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Marty’s Half Dozen: Chapter 3 part 1 — By Jill

The funniest things...

There was a tree I used to climb when I was a kid. I haven’t thought about that tree in years.

I wallowed in a bubble of nothing. My eyes closed, I focused on the cold air of my breath and leather-like-plastic of the steering wheel. There are moments one has to remain ignorant of…for at least a few minutes. Because once you peek around the corner of the unknown, you’ll understand the reality of the situation. A reality where your whole life will change. So instead I lingered in ignorance.

After what seems like hours, the wallowing becomes uncomfortably hot. Like a furnace left on all night, but you’re just too exhausted to get out of bed. There’s a knocking. Not the patterned *knock, knock, knock* *knock, knock, knock* but an incessant rapidity and increasing intensity. “tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, pound, pound, pound, pound, pound, pound” I never realized it, but those are all onomatopoetic.

“JILL!” I hear, muffled, but emphatic. “JILL!”

What…who knows I’m here. I don’t even know where my glasses are. I manage to swat my arm completely missing the door handle. My knuckles land somewhere between the locking pin and the window. The glass is so cold. Too tired to swat again, I work my finger tips around the locking pin. It’s so hard to get a grip, even once my fingers wrap around it, I can’t press them into a grasp.

“JILL, YOU CAN DO IT.”

I swallow. That’s painful too. I have to take a breath or two before I try it again. I try to pull the pin one more time, but instead I give up on manual labor and it occurs to me to drag my hand to the automatic door lock. Rounded and grooved at the ends, of course the first time I press it I relock the car. I then try the other direction on the switch. Immediately a gush of freezing wind and the smell of fireplace overwhelms my senses.

“Jill, you’re going to be okay.”

A warm hand cups my chin. Then moves to my forehead. Finally I feel a forefinger and a thumb pry open my eyelids.

“Jill, can you see me?”

I squeeze my eyes shut. It can’t be…what’s…Marty doing here?

Too be continued…(more regularly)

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2013 in By Jill, Marty's Half Dozen, Uncategorized

 

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The Jackass — By Jack

Out of control.

Speeding down Van Nuys, Marcy demanded Donovan stop for the yellow light. Her Mini Cooper came to a halt so suddenly, I’m sure the tire tracks will be scorched into the boulevard for at least a decade. I quickly became fascinated by Donovan’s recklessness. In my life I’ve always been analytical and careful. Careful of my safety, careful of other’s feelings, careful…of well everything. And this guy seemed to be the antithesis of that. I had to take a closer look at this man/boy who represented everything I was not. I guess that’s how I ended up in his girlfriend’s car quite possibly endangering my life.

Marcy is a host at a bistro I managed to get a job at. People from work were supposed to meet up at this bar after the shift. But as usual I ended up there too early, so I went to a nearby In-N-Out. The minute I walked in, I heard someone call out my name. It was Marcy. The relaxed eyelids and blithe smile was starkly opposite to her usual demeanor and thus a dead giveaway that she was stoned. Sitting with her was her boyfriend Donovan and his friend Johnny. Donovan instantly engaged me and asked if I wanted to smoke out with them. I figured, why not, and got my burger to go. In the time it took me to get my burger Donovan managed to connect with me on our east coast roots, get Johnny to scarf down his two burgers for the sake of expediency, and jumped behind the register counter to grab me a cup of water and give a high fives to three of the employees. On our way out we passed two cops. Donovan gave them both a high five then decried “You know what I always say? Don’t shoot ’em, fuck ’em.” Once the police officers were safely inside, he climbed onto the trunk of their squad car, posing, and had Johnny take pictures on his iPhone.

I was ambivalent, torn between running as far away from this guy as possible and trying to figure out his secrets of confidence and charm. I could see Marcy’s frustration growing. She wanted to check the bar to see if anyone from work was there and Donovan insisted they head back to the apartment to smoke more weed. He told her to check the bar while he grabbed the keys to her Cooper from her purse. When she emerged from the bar, she found him tearing up the parking lot driving wildly in her car. Mack had always said that girls were attracted to dangerous guys despite their best interests. I had always rolled my eyes at the notion, but here was the proof. Continually Donovan dismissed Marcy’s wishes for wildly foolish and sometimes dangerous choices. His only reprimand? A slight nagging, immediately ignored. And as quick as I was to judge Marcy, there I was, getting in the car with him. Who was this guy?

