I was invited by the birthday boy to attend his party. I thought about not going but a part of me wanted so badly to belong to this little clique of pool hall people.
First I told my former bartender I would stop by her place to talk & have a drink or two. She really got herself into a pickle. She got sacked for stealing booze from her employer. Now she’s suffering without…those so-called friends that she thought would be there for her have disappeared. They were merely patrons of the pool hall that she listened to their life stories nothing more.
I made it to her place with some bottles of Henry’s Orange Soda. I drank three while I sat with her listening to her talk about what was going on in her life.
I knew the party was just down the street and I wanted to be late. Anymore, I dread attending these types of social gatherings. Sure, I was familiar with most of the people there but still I felt as if I was on an audition. A casting call to find out if I fit into their little group of drinkers. I already knew that I don’t, a part of me hoped that this time will be different.
I sat there with the other pool hall regs listening to them talk about my friend. How mean she was to everyone, how she did this to herself. And I realized that I, ME, I’m being judged by my bar company that I keep. Most of them know that I am kind of close to her. YUP! Even the drunkards are judgmental in their drinking & drugging and fucking around. JESUS! REALLY!!!??? I didn’t drink anything while I was there. I didn’t feel comfortable and I’m cheap. If I don’t have to spend $5 on a drink then I won’t. I sat there quietly just listening.
Georgie approached me “I told Birthday Boy that he had to invite you! That you ARE the party!” My heart sunk. It still stings. These people don’t want to get to know me, they wanted to see my show. His statement rung out in my mind most of the night. Even if I misunderstood him, I still emotionally reacted to it. I was left alone most of the time, I spoke with a few different people out of the group. “Oh I’m so glad you came, Georgie told me you’d be coming, now the party can begin.”
Am I the entertainment?
We left the bar to head back to the pool hall. Georgie bought my first drink. They all smoke, I don’t. But I will go outside to smoke with them, just to talk and feel the cool night air. It’s about the gossip. Two of the guys younger than I am decided to “pick” at me. At first, I didn’t understand why. Later in the night I figured out why. I was hanging out with a tall skinny kid named Darren. He is super sweet. Friendly. He is always willing to keep me company while I was there alone. We decided to walk to the “hole.” Where Charlie & I used to hang out. Darren knows I’m Charlie’s X, he never had a problem with any thing.
My friend who always seems to be there because she hopes Charlie will come back (I’m still not telling her that he’s never coming back in there). She was there talking to Romeo, he is an old family friend. We all are family in a distance sort of way. Darren sat on the left side of me, me in the middle and then my friend. I don’t remember how it started, but some dude started talking to my friend. I didn’t like him from the beginning I shook his hand. He was babbling on to my friend and I remember saying something like “I’m her bestie fucker, I out rank you. You aint never gonna be in my spot.” OMFG! Did I just act like that?! That’s shit Charlie would do, which led in to the fights which is why he got 86’ed. She pushed the dude along, he continued saying shit to me, but what triggered me I don’t remember. He walks by Darren and pats him on the shoulder “GOOD LUCK with that.” I yelled “EXCUSE ME?!”
Romeo, who owns the bar was standing behind my girl and next to me. When I turned to the guy and started in on him “Motherfucker. don’t assume just because I’m sitting next to some dude that we are together.” Then dude starts in about “you wanna cut me? Gotta knife? Most of you kind of chicks have knives.”
OHHHHH HELL NAH!
Romeo grabbed my arm as I got up off my chair, “I got this, Cat. I got this.”
I had taken my Henry’s half full bottle by the neck as you would when a person is going to use it to hit someone in the head with it. I laughed. “Yeah, Romeo. You got rid of one of us and now you’re gonna end up kicking me out.” “NO. NO I’m not going to kick you out.” He knows about me & Charlie. We are so much alike and so different. Poor Darren just sat there with a dumb look on his face. My friend says “OH SHIT, you’re in that kind of mood aren’t you?” “FUCK YEAH I AM.” Romeo had removed that guy from the bar, but then a few minutes later I hear his voice “I want to offer my apology for offending you.”
I looked at him “Shove that up your ass and get the fuck out my face!” He walked away. Romeo grabbed me & introduced me to some dude. That guy asks me “You’re Charlie’s girl?” Romeo told him I was, but I’m not … anymore. I smiled “No. Not anymore and its nice to meet you.” I walked away. Darren & I went back to the party at the pool hall. Those young guys of the group continued to pick on me “You’re a drug addict” I had this look of confusion on my face. Yes I know that the “hole” is where drugs are sold, but I don’t go in there for the drugs. I go in there because I know people, including Charlie’s X crew. I feel safe there. These guys were also saying other things but I can’t remember all of it, just that I was getting more and more emotionally unstable with it all. The pressure of trying & wanting to be accepted was making my outer shell crack.
What happens when opportunity presents itself with booze & drugs. I drink more, act up & act out more. The drinks started going down faster. But there was a time when I took my drink with me to the bathroom to tossed it out cause I was trying to regulate myself. Those guys actually were the ones that made me realize that I’m judged for going to that bar, because only the drug users go there. FUCK. They started in on me about using ketamine, what?! There are no track marks in my arms or anywhere else for that matter and then to find out that a few of them used meth. UGH! I was confused & started to freak out because one guy would say some of the most mean things, but then come back with “I’m joking.” His delivery reminds me of a comedian that I can’t recall the name, but it’s not funny. I decided I had enough.
I went back to the hole and once again was given a moment of impulsiveness. One of Charlie’s former crew members was there. Astro was the night guy. He walked outside, I followed. “What are you doing out here? There’s nothing we need to talk about.” I choked out the question of “do you have anything on you?”
He spewed out excuses and more excuses about cops & Charlie, basically the answer was NO. No to me, not anyone else. I’m not one who can handle being told “no.” I went inside for a minute & tried to hide my anger & rejection. A regular customer walked in and I watched him talk to Astro. I became even more angry when they stepped outside to smoke. He came over to say hi when my girl asks “What happened? Your mood has changed, what happened?” I looked at the customer and hugged him goodbye whispering in his ear about how Astro won’t sell to me and that I’m leaving. I told my girl that it was best that I leave before I get myself into trouble. I walked back over to the pool hall to say my goodbyes to everyone, wishing the birthday boy a good night & thank you for the invite I departed.
Arriving home I text my former bartender telling her what had happened. She suggested not burning any bridges down there, don’t do anything I may regret later because it’s serious stuff. I miss Charlie! Sure he’s toxic but there was something about him that I always felt safe with. He told me never trust any of them there, never left my guard down with any of them. My FB also said “You’re Charlie’s X, do you really think it would be that easy?” I couldn’t hide my emotional state from my beloved so I said “You’re gonna be upset.” I told him the truth about wanting to buy the stuff. He replied “Not angry just disappointed, but I understand you were hurt and trying to put a band-aide on yourself.”
At this point I was drunk. Too many Henry’s Orange Sodas & shots of Rum Chata with Frangelico. I started throwing a temper tantrum, which led to crying which led to wanting to eating something. My beloved yelled at me in a loving way, not in a mean voice, but stern. The last thing I remembered before I passed out on the sofa was asking him “Will it alright in the end?” Hearing his laughter I let sleep take me over.