So this narrator walks into a bar and orders a drink. It was... um. It was whiskey, I think. Jamison's. The Jaegermeister was later in the evening. It's all kind of fuzzy. Anyway, he gets his drink, and he drinks it, and he orders another, a double this time, and some nachos, because he's forgotten to eat dinner, because, well, sometimes he forgets that sort of thing. And at some point, after the drink is served, but before the food is, he wanders off to the can to take a piss, and when he gets back, there's a woman sitting on his stool at the bar.
It was the last open spot at the bar.
He sighs, then mutters an “excuse me” as he reaches over the woman's shoulder for his drink, and for the nachos, and she says “oh, I'm sorry, is this your seat?” and starts to get up, or at least pretend to get up. Enough to give me a chance to prove that chivalry is still an effective weapon, even when she's not the sort of glamorous and deadly beauty that populates Film Noir.
So instead she shifts the chair over to give the narrator space to stand, and says, “well, at least let me buy you a drink as compensation.”
Things start going fuzzy for the narrator somewhere after the fourth drink, which is about when she decides that we need to do shots of Jaegermeister. “To celebrate.”
“What are we celebrating?”
“Fortune,” sez she, touching glass to glass. “And Change. And a whole fucking new era.”
There's something in the way she says this that should have triggered the narrator's early warning system, but he's distracted by the swell of her breast under her t-shirt as she leans forward for the toast, and he's too busy worrying about whether he remembered to brush his teeth after the hoagie he'd had for lunch to worry about anything else.
A bit later in the evening, a part of him watches in silent horror as he starts telling her about the novel he's writing. She was just being polite, he tries to tell himself. She doesn't give a rat's ass about your novel. But he keeps talking anyway. This is how his few dates have all ended, recently. He talks obsessively about the problems he's having maintaining a consistant narrative voice, and eventually his date discovers that she forgot to feed her cat. And he can't really blame her. Hell, he's even annoying himself. But he can't help himself.
But this one grins, and leans forward to shout, over the noise of the crowd, “I think the problem is you just don't have anything worth writing about.” Which really confirms his worst fears. Not only can't he write, he has nothing to say. Not only that, she's laughing at him. “Don't worry about it,” she yells. “Come with me and you'll have plenty to write about.” She waves the bartender over and settles the tab with a few crisp twenty dollar bills, swallows her last shot and drags me out of the bar with the sheer force of her smile.
And we're in her car, and the old highway beats an even rhythm under the tires, and there's a sign that says “Harrisburg, 30 mi.”
Harrisburg? “Where are we going?”
“To see the birth of a new era. Watch out for cops.”
so. on a scale of 1 to 10, how crappy was that? (1 being just a little crappy, 10 being eye-searingly crappy)
if there were more, would you bother reading it? scathing commentary can be emailed to brni ((at)) kappamaki.com if you don't want to humiliate me publically.