Back at the apartment, he smoked me out and then danced crazy to Afrojack’s Rock the House. Marcy played with her dog and Johnny tried to dance too. But Donovan just danced harder putting Johnny in his place. I got a text from my coworkers informing me of their arrival at the bar. Marcy immediately wanted to return so Donovan rolled a joint for the road. Immediately my mind jumped to the probability of culpability should Donovan’s driving get us pulled over and the joint was found. I figured, should such a thing happen, one joint on his person probably wouldn’t get me into much trouble in California. But I was aware of the risk.

But here’s where my concept of Donovan radically changed.

Up until this point I saw a wacky, gutsy, foolish and possibly overcompensating individual with an abundance of charm. A dangerous combination? Definitely. But the danger was from a place of foolishness and youth. Something that hopefully, life’s hard lessons could correct. Then I saw something else. As we got back into the car. Donovan takes out the joint and hands it to Johnny. “Hey buddy, can you hold this?”

Could it just be that the joint wouldn’t have been safe tucked behind his right ear? Or maybe it would have been crumpled in his jacket pocket? Possibly. But the way I saw it. Should he get pulled over, the joint wouldn’t be on his person, it would on his friend’s. That’s then I decided the jackass was an asshole. He would never listen to Marcy’s nagging to slow down. I was, now, actually concerned for the pedestrians as the Cooper turned right in front of them crossing the intersection. And later that night I would sympathize without surprise when Donovan would decide he was too cool for the bar and leave Marcy to cab home.

Donovan’s self-centeredness bordered on psychopathy and I was glad he was gone. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t fascinated by him and what he was able to accomplish with his ability to influence those around him.

–Jack Out

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2012 in By Jack

 

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Ask Mack! — By…c’mon, figure it out.

The guide.

One day I’m sitting in the apartment, wasting time watching Hulu. I noticed I left an OkCupid tab open and to my surprise found a half dozen IM messages from some chick.

PANDAmonium: So I’ll be up front- I’ve come on to okc to ask for some feedback

PANDAmonium: on a guy matter

PANDAmonium: also im NOT a phone sex operator or scammer

PANDAmonium: yes i am serious about all these things

PANDAmoniumWhy the hell am i messaging you? I put u on my faves list apparently some time ago (I add people who seem interesting) so no, I don’t know u in person

PANDAmonium: and im not wacko despite the out-there ness of this message!

Should I have ignored this crazy person? Yea probably. But a mix of curiosity and sympathy with a dash of inflated ego proved I would choose otherwise. 

BigMackAttack: I was afk. (away from keyboard, for those unfamiliar with internet abbreviations) What’s up?

PANDAmonium: you responded yay! Okay so can I get ur opinion about this…thing?

BigMackAttack: shoot.

PANDAmonium: It’s kinda complicated…stupidly so…but I’ll try to not give alllllthe little details…and perceived details etc. So i had this guy teaching improv — I took his class — Now he’s about 27 and on a side note has a gf (who is also a model) — I’m 98% sure there have been messages, signals, communication if u will- that indicates he wants to fuck me

BigMackAttack: …okay…

PANDAmonium: I want to….plus im into him (as in like him…and on a side note im a feminist so the whole gender divisive women=all emotions men=all sex Annoys the crap out of me…I don’t subscribe to it)

BigMackAttack: You’re not really making any sense…

PANDAmonium: Which part?

BigMackAttack: Like all of it.

PANDAmonium: I’m also almost 100% sure at least 2 people if not more know about this thing we have (aka nothing really…but something u know?)

Why am I still talking to her?

BigMackAttack: Okay. Hold up. Let me ask you some questions. See if I can’t sort some of this out.

PANDAmonium: allright

BigMackAttack: So this improv instructor, have you and he ever hung out outside of class?

PANDAmonium: Well not just the two of us — we’ve been to this bar with ppl from class

BigMackAttack: Does he ever talk to you specifically at this bar?

PANDAmonium: well not like to just me…

BigMackAttack: What is your physical interaction like?

PANDAmonium: physical interaction?

BigMackAttack: Like does he ever put his arm around you? Ever tap your thigh or arm when he makes a point?

