The scene is a familiar one, to me anyway: I’m leaving a party at a friends house in Hillsboro, Oregon with every intention of going home but my still “too-tipsy-on-shitty hard-lemonade-to-drive” ass got distracted by something shiny and ended up making questionable decisions that would absolutely for sure keep me off the “eligible to donate blood” list for a while longer. And these decisions usually involved “one last” hard lemonade.
This friend, at the time we became acquainted, had been in an unhappy marriage to a sentient mayo-filled Hefty bag who had the audacity to make her feel unlovable, unfuckable, and unworthy. When she hooked up with my circle of nerd friends via an online chat room, it seems she eventually garnered the self-esteem to get up on out of that shitfire of a marriage and move on to indiscriminately fucking strangers, sometimes more than one at a time because, in this world of online misfits, her mom bod was absolutely fuckable and she was worthy as fuck and she made up for lost time.
Hold up, that may be me we’re talking about. Whatever, I think it describes her, too.
Anyhoo, my friend, we’ll just call her T-mom, would have these absolutely insane parties at her house and they were fucking great. Chat parties, as I’ve mentioned in other writings, were a cesspool of wicked debauchery and laid rest to any rumors that nerds didn’t get laid. There was copious amounts of laying going on at these shindigs, sometimes right out in public much to the delight and/or horror of the party guests depending on who you spoke to.
This had been a typical night at T-mom’s house. Lot’s of chubby broads with the words “princess”, “fairy”, “grrrrl” or “kitty” in their screen names showing up looking more or less like a swollen version of our profile pics since Snapchat wasn’t a thing yet meaning every third chick didn’t look like some sort of super glowy woodland creature, and several guys attending who most definitely lived in their mom’s basements with screen names that contained the word Pimp, Daddy, Thug and ended with 69, 420, and 187. Super badass.
I’m shaming no one – not the gals anyway. I live in a very cheaply made glass house, I’ll keep my stones to myself. And I know how to capture the very best angle of my skin suit. I’m just saying it was definitely a thing. And, as time went on, it really didn’t matter: We had become a “scene.” A fucked up, little to no scruple-having pack of mostly functional alcoholics who loved to bang. By proxy, the more “active” of us had banged the majority and that was both amusing and terrifying. And at last check, none of us had died from a communicable disease, so we were also a very lucky crew.
Anyhoo, after a ridiculous night – I think this may have been the night that T-mom and I pissed off a few people because we were “entertaining” some dude who went by Yes987786something or another, and we were doing so in a locked room on top of a pile of coats whose owners were trying to leave. Whatever, waiting builds character. When we were more or less done, I went to leave and found myself, as I often did, a little too drunk to drive yet (goddammit) so I loitered out front for a bit.
This woman, a woman I had somehow not seen at the party, came outside with a friend of hers. I do not remember even a little bit what her friend looked like, but this chick was about my age, a little taller than my 5’5″, and had a pretty face framed by beautiful long, blonde hair. She glanced over to me as she passed and said, “Well hey…where’d you come from?” And she winked at me.
She fucking winked.
Let me tell you something. I don’t like when dudes wink at me, it skeeves me out. I mean seriously, grandpa, who told you that was cute? It’s not cute.
But this was cute and I was like…oh. Hi.
I stammered something stupid about where I had come from because, much like any other 14 year old boy, I became a fucking tool when girls flirted with me.
She laughed a little and walked over to her 80-something Pontiac Fiero with a shockingly decent paint job that was parked near the garage about fifteen feet or so in front of me. She hopped in and rolled down her window, looked at me and smiled. “Come here a second.”
So I obediently – I’m nothing if not fucking obedient I guess? – strolled over to her driver’s side window. “What’s up?”
She reaches over and grabs the skull printed scarf I wore around my neck that night, and gently pulled it downward, guiding my head down and my face close to her face, and she kissed me.
“Dear Penthouse Letters,
I never thought this would happen to me…”
Some random party goers, stragglers who had not managed to get any of the women drunk enough on Monarch Vodka and Sunny D to lose their sense of smell and fuck them, gawked appreciatively.
“Holy SHIT, did you see that? That’s so hot,” hissed LoserPimp420 to PimpThuggin187
He was right. That was, in fact, so hot. I played it cool like, oh yeah, that happens all the time. Pretty girls in little red cars always randomly kiss me after we’ve spoken nearly zero words to each other. Totally.
“Maybe I’ll see you online tomorrow?” She winked again.
