Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I Think Only Susan Has a Surname

Here is the payoff for the Frontiers references earlier. Now, there's some artistic license here because I don't know what their distribution method is, and I don't really go to bars. I imagine, though, bars are a lot like coffee places (which I also rarely go to) that have reading material scattered about for people to read. If this is not how bars operate, then I apologize for my lack of knowledge in the ways of bars.

Now, before you get to the fiction, Wolf Trap released their 2013 schedule. Well, they may have released it earlier, but they sent it to me in an email today. So, here are some things that people who read this blog might like, because they are things I like:
  1. Video Games, Live
  2. Bugs Bunny at the Symphony
  3. Lord of the Rings
  4. Huey Lewis and the News
  5. The Mikado (Sullivan's choice for something I should go to)
  6. Gordon Lightfoot
Also, one thing I won't go to, but that people seem to love: Sing-a-long Sound of Music. Fiction is below, table of contents is here.

* * *

Christine took the news very poorly; she took the Butterfinger Blizzard much better. Once I persuaded her that she would be doing it for me, she said she’d woman up. “Plus, I want to be there when he tells his date he’s a liar.” This seemed cruel, but fair. There’s a reason I try to be as honest as possible. It prevents those sorts of awkward moments. Like, a few months ago when I told Christine that I: A) Loved bars; and B) Thought the idea of going to a gay bar so no guys would hit on us was a brilliant idea. Ever since I told her that, she has tried to find new excuses to drag me to bars.

I don’t know how she knows which bars actually qualify as a gay bar. I mean, sometimes it is obvious. Sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes, I think she just says it is to convince me to go inside. One time, when I had really upset her, she brought me to a lesbian bar. “In my defense, it is a gay bar,” She had said. Well, at least, I think it was a lesbian bar. A woman bought me a drink and tried to get my number, so, all evidence pointed to yes.

Anyway, it is because sometimes I bend the truth to spare people’s feelings that I found myself in some bar with Christine. I had stopped asking for their names, because Christine never told me the truth. She just made up the dirtiest names she could think of, and I knew they couldn’t be real because some of them would have the signs torn down by angry mothers everywhere. Before our drinks arrived I stepped away to use the restroom, and I left her there to watch our drinks if they came. I checked my make up in the mirror and tried to wait a few minutes. I hated the crowded feeling in the bar, even when she assured me no one was looking at me, I always felt like people were always looking at me.

“Someone has a healthy ego,” Christine had said.

“I don’t mean like in an ooh la la way,” I explained. “I mean in a ‘does she realize she has a run in her hose’ sort of way, or ‘does she realize her earrings don’t match’ sort of way.”

“Have you thought of using a mirror before you leave the house?”

“I do! I know everything’s fine and perfect, but what if I don’t? What if they’re staring at me because my pony tail is lopsided?”

“You don’t have a pony tail.”

“Not today! But other days I do.”

“Cut your hair short, let the holes in your ears close and only wear pants,” Christine had said, as though this solved my problems. Then, I’d be worried if guys were looking at me wondering: “Is that a girl? I mean, if it is a guy, it is a very feminine man — but some guys don’t go to the gym and are pretty wimpy. Is it weird that I think I’m attracted to someone who might just be a very feminine man? I mean, it could be an honest mistake. Maybe I should introduce myself and judge by the voice.”

The imaginary men who are staring at me have confidence issues. And probably all sorts of other issues. But, who am I to talk? My imaginary boyfriend is named after my dog. Once I was finished with my little pity party, I went back out into the bar. I always imagine bars as dangerous, smoky places filled with handsome men and glamorous women. That’s not what bars are. They aren’t even smoky. The women aren’t glamorous, and the men run the normal bell curve. No one even wears sparkly dresses.

Christine, though, was having the time of her life it looked. When I sat down, she slid a magazine toward me. On the left hand page was a picture of Sam with his arm around a shaggy haired slacker, who I assumed was Kenny. He had the look of a Kenny. I almost dated a Kenny once, and he looked a lot like this, only a bit more fuzzy about how many oceans there are on the planet. The byline read Susan Berryman.

The headline: “Local Life Savers Come Out for Tolerance in Scouting.” My first instinct was that headlines like that need to be edited. It was too long. My second instinct was: “Wait, what did that just say?”

1 comment:

  1. And Patrick Bateman asked, "Do you like Huey Lewis and The News?"

    Can't hear Hip to Be Square without reminiscing on axe murderers.

    There are plausibly places you could hypothetically find reading material at a bar...


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