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Marty’s Half Dozen: Chapter 2 — By Jill

Slow night.

Continued from Chapter 1.

Day 94

“Nothing ever changes, Jill.”

Marty’s lip trembles as he blinks to hold back his tears. I’m terrified. How could a person, so sensitive, so in touch with humanity, turn into this…monster? The bar is silent. Every single person’s eyes are fixed on me.  I have no idea what to do.

Marty breaks the silence. “I’m tired, Jill. Then he commands, “So pour me the drink.”

Day 5

It was a slow Tuesday at work. At first I was relieved as I was finally able to get comfortable behind the bar. But after about four hours I wanted to pull my hair out. There was me and a quiet and silly homeless man spending his “spare change?” money. I had nick-named him Sloppy Joe. I couldn’t help wishing Marty would come in. He and I didn’t really have a chance to talk the other night as I was perpetually in the weeds.

The front door opened and I sharply turned my head like a dog left home all day. But no Marty. Just a young couple. They immediately went to the back then started gratuitously making out. I could have gone over to them to ask them to order or get out, but when you’re working a painfully slow shift, you don’t really want to do anything. So I left them to their public privacy.

In your face!

Eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore and rested my head on the bar top. After what felt like seconds, I was awakened with a startling thud. Indentations in my forearms and cheek mirroring the rivets of the bar top paired with the warm apprehensive tingling sensation of the chest and neck were indicative of an ill-timed nap. I surveyed the bar. PDA couple, Sloppy Joe and…was it…could it…yes! Marty.

He was sitting in the exact same stool from a few nights ago. Black trench coat, hat resting beside him and his briefcase propped open on the bar. That explains the thud. I approached him as he sorted through his papers.

“What’ll it be stranger?”

“1/2 dozen hot buffalo wings and a club soda with lime.”

He ordered matter-of-factly, not looking up from his papers.

“Sure, you don’t want a Negroni?”

“A club soda with lime will be fine, thank you.”

Nothing. Nada. He is a customer. I am an order taker. I was a little heart broken. Maybe he had gotten drunk the other night before he came into the bar. Hell, maybe I had imagined the whole thing to begin with.

“You want those less cooked, so their not crispy, right?”

He gazed up from his papers and took a good look at me.

“And if you don’t want a drink, Can I make it a ‘Marty’s Half Dozen?”

“Why that sounds magnificent, Jill.”

He smiled and went back to his papers.

***

When his food finally came up he put his papers away and we started talking. I told him about New York and my mistakes with Mack prompting me to move back to Seattle. We were interrupted by PDA guy.

“Excuse me. Can we get some service, please?” he demanded.

“Thought you two wanted your privacy.” I quipped.

He sneered then, “Two shots of Patron.”

After dealing with him I went back to Marty. “Can you believe those two? This isn’t a motel.”

“Well, I don’t take to his rudeness, but at least you can be happy for them.”

“What? Why? It’s disgusting.”

“I guess so. But I walk through this city, riding its buses, and with the constant overcast, I find myself surrounded by so much solitude, so many grimaces, and utter contempt. It’s nice to be around someone enjoying themselves.”

“Well it doesn’t make me feel any better. It makes me feel angry. It feels unfair.”

“I know. Believe me, I know. That’s hurt. That’s loneliness. You wonder why love has been kept from you. Rationalizing that luck simply just hasn’t gotten around to you yet. But when you see two lovers there, in front of you, it’s real. Like being picked last for baseball, there’s no denying the problem is probably you. And you sink deeper.

But that breeds something dark within you, Jill. I used to have a friend. She’d  say that we should always feel the joy of others. For the longest time, I rejected that. But I’ve found that she has a point. Something magical happens when you spread the good.

“Sounds like some cheesy after-school sentiment to me.”

“Maybe it is.”

With that he left me a 20 for his wings. “Hey Marty, one thing before you go. You always do the club soda thing. You ever drink?”

“No. Never.”

“Why not?”

“Let’s just say, I lost something very very special because of it. And I’ve been wandering ever since. But that’s a story for another time.”

“And you still, ‘spread the good'”?

“Yes, I have to.”

He put on his coat, packed up his briefcase, gave me a smile, and went over to Sloppy Joe.

“Have one on me.”

Day 94

I’m still terrified, but I stick to my guns. “Marty, if you want a drink, you’re going to have to go somewhere else.”

“No Jill. You’re going to pour the drink. Or you’re next.”

And that’s when it occurred to me. That when the best of us fall, they do the most damage.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in By Jill, Marty's Half Dozen, Restaurants

 

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And now the thrilling conclusion…Quantum Entropy! – By Mack

The conclusion.