ALSO, WHY WAS THIS ADORABLE. ALSO, DO I HAVE A GIRL BONER? YUP, SURE DO!
“K,” I said casually.
I decided that I was mostly sober enough to get my ass home without the risk of vehicular homicide so I hopped into my little green Honda and took off.
Oh shit, I had no idea what this woman’s name was. Goddammit.
The next day, after drinking my bodyweight in coffee after not sleeping nearly enough, I plopped down at my computer desk and fired it up. My spawn were away to their grandma’s for the weekend, and I was shockingly devoid of any responsibilities, which was kind of a rarity for me.
As soon as the god awful dial-up modem stopped screaming at my mild hangover and my Net Zero internet connected, I logged into Yahoo Chat to see if I missed any drama at the party after I left the night before. I generally departed these things significantly earlier than everyone else, and I always heard of some weird shit that went down the second I was off the property, like the police showing up, someone puking on someone’s shoes, one of the Unemployable_69’s wives showing up with with two sleeping kids in the back seat of her volvo to retrieve a wayward spouse, or someone pulling a very public blowjob train in a jeep out in the driveway. I always missed the “second level” weird shit. Just as well. The “first level” weird shit I partook in was plenty, thanks.
I wasn’t online more than a few minutes, and I heard the familiar chime of Instant Messenger. After a short delay due to my horrible dial-up internet connection from a free ISP, a chat box popped up from “AngelbuterflyXO”
It was her.
“Hey there! Yes, of course I remember you.” (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?)
We chatted back and forth a bit. I asked her how she knew my chat name, she said everyone knew my chat name (fair enough), and we chit chatted about the party, about the one dude with the tambourine and the fake accent (seriously, weird dude), and then she asked me what I was doing later. Correction, she asked, “So, what are we doing later?”
Forward. Good. I required that because I had zero idea how to do the “still sober and making plans to spend time with a woman” thing. I was better at the “getting drunk and falling into a vagina” thing. It came more naturally.
I told her that I had no real plans, and she asked if she could come see me and maybe we could go out and have a drink or two.
Fuck yes she could come out and visit me and we could go out and have a drink or two.
At that time, I lived in a rural area about 40 minutes from where the T-mom parties were held, and it turned out she lived at some halfway point and said that she didn’t mind driving. Score. I wasn’t going to have to worry about being trapped due to my excessive drinking and/or risking a DUI. We made plans for “around six” and I gave the mostly complete stranger my address.
Six O’clock rolls around and her ketchup-red Fiero pulls up and into my driveway, her brakes squeaking as she rolled to a stop and shut off the ignition. She hops out, a red, paisley skirt circling her knees and a faded denim jacket much like one I owned at the time in her left hand. She ran the rest of the way up to where I was standing at my door and hugged me, “Hey! What are we drinking? Wait, I know…” She reaches into a large handbag and pulls out a six-pack of hard lemonade.
And it was still cold. She was, in fact, an angel. She kissed me on the cheek. Adorable.
We sat down at a little outdoor bistro table I had picked up off the side of the road the week prior, popped open a couple bottles, and spent the next half hour or so talking shit about people we both knew from the chat room, and I give her grief about spelling “butterfly” wrong in her screen name. I ask her about her name, she says, “Well I’m no angel.” Not an answer, and after the hard lemonades magically appearing from her handbag I disagreed, but good enough.
Two more hard lemonades magically open themselves and we consume them rapidly. Then two more.
“Now what? You want to go to a bar? Is there one within stumbling distance?” She’s up from the bistro table and ready to go.
I remind her that I live in Bumfuck, Egypt and that there are only a couple redneck bars out here, but that they had cheap booze and good food, and she was totally down. She leaned over and kissed my neck. Oh sweet mother of…
This completely derailed our plan to head out right away. The bar would wait. First destination: My couch.
SO ABOUT AN HOUR LATER, after some awkward “we have no idea what we’re doing because we’re not full-time lesbians” sex that was surprisingly gratifying as fuck, we decided that we were still down for going out and drinking at the hick bar. We were tipsy and post-crawling-all-over-each-other glowy. We “un-fuck-haired” our hair, she reapplied her smudged eye makeup, and we started down the road towards our second destination.
After a short walk, we arrive at The Main Street Bar on on Main Street (you don’t say!), and we stumble to the back entrance. The one out front was boarded up since the previous week when someone kicked it in to steal the $36 and some change from the cash register.
