liquid lunches and sparkly afternoons

Ike sat down just as mine and Shelly’s kiss was ending. I kept close to her face, her lips, letting the moment linger a little bit longer. She smiled at me as a tress of her hair fell into her face, tickling my nose on the way down. I then slowly turned to the left to see Ike sitting across from us, with a tremendously goofy-ass grin smeared across his mug.

“Hello kiddies!”

Shelly wrapped her graceful left arm around my shoulders and offered him her right hand.

“I take it you’re Ike.”

He clutched her hand exuberantly, “Ike I am. It is a very special pleasure to meet you.”

I thought for a brief second the fucker was going to try to kiss her hand but he just held it for a few beats longer than what seemed normal. She smiled at him, pulled her hand back and placed it on my lap. I felt my pulse jump. She made polite small talk with Ike, who was brimming over with conversation, and she ran fingers in small circles on the inside of my thigh. I felt completely relaxed sitting next to her and the uneasiness that had been flowing in and out of my consciousness began to dissipate under the influence of whiskey and a beautiful woman. As I alluded to earlier, if there is one thing I do well it is self-medicate.

Ike then looked over at Lenny Kravitz and gave him a nod. “Hey Lenny.”

Lenny was looking at his phone but looked up and gave an almost smile in return. Really Lenny was far too cool to speak to me in the first place but he was polite enough to at least acknowledge Ike’s greeting. Ike took it in stride, as he did almost everything.

“Where’s our waitress?”

I looked over at the bar, trying to find Heidi but instead saw the other girl coming our way – the scary, angry girl.

I started to give Ike a head’s up warning about our server, but then I became curious as to what might happen once the two of them saw each other again. I decided to wait and observe. Sometimes you should just let shit happen.

The scary, angry waitress dropped a plate of something off at the table behind us and then made her way to our table. Ike had his back to her as she approached and stopped next to him.

“Can I get you guys anything?”

She sounded decidedly more pleasant this time with no sign of her previous vitriol, but it was, of course, only latent until her situational awareness caught up.

Ike immediately replied he would like to order a round for us all and was in the midst of turning to face the waitress when a cold pallor of recognition slid down his face, as his eyes met hers.

Her eyes immediately widened, “Holy shitballs – I was wondering how long it would be before we crossed paths!”

Again, the shift in the woman’s tone was instantaneous and chilling. Equally impressive, however, was Ike’s immediate regathering and laconically cool demeanor.

“Good to see you again so soon, gorgeous. I forgot you worked here.”

“That’s funny you remember anything before you went home and fucked my roommate.”

I felt compelled to chime in at this moment as the news that Ike didn’t sleep with this particular girl was somewhat startling.

“Wait a second, Ike – you slept with the other girl, the blond?”

Ike flashed me a quick look that spoke volumes of ‘shut the fuck up‘ and the turned back to the server.

“Look, last night got messy but no one fucked anyone. She passed out.”

“I don’t know if I believe that, especially coming from a guy who makes out with me but goes home with my roomie”

This exchange wasn’t exactly going down in the most subtle of ways. We had several other tables’ attention at this point, including Lenny’s. There was a palpable sense of anticipation. We were all waiting to see what was coming next.

“Katie, I know last night I made a douche move and no amount of boozing can really excuse it. I also know you’re in town for the season from Minnesota and I’m here from LA and we don’t really have the luxury of time for a long drawn out reconciliation. Thus, I propose we skip the unpleasantries and you allow me to buy you dinner at Chimayo after you finish your shift. I know you want to try that place and I have the entire night free.”

Here’s something I may not have told you about Ike – he remembers just about everything. He can be downing cocktails with you all night and the next day recite nearly verbatim the conversations you had the previous drunken night. I wouldn’t have remembered where she was from, much less that she wanted to check out a local spot. You could actually see the ice in her veins starting to thaw.

Shelly’s melodic voice then pierced the  cold war thaw.

“I have an idea, Katie, why don’t you finish your shift and we’ll all grab drinks and dinner? When Ike turned toward Shelly she playfully winked at him and then beamed a beatific smile back at Katie, who was obviously ruminating over the last several minutes.

“Ok – I’m done in an hour. I have a change of clothes in back. So, what the fuck do you want to drink, Ike?”

“Tom Collins.”

“I’ll be right back.”

She was actually smiling when she walked off – well, almost. I was about to congratulate Ike when Lenny spoke up from the table next to us.

“Well played, my man.”

I looked at Lenny and laughed. It was well played indeed.

incredibly loud and extremely drunk

Any time one starts drinking before noon, the time-space continuum goes into an odd state of expedited flux. The passage of hours starts normally but the intermittent seconds composing that passage of time become increasingly shortened with each new round of spirits ordered and imbibed.

