She was sitting in the booth directly behind Trevor while we were eating dinner at a restaurant that his friend works at. As a matter of fact that’s why we were in the restaurant in the first place so that Trevor could see this girl that he likes who works there as a waitress. At first all I could see over Trevor’s shoulder was this complicated head of dyed black and red hair all sticking out in different directions like some train wreck had altered the state of her cranium or she had slept in a windstorm and hadn’t even bothered to casually shake her mane out before coming to eat dinner. And whenever she turned her head to take another drink I could also see that she was sitting directly across from another woman: a rather large bleached blonde with a Russian accent who between issuing sarcastic monosyllable comments was distractedly dragging french fries through puddles of ketchup before shoving them into her equally ample mouth.
But it really wasn’t the bizarre hair that had made me look up it was how loud both of these women were conversing and the various languages they were using, that and at different intervals one or both of them would be on their cell phones chatting to someone else and still holding a somewhat vague conversation of mindless banter that at times sounded like they were talking about us.
And yeah, I obviously suffer from a little bit of that old obsession of self syndrome but this wasn’t the case here because she suddenly turned around and asked if we were from England; sort of surprising Trevor a bit because she whacked him on the shoulder to get his attention, but I had been expecting it and don’t ask me why, but I had. Yet I was still sort of amazed that she turned out to be this interesting looking Asian girl and that she was obviously very drunk and then while we talked and kidded around I found myself thinking that maybe I should get to know her and that maybe we could go out, maybe start seeing each other…
Ok, like what the hell was I thinking? And just why is it that I’m attracted to the most dysfunctional girl in the entire restaurant, who not to mention is shit-faced-drunk, and I don’t drink, so what’s the deal with that? Opposites attract, you say? I don’t think so. Its more along the lines of that I could be in a room full of interesting women and I’d still pick out the most messed up, pain ridden, relationship challenged girl and then knowing this fall madly in love while waiting patiently for her to rip my beating heart out. No? Well I’ve done it all my life so I think that I know what I’m talking about here. I just don’t know why I do it! And yeah, yeah – Freudian slip, low self-esteem, major emotional baggage and all those fucked up behavioral defects that I carry around like normal people carry credit cards.
Though of course at the time none of that was even remotely running through my brain and not to seem too obsessive or preoccupied or even what a lot of therapists label as “being in denial” but I just couldn’t help myself from wonder why it was that this woman thought that we were from England. Like that was really pertinent or even viable as something for me to consider and I have no idea why I didn’t think “run you idiot, run very fast and get far away from her!” Because, like I said it isn’t as if I’ve never had any experience in this dating degenerates business and as a matter of fact drunk strange women with oddly dyed hair used to be my specialty, that and strippers with healthy heroin habits.
Thankfully however Trevor’s friend sort of intervened by bringing the check over to their table and then turning to us she asked how our food was and did we need anything else. And during this interim of silence they paid their bill and then the both of them got up and weaved their way out of the restaurant without saying a word of goodbye. Yet even then knowing how closely I had dodged the “be-my-girlfriend” bullet I still didn’t blurt out a quick prayer of thanks to the gods but instead I absentmindedly stared out the window watching the back of her red and black coif as she staggered across the parking lot to her car. All the while begrudgingly admitting to myself that there had been some kind of chemistry between us as we had joked and maybe that’s why I had entertained these thoughts of evoking the “R” word, that great big scary relationship word, in my life again. But how hard is it to pick up drunk girls anyway?The really hard part is when the two of us wake up and no one’s drunk anymore and just maybe the chemistry that I was feeling was merely C2H5OH, otherwise known as Ethyl Alcohol, and having run its course and evaporated as sooner or later we were gonna be left alone with each other undiluted, unadulterated, neat, no rocks!
And what? I’m so bad at deciphering whether or not there’s the potential for something other than ineffectual interactions that I’ve lowered my standards to the easy lure of intoxicated women that notice me first before I’ll actually engage in a conversation, let alone start to think of hanging out on a less than casual basis? Ok, so like I said it’s a tried and true formula left over from the old days and you know how hard those old habits are to kick. Only in reality there’s a million of these type of encounters and seemingly incongruous rendezvous that happen to me on a daily basis, which nine out of ten times I chose to ignore or write off as too vague to consider following through.
Like the girl who works at the coffee house down the street from my apartment who I flirt with every morning who’s calculated stroll and resulting shimmy sends shivers down my spine. Or there’s this woman that I see almost every Friday night and by see I really mean just see because she sits across the room from me at this Artist and Writer’s meeting that I go to every week and she’s probably one of the most beautiful women that I’ve taken notice of in a long time and I’m totally attracted to her. But the reality is that I’ve never even said hello to her, well, that’s exaggerating a bit because I have said hello. But that’s about all I’ve ever said and why I don’t talk to her or ask her out? I have no idea? Maybe its because I see her there with her friends and what appears to be her boyfriend and figure that she looks happy and just what could I give her that’s better than that? Only if that were true then why do we steal glances at one another? Why does she get as weird as I do when we’re close together and we just might have to converse? Why don’t we treat each other like we treat everyone else at that meeting?
And I could go on and on describing all the women who reside in more than my thoughts at the very edge of my life – but what’s the point? Especially if I don’t follow through and actually go out with any of them! But I guess that in truth I’ve just become too picky and I find myself scrutinizing every detail and behavior like I’m gonna marry them or at the very least live with them forever and unlike my younger days I seem unwilling to let go of even the slightest perceived flaw.
However this internal argument of mine is moot at best if indeed all of my perceptions are as jaded as I am and what if not one of these women that I have so boldly eulogized or dissed even realizes the warped thoughts that are revolving around in my head? Am I so lost as to think that they even remotely find me attractive in return? Or am I the only one that manufactures intimate encounters out of the everyday interactions that we unwittingly commit?
Leaving the restaurant we walk out into the night air with the smell of the ocean in the breeze crossing the same parking lot that not half an hour earlier I’d watched my future ex-girlfriend with the disheveled hair saunter across in an inebriated gait. Only after getting into the car Trevor turns to me and says “for the first time in my life I didn’t do the wrong thing, I didn’t go home with that whacked out Asian chick, but you know? The chemistry was there!”
Driving through the fog on the way home I can only wonder: “Is it all just my imagination?”