PANDAmonium: this one time I gave him a back massage!

BigMackAttack: Oh! That’s big. How’d he react to that?

PANDAmonium: he gave like a high pitched squeal he wasn’t expecting it — he was talking to another girl… but he WAS BEING FUNNY!!!

BigMackAttack: How long have you known him?

PANDAmonium: bout 6 months

BigMackAttack: Shhhh…yea…It’s not looking…

PANDAmonium: k k I know, but so like he does an improv show after class and I go to them a lot and he knows I go to them a lot

BigMackAttack: …

PANDAmonium: and like a lot of his scenes are about like marriage or like one of the topics was “proposal”

BigMackAttack: I think you might be reading into–

PANDAmonium: But he like looks at me when he does them!

BigMackAttack: So there’s eye contact.

PANDAmonium: not exactly, but he turns his head this way, and its towards me and one time he held his hand with his finger up over his forehead…so it was like…you know…?

BigMackAttack: A penis?

PANDAmonium: well yea…and this other time—

BigMackAttack: Okay I’m going to stop you here. Have you ever been on stage before? Like a real live performance?

PANDAmonium: in high school I did Grease

BigMackAttack: You remember those light?

PANDAmonium: yea?

BigMackAttack: How well could you see specific people in the audience?

PANDAmonium: oh 😦

BigMackAttack: All the stuff he does in improv, you have to discount. You’re wasting time if you think you can dissect any of that. If you and this guy aren’t talking outside of class or his show, I’m not seeing any evidence.

PANDAmonium: but theres this energy

BigMackAttack: Doubtful. But here’s a way to test for sure. You have a monologue you’ve been working on, I take it?

PANDAmonium:  not really

BigMackAttack: Wait, you’re an actress right?

PANDAmonium: well, yea but I do improv

BigMackAttack: Get a monologue. Like yesterday. Once you’ve got it memorized, go reserve one of the rooms in the drama building, ask him to help you with it. If you two spend the whole time working on your monologue, he’s not into you. If you two get distracted talking about each other, if you feel that chemistry, then you know.

PANDAmonium: That’ll work?

BigMackAttack: You kidding me? You’ve any idea how many times girls asked me to “work on a monologue” with them?

PANDAmonium:  *O_O*

BigMackAttack: Be careful, though. If he has a girlfriend, you might piss people off or end up with a bad rep. If it were just college, that’s be one thing. But, this is the theatre world. You’ll see these people long after you graduate. I guarantee it.

PANDAmonium: didn’t think about that…thx

BigMackAttack: np

PANDAmonium: feel free to message me if you ever wanna ask me something or if you want my number…

BigMackAttack: That’s okay.

Mack Landers

–Mackified for your entertainment

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2012 in By Mack, Dating

 

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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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Another ending — By Mack

She doesn’t even use the recycling bin.

It was a few months ago.

We’re walking back to the apartment. There’s all this tension. The conversation is awkward and flat. Somethin’s up. Somethin’ she needs to say but either doesn’t want to or doesn’t want to deal with the fallout. I’m 98% sure she’s about to break things off.

I’ve felt this coming for about 3 weeks. Last week I crossed from suspicion to being pretty damn sure. The change in the texts, that’s a big red flag. When you first start, they’re like Christmas presents. You’re damn hungry for them. Over time you relax, but they still got that hint of excitement. That immediacy to respond, when that goes, then you know you’re in trouble. Granted, people get busy. Involved. They’re “going through something.” But if they’re still into you they’ll find a way to get back to you. They’ll give you an “authentic response.” Not a cookie cut one. And the divide grows from there.

We’re a block from the apartment. 98% sure. It’s funny because there’s still 2% of me that’s still in denial. Maybe it is all in my head. Maybe she really is going through something. For some stupid reason I think that if I get her back to my room, get her in my bed, I can somehow fix it. I don’t know, remind her of the physical connection? Maybe I just want her one more time.

Then she stops. She looks down. Brushes her hair out of her face. Then looks up at me. It’s this moment, this second, where I’m sure it’s coming. But it hasn’t happened yet! She’s still mine! This look is coming from one place, the place of her being my girlfriend. When she opens her mouth and says what she gonna say, it’ll be from somewhere else. Foreign. Independent. And I won’t be welcome anymore.

