Many, many years ago, when I was young and foolish, I bought this one girl a drink. What's so foolish about buying a girl a drink, you may ask? Ordinarily, nothing. Except this particular girl worked at the establishment that sold the drink, and I think part of her job description was getting guys to--
I want a more romantic beginning. Let me start over.
She was a vision of loveliness as she danced across the room...
Um, she actually danced across a stage. That was the other part of her job description.
Anyway, once she was done dancing, this very attractive girl walked over to my table, smiled, and said,
"Hi, can I join you?"
"Uh, yeah, sure," I replied.
She sat down, and asked, in the sweetest possible way,
"What's your name?"
"Kirk!" spewed forth from my larynx, which I let hang in the air for a second, until it bounced off the table and hit the floor with a thud. I then asked,
"What's your name?"
"Didn't you hear the DJ? He announced it when I went up."
"Oh, well, I--"
Taking no offense, she smiled and said, "My name is ______."
Like I said, this was many, many years ago. I've tried hard to remember her name, narrowing it down to Destiny, Candy, Angel, Raven, Roxy, Porsche, Lexxxie, Nikki, Asia, or, possibly, Bambi.
"It's nice to meet you, ______. You did a really nice job up there."
"Really, Kirk? Oh, God, that makes me feel good!"
It made me feel good that it made her feel good. I was about to tell her that, when, suddenly--
"Sir, would you care to buy the lady a drink?"
I turned. Standing over us was another of the establishment's employees, this one a little more fully clothed. A waitress, she had earlier got me my beer.
"Get me the usual," said ______.
The waitress examined my beer bottle.
"Looks like it's almost empty."
"I'll have another." I said.
As the waitress left to get the drinks, ______ smiled--maybe she had never stopped--and said, "Oh, Kirk, I'm so happy you're buying me a drink. I really need a drink."
For the first time that night, a frown appeared on her face.
"Really, Kirk. I really need that drink."
The waitress returned with my beer and the "usual", some red-colored drink. It could have passed for Kool-aid.
Her expression now grave, ______ held up her glass, and proclaimed,
"I am drowning my sorrows!"
She was hardly the first person ever to use "drowning" and "sorrows" in the same sentence, but coming from her Maybelline-lined lips, it sounded wholly original. And, man, did she gulp down that drink, before I even had a chance to say anything. When I finally did have the chance, I asked, "What did you order, anyway?"
"Kirk, don't you want to know why I'm drowning my sorrows?"
Since that was my second question anyway, I said, "Sure."
"Ten years ago today, I lost my baby boy!"
"Oh, my God!"
She cradled her face in her hands.
"Sir, would you care to buy the lady another drink?" It was the waitress again.
"Yeah, sure, whatever." I needed to hear this.
My vision of loveliness--I don't suppose I'm the first person to use "vision" and "loveliness" in the same sentence--looked miserable. She was staring at the table and shaking her head. Delicately, I said,
"So, you lost your baby?"
"Wrenched from my arms, Kirk!"
The other waitress returned with the drink, which ______ promptly gulped down. Though she didn't seem particularly drunk, that red liquid wasn't improving her mood any. She again looked down at the table and shook her head.
"It's all my mother's fault, Kirk!"
"That you lost your baby?"
"How could that be?"
"I was 15 years old when my boy was born, and she made me give him up for adoption."
"And that's how you lost your baby?"
"Wrenched from my arms!"
Relieved, I said, "I feel better."
"Kirk, she took my baby away!"
"No, no, that's not why. I misunderstood. I thought your baby died."
"I died, Kirk! I died inside! I died a thousand times! I've been dead ever since! I lost my baby, Kirk, and I died! I died, I died, I died!"
She may have died, but it made for a lively conversation.
"Sir, would you care to buy the lady