Playing Doctor




Initial Visit?

Monday, November 28

Two Hearts

A technical note:

This post has a soundtrack click here to hear it.
It augments the writing, so if it didn't work, try this link instead.



You’d made arrangements that morning to meet Chicago again next weekend, but it’s only Saturday and when he said, ‘maybe I’ll see you out tonight,’ you contrived it into a delicate promise of a meeting that night.

So you shave and wear nice underwear and around 10 o’clock you head out to the bar, looking for the heart of Saturday night.

There’s a decent size crowd out tonight, but Chicago and his friends aren’t there. You sit at the bar and begin talking to a guy from Georgia.

‘How’s Georgia?’ you ask.

‘It’s a peach,’ he says flatly, and you laugh. A nice enough fellow to pass the time with, and from this chair you can see out the window into the parking lot. Every time a red SUV pulls in, you eye the tags to see if it’s from Illinois.

You fear you’re being rude. Every time the door opens you glance at the door. You’re looking for someone and trying not to stare, but your mind singles in on details that match the person you are looking for. When a short man walks in, you note his hair color and you have to glance again to be certain you have not missed Chicago. A bald man will walk in and all you catch with your—briefest of—glances is that his height and bulk seem approximately right.

You begin to wonder—having only spent one night with Chicago—if you’re sure you’d recognize him if you saw him again and you occasionally scan the entire room wondering if he’s somehow evaded your sentry.


Two or three drinks into the evening, you tell the Georgia boy you want to wonder around the bar, but you invite him to join you. The drinks are good; they’ve relaxed you and you find yourself not looking out the window or checking the door with the frequency you were. You realize this while giving a second glance to someone with the right face, but no, Chicago’s jaw is different, isn’t it? You scan the room again.

Maybe it’s time for a fourth drink.


There’s a crowd at the bar and—while waiting for the bartender—you somehow find yourself entered into a small group. You introduce Georgia to the two waitresses and three boys somehow connected with them. Drinks are bought. You begin to talk to one of the waitresses.

She’s from Charlotte, or rather just moved from Charlotte. She grew up in Stockholm, Sweden and came to this country in her late teens. Her friend suggests shots. She agrees to Tequila. You do also, being the good sport that you are. She signals the bartender, declining lime and salt.

‘This is not amateur night,’ she says.

You hear Georgia order something involving Southern Comfort, the rest of them have a gaggle of assorted colors and textures, at least two of which seem to involve Baileys.

‘I think you may have been wrong,’ you say, motioning your head to the snow globe collection of shots on the bar.

She laughs and—to hide her face—looks down and rests her forehead on your shoulder, then turns away from the group and regains her composure. You feel Georgia’s hand on the small of your back. You shoot him a friendly smile.

You eye the parking lot and the door. Nothing.

The shots feel good in your belly.

It’s the point in the evening when you wonder why you don’t do shots more frequently. You—thankfully—stop checking the door.

It’s also the point in the evening when you stop respecting other people’s personal space. You tap Georgia boy on the shoulder with every syllable of particular import and it’s not too long after that you find yourself touching Stockholm’s hair.

‘I can’t believe how curly your hair is,’ you announce a little too loudly.

She eyes you sideways, then she rolls them at you, snorting, ‘thanks.’

But she does have blond hair that’s impossibly long and curly. It’s then you notice how full her lips are. She has that European woman look about her: tall and strong; thin but somehow with curves.

Your tone softens, ‘No, you really are exceptionally beautiful.’

She casts her eyes down so you see her cheeks and eyelids in quarter profile, suddenly becoming a Japanese line drawing. When she looks back up, you move your face in and kiss her on the mouth. Hard.

Too hard? You hope not.

Apparently not, because she kisses you back.

You kiss her standing at the bar for what feels like a long time. You reach your arm around her waist and pick her up and put her on the bar stool so she can sit. A maneuver that is not difficult, but not something you would do if you were sober, because it’s cheesy and way too private a thing to be done in public, and not something you would do if you were any more drunk, because you would not have the coordination and balance to perform the feat.

There is more talking and more making out, you are a bit unclear on how long it continues, but suddenly the bar is closing and some stranger walks up to you and says, ‘You made my night. The look on that Georgia boy’s face when you started kissing her was priceless.’

You scrunch your face at the man who says this. But when you look around you see that, in fact, Georgia is no longer there. You look around for Chicago, but don’t see him either. The stranger is shaking your hand and you are too confused to object. You’ve lost Stockholm in all this glad-handing, and you’re relieved when you see her talking to her friends by the exit. You join them.

‘Okay, looks like we found the real amateur,’ she says to you. ‘How are you getting home, drunky?’

‘You’re,’ you ask, ‘taking me?’

Stockholm laughs and grabs her keys.

God love a woman that can hold her liquor.



The next morning, you’re grateful you don’t have to be at the hospital for another twenty-four hours. You brew some strong, dark coffee. When Stockholm wakes, you fix her a French omelette with brie and tomatoes.

‘I woke up in the night and went outside for a smoke. I was in your back porch and thinking this was a sluttish thing to do and beginning to regret it.’ she says. ‘Then I saw the Nietzsche quote you have on your kitchen door. When I saw that, I thought that maybe this wasn’t such a bad thing after all.’

You’re looking at her and her eyes are looking down again—the kind of eyes that got someone to compare to a doe’s eyes—and realize—head still pounding from the night before—that you—undeniably, irrevocably, and unfortunately—have fallen in love, twice.

6 Comments:

11/28/2005
Blogger jeremy writes:

what's the nietzsche quote?

 


11/28/2005
Blogger Spider writes:

OK - this is getting REAL interesting...

 


11/28/2005
Blogger callmekidd writes:

Their ugliness in comparison with people like these here, their pink sausage skins, horrible, they only live because there is penicillin, that's all, the fuss they make as though they were happy because they're Americans, because they have no inhibitions, and yet they're only gawky and noisy - fellows like Dick, whom I have taken as a model! - the way they stand around their left hands in their trouser pockets, their shoulders leaning against the wall, their glass in the other hand, easygoing, the protectors of mankind, their backslapping, their optimism until they are drunk and then hysterical weeping, sell-out of the white race, their vacuum between the loins.

 


11/29/2005
Blogger dan writes:

Well, while you were wisping ladies off their feet all Fred Astaire-like, I was trying to prop up a drunk, weepy friend in attempt to avoid her falling head first into slippery piles of her own Rupplemint-induced vomit (a task at which I failed), making Callmekidd's quote almost prescient.

At least my evening had a better soundtrack, though.

 


11/30/2005
Anonymous Anonymous writes:

Who has stolen this account!?! Getting drunk, getting fucked, rinse and repeat. I'm starting to fucking yawn.

 


11/30/2005
Blogger Erik writes:

As a physician, I have to point out that you may be yawning because you're surfing the internet at 2:30 am on a wednesday morning.

Go to bed, already! Your body's trying to tell you something.

 


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