My mind has jumps to a month ago. The last “good” time we had together. I say good, I mean fun. I had already started to figure the break up was coming. But it was something I could still fix back then. We’re outside the hospital, playing like 6 year-olds along the fence of this closed cafe. Her eyes were so different then. Filled with…I don’t know…some kind of wonder. It was like she was drinking me in.

She hops off the fence, grabs my hand, runs across the street demanding we lie in the grass. The thought of an ant or spider crawling on makes me roll my eyes. As I light my cigarette, I wonder if she’s too young for me. But it’s too late, she pulls me down. She gives me that look again. It makes me feel like some sort of diamond. Girls don’t usually make me feel precious. It is a damn sweet memory.

In the now. She begins to speak. The thing that I hate, is that what she’s gonna say, it changes that memory. Like, corrupts it. Making me question it. For a while, I just assume it was a lie. How could she be so damn in love with me then and now…nothing?…”thanks for playing, here’s a copy of the home game.” I’ll eventually figure it was a misunderstanding.

She says the words I know she has to say. All of a sudden I’m so damn hot. I glaze over a bit. She talks. When I was younger man I might have pleaded and begged. When I was younger. but not quite that young, I might have attacked her. Been vile. If I did truly feel like she was the “one” I might lay it all on the line pouring my heart out. But deep down I know she wasn’t. At least not from our relationship so far. What’s funny is that I really wanted her to be the “one.” But I’m starting to believe I may not be capable of feeling that for anyone. So instead of all those other actions, I just…comply.

We reach an understanding. As much of one as I think we can reach. And we have that goodbye kiss. That take in all and everything you can. It is a mix of sweet familiarity and the pain of euthanized hope. I feel her tears on my cheek as we pull away half an inch. Just breathing, thinking, feeling. Lingering in hesitation to let go. That uncomfortable heat returns. It’s an anxious feeling, but I stomach it for as long as I can. We eventually
we do let go and slowly back away from each other.

Thank you’s and pleasant words are exchanged. I ask her what she’s going to do. She says she’s gonna stay at a friend’s tonight. Then I clarify, I mean with the roommate situation.

“I’m moving out.”

“Gonna go to Brooklyn or somethin’?”

“Actually, I’m going to move back to Seattle. I’ve been thinking about leaving New York for a while.”

So long…

It’s the 2nd gut bomb of the night, but I didn’t see this one coming. I figure it’s for the best. I watch her leave for her friend’s for the night. There a good breath of relief. The anticipation of doom is finally gone. But of course I’m sad and somewhat angry. But mostly sad. I’ll miss Jill.

-Mack-ified for your enjoyment.

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2012 in By Mack, Dating

 

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Marty’s Half Dozen Chapter 1 — By Jill

This one’s next to the bathrooms.

Well almost a week passed by and I had figured that my dreams of working at Wild Child Wings were never going to be more than dreams. Then, yesterday I get a call. It’s Gus.

“Jill? You wanna come in tonight?”

No second interview, no background check, no come down for an orientation and to fill out some paper work. Apparently, I’m on the schedule now.

“We’ll need you at 5:30.” Click. It was already 4:45. I rushed down to the secret Eden of Pioneer Square getting there just in time. When I opened the door Gus was on a ladder fixing one of the ceiling’s hanging fan/lamps.

“Finally, you’re here. Go get changed and I’ll show you the ins and outs real quick.” Changed? He didn’t say anything about a uniform. Maybe there were shirts in the back. I took off my leather jacket throwing it on a nearby bar stool. Doing so revealed my naked arms as I was only wearing a tank top. I was about to head to the back when Gus exclaimed, “Great, you’re changed!” He scuttled down the ladder and led me around the bar top.  “Wells are down here, top shelf up here, everything in between is everywhere in between.”

He squatted down and unlocked the coolers. “Domestic beers and white wine are in these low boys. European and Russian beers are in the far one. Ciders, sparkling water, and non-alcoholic beer are in the behind the breakage bucket.” He pointed to a bright red bucket.