I swear to god, when we crossed the threshold of that janky back doorway, whatever hee-haw bullshit that had been playing on the jukebox stopped. It may as well have been a player piano in an Old West saloon. Every head turned, and we stood there giggling. Because you know…sex and hard lemonade. There was a weird tension hanging in the air, and I was thinking that maybe this wasn’t the bar these droids were looking for, but Angel – that’s what I’m still calling her, did I mention that? I still don’t have any idea what her name is at that point so I just stick with “Angel”- says intentionally loud enough to be heard from across the bar, “Girl, you wore me out, I need a drink!”
A brave, hopeful Carhartt-clad guy in his late 30s give or take asks if I need “something to sip on,” and I smile and politely decline. He shrugs and grumbles, “You’re loss.” Ok, dude.
Two older ladies, the only other women in the place, wearing matching lavender sweatpants and equally matching scowls got up from the stools they were holding down with their asses and lumbered over to a table in the far corner. Angel and I both found this extremely funny. They were already mad at us and we had been there approximately 17 seconds. Might be a record for me.
We move to the pre-heated bar stools and straddled them. We were acutely aware of the gazes fixed upon us by who appeared to be “the regulars” at this bar. I mean I could see why: Angel and I were both in our early 30s, we were both dolled up in cleavage-bearing “go out” clothes, and we were loud and happy. We absolutely stuck out like sore thumbs in this flannel and sweatpant wearing crowd, Angel wearing her pretty red outfit that matched her lipstick, her blonde mane still a bit dissheveled from earlier activity, and me in my usual black-on-black with long, almost-black hair that matched my attitude. And, hindsight being what it is, we probably both smelled like Tommy Girl and sex juice.
Yeah, I said sex juice.
We really do not fit in at all. And I was perfectly ok with that.
A gravelly voice from off to the left stated matter-of-factly, “Hey, we do karaoke here ’round 9 if you girls are interested. We need to get some singers.” He sounded very serious.
We both found this almost as funny as those two ladies scowling at us for merely existing in what they probably considered “their bar.”
“Karaoke??” Angel lit up like a goddamn Christmas tree. “Fuck yeah! I LOVE karaoke! THIS IS THE BEST NIGHT EVER!”
I guess these girls were interested in karaoke.
We ordered our drinks, a double jack and soda for me, a vodka cranberry for her. Our bartender, a mid-40s tatted up bald dude named Darren who was hungry for tips and/or hungry for one or both of us to go home with him, poured them strong and often, a few of the drinks showing up with a wink (less adorable than Angel’s wink) and a “This will be our little secret.” Oh, Darren, you optimistic fuck…
We grabbed the little pieces of scrap paper that the KJ, i.e. the “Karaoke Jockey”, provided for us to fill out with our name, a song title, and the corresponding number from the book o’ songs. I mindlessly flipped over the paper I had been filling out and saw that this place had repurposed old job applications complete with names and social security numbers, sometimes chopped in half, sometimes in their entirety. That’s sweet. Pointed this out to Darren the Bartender. He shrugged. “It’s fine, I don’t think they work here.” Oh. Cool.
The sweatpants twins went up and opened up the evening with an offkey duet of “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” by Neil Diamond. Angel made a comment about this being her parents’ wedding song and how she wasn’t sure if this ruined the song or somehow made it better.
A gentleman named Vern was next, regaling us with his heartfelt rendition of Bette Midler’s “The Rose.” He wept. We sang the last verse loudly from our bar stools as Vern was too verklempt to finish. He took off his Navy Veteran cap and saluted us. We saluted back. It was beautiful. He bought us more drinks. We accepted. Carhartt-clad dude whose drink I turned down earlier saw this and sighed.
A woman I hadn’t seen enter, a 70 year old woman with pigtails and donning pale blue coveralls and black farm boots, sang a sad Patsy Cline song. We sang along with that as well, but quieted down a bit as she gave us the stink-eye when it seemed like we might be detracting from her performance. We weren’t about to steal her thunder.
I was called up next. At this point, Angel and I, it seemed, had become very popular with the male bar patrons, the only women who weren’t the usual three (sweatpants twins and grandma with pigtails). We were an attractive anomaly. A new hope even. The men clapped, the lady trio scowled. I sang a rousing version of “Middle of The Road” by The Pretenders. Tried to liven it up a bit, you know? I don’t know what it is about old, damp honky-tonk bars, probably 100% due to the state of mind of the clientele, but they really love to get up there and work out their sad feelings. I get that, I have sad feelings, too, but holy shit.
