You make a choice. Sometimes you have to. I had already been drinking all day so when I finished the flan at Reginald’s parents house I said “Thank you, goodbye” and left.
Reginald was going to give me a ride home but I figured I could find my own way back. I KNEW I’d find my own way back.
Maybe I’d hitchhike. Its become unpopular, hitchhiking, but lots of things have.
I pounded up the street to Denny’s and drank a few strong ones. It was mostly empty. I played some songs on the jukebox. Neil Young as always and something else, more modern.
The daytime bartenders was there, working on her homework. We talked here and there. I asked her if she would be my partner in crime tonight. She said no. She was on the swim team.
I tried to go out with her one other time some months back. I got too wasted at the bowling alley and followed her around, bothering her. I figured she was totally wierded out but everything seemed ok.
There’s a lesson in that somewhere. Maybe more than one.
After a while she leaves and I think about asking her to go to the diner or Culver’s or something. I don’t say anything but “goodbye” and turn back to watching muted Sports Center.
Then Jimmy ‘Glasses’ bums a cigarette and starts telling me about how fucked up the electric company is. Then the new bartender, the short guy, he yells that we can’t smoke in there. I leave.
My intentions are to hoof it to Tom’s apartment. Nice place in a big development. Always quite. Plus they were drinking for his little brothers 21st, so that could be fun.
First, I stop at Gold Ring on the corner and smoke a cigarette and peek in the windows.
It’s hard to see through windows in the winter.
A friend from high school is bar tending and we chat for a while. She doesn't seem to mind that I slightly hit on her but really - How slight is slight enough? - We do shots and I ask her about her brother, who I delivered pizza’s with a few years ago. Before round one of arrests.
Then he sits down next to me. Like me, alone. Like me, a dude. Like me, drunk.
He reeks like everything and slurs every word he can. I don’t know where the fuck this guy came from. He wear’s a busted leather coat, way past coolness and has long strings of witch hair, busted teeth and cackles showing all the cracks and crevices, all the facial melee.
We talk for a while and he buys me a few drinks and tells me how -
“Had a room in Fort last night, was seconds from taking this girl there. She was older and fine and had sweet ole titties and was ready for anything. But all a sudden her boyfriend comes in and this guy is pissed. He threatens to shoot me but doesn't and I left.”
“Why did you have a hotel room in Fort?” I ask.
And he shrugs like there isn't an answer at all.
I’m making eyes at a redhead sitting on the other corner. My drunk mind don’t know if the guy next to her is the ‘boyfriend’ though sober logic points to yes. She smiles but I may be staring my way into a beating. No bother, beating are beatings, she looks like something else. hot damn.
And he’s still taking and his name is Roscoe or Axel or Duke or something fucked up.
“So what’s the deal?” I ask. “What’s your big idea?”
And he looks more sober than he has all night.
“I need to put God in the computer.”
“Ok” I say “Why?”
“Sometimes” he says, “You just know. When god taps you on the shoulder and tells you to put him in a computer, you do it.”
I think this one over and the bartender friend from high school says its last call.
I stumble down the road and make it to Zomo’s house on the edge of town, by the tow lot, and knock on the door till he lets me in. After asking if he has any drugs I pass out on the couch.