I walked towards the lonely gentleman. I’m a nice guy, but I wasn’t sure I wanted him to join our table. I decided to join him at his table.
“So are you going to go up there?” I asked him.
“I’m a lead singer. This is what I do. This is nothing for me.”
“But are you going to go up there?”
“Wait until I get up there. I’m doing Last Dance with Mary Jane. You know it?”
“Yeah I know it.”
“I’m a lead singer. That is what I do. Wait until I get up there.”
“Are you signed up?”
“Yeah, I’m signed up. I’m tenth. I’m doing Last Dance with Mary Jane. These people suck. Wait until I get up there.”
“I look forward to it.”
I knew that this guy was drunk or high or some combination of drunk and high. I am pretty sure that he had been drunk for quite some time because his breath reeked of stale alcohol and every word that came out of his mouth was drenched in an odor that I don’t care to ever smell again.
I moved back to my table.
Peggy asked, “Did you make a new friend?”
“He says that he is a lead singer in a band.”
“What is the name of the band?”
“I’ll have to find out.”
I was kind of doubting that I would find out, but I have to admit that although I was 50% sure the guy was full of it, I was a bit curious to find out if he was in a band. He didn’t appear that he could be in a band, but I had to remind myself that I’ve known a lot of musicians in my day. A few of them are/were way more screwed up than this guy.
I said to Shannon, “You can say what you want about Larry, this guy is way scarier.”
“He is not.”
Somebody new took the stage. I think they sang Zombie by The Cranberries. Charby had predicted earlier in the evening that if we were able to get Shannon to go up on stage, this is the song that she would pick.
It turned out that he was double wrong. We couldn’t get her to go up on stage. She would not have picked this song.
Shortly into the song I could hear my friend from the next table yelling:
“You suck.” Then he looked over at me and said, “Wait until I get up there. I’m doing Last Dance with Mary Jane.
My curiosity got the better of me. I went back to his table.
“So you are a lead singer?”
“Yeah. That’s what I do.”
“What is the name of the band that you are in?”
“I’m not in a band right now. I don’t have a car. When I get a car I’ll get my music going again.”
At this point a waitress interrupted our conversation. She was carrying a full pitcher of beer and she sat in down on the table. The guy began looking through his wallet, but determined that he didn’t have enough money to buy the pitcher that he ordered. He waved her off. She picked her pitcher of beer back up and returned to the bar.
The guy turned towards me and stuck out his hand. I grabbed it and shook it.
“My name’s Jeff.”
“Uh, Chris.” In a moment of weakness that does not make me proud,I thought about giving out a false name.
“I just got a job. So now I can get a car. When I get a car, I’ll get my music going again.”
“What was the name of your band?”
It seemed that he didn’t hear that question or didn’t want to answer it.
“Back in 1993 I was big. I opened up for Sheila E. Then I moved to Colorado.”
“Wow, Sheila E. that is something.”
“Yeah. Then I got a DUI and got in a car accident. I broke my back. It took me 6 years to recover.”
“But you have a job now. That is a good thing.”
It was then that a woman with an unlit cigarette in her hand broke up our conversation.
“Can I get a light?” She asked.
Jeff found his lighter and lit her cigarette. She thanked him and returned to her table. I looked at Jeff. He looked like he was about to fall over. I think he might have looked genuinely happy.
He turned to me and said: “She can do anything she wants to me, you know what I’m saying?”
“I suppose that I do.”
Jeff watched her in silence for a moment. I thought that this would be a good chance to get back to a table where I enjoyed the company of its occupants on a less Tod Browning level. However, the moment wasn’t long enough. I was not able to make a clean break.
Jeff snapped out of his lust fueled alcohol haze. He pointed to Shannon and Jamie.
“You hustling those girls?”
I have to admit that this question took me somewhat by surprise. I wasn’t sure what the best answer would be to protect the table. Was he afraid of competition? Was he looking for a wingman?
“No, not exactly.”
He pointed to Shannon.
“That one is really good looking. But I can tell that she is with that guy.”
Then he pointed to Charby. Charby is married, but not to Shannon. However, I kept that fact to myself.
“Oh yeah. They are together.”
Then he pointed towards Jamie.
“When that one first came in I thought she was a guy. But now I can see now that she has all the right parts.
I wish that I had an adequate way of portraying the way that he said those last four words. My best effort is to implore you to imagine the most leering manner possible.
This night was the first night that I had ever met Jamie. I don’t know if that statement is true or not, but I think that it is.
Then Jeff looked back at the woman that had asked for a light.
“Do you think I should ask her to dance?”
Did I think that he should ask her to dance? No! Not in a million years. Before I responded he continued with his thought.
“It doesn’t look like she is with anybody.”
I made a snap decision. Perhaps it wasn’t the best decision, but it was in the best interest of my group. I decided to throw that woman under the bus.
“You should ask her to dance.”
“My only problem is that I only have enough money to buy her one drink. I don’t think that is going to get it done.”
I don’t have great enough command of the world of mathematics to even make an estimate of how many drinks it would take for it to get done, but I gave Jeff a small bit of encouragement.
“You are a lead singer.”
He looked at me like the fact that he was a lead singer was completely new information to him.
So I continued, “Maybe when she hears you perform, one drink will be more than enough.” He still looked at me kind of confused. So I threw out one last thing, “Women love musicians.”
He finally responded, “It looks like she isn’t with anybody.”
I decided that I had encouraged him enough.
His attention returned to the person on stage.
“These people suck. Wait until I get up there.”
I told him that I was going to go back to my table and I turned around and made good on my word.
…TO BE CONTINUED