipped cream chargers.

“Have you ever tried absinthe?” I asked her.

“You have absinthe? Really? I’ve wanted to try it since I read Oscar Wilde.” That comment surprised me. I should note that throughout the night, she’d shown some idiot savant tendencies, like when she referenced Cyrus the Great in a conversation back at Carpe. It sort of fascinated me, given the overwhelming vacuousness of the rest of her conversation. I nodded, got up from the couch, and changed the CD to Massive Attack’s "Mezzanine" album.

I had the bottle of absinthe, but none of the requisite accoutrements. I brought the bottle over, along with a liter bottle of Voss water and a sugar shaker. Czech absinthe tastes like Windex – very chemical like, as opposed to say, Spanish absinthe. You need to cut it with quite a bit of sugar and water to make it palatable. I poured the absinthe over a tablespoon of sugar in a highball glass and lit it on fire. The lights were very dim in the living room and the burning absinthe cast an eerie blue light on the scene. I poured the water into the glass, extinguishing the flame. I thought she’d complain, but the taste didn’t seem to bother the chick as she slammed the absinthe like she would have a shot of tequila. She asked for another, and I looked at her impressed. As I poured her a second glass of absinthe, Frankie and his waitress walked in. They were speechless at the sight of the chargers strewn about my hardwood floor and the bottle of absinthe prominently in the middle of my coffee table. I looked at them and shrugged. They shuffled into the guest room. I looked at the clock on my cable box, and was surprised to see that it was 3:30 a.m. She sipped through her second glass of absinthe, and I finished the last of my Crown Royal. I’d been drinking non-stop for seven hours.

“Let’s go to bed,” I suggested.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

Crap, where has the week gone . . . tomorrow's already Thursday, and I am looking down the barrel of a couple of deadlines. I forgot my iPod at home today and that just sucked . . . what the hell did I do before I had an iPod? This isn't a plug for Apple, by the way, it's an honest question.

And thank you to my ladies in Texas for turning me on to this so that I could rant a little. By and large the cops I've ever dealt with have been straight forward, and I've made it through three decades without a moving violation despite being pulled over at various times for various reasons -- sometimes flagrant (like running right through a red light, or going the wrong way down a one-way street). But there's something about the folks that go into law enforcement, along with the power that the badge and uniform confers that just SCREAMS for accountability. I admit that we need the cops . . . but we also need them to know that if they act like this there will be consequences. So I'll be following this story closely now.

In the mean time, let's take a moment to review what we should have learned in civics class, but if you were like me you didn't:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Razorblade ramblings

In my life I've had five regular barbers. I once heard that the average guy has had fewer barbers in his life than he has had girlfriends. I suspect somebody just made that up, and I don't care enough to research it, but at least in my case I know it to be true. My current barber is an angry Russian Jew. One plus to having a Jewish barber is that the guy's open on Sundays, which is great because it's most convenient for me. As an aside, I don't trust barbers trained in America. Only one of my regular barbers -- my first -- has been American born, and I wore a ball cap for much of that era. By and large, I don't want an American with a straight razor anywhere near my throat.

Today, I opted for a hot-towel shave in addition to my typical haircut. I do that about twice a year or so. It's expensive and time consuming, but when done right, it's one of the most relaxing and fulfilling things a man can do for himself.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


I don't consider myself to be a deviant in many ways. But I couldn't help but wonder how others perceive me when one day the Kaiser called me while I was in the middle of a beer at the Pub. I stepped outside to have the conversation as I couldn't hear him clearly over the barroom din.

"Hey puto, Marie and I were wondering what sort of lube you recommend." (Marie is his long-term girlfriend.)

"Excuse me?" I replied.

"You know, personal lubricant . . . like KY."

"Ohhh . . . luuuube," I replied, "wait -- what the hell am I -- who made me the lube consultant???"

"Well, you always seem to know about these things."

And the sad thing is, I actually had an opinion to share with the guy. I told him what I thought: that KY was the old trusty, Astroglide was more hype than what it's worth and I wouldn't spend my money on it, though it would do, and if they were at a place with a selection, he and Marie would probably really like Wet, which was not only better than the other two I mentioned, but also comes in a variety of fruit flavors. Also, if he want to the right shop, they would have sample sizes of different types and they should probably try out a few before settling on one particular brand.