The level of flirtation between me and Shelly was also increasing in direct proportion to the volume of our conversation, which was being amplified by the string of whiskey and vodka drinks making their way to our table. Our laughter was increasing in occurrence and decibel. It’s amazing how amusing booze can make the world sparkle. Shelly then left her seat to put her long, sexy body next to mine on the bench seat against the window. Our thighs were touching and we had begun the play of hands emphasizing points on hands and arms, with each emphasis lingering a little longer. We were two magnets, being pulled into one another at a snail’s pace by a force we were unable to contest.

I could see a wayward glance from other patrons who were either eavesdropping on our conversation that fluctuated between the conspiratorial whispers of two people bound to become lovers and the full-frontal flirtatious laughing of two people enjoying the afternoon. I was leaning into Shelly’s ear, telling her about the time Ike brought hookers into my house, when two things occurred. The first was a lone man was seated next to us and the second was the phone in my bag that was sitting between us and the newly seated man began to ring.

Normally, I shy away from ostentation but on a rare occasion something pimpalicious catches my eye and I add it to my personal quiver. My phone is just such a thing. I have a gold handset – a YUBZ gold handset that attaches to my mobile. It is by far the most pimp thing I own. When I reached into my bag to retrieve my phone and pulled out the handset, Shelly began snorting with laughter and immediately cupped her hand over her mouth. Her snort however, was heard round the bar.

Her snort made me laugh as well and in the midst of my laughter I didn’t even check to see who was calling me. I just answered it to find Ike on the other end.

“Yo, sport, where you at?”

“Oh – hey Ike. I’m just out writing.”

I looked over at Shelly and raised one eyebrow to which she responded by making an astonished face of her own.

“It sounds kind of loud for writing, sport. You in a bar?”

“Yeah, Ike, I’m at a bar and I’m with a beautiful young lady who I need to get back to immediately.”

“Right, where are you guys? I’ll join you”

“Not going to happen buddy – entertain yourself.”

There was a pregnant silence on the other end.

“Fine, sport, be a dick. I am just going to head to Easy Street for their bloody mary bar. See ya later.”

Before I could interject he had hung up the phone. I thought about calling him back immediately and telling him not to come here but that would have only made his resolution to come here all the firmer. At least by not letting him know we were here, he might end up changing his mind.

I was staring at the screen on my phone mindlessly when Shelly asked me if everything was okay. I smiled and told her it was fine but that we might have company at some point.

Then the guy next to me asked if he could see my phone. I looked at him for the first time and realized it was Lenny Kravitz.

I immediately said sure and I disconnected the handset from the phone and went to hand him my iPhone but he stopped me.

“No, brother, I mean the handset.”

I laughed and handed over my pimpalicious gold handset.

“Where did you get this?”

“I ordered it online from YUBZ.”

Lenny looked at up at me,”From where?”

“It’s called YUBZ – like Why you busy – but it Y, U, B, Z.”

“Oh. Very cool, man, very cool.”

He then handed me my phone back and thanked me. I smiled at him and put it away. When I looked back toward Shelly, she kissed me softly on the lips. She was a fantastic kisser with lips that felt like they melted into mine.

I had just sort of met Lenny Kravitz and then made out with a beautiful woman so I really wasn’t upset when Ike came walking up to our table.

break fast, break hard

I ran through all the things I might say to Shelly that could either account for or contribute to the reason I left Los Angeles. I speak of LA the way a man might speak of a beautiful woman he loved once in his past. It is that tenderness and longing that cut through any attempts I make to mask the fact that I am a fish out of water.

I looked down and noticed I was unconsciously playing with my glass, spinning it slowly with my fingers. My gaze brought Shelly’s down to the glass as well and then she looked up at me again with her explosively mischievous smile.

“Oh my god! You’re really uncomfortable discussing how you got here! Now I am really intrigued.”

Fantastic. I have managed to pique her curiosity on a topic I wasn’t even yet comfortable discussing with myself. How do I talk to an extremely sexy stranger about the misgivings, the wildness, the desperation and the Caligula style overindulgences that drove me away from my home? I obviously didn’t fully have my own head around it.

I took a deep breath and laughed to myself. “Look, leaving LA was really hard to do but I was drowning under a sea of shit of my own making. I had surrounded myself with drama and gotten involved with a bunch of people and a bunch of things that really mired me in a gray world of blah. I sometimes choose my friends poorly and…”

I was about to expound upon the idea of choosing poorly when a different server, not Heidi, came over to refill our water glasses. Out of a habit bred from my tendency to have salacious and surreptitious conversations, I often pause when wait staff approaches the table. I looked up this time to see the girl I had been talking to last night when I decided to bail and leave her and her friend with Ike. She smiled at Shelly as she refilled her glass and then looked at me. I had my eyes on lockdown, hoping she wouldn’t recognize me. Hope is a shitty thing.