As I tried to quickly develop a mnemonic device, he sprung up and continued his rapid fire explanation of locations. Simple syrup here, fresh mint there, old mint for mojitos in the grocery bag, lemons, cherries, olive juice, etc… “You’re familiar with Aloha, right?” he said pointing to the touch screen computer. “Umm…” I started to reply. But then he cut me off, “It’s pretty much like any other computer system. Just don’t run anyone’s debit card twice by accident. We open in 10, but it won’t get busy for another hour or so. I’ll be in the back fixing an air duct. Training number is 123, if you wanna practice ringing stuff in.” He picked up and collapsed the ladder. “Oh one last thing. The owner might stop in tonight.” He smiled, gave me a playful salute, then was gone.

The owner? Fuck.

From this…

I pulled out my iPhone and downloaded a cocktail mixing app and tested making a few drinks. People steadily started to come in one by one. Luckily they mostly wanted the beers on tap. Then just as it started to get busy this one guy came in. He was an oaf of a man. Could easily play the disgruntled neighbor on any 90’s sitcom. He elbowed his way into a bar stool and snapped at me. I was worried he might be the mysterious owner.

to this.

Even though I was pouring three beers, he snapped three or four more times for me. “Honey, I’ll have a Negroni on the rocks. And make it strong.” If he was the owner I didn’t want him to see me cheat on my iPhone and I was pretty sure I had made one earlier. I figured I’d fish for some information.

“What whiskey do you want?”

To which he replied, “Whiskey? Really? Does Mike know he’s employing bimbos who don’t know their drinks?” I didn’t know how to reply. My heart was beating like crazy. He wasn’t the owner, but I was sure he’d be telling him. Before I could calm myself down he snapped again, “I asked you a question, tuts!”

More and more people were coming in and crowding around the bar. I couldn’t remember which beer I had poured in which glass before the oaf started talking me. I couldn’t remember whose debit card I had just taken or if I’d even run it already. Hell, I couldn’t even remember my code to enter drinks on the computer. It was my worse than my worst waitmare.

“I’m sorry. What tequila did you want?” I guessed again.

He leaned back slapping both hands on the bar. “Wow, who’d you blow to get this job?” The world around me started to go silent. I could hardly breath. The oaf continued to lambaste me. “You know how long I’ve known Mike? I helped him build this place. When he hears that flat chested stoner chicks are running this place into the ground–”

Suddenly just before I was about to collapse, a soft spoken phrase from a bar fly on the 3 stools down cut through all the clamor and ravings of the busy bar silencing the asshole oaf’s rant.

The Stranger I would come to know as Marty.

“I think you mean Mitch. Not Mike. And he didn’t build this place. He bought. And just because the guy comped you a plate of wings opening weekend doesn’t mean you’re friends.  Now stop trying to scare the girl into giving you a free drink, let her get back to work.”

The man was soft spoken, late 40s or early 50s. He wore a light brown trench coat, glasses, and had long-ish white hair. Like how Jack’s hair is. He had a calm and confident ease and a troubled smile. And bore a slight resemblance to the actor Bruce Davison.

At this point, Gus had returned and noticed something was amiss. “Is there a problem here?” he inquired. The oaf starred locking eyes with the stranger. Then the oaf glanced at me and finally turned to Gus. “Yea, this yutz in bartender’s clothing–” but the stranger wouldn’t let him finish.

“Ralph’s had a few too many again. He’s bothering me and he’s kept this lovely creature from making drinks for anyone else.”

The oaf, Ralph, started to defend him self, “Where the hell do you get off? You think you’re so much better than the rest of us?” But Gus put his hand on Ralph’s shoulder. “Is this going to be a repeat of Cinco de Mayo?” At that, Ralph finally relented. “You know, this place has gone to hell since you took over, Gus.”  He got off this bar stool and headed out with Gus following him out.

“It’s okay. Take a breath. It’ll all come back.”

He was right. I remembered which beer was which, and served them. I went back to the computer to find a credit card receipt printed ready to be torn off and delivered. The rush died down and everything calmed.

“Sweet vermouth, Campari, and gin.”

“Huh?”

“A Negroni is equal parts sweet vermouth, Campari, gin. And an orange slice. But even if you’d have known that, Ralph’d still have told you, you made it wrong. He does that to all the new bartenders. Then he trumpets he knows the owner. Word of advice. If anyone says they know Mike or Mitch, they’re full of it. Mitch’s friends call him The Pearl.”