This isn't the first time that somebody's called me up with questions of this sort -- not just lube, but "deviant" sex questions. So there I was. The kink consultant for my friends. And I had to ask myself how I came to be that guy . . . and I think it came from the time that my friends were making fun of one of our buddies because he had a pair of fuzzy handcuffs at his place. And I said: "Fuzzy handcuffs are for posers. Real men know how to tie knots." And that pretty much cast me into the role of libertine in the eyes of all. And I'm serious; I can tie you a bowline, a prusik, or a reef knot with one hand in pitch blackness. I kind of kick ass that way.

The Kaiser thanked me and hung up the phone, and I walked back into the Pub. "Who was that?" Frankie asked.

"The Kaiser. He and Marie are shopping for lube."

"For him or for her?"

"I have no idea. I didn't want to ask. . . ."

Friday, September 7, 2007


Today's Wikipedia featured picture: two flower chafers fucking on a carrot flower head. If you
stop to think about it, life's really about two things at the very core: eating and fucking. Those two fundamental urges drive all life from these insects to the Nobel Laurates. I can't help but wonder how the concept of "romance" applies to the little freaks above. I mean, as humans, we have emotions and we find the need to explain all the things that drive us, but ultimately, if our belly is full and we have a little "piece" and quiet, we tend to be happy.

A little more jabbing into the repository of all human knowledge yields the photo to the right. What's the life expectancy on these guys? Two days? Maybe a week? In that time, they eat, they fuck, and they leave behind offspring to do it all over again. They don't grind away at a job, or stress about their mortgage. Life is fleeting . . . don't deny your most base instincts . . . now go out there and make it happen!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


I just spent $70.24 on booze at Costco. Sometimes I reflect on how much money I could save if I cut back on vice. Then I realize that if I did, I would be incredibly bored.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Death Takes a Holiday: Ubersaga Chapter II

Text message to Frankie, 11:54 p.m: “Ur my ride tomorrow morning

The Cadillac STS shot out of the Kyoto parking lot and onto the street like the proverbial bat out of hell. It then did an abrupt U-turn in flagrant disregard of the No U-Turn sign prominently situated on the median across from the mall and headed westward well in excess of any posted speed limit. It occurred to me that nobody in the car was sober enough to be driving legally. A part of me wanted to adjure this chick to slow down, but aside from her speeding, the car was handling pretty well. We were still talking about music when out of nowhere, the car careened to a screeching halt into a parking lot.

“I need my music.” She said, as she fished out a cartridge for a 6-Disc CD changer from somewhere, and got out of the car to load it into the changer in the trunk.

Text message to Frankie, 11:59 p.m.: “I am living 40 year old virgin

As abruptly as we had pulled over, we were off again, at least 20 miles-per-hour over the speed limit. "If You Leave" by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark blared out over the stereo. As she sang along with the song, she stuck both her hands out the moon-roof and began swaying back and forth as she steered the car with her knees. We were only about halfway to my place at that point, but I honestly don’t think she was watching the road as she did this. It was, quite frankly, terrifying. She tore through a yellow light as if it were not there at all.

Text message to Frankie, 12:04 a.m.: “I may die soon.”

Text message from Frankie, 12:07 a.m.: “hang in there

Monday, September 3, 2007

Hipster Olympics

Somewhere I took a turn on the road of life . . .

. . . that led me away from normalcy and into the surreal. Sometimes I look back and try to find that place.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Seize the Night: Ubersaga Chapter I

The bar was just across the street from the mall, so we walked there after dinner. 8:30 is admittedly a little early, but we were going to run the same game as we did at the Pub . . . and that required a place to sit. The place wasn’t as dead as we had expected, but we were able to score a table – with four lounger-type leather chairs. The waitress was hot on the spot – and we were ready with our drink orders. I went with a greyhound (Ketel One), and Frankie ordered a Maker’s Mark and soda. Within a half-hour, the bar was full. Clearly a crowd making this the first stop for the evening. The ladies were definitely in a different league from the typical bar-fly ladies we had become accustomed to. Would our game even work on them? That remained to be seen.

Now I should be clear – I’m a pretty average looking guy – certainly no Clark Gable, or anything. Frankie is too. If we have any strength, it’s in the delivery, but we need to step up to even get a shot at that. We saw two women eyeing our spare chairs. As they approached, Frankie and I made eye-contact with each other, as the ladies were spying the chairs and neither of us. The leader of the two walked up, and put her hand on one of the spare chairs.