“Holy fuckers, it’s you – Mr. Houdini! Where did you go last night?”

I had to look up now. “I went home. I just hit that wall.”

“Well, good for you. I hope your friend Ike hits a wall too, hard. Tell him to go fuck himself for me, ok? Do you guys need anything else.”

It was actually slightly bone chilling to hear the vitriol brewing inside her when she talked about Ike and then have it tabled completely when she asked if we needed anything else.

“I will, uh, I’ll let him know.”

I locked my eyes back on my glass but could feel both Shelly’s gaze and her smile burning into my forehead. We were locked into a mortal game of chicken, each waiting for the other to flinch or give. I decided to own up.

“Yeah, so that was weird and awkward. I left her at the bar last night with my buddy Ike. I tried to leave Ike in LA but he’s sort of like herpes and tends to pop up all the time.”

“Are you telling me you have herpes, Jackson?”

I looked up and she was on the verge of convulsing with laughter.

“No, but I do have a disease called Ike that I cannot seem to cure.”

Right as I said that my phone, which was in my front shirt pocket, began to vibrate. I had received a flurry of text messages. I pulled out my phone and looked at the screen. It was Alex. He had been laid off from his job and had four months of severance. He had already packed his car and was heading my way to crash for a while.

Two of the reasons for which I left LA in search of respite were now going to be living with me. I put my phone down, face down, on the table and breathed a giant sigh, slouching back in my seat and closing my eyes. I could hear the worry in Shelly’s voice the moment she opened her lips.

“Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, everything has come complete fucking full circle. That was another friend. He is on his way to my place from LA right now. I have baggage – big baggage.”

Shelly’s eyes twinkled at me slightly. “I have a thing for guys with baggage. You could be trouble, Mister.”

“Shelly, how do you feel about getting completely shit-faced during the day with a strange man you just met?”

“As long as you promise not to be too strange, I think it is a great fucking idea.”

I raised a hand in the air to get Heidi’s attention and made the circle motion that often translates into another round. I then picked up my whiskey, gave Shelly a quick clink on her glass and tipped the bottom of my glass to the sky, letting it all slide down my gullet.

“Whatever twisted thing is wrong with you, Jackson Panic, I think I like it. However, if we’re getting drunk then I’m not doing it on wine. I’ll be right back.”

With that, she walked over to Heidi who was already at the bar register, ringing us in another round. They had a quick exchange and Shelly began to walk back to me. I studied the elegant grace with which she carried herself and then marveled at the fact that I always tend to drown my troubles in women. Ironic then that most of my troubles start with women. It’s my own vicious cycle.

Shelly sat down and took another sip of her wine. “What will we be drinking to today?”

I thought about it for a nanosecond and then replied, “Today we drink to forgetting yesterday.”

Heidi then arrived with our drinks and we toasted to forgetting and then began day drinking, like a couple of professionals.

easy writer

I put away my laptop and gathered up my power cord. Shelly walked outside and was wrapping herself in a scarf and gloves while I got all my shit together. The power cord, of course, was not being cooperative and so I ended up jamming it into a pocket and hurriedly grabbing my jacket, throwing on a one sleeve while leaving the rest of the coat dangling as I walked to the door.

What was my rush? Why was I hurrying? In a more honest moment I would say that my heart had been broken for the first time in any sort of recent memory and I perhaps was hoping for some respite from my own thoughts. I found memories of the girl everywhere I looked, like ghosts haunting me as I walked around town, and maybe Shelly was a means to exorcise some of them. In my more typical bravo-laden moments I would merely dismiss such questions as self-explanatory given the way Shelly had approached me.

They say the best liars actually convince themselves of their own prevarications. The physiological process of the brain would function identically if one were recalling an entirely contrived story as if one were tapping into an actual memory. Moreover, the more one told a particular lie, the more solid the synaptic connection would be, thus cementing a memory out of a fabrication. Despite all of this, I couldn’t convince myself of any truth other than the actual one. Shelly offered the potential of a momentary lapse of pain in what had been dark days.

And there is a dark days arc coming in which I will gladly recount for you the ways in which a man tries to pry himself from the grim clamps of melancholy, but once again, I defer to a later time.

For now, I happily joined in step with Shelly on the short walk to Easy Street. We chatted a bit about the town and where she lived and I pointed out to her where I lived and then we descended the steps to bar area below the restaurant. They had a fire blazing inside and there were a few scattered families, mostly looking like people in town on holiday for the snow and the ski.