“Thanks for your help back there. How about a Negroni? On me of course. You can tell me if I make it right.”

“Thanks, but no thanks. Just a half dozen of the hot buffalo wings. Less cooked. I don’t like them crispy. And a club soda with lime.”

“You sure?”

“Absolutely.”

“What’s your name stranger?”

“People call me Marty.”

“Well Marty, Jill. Pleased to meet you. Maybe I can get you a couple of extra wings.”

—And that’s how we got the term Marty’s Half Dozen.

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2012 in By Jill, Marty's Half Dozen, Restaurants

 

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Maybe I Shouldn’t Have — By Mack

What’s a guy to do?

I’m no stranger to my dick getting me into trouble, but rarely do I really regret it. I met Felicity (not her real name, but I call her so because she resembled Keri Russell from that show) at a B/Arcade in Brooklyn. If you’re not familiar with the B/Arcade scene, it’s old arcade games and a full service bar. What could be better than video games and drinking?

I noticed Felicity over by the air hockey table. She was playing her friend in a pretty fierce and vicious battle. I’d never heard of life or death air hockey before. When she finally got the winning shot she raised her arms in the air, screamed “Yes!”, then pointed at him declaring “You are my BITCH!” My instant thought was, This Chick Is Awesome. Too bad she’s with someone.

But then I heard her friend cry, ” I can’t be your bitch, my girlfriend is going to be so mad at me.”
“That’s okay, I can loan you out on weekends and bank holidays.”
Bam! So I walked up demanding to play the winner.
“I don’t know. Can you handle emasculating humiliation?” she said with a smirk.

There’s something about physical activity when you’re seducing. Maybe it’s that it gives her mind something physical to focus on rather than judging you and your advances. Maybe getting the body involved speaks more than the mouth.  And maybe it’s just that the two of you are having more fun than you would be if it where up to the back and forth talking at a bar top. Whatever it is, it’s a Godsend.

Yes she beat the crap out of me. I think the final score was 14-1. But over the course of humiliation I learned that she was into all sorts of obscure crap that I’m into. We’re both actors. The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh is our favorite play.  We’re both left handed. And our drink is a Patron Sour.
We sat at a table talking we learned even more commonalities. As my leg brushed her thigh, her leg didn’t move. The initial physical escalation had begun. Then she chimed, “I’m kinda disappointed. There’s no Street Fighter. No Mortal Kombat.  He’ll I at least expected there to be a DDR machine.”
At this comment, my jaw hit the floor. I mean wow, right?
“You couldn’t beat me at any of them.” I declared.
“You wanna prove it?”

Fun to be had.

And at that we were off to my place. But no Mortal Kombat or DDR was played. Pretty much right when we got back I went in for the kiss. But here the thing…it was the blandest most unexciting kiss I’ve ever had. Did I stop? No. We proceeded to my bedroom and things continued to escalate. Every step of the way was mundane and uninteresting. No spark whatsoever.  I could tell she was enjoying it as little as I was. Even my Mack-patented moves did nothing for her. But at that point, what do you do? Say, “Hey this isn’t really working for me?” I mean I guess I could have. But how awkward would that have been?

Eventually we just ended up cuddling for a bit until she said, “If I stay like this I’m going to fall asleep.”  As she left I wanted to say, “Hey I know this didn’t really work out but I really do like you as a friend. I’d still like to hang out.” But if it’s a sensitive situation. If I come off as she didn’t do it for me, then I’m an asshole. So I said nothing.

After she left I got the obligatory “Had a good time” text. But that was it. I tried to keep up communication. A joke about us being left handed. Invited her to see the new Martin McDonagh movie Seven Psychopaths. But I never heard from her again. I had more in common with her than any of my guy friends. Sucks.

–Big Mack Attack…I guess.
 
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Posted by on October 19, 2012 in By Mack, Dating

 

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Wild Child Wings. — By Jill

It just doesn’t make sense.

There are essentially two places where the douche bags of Seattle hang out on Friday/Saturday nights. Belltown and Pioneer Square. Neither one under normal circumstance would I consider taking a job in. Except it’s not normal circumstances. My father wakes me up in the morning declaring “daylight’s a-burning, Jilly.” My mother enters my room randomly to find old dresses that she has decided now live in my closet.  And if I come home later than 10:30, the dog, Mordecai barks upon my entrance, waking the both parents up. I need to move out. And in order to do that, I need a job.

