At about eleven PM each night I get a phone call from Cake Woman. I will admit that on Friday I was at Grumpy’s partly because I wanted to be not available for once, but of course I took her call, and when Stan and I finished our beers I went home and called her back. Tonight was her Friday night, so she was eager to get out and… have breakfast? I don’t have to be at work until eleven, so I figured having a late dinner of eggs and pancakes would be a reasonable activity for a Sunday night — certainly more appropriate than the previous Sunday where Cake Woman took me out and poured booze into me until she threw up.
Since I am between her home in Anoka and the diner in Saint Paul, she picked me up. It was almost midnight and winter had crashed nose first into the night, driving the temperatures down into the single digits — double negative digits on the Celcius scale. I jumped into her car and buckled up. As we pulled away, I glanced over and noticed bare legs. I shivered involuntarily as my eyes uncontrollably veered down to her gray knee socks and mary janes. I managed to spit out the non-threatening comment that she looked “super cute” before swallowing my tongue in a seisure. Eventually, sanity returned and I gave her faulty directions to Mickey’s Diner. A couple of extra turns later we pulled into the tiny parking lot. I got out, she got out, and I realised that her shoes were even cuter than I had imagined from my glimpses in the dark under her dash. Inside she took off her coat to reveal a tight shirt and cleavage. I focused on the delicious breakfast that was about to enter my mouth, but I still had some trouble remembering how I liked to have my eggs. The food was exactly as I would have liked, and then Cake Woman paid for everything but the tip.
I was dumbfounded and of course my pride took a sock to the mouth, but I gave up my dignity a while ago. I’m broke, I can’t argue. Then she asked if I wanted to get a drink, since there was still time. Do people even have to ask me that? She asked where I wanted to go, and I was still having some rational thought until she said the magic words “billa billa,” which get me every time. We went to Grumpy’s — the very place where only two days earlier I had hung up on her when she said that she was eating all of the peanut butter cups. At Grumpy’s there was karaoke in the next room, which started out annoying and quickly became depressing. Cake Woman was tired from having been at work all day and I was tired from being a lazy bastard all day (and babysitting), and mere feet away was a room full of drunks dancing to other drunks singing Madonna’s hits of the 80s. On one side of the window was a kitschy party full of cool people, and on the other was two people quietly enjoying a drink. The music had switched to the Cure and a large man drinking a terrible American beer was singing. Every time the door opened a little singing and music spilled out. The revelers moved at maximum volume.
I jerked a thumb in the direction of the freakout dancing.
“This is what it’s like to date a fifteen year old,” I said. Cake Woman guffawed. “I mean, uh, when I was eighteen. Seventeen!” I backpedalled. I think that I was eighteen. I meant, though, the sort of impetious fun that was being had — the joy of being silly. Stop looking at me like that! I was still in high school!
Right around the time that I was blushing from feigned embarrassment over having dated Jane, I happened to catch the eye of one of the people in the next room, which was amazing, because they had so much going on, whereas the people in the room with me had only booze to hold their attention, but no one in the room with me was meeting my gaze. The guy in the next room winks and made motions to draw me into the room. I laughed, Cake Woman laughed, then I took a hard slug of my Guinness.
“Those bastards are having way too much fun for the amount of beer that I have had,” I stated. I got another beer.
The next thing that I knew, another guy was making eye contact, and then he pressed his face up to the glass and blew. I half expected him to pick up his shirt and press a nipple to the window, prison style. Then, in an unexpected twist, a lady stood up next to him and gave the window the same kind of love. I laughed, Cake Woman laughed. I took a good pull on the Smithwicks, even though Zach says that it is overrated.
A little later, the cute lady (well, just one of many, but she was probably the cutest) sang Sweet Child of Mine and dedicated it to me. I bolted out of my chair and almost ran in to sweep her up in my arms and kiss her, but she already wasn’t watching by the time I had taken three steps, so the joke would have been wasted. I sat back down. Later, there was more dancing, and the window guy danced for me again. I started to unzip my hoodie, and then the cute girl was all up in my grill (well, as much as she could be with an inch of soundproof and probably bulletproof glass between us). I unzipped farther. Cake Woman buried her face in her hands as I licked my lips. The guy tried to fumble with his sweatshirt, but it didn’t have a zipper, so he was lost. The woman pulled her shirt up far enough for me to see underboob encased in black bra. I had only enough time to think “finally, I’m not drunk when this hap–” and then I lost both of their attentions. I excused myself to pee and slap myself across the face.
At some point in the hour, I had suggested that we join the fun group and maybe do a little singing. Cake Woman declined.
“Those aren’t your real friends! I’m your only friend!” I’m sure that Paul would disagree. I hope that Paul disagrees. Lisa and Stan are exempt because they are my quasi-family and totally my roommates.
In any case, that was last call, and Cake Woman went to exercise after dropping me off. Next time I want to sing something embarrassing.