Once the season starts to kick in crowds grow and change. The laid back local vibe is supplanted with a boisterous gathering of people in town to hit the slopes. They ski and snowboard all day and then imbibe heavily at local watering holes. Easy Street isn’t as bad in terms of the noisy post-ski crowd, but it certainly had become louder over the last few weeks.

We found a place along the window that looked out to the patio. Snow storms had shut down any outdoor dining in most places but it was still nice to look out onto the patio and watch the fat snowflakes fall.

The waitress came around, a cute girl I had chatted up in the past, to take our order. She somehow remembered my name and I remembered her’s was Heidi, although we’d spoken only twice before. She commented on not seeing me for a while and I asked if she were still crashing with friends or had found a place. It’s odd how some details wedge themselves in folds of gray matter.

Shelly ordered a glass of red wine and I almost fell in line with her before succumbing to my desire for a stiff whiskey with one ice-cube. Cold days with snow and nothing really to do lend themselves to whiskey more than wine.

Right before Heidi returned with our drinks, Shelly gave me a mischievous look with a Cheshire cat grin blossoming across her lovely face. It evolved into smirk of sorts before she said anything.

“So why is Jackson Panic here in Park City?”

I paused and studied her visage before attempting to answer but right as my lips parted to speak, she expounded upon her initial inquiry.

“Allow me to rephrase – most people come to a town like this to get to the slopes but you don’t appear to me a man too concerned with snow sports. So, if you didn’t arrive here because you wanted to come to a ski town, what was it you were trying to get away from?”

It was a pointed question from someone who barely knew me. I had been kicking around a lot of different things when I decided to move from LA to Park City but hadn’t really considered whether any one of them were something I was running from. Was I trying to get away from something? Or someone?

who’s your daddy…wait, who’s that?

Growing up naturally means a loss of childhood and with that loss comes the accompanying loss of the magic of things like Christmas morning. I remember waking up at the crack of dawn, bursting out of my head with excitement over the toys I hoped to find under the tree. I would be so giddy on Christmas eve, my mother could barely get me to sleep at all. That’s pretty much how I felt sitting in Q’s, playing pool with Jenny, Harley and Ike. Any time a guy thinks he going to get laid he gets pretty damn happy but it becomes exponentially greater when he thinks he’s going to get it on with two girls he just met. That was me, there on the bar stool, with my own personal Merry Christmas taking shape right in front of me in the visage of two nice young ladies who worked at Hooters.

We played a game of pool, me and Jenny against Ike and Harley, and the flirting between me and Jenny began to increase. I’ve mentioned it before, but I do have a mostly dormant conscience that will rear its head from time to time, generally cherry-picking the most inopportune moments to impregnate the situation with moral consideration. I could see in Jenny’s eyes she was infatuated with the young Dr. Christian Reynolds. He had all of my charm with the added bonus of his medical school pedigree and the ability to turn any woman into a doctor’s wife. The problem was he obviously didn’t exist and this usurper of his identity was a far cry from the stable, career-oriented man she was expecting. This usurper was me, a mostly degenerate but affable fellow with a healthy vocabulary and a predilection for dive bars, tequila and easy women.

This dormant fucking conscience of mine looks up and see’s Jenny’s shimmering green eyes and her intentional mix of girl you take home tonight and girl you take home to mom and starts to grouse about it. Jenny was infatuated with a fabrication. So, while watching her walk around the table and lean over to take her shot, realizing a part of the pose she is striking is for my benefit, I was feeling a slight pang of guilt. At the same time, my mostly devious inner-monologue was making the case that she was infatuated more with the Dr. part and less with me, the actual part. That seemed somewhat superficial to my devious inner-monologue and really constituted a wash as far as matters of conscience should go.

All of these thoughts were interrupted by Harley who came and leaned into me, whispering into my ear, “How’s it going?”

I looked at Harley. Harley didn’t have the look of a woman who was out to marry a doctor. The look she was throwing my way was the same I would get from any woman who wasn’t under the false notion that I was a physician. She had a smile that was telling me she and I could have a lot of fun together and the way she winked at me hinted she probably had undressed me with her eyes at some point. Harley was a force to be reckoned with.

“I don’t know Harley. It’s hard to say. I think Jenny has greater ambitions beyond a night of carnal bliss.”

“Yeah, I was kind of afraid of that. She can kind of be that way. At least you and I can still get it on though.”

She laughed an all too knowing laugh and waltzed over to the table to take her shot. Harley was a sex bomb with the way she moved and the way she conducted herself and she was a thrill to watch. Unfortunately, while I was watching her, Jenny was watching me. She got a little jealous and came back to my bar stool with a slight air of petulance. She didn’t say anything to me but she stuck her tongue out at me as she walked my way and then positioned herself between me and Harley. She was making her point pretty clear.