And that, my friends, is why I found myself standing outside Wild Child’s Wings in Pioneer Square. Mere blocks away from hobo-tent-ville on one side and the International District on the other (at least Pink Gorilla isn’t far.) I arrived for the job interview to see cops breaking up a knife fight. I figured I wouldn’t get the job. I don’t know how to bar tend. I lied on the Craigslist response.

Despite the rustic and dilapidated surroundings, the interior was surprisingly large well maintained. I expected a dive-y sports bar. The type with one pool table that either wasn’t level or the felt had been scratched to shit. Perhaps a jukebox that only played Johnny Cash next to the Deer Hunter Arcade game and a touch-screen gambling machine featuring black jack/bejewled knock offs at the far end of the bar top. But no. Wild Child Wings felt like a cross between a quaint English pub an Italian stone garden. On one floor it had leather couches, book shelves, and wooden barrels. Then in the basement cobblestones floor, a water fountain, and (fake) torch lighting. I simply couldn’t believe it. What a terrible name for such a beautiful awesome place!

The email instructions told me I’d be meeting Gus. I had expected a man in a wife beater with a hairy stomach sticking out, his remaining hair combed over his massive bald spot to await me. (Basically Mr. Panucci on Futurama.)

Who I expected Gus to be.

But Gus was actually a bearded, glasses wearing, matured hippy. Think, a tall lanky Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting. In some job interviews, they person gives you the feeling they’re testing you and if you say the wrong thing, BUZZ, wrong! and you’re done. Others follow some script handed down to them by their corporate overlords. You say anything that deviates from a Hallmark dictated professional answer and it’s over. But every once in a while you meet someone who makes you feel at home, like their friend. It’s not about answering right or even proving anything. They genuinely are interested in the experiences you’ve had and what they as a person might bring to the table. They don’t judge (or they do a great job of making you feel like they don’t.) They just share and ask you to, too.

I honestly couldn’t tell you the beginning, middle, and end of the interview. Before I knew it, Gus shook my hand, thanked me. I was leaving the incongruous heaven that was Wild Child Wings and I no idea how or why I had lied to him about 2 years of bar tending experience. I just knew I wanted the job.

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2012 in By Jill, Marty's Half Dozen, Restaurants

 

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Still Stealing Glances — By Mack

So I gotta say, it never ceases to amaze me how the embarrassment of a woman has no limit

What are you hiding from?

Picture this scenario. After a night of dates, games, seduction, however you go about it, you find yourself in bed with the beautiful woman you’ve been chasing for oh so long (or perhaps earlier that night.) You’ve had your fun and now you take a break. You look at her, this lovely and beautiful thing lying next to you (I don’t care how good your skills are) the thought goes through your head, “It’s wonderful that she’s here.” And in this look, you marvel.

But after about a second and a half, her eyes zig-zag, back and forth jumping from your left eye to your right. Then once they center again, they get wide and her eyebrows raise high. “What!?” She asks incredulous. “You’re beautiful. Can’t I just appreciate it?”

At this point, some girls cover their face, some girl roll their eyes, and others simply hit you with the pillow. I don’t know what it is. But for someone reason, after all their work to maximize their beauty (the hours at the gym, the hundreds of dollars on makeup, the trips to the salons and spas and God knows what else) they still get embarrassed. Well what the hell was the point?

Think of it from our point of view. From the moment we notice you, we’re stuck stealing glances. If we look at your for more than .0275 seconds we’re creepy stalkers. We flirt and if we’re lucky we get a date. Yes, we get to look at you then, but we don’t get to look at you. We reference you as we talk about whatever. And we smush our faces too close when we kiss you. Our lips satiated but not our eyes. It’s in that moment, in bed, we feast every other desire. How can you physically be naked, but your eyes, your soul, still be shielded?

Why you gotta be selfish? Not fair.

—Big Mack Attack

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2012 in By Mack, Dating

 

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The Los Angeles Car Wreck — By Jack

Oh the horror!

My first day of PA work on B&^#$@!5 was done. It was obvious I didn’t get the job. But a day’s pay is a day’s pay. No one can take that away from me right? Wrong.

