Since Charlie has been gone from my life, I have needed to replace my drinking partner. It’s not always easy to do. A person who clicks with me isn’t always the easiest to find. Not to mention the high that I need when I’m out drinking with my drinking buddy.
[TRIGGER WARNING; for those who have issues with Alcohol & bar life.]
Charlie & I had a game that was all our own. Since he’s been 86’ed from “the hole” life there hasn’t been the same for me. I miss him. I miss sitting at the cool table. It’s not actually the cool table it’s more like the area of the bar where the cool, important patrons sit. I don’t sit there anymore. I haven’t been treated like an outcast (yet). I still get the respect from the cool kids. It’s just not the same, ya know?
There are only a few bartenders that I actually know and am comfortable with. They know what I drink and are friendly to me. They don’t stand there & talk to me like they do the others. They acknowledge who I am, now that the name Charlie is no longer spoken it’s pretty calm in there. One of his former crew members approached me “Can we talk outside?” Those sitting around me gasped for air. I didn’t panic because I hadn’t done nor said anything wrong. I think. Not this time anyway. “Do you know Dashing Johnny?”
“FUCK! Charlie better not be screwing me over again with some bullshit. Your name got bought up for a reference for Dashing Johnny.”
“Ah, no. Don’t know him. Sorry.”
“My apologizes, I just thought I’d check out it.”
I stood there with a dumb look on my face as he lit a cigarette. Other patrons walked out to smoke & I took that as my cue to return inside.
I met a friendly older woman there who Charlie had mentioned to be cautious of. He spoke of her in riddles, never came out and said exactly what he meant. He made it clear that I was to be careful of her. She’s funny, smart and looks a bit worn. She also has health issues, which can be made worse when drinking & smoking.
We went for a drink that turned into a few more.
I should probably start referring to her as tileface. She ends up on the bathroom floor, not every time but its to the point where almost all the bar patrons know how she is. She’s that friendly older woman who “loves it when you buy me shots.” If someone buys me a drink, that’s great. I’m not one to buy them for others, mostly for just my drinking buddy.
Drinking my new drink “Barefoot Spritzer” and she’s drinking something with Jack in it. We chatted. I also met another chick who is covered in scars from where she had cut herself several times over. There are tattoos that cover her skin as well. She stops by after work before she heads home. She is a woman who will not be afraid to admit that she’s a slut. That she calls the shots to her life, dependent on no one for whatever she needs. However, I still see the pain in her eyes. After talking to her I realize that she was the one that Charlie had moved in with last year when I had broken my foot. He told me he was using her because she was willing to give him a warm place to sleep, cook his meals, transport him places. She shared that she quickly grew tired of being used and kicked him out.
I start to lose her voice in a sea of bar noise I look across the bar to the cool table. I see Charlie’s former crew looking at me. I swear I almost felt their judgment, judging me for sitting here talking to “the cutter.” Most of the patrons know her reputation & they know she cuts herself. Should I judge her for that? Nope. We continue to share stories about the high of sex. She asked me if I am a sex addict. I revealed some of my sex experiences to her. Nothing too detailed just enough to let her know we have something in common. However, I’m no longer that person. That person only exists in my memories, that person who got drunk and fucked strangers was someone who needed to feel something because numbness & emptiness. I feel for her.
I had drank enough to feel a wonderful buzz. The bartender had given me a shot of Casamigos. George Clooney’s tequila. Made in Jalisco Mexico where my family is from, tastes so smooth going down cold. It was the kick I needed to push my buzz over the edge. You know that feeling, when you can talk to total strangers, when you think you can dance and that everybody wants you. LOL. I become friendly, touchy and loud. I continued to enjoy my buzz for just a little while longer…