Jenny was definitely being noticeably aloof toward Harley and Harley was the kind of girl who would only then be inspired to agitate and antagonize her friend. In between shots, Harley started putting a full-court press on me, walking up and slinging her arm around me or standing mere inches away from me, giving me a playful poke and lots of come hither smiles. The two girls, the two friends – the two women I had hoped would become the tandem for my menage-a-trois – were at odds with each other.

Ike noticed the budding rivalry for my, or Dr. Christian’s, affections. As with most mild dilemmas I create for myself, Ike took great joy in watching it play out, so much in fact, that he managed to add to the awkwardness building around us. Thankfully his date, Jane, showed up and, after introductions and a quick drink, whisked him off to another bar, leaving me with Jenny and Harley vying for my attention.

Since there were now only three of us, we decided to play a game of cutthroat, which was quite apropos for how things were starting to pan out. With Ike gone, there was even more time for the flirting and maneuvering between shots. Harley had made the decision that the threesome was no longer possible but felt that the night would be salvaged by the two of us slinking off somewhere and getting sweaty naked. Jenny continued her course of saying enticing things while looking very pretty doing it and hinting that we should make plans for a later date – a proper date. I have to say it again, Jenny would make a beautiful wife some day for some guy who was looking for someone like her. I just wasn’t that guy.

Was I more attracted to Harley because she represented more of an immediate gratification? I would be a liar if I said that didn’t factor in but there was more than that. Harley was sexy and fun – she loved to laugh and looked damn fine doing it. She liked the fact that I was a pretend doctor but it was obvious she didn’t care about it the way that Jenny did. Harley was interested in undressing the man, not the job. She took her shot and turned to me, finding me gazing longingly at how incredible her ass looked in her jeans. Her blond and black streaked bangs were hanging over her left eyes and with a quick toss of the head she flung them from her face. While Jenny was setting up her shot, ignoring us for the time being, Harley walked over to my bar stool, splitting my legs and putting her body up against mine and kissed me – not a peck or a friendly hello but a soft-lipped, tongue filled ‘let’s ditch this place‘ kind of kiss. Once again, I was making out in a bar.

When the kiss ended, the gig was up. Jenny stood at the table looking as if she had just been stabbed. There was an anger welling with hurt in her eyes and she would have ripped Harley’s head off if she could. Harley was still facing me, still pressed against me.

“Is she looking at us?”

I nodded and Harley laughed again.

“Looks like it’s just going to be you and me but I think I can keep you entertained.”

It was my shot and it might have eased the tension had I stood up and walked over to the table, but Harley’s kiss and that damn devilish laugh had me so turned on, my cock was at complete and full attention. So, I’m sitting there with the lovely Harley pressed against me and my erection pressed against her. I didn’t feel like modeling my stiffy for the pool playing crowd so I grabbed Harley and started making out with her again. When we finished our second kiss I looked at her and suggested we make a hasty exit, thinking I could use her to help shield my boner. While we had been lip locked, Jenny apparently had enough and left without saying good-bye.

So ended any chance of two lovely ladies in the sack with me, but…

We hopped a cab and were back at my place within minutes. We didn’t stop making out the entire time and Harley was feeling me up like I was an altar boy. We exited the cab, my little member still at full attention, and stumbled to my door. I pressed her against the door and she started removing my shirt before we ever got it unlocked. I fumbled with my key while deeply involved with Harley’s lips and managed to open the door and fall inside just as my shirt was ripped over my head and my pants were undone.

We navigated my living room while never breaking lips and fell onto the bed, commencing with the rest of the disrobing. She asked for music and so I grabbed the remote to the radio while she plied my neck with kisses. There was a Debussy CD already loaded and that would have to do because there was no goddamn way I was stopping to pull out my iPod.

I won’t bore you with a lot of carnal details but our little tryst turned into a flesh filled fantasy of porntastic proportions. Harley may have been one of the sexiest women I have ever met, from the way she walked, to the way she kissed to the way she fucked me senseless. I will say that, deep in the throes of round two, our sweaty bodies fulfilled with each other once already, she got on top of me and began to ride me in a way only my most secret fantasies could have hoped for, my supine body being pulled into hers as she rocked back, bending her torso back over my knees and with an undulating thrust bringing herself back upright. The intensity in her thrusts continued until a low moan began rumbling inside of her and then she started to yell.

“Fuck me Christian! Fuck me Christian!”