I did my thing, made an effort to channel Chrissie Hynde and did pretty good if I do say so myself. Angel smiled and wiggle-shimmied on her bar stool in appreciation and clapped wildly when I was done, jumping up to grab my face with both hands and kiss me square on the lips when I walked up her where she had been seated.
The second her lips connected with me, I heard a few gasps from the local flavor. Did I mention that we were in a full-on redneck bar chock full of older folks and a few failure-to-launch 30 somethings? Yeah.
“What the Hades…” I heard an older male voice mumble from off to the left. I think it was Weepy-Bette-Midler-Navy-Guy.
“You were SO HOT! You can sing, too? Right on!” Angel was my number one fan.
Sweat pants twins were less impressed with me. There was some shaking of heads as one of them pointed directly at me. Subtle.
I hopped back on my bar stool and Darren the Bartender smiled while looking flushed.
“Oh boy, you girls….hooo boy.” And he slid another bourbon my way. Not sure it had any soda in it. This is fine.
Angel was just settling back onto her stool when she was called up to sing next. She had – of course she had – picked “I Touch Myself” by The Divinyls. Because of course she fucking did.
She bounces up to the stage and says to the KJ, “Ok, hit it,” as if she was the diva starring at her own smoky nightclub. KJ hit it.
What happens next is a blur…but a mostly vividly insane, moderately terrifying blur.
Dramatic intro to Angel’s song plays, and she takes to the mic.
“I love myself, I want you to love me…” she purrs, breathlessly, reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe singing to Mr. President but with more oomph.
“When I feel down, I want you above me….” she points at me and kisses the air in my general direction.
The sweatpants twins’ scowls intensify. Various old men are simultaneously getting the vapors and pissing themselves. Rejected-drink-Carhartt-guy shakes his head and stares with an expression of defeat. It was almost as if he had thought that if he was just patient enough…but no, all hopes dashed with one point of Angel’s finger to someone that was not him.
Angel sings a few more lines and saunters my way with the permission of the extra long cord on the KJ’s microphone.
“I don’t want….anybody else. When I think ABOUUT you, I touch myself,” she coos while touching herself, sliding her left hand up and down her side.
“Oh I don’t want anybody else…” she says, still holding the mic in one hand, reaching out to now touch MY self with her other.
“Oh no…oh no…oh nooo….” she says while brushing her left hand down across my right breast and finding itself a spot between my legs.
A man shrieks. “OH NO IS FUCKING RIGHT, WHAT THE FUCK????”
At the same time, the sound of a barstool being falling to the ground crashes over the sound of the wordless karaoke track and the tail end of Angel’s third sultry “oh nooo.”
I look over and, yup, it’s rejected-drink-Carhartt-guy. He’s mad. Fuck, why is he so mad??
“I guess you’re just gonna start dyking out right here in front of god and everyone?” He’s red in the face. He is NOT having this!
I’m simultaneously stunned and not all that surprised considering where we are.
Angel laughs. “God’s in this bar watching us dyke out? This must be a verrrrry holy bar.” She snorts and reaches behind me, kissing my hair while doing so, to snag her cocktail, the karaoke track still playing in the background. She tosses her microphone down and makes a mock sign of the cross while taking a sip.
Sweatpants Thing One stands up from her seat across the bar, “YEAH, THIS IS GOD’S COUNTRY. NO ONE WANTS TO SEE A COUPLE LEZBOS GOIN AT IT. NOT A SINGLE PERSON HERE”
A rusty-haired bearded guy wearing a ratty, green John Deer hoodie pipes up, drunkenly slurring that Sweatpants Thing One may not be entirely correct in her assessment.
Ok, now I’m laughing. I mean I saw things getting weird before we even stepped in here, but I honestly thought it was going to be the usual “dude getting pissy because I wouldn’t fuck him and making it awkward” kind of weird. Not a homophobic rant about what’s not allowed in Jesus’s Watering Hole. This was officially second level weird.
I look to Darren the Bartender for some support. He’s just smirking and shaking his head. Ok, dude. Thanks.
“YOU’RE A FUCKIN QUEER. AND YOU ARE, TOO, YOU….UH…GIRL QUEER,” a middle aged dude with 2 missing fingers on his right hand shouts over his can of Coors Light. He attempts to take a swig, noticing that his beer can is actually empty, and he throws it to the floor. He stands up and knocks his chair over in the process. “THAT’S RIGHT. YOU GUYS ARE GIRL QUEERS.” He points a remaining finger at us. There was a lot of pointing in this bar.