If you’re not familiar with driving in Los Angeles, it is absolutely crazy. Everyone thinks they are a rock star, weaving in and out of lanes as fast as they can, cars nest in your blind spot, and when you exit a highway someone cuts you off on the off ramp because they won’t wait in the mile long line of cars (cause I guess the rules for clubbing is the same for road etiquette, it’s not cool to wait in line.) And to top it all off motor cycles speed between the lanes of traffic. I honestly don’t know how any of them are still alive. That being said, you can understand why avoiding highways can be preferable.

This is good traffic.

So a few miles from my apartment (ironically at the off ramp of the highway I was avoiding) I go to make a right turn. I’m in the far right lane and as I’m making the turn a car hits into me. Fantastic! My poor car is less than a month old. We pull over and people immediately start honking at us. Apparently, from 4:30-6:30, there are no stops allowed.  SO we pull into the narrow nearby parking lot. Before I can even get a good look at the other driver, someone comes out of the flower shop (whose parking lot, I assume, we are occupying.)

“You can’t park here! This is parking for that apartment complex,” The man interjects.

“We just had an accident, where are we supposed to go?” I reply. 

“I don’t care. It’s a terrible intersection. Two to three times a day someone gets into an accident here.”

“Okay, well, just let us exchange information and we’ll be out of your hair.”

The flower shop guy gives me a dismissive gesture and walks off. I turn and the woman who hit me is now in my face, “You don’t have plates, give me your VIN number!” She was referring to my temporary dealer plates, (see new car.)

“Calm down. Let’s exchange insurance.”

“Why do you need my insurance? It’s your fault,” she insists.

As we argued and took pictures of the damage with our phones, I got a good look at the intersection. It was really chaotic and confusing. Yes the right two lanes are both turn only lanes. But the line delineations into the turn of the intersection are really sharp and unintuitive.

Okay, not the actual intersection. But it was just as confusing.

After she finished with her incomprehensible diatribe, I told her I would be right back.

“Don’t you run off! I’ve got your fake license plate!”

I couldn’t tell if she was being sarcastic or stupid. But I didn’t let that stop me from going to the flower shop guy. He was telling some story to two of his buddies. Who hangs out in a flower shop?

“Excuse me, you were saying that you get 2-3 accidents a day here? Can I get your name.”

“Nope,” he replied sharply.

“Excuse me?” I attempted again. 

“You already said that, you’re sounding like a broken record.”

“It’s just–” but before could complete the thought.

“Look, I don’t want to get involved, I don’t want to be a witness, and I sure as hell am not going to testify.”

“Hey, whoa, I’m not going to court over this. I just want to tell my insurance company all the–” One again he cut me off before I could complete the thought.

“Don’t go telling your insurance nothing. It’s going to come down to your word versus hers and you’re both going to end up paying and you both are going to be ‘at fault.’ Just go out and tell that lady, it sucks it happened but agree to pay yours and she agrees to pay hers and have that be the end of it. And don’t be really stupid and call a cop. They’ll write you a ticket just for callin’ em out here in rush hour.”

I stumbled out of the flower shop in a blank haze. I had never not told an insurance company about an accident. Did I have to tell them? Would they raise my rates just for being in an accident?

I looked over her damage and mine. It looked like she just had some paint rubbed on her car from mine. None of hers was structural or even chipped her paint for all I could tell. Mine was the one with the dent in the side. About the size of a baseball. Not massive, but still a shame for such a new car. But the paint job is the real killer.

Small damage. Big headache.

“Look, normally the first thing I’d do in a car accident is call my insurance company. It’s what I’m inclined to do now. But that guy said in this case it may not be such a good idea.”

I relayed the flower shop guy’s words as best I could. And I must have done a pretty good job because she seemed to agree.

“Okay, but if you change your mind be sure to give me a call. Sleep on it, talk it over with your husband and see how you feel.” I affirmed in a reassuring manner. 

With that, we parted ways. It felt like I was now part of a conspiracy. I’ve always done things by the book. How badly could this bite me in the ass? What if she called her insurance without telling me? Would that make me look like I was hiding something? Would that create or insinuate a sense of guilt? Can insurance penalize me for not reporting it? I drove home extra cautiously as I listened to the Obama/Romney debate on NPR.

—Jack Out

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2012 in By Jack

 

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