Here’s the deal, somewhere in the progress of the night I had forgotten about the false identity. There I was in the midst of having one of the best sexual experiences of my life and this beautiful girl starts yelling some stranger’s name. I had a moment of shock until I remembered how we got to that point and then a lingering cognitive dissonance as the woman I was fucking was yelling someone else’s name. Then suddenly…I was ok with it.

Harley was having a good time. Dr. Christian Reynolds was having a good time and me, I was having a really good time as well. Thus all was good with the world. Harley stayed the night and when she left the next morning I briefly pondered what might happen if I told her the truth but then decided to let it go. Truth would only complicate things at this point.

Shortly thereafter I quit practicing medicine and went into fields less likely to get me laid. I’m sure somewhere my imaginary mother was very disappointed.

one for me and one for me

I’m not going to wax overly philosophical but living is like surfing. There are moments in which you’re just in the line-up, enjoying the scene and then the water starts to move. You paddle for that swell as a wave begins to crest and you take it as far as you can. That’s the general thought behind this particular day. It started just like any Friday in which I have to pour myself into the office but a set came in and suddenly I’m headed off with two friendly girls and one of them has suggested we have a threesome. I had every intention of riding that wave as long as I could.

Jenny and Harley wrapped up their shifts right about the time my world started taking on the unmistakable tenor of just-past-tipsy. Enough beer had gone from pitcher to gullet to drown the most rational of thoughts and we were in the easy slide of inebriation – some more than others. It became apparent we were losing Cliff pretty quickly. He really was nothing at that point beyond a goofy smile with eyes popping wheelies inside his head. He was just about done by six but he had started a little earlier and he drinks a little faster than I do. Ike was his usual self. It’s not exactly easy to tell the difference between drunk Ike and sober Ike. Some people become heaps of worthlessness but I’ve never seen ike regress into a drooling lump of mush.

We plopped Cliff into a taxi and he didn’t put up much of a fight. He started to protest but then had a ‘fuck me, I’m drunk‘ moment and decided to pull the rip chord. The plan was to head over to Q’s, grab a table and some beers and play pool for a while. With Cliff’s exist, that left what would have been a neat four-pack of two girls and two boys, but one of the girls had made her intentions known to me that we were going to attempt the elusive menage-a-trois later that evening. That left Ike as a fourth wheel, which only makes sense in the world of menage-a-trois. I had no real desire to see Ike naked. I have no real desire to see any man naked and when it comes to threesomes, I’m an advocate of the one boat and two rivers versus the two boats and one river variety.

Here’s where I’ll pull back the curtain just a little bit: guy code. It exists but in an entirely fluid fashion and it’s passed along as are many ancient tribal doctrines, via an oral tradition. Some guys tend to ignore it all together and then wonder why so many other guys think they’re douchebags. There is nothing noble about it but it makes our interactions easier and roughly 99% of it deals with cockblocking, or rather how to avoid doing it. It’s applicable in this story because there are two boys and two girls but one of the boys has a shot at scoring with both of the females. This actually is the royal flush of provisions and pretty much trumps any other scenario. Guy code dictated I had position and Ike had to stand down.

When the girls went to go change out of their Hooters uniforms, I broached the subject with Ike.

“Ok Ike, here’s the deal – Harley thinks she and I can talk Jenny into a three-way with us.”

“What?!? No fucking way! Really?”

“Yeah, she just mentioned it to me. Technically she mentioned it to Dr. Christian.”

“Wow, Dr. Christian has a lot more game than you do.”

I have to admit, he was right and that realization was slightly depressing at the time, but only in passing. I had a shot at the Everest of male sexual fantasies. Frankly, I had never been close before and so, even though at 2/3 of the way there we still had the treacherous 1/3 left to go, the near tangibility of it was titillating. I had never consciously aspired to have a threesome but if it looked like it might fall into my lap then I was going to make sure my lap was accommodating.

“Yes, Dr. Christian has game for sure. Thank god I’m his only beneficiary.”

“Ha! Well said, sport. So do you need me to leave?”

“No, I think that would be a little too transparent. I kind of need you here for a little bit.”

“Say no more, sport. Here’s what we’ll do. I will head out to Q’s with you guys and will shoot a text message over to Jane. She mentioned wanting to meet up with us and so it will work perfectly. We can transition to the new spot and get you situated and then I will have the perfect excuse to make a timely exit. Work?”

Guy code – that’s the kind of magic it can work. I had no idea who Jane was but now we had a plan.

“Perfect.”

Harley and Jenny returned shortly, looking far less Hooterish. It was interesting that before when both were decked out in matching orange shorts and white tank tops, Jenny looked prettier but now that they were wearing street clothes Harley seemed more attractive. Both girls changed into jeans and flip-flops, pretty much the fashion de rigeur for west coast beach cities, but Harley’s ensemble with a white blousey thing and her slightly punk hair worked a little better. She gave me another knowing wink when she walked up.