“Do you mind if we take these chairs?” Bingo – they were out for the chairs, and as it turned out, there with a few other women.

“Actually, we’re expecting people,” I said. Which was true, in a sense. . . . She turned her nose up at me in disgust. As she walked away, Frankie and I looked at each other again. “Let the bitch stand,” I told him. He cracked up.

We noticed a hot, tall blonde standing by the bar. Frankie rated her a 9.5, but I thought she was more of a 9. She stood about 5’10”, but was wearing heels, which took her well over 6’. She was a definite stunner. She walked away from the bar and toward the back of the place. That’s the type of chick this place drew – they were all cut from the same cloth – and it was a cloth that neither of us had ever had any experience tailoring.

I was well into my second greyhound, when I looked up at an amazon towering over our table. It was the aforementioned 9.

“Is anybody sitting here?”

“We’re actually saving it for you.” I’ve always been comfortable delivering even the lamest of openings. “I’m Jack.”

An unsolved mystery remains why She decided sit with me and Frankie. Aside from being tired of standing, that is . . . My immediate gut thought was that she was a “working girl” and we were easy marks, but that wasn’t the case at all. She had just bought a new pair of shoes at the Louis Vuitton store in the mall, and had asked the sales guy where she could go wearing them. He suggested Carpe, and she had stopped by. We talked a bit with her, and she excused herself to have a smoke. SCORE! Smoking is one of my strengths – it’s a captive audience for seven minutes – and I can always show how awesome I am over a cigarette. We left Frankie to guard the table, and we went outside to pollute our lungs. Pleasant conversation. Her ex-husband had her daughter that night, and she had stopped by Carpe Noctem en route, to flirt with dudes before she went over to his place to “fuck.” That’s what she liked to do, she said – as he was “safe,” but she liked the “scene,” and flirting. We came back in and talked with Frankie. She ordered another drink – and so did we, and we smoked again like 20 minutes later. Drink, smoke, drink. Around 10:30, she suggested that we go somewhere with a patio bar, so that we could drink and smoke at the same time. I suggested the sushi bar across the street, Kyoto Grill, because I knew they’d be starting their reverse happy hour at 11:00. Frankie called his waitress, and told her to meet us there. The 9 asked for our tab, and put down a credit card – her ex’s credit card – which she explained she was to use for “food.” We didn’t argue as she paid for our drinks.

Getting to Kyoto would have been as easy as walking across the street, but this chick insisted on driving. She had left her car – a Cadillac STS – with the valet, and when he brought it around, Frankie and I got in, with me riding shotgun . She tore out of the parking lot and barreled across the street like Mario Andretti, blowing through a stop sign on the way. When we pointed that out, she explained that “it’s private property,” so she didn’t have to obey the sign. She pulled up to the valet at Kyoto about as abruptly as she had departed the last valet, and gave him $20 to park her car up front. Frankie and I looked at each other in confusion.

The bar was crowded and there were no empty tables on the patio. There as one large eight-top with a pair of old ugly people sitting at it. Ugly as they were, they were making out like 14 year-olds. We approached them and asked if we could sit with them. They agreed, and pretty much ignored us. Frankie’s waitress showed up, and was more confused than either or us, as she was sober and had no idea what we had been up to thus far. The server came by and we ordered a bunch of happy-hour sushi – rolls mostly – and another round of drinks.

We ate and talked some more, though I was pretty drunk, so the conversation couldn’t have been very good. At one point, Frankie’s waitress leaned over at me and said “she’s real pretty, but a little crazy . . .” about my date. I had to agree, though the irony of Frankie’s waitress saying it was not lost on me.

Somehow, we ended up talking about music. Somehow, we ended up talking about the Smiths.

“Do you have any Smiths at your place?” She asked.

“Yeah. Smiths, Cure, Depeche Mode . . .” I answered.

“Do you have anything to drink at your place?” She asked.

“Well yeah, whatever you want, pretty much . . . .”

“We should get out of here, go back to your place, drink and listen to music.”

I looked over at Frankie and his waitress. “What do you guys think?” I asked them. They were game. I explained where I lived to the chick, as we left. Then it occurred to me that I lived about 20 minutes away, and she likely wouldn’t find my place, so I made an executive decision: “I’ll ride with you, and Frankie will give me a ride back to my car tomorrow.”