Rejected-drink-Carhartt-guy stands there with his hands folded over his chest in stoic support of missing fingers man.
Part of me thinks, man, I should probably be afraid for my safety on some level, but this is too fucking Twilight Zone to even register that emotion right now. I’m wracked with nervous laughter.
Weepy-Bette-Midler-Navy-Guy stands up and says, “Now you see here, young man,” in what appears to be him stepping in to defend us. Aw.
“These lesbian sinners are going to burn in hell. That’s all the punishment they need, we ain’t gotta even do nothin at this point. They gonna burn. Ain’t nothin that can be done by no one here. Not for homos.”
Oh. Alright then. I guess we’re not buds any more. I rescind my earlier salute, sir.
“You know we like dick, too, right? Just not yours,” Angel adds helpfully with a sweet smile. I was in mid swig – yeah, I’m still drinking at this point as I’m certain we’re about to be asked to leave and wasn’t planning on wasting this free drink. Yet I ended up spewing it everywhere when she made this declaration.
Sweatpants Thing Two stands up and yells, “YOU AIN’T GETTING NO DICK HERE, MISSYPANTS.”
Angel yells back, “I DON’T SEE ANY DICK HERE, BITCH!”
A defiant but muffled objection projected from the back corner, originating from a gentleman who very much wants us to know that yes, there is, in fact, dick here. I raise a thumbs up in support to the mystery voice.
At this point, I’m thinking maybe we should, you know, get the fuck out of here. I lean towards a wild-eyed Angel. “Hey, you think you might be about ready to go? I’ve got a bottle of vodka in the freezer,” I laugh, still wondering what the fuck is my life.
She goes, “YEAH…seriously FUCK THESE LOSERS!” And laughs wildly.
Then Angel says in an odd, higher pitched tone,”Oh…sorry, Darren.”
Just as I’m wondering why “sorry Darren,” I see Angel reaching over the bar and grabbing the bottle of Jack he had been serving me from. “Sorry, Darren, but she deserves this. Sorryyyyyyyyyy!”
He stood there a second, seemingly in shock. I also stood there, seemingly in shock.
Then, for some fucking reason, I reached over and grabbed the only thing I could reach: The gross, black, rubber Bacardi bar mat, the one they mix drinks on to corral the spillage. I thought it was a good idea to grab THAT.
“YEAH, SORRY, DARREN!”
I yank it off the bar, stale booze flies everywhere, Angel shrieks in delight, and we both yell in unison, “GO GO GO GO GO…RUN RUN RUN, GO!” I wave the sticky mat over my head like a disgusting trophy I have just been awarded.
“HEY, YOU BITCHES, GET YOUR ASSES BACK HERE. I KNOW WHO YOU ARE! YOU GET BACK HERE!” A man’s voice, probably Darren but who knows, it was loud and angry, shouted at our backs as we slam against the swinging door and run out into the night.
“No you fucking don’t!!!!” I yell from out front. Angel and I ran like crazy toward my house, Angel carrying the bottle of Jack, me still waving the sticky black rubber bar mat over my head for some fucking reason. We ran the whole way, about a half mile or so, until we got to my street. We turned the corner and slowed to a walk. We were both winded and laughing, I was coughing because that’s what I do when I laugh that hard, and we ended up flopping onto our backs into a neighbor’s front lawn to collect ourselves while also LOUDLY going, “Shhhhhh! SHHHHH!!!” like a couple idiot 12 year olds who don’t want to piss off their parents by being too loud past bedtime.
Once we were able to breathe again, she rips the pour-spout out of the bottle of Jack and takes a swig, passing it then to me. I take a swig, spilling it out of the sides of my mouth because I’m flat on my back and bad at drinking while lying down. I start laughing again. Angel leans over and licks the bourbon off of the side of my face. I grabbed her by the back of the head kiss her hard while still laughing into her open mouth, and we end up going at it again on someone’s lawn, quietly and respectfully of course because we’re fucking ladies.
Once we’re both spent and subsequently recovered, she whispers to me:
“So that was fun. I was thinking tomorrow we’d go line dancing. I think rednecks are my thing now.”
I laughed until I couldn’t breathe as porch lights clicked on one at a time up and down the street.