We all jumped into a cab and headed down the street to Q’s. Now Q’s sets itself up as a billiard bar and there are indeed a lot of pool tables to be found there, but the place is better known as a college crowd, or near college crowd, meat market. It’s the kind of place a guy recently graduated from USC might roll into with a polo shirt with the collar up and work some of his douchebag magic and convince a young lady to hop into the BMW he got for graduation and roll back to the apartment he shares with two other guys. I know this because I have been there and done that, minus the raised collar, USC, the roommates and the BMW. However, since Harley suggested we play pool and the options are somewhat limited it would have to work.

Luckily, we waltzed in before the mad rush of Friday evening had started and we were able to procure a table while the girls went to fetch a round of beers. I am a lousy pool player and all the more lousy once I have been imbibing. As I mentioned earlier, we had moved beyond tipsy during our day of drinking but the brief respite while waiting for the girls and then cabbing over to Q’s cleared my head some. A man should have his wits about him if he’s going to try to get naked with two women. That much I was sure of.

Harley and Jenny each were carrying two beers. I felt a little guilty that they had been bringing us beer all day and were still doing it but that feeling of social consciousness was also fleeting. Jenny made her way over to me and handed me a cold mug of suds. I didn’t ask what I was drinking, but merely thanked her and clinked glasses with her in a toast. She never broke eye contact as she toasted and drank. She had beautiful greenish eyes that seemed to shimmer beneath her long eyelashes. Her eyes were playfully dancing around my gaze. She then raised her right eyebrow.

“Sooo…Harley tells me you kind of like me.”

Aha! Already the crafty little minx was whispering like Iago in Jenny’s ear and filling her full of inspiration. I did like Jenny. She was pretty in an all American kind of way. She was the cute girl at your office or the cute girl in your building. She would make a very cute wife for a man much different from me some day. She would probably marry a man like Dr. Christian, which was why she was smiling so sweetly at that very moment.

“Yes, well, Harley is right. I do like you.”

“Good. Maybe I like you too.”

We toasted again, this time our eyes playfully dancing more Lambada than Foxtrot. Then Harley and Ike wandered over and joined us. Harley wrapped her arm around Jenny’s shoulders.

“So what are you two sexy people talking about?”

She winked at me again. I looked at Ike and he winked at me two. It now seemed like everyone was in on the conspiracy except for Jenny, the most crucial person of all but she seemed at the very least amenable to such a suggestion. Harley then handed me the cue ball.

“You wanna break, doc? I was thinking you and Jen against us…unless you want me and Jen against you.”

Jenny giggled. Harley winked at me again and Ike was just smiling.

So far, I was a pretty big fan of Pioneer Day.

finish the damn story!

I received  an email from one of my buddies yesterday asking when I was going to finish the Catalina Island story. That’s a good question. I write most of this stuff in the morning, right after I wake up and brew some coffee. You see, as much as I am ashamed to admit it – I am a morning person.

Some people might view it as a blessing but I have always seen it as a curse. My circadian rhythm is designed to wake me up with the sunrise. It makes no sense to be the kind of guy who will go a roving and carousing until 3am, making beer goggled eyes at girls with mustaches, and also be the guy who wakes up at 5am. You might think there are worse curses but your thinking would be wrong. Ok, I am being melodramatic; there are far worse genetic curses – like being a werewolf.

Actually, now that I consider the proposition I’m not so sure. Would I rather be the guy who roughly once a month looks up at a beautiful full moon, grows an extraordinary amount of back hair and then goes on a killing spree or the guy who can’t sleep past 7am no matter what is going on? They say it’s better to go with the devil you know but what if I were something like the Teen Wolf lycanthrope? If it’s Teen Wolf and I get to surf on top of a van then I’m going with that.

If it’s An American Werewolf in London and I will be perpetually haunted by the decaying corpse ghosts of the people I have hunted down and killed then I might have to reconsider the sleeping late exchange.

I will say that American Werewolf is my favorite ‘horror’ movie though, closely followed by Evil Dead, The Hunger, Grindhouse and anything with Mariah Carey.

My own dark curse has haunted me since I was a little kid, when I would be invited to a sleepover at a friend’s house. I generally only got one invite since, after I left, their parents told them not to invite that damn Panic kid over again and to find friends who didn’t wake up at 6am bouncing off the fucking walls. It was a sad little slumber party-less childhood for me. To this day I don’t sleep with an alarm clock because I just wake up. See? Cursed.