Soooo…this post is about a month and a half over due. Whoops. But better late than never, right? For those who don’t remember you can catch up with the preceding saga here (1) and here (2). Otherwise shorter synopsis: cool, smart, and sexy dorky girl (who we will call Quantum Entropy) I had a connection with and was dating.  However there was a faint hint of of something being “a little off.”

When planning a second date, dinner and drinks simply won’t do. It usually calls for something to wow her, or at least inspire fun. Normally I’d have to rack my brain, but with Quantum, I had the comfort to take it easy. We ended up at an improv show a friend of mine works for. I found myself up on stage giving suggestion to the actors. Some of my suggestions  were so out there one of them stopped and said “really?” I tried to get Quantum to go volunteer (by grabbing her hand and raising it myself) but she punched my arm and playfully called me an ass.

Laughter may not actually be the best medicine, I’m pretty sure it’s an aphrodisiac as we were all over each other at the bar.  About a half a dozen drinks later, we’re stumbling around the streets of New York looking for a Boar’s Head deli. I swear it was the only mile in Manhattan without one. We ended up in a Walgreens for a bottle of water when we passed some inflatable lawn furniture. Quantum chimed in with, “You know there are people who are into balloons. Like for sex.” To which I snapped back, “They’re called ‘looners.’ It’s a fetish.” She gave me a perplexed look. “You’re not into that are you?”

I should have said no. I’m not into balloons or any other kinky fetishes.  But there was something that stuck out to me. Maybe it was a suspicion of a closed mindedness I wanted to challenge. Maybe it was the tone in her voice, the implied condescension. Maybe it was the look on her face of perturbed dissatisfaction. I didn’t think she was unattractive at all, but in that moment she was. So I replied, “What if I was?

“I don’t think I could date you,” she retorted.  I just laughed it off.  But I don’t think I ever answered her.

We ended up going back to her place but upon entering the apartment she warned me that her roommate was a little “weird.” The plump (but not fat) middle aged man, named Dirk, sat at his dinner table with a look of dissatisfaction. I tried, in my own charming manner, to engage him. I’m usually pretty good at winning people over, even the socially inept. He just stared at me and answered my questions with short single syllable responses. “Yes,” “no,” and the dismissive”huh.” Quantum grabbed me, ushering me into her room.

“Dirk can be a little creepy, but the rent is cheap.”

“And I’m sure he doesn’t charge extra for watching you as you sleep.” My joke didn’t go over well as she gave me a terrified look. “I’m kidding.”

“I think he might have cameras in here.” With this phrase I’d normally start to question the sanity of my present company. But the Dirk really was creepy. “Let’s get out of here” she suggested.  We took a cab back to my place, eating our sandwiches during the ride. Quantum gave me excuses why she was still rooming with the guy. Being a full time student doesn’t leave much time for work and living in Chelsea isn’t cheap. But anyway you slice it, creepy crazy roommate was a mood killer.

Back at my place we got back into it, but there was something askew.  Maybe it was the fetish comment, maybe it was my suspicions of her paranoia, and maybe the thought of Dirk possibly scheming of ways to kill me and collect my pubic hair. Whatever it was, we both couldn’t get lost in the moment. Suddenly Quantum chimed in, “You know what would be fun?” She pulled out a prescription pill bottle.  “I don’t think I need any Viagra.”

“No, it’s an Ambien. It’s more fun that way.”

“I’m still pretty drunk. Is that safe?”

“It makes it better.”

My powers of deduction and reasoning were greatly diminished at that point. I think we had already each done a shot when we got into my room. But I decided what the hell, down the hatch. And for a good bit it was fun…and then I woke up. As you can guess much of the night is fuzzy. So I don’t remember what I said to Quantum as she was getting dressed to sneak out my door. So the rest of this is pretty much me guessing what we said to each other.

“Where are you going?”

“I think…I think I’m going to go home.”

“What? Why? I was hoping to wake up next to you.”

“I’m not really a cuddler.”

“Are you sure you’re going to be alright? You had an Ambien too.”

“I’ll be fine. I have them like every night.”

“Umm…okay…”

Had I not been super dugged/drunk, I would have been more insistent about her staying. I wouldn’t have been good to go home. Granted I wouldn’t have made her sleep with me if she wasn’t comfortable (I could always take the couch.) I don’t see how should could have made it home safe. Especially with Dirk probably waiting for her. But there’s only so much I could do in that state and holding my head up wasn’t one of them. Quantum walked out of my apartment and out of my life. I think we may have had one superficial text conversation after that. But otherwise that well had dried up.

To start anew.

–Big Mack Attack.  o_O*

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in By Mack, Dating

 

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