So how do I balance the carousing with my natural inclination to be peppy at dawn? It’s a bitch of a challenge some days. To make matters worse, I somehow manage to find and date women who can sleep until noon. It’s as if I can smell it on them and it gets me hot. So even when I don’t want to, I’m leaving a half-naked girl in my bed while I get up and drink coffee and write down whichever depraved story is banging around in my grey matter. This brings me to another point.

Over beers the other day, another friend mentioned to me how unapologetically male my blog is, adding it’s not very ‘chick friendly.’ I’m fairly certain in the world of propriety and gender awareness, the phrase ‘chick friendly’ isn’t completely kosher. However, what he really meant was that his girlfriend doesn’t like my blog. Fair enough, but I am not really writing it for her. I am writing it for me – sitting down in front of the keyboard, not pulling any punches and letting it boldly fly.

To go boldly – there is an entire generation of us who want to split that infinitive and say ‘to boldly go’ just like Captain Kirk did on every episode of Star Trek, but that is technically incorrect. We were taught that splitting your infinitives is wrong. Not wrong like kicking a stranger’s purse across the dance floor, but wrong as in grammatically unacceptable. However, William Shatner did it and it’s quite likely many of us do it as well.

The funny thing is though that language changes. If you write into the New York Times and let the editor know that yesterday’s story had a split infinitive in it, they don’t care any more. They believe that it has become more than acceptable to split infinitives, like splitting aces in Vegas. Language is organic and changing and so the rules of grammar are protean and scale with the times. The English language is about the most democratic thing we have because it accommodates the masses. The words we use most often will change, a bit like a genetic mutation. Words that reflect being, like ‘am-ing’ and ‘is-ing’ become irregular in conjugation because they permeate the vernacular of the people. In other words, the more people use them the more likely they are to get screwed up.

Now, you wouldn’t really write to the New York Times to correct them because you’re not a dork, but somewhere out there in dorkland, dorks do that. Despite those dorks, I have it on the authority of an editor at the New York Times that the split is now acceptable. Did I write a letter into them, pointing out their mistake? Fuck you – maybe I did. The point is, be like Captain Kirk and ‘to boldly go’ wherever your little heart takes you.

Back to going boldly – a few years back I worked this gig, a sort of brain trust of people who think in a particular way. I was definitely at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of the caliber of minds working there but I was okay with it. However, compared to my co-workers, I was a social fucking genius. You get a room of brainy guys together and the one who can talk to a woman without waxing ecstatic about his nebbish hobbies or non-linear equations is going to be a goddamn Casanova.

There was this kid there named Jeremy and he could have been the poster child for everything geeky. He literally had a slightly enlarged head, swollen mostly right around his well-developed frontal lobe that hovered above his wire rimmed glasses. He had a messy crop of untended hair on his head and was as pasty white as my unsunned ass. You couldn’t have scripted this guy any better – from his awkward laugh to the way you could actually hear data being crunched in his head. He was also a fantastic pool player.

Me? I’m a terrible pool player. There are five year-olds who shoot better pool than me. However, I would often find myself sharing pitchers of cheap beer and shooting pool with the guys after work. One day, while playing against Jeremy, in the midst of him kicking my ass, again, he looks up and makes me a proposition. He would teach me to be a better pool player if I could teach him how to talk to women.

Look, I’m not the most handsome guy and not the most charming, although I have my moments, but compared to Jeremy I was Han Solo. Jeremy’s offer was amusing but I had to refuse. You can’t teach a guy how to talk to women. There are no tricks, or gimmicks or proven methodologies and anyone who is selling that shit is a shyster. The only thing you can do is be yourself and have confidence in who you are. Go boldly.

Actually, I did help Jeremy just a tad. You see, Jeremy was sort of a dick. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Some of the things I have said indicate I might be a dick as well, and that’s a fair assessment, but I am a different kind of dick. However, I’m not going into detail about my dickness because this is about Jeremy. Jeremy was just a dick, to everyone. He was insecure and annoyed that his natural gifts weren’t the kind over which women swooned. He had a very high self-opinion because he was simply brilliant but was angry that being brilliant wasn’t enough to please everyone.

I pulled Jeremy aside and told him he was kind of a dick. Most people aren’t going to like guys who act petulant, entitled, supercilious and dickish, and beautiful women will only like them if they have a lot of money. So, I told him he had two choices: either stop being a dick or get rich. Over the years I have lost touch with Jeremy but my understanding is that he went with the second option. I like to think I helped him with that.

Annnd…what the hell? Am I stalling? Yes, yes I am. The rest of the Catalina story is really long and I have been really busy and right now I am running low on coffee. Thus, and in conclusion, I hope you enjoyed today’s videos and my personal efforts at procrastination.

Today’s lesson – don’t be a dick but if you are going to be a dick make a lot of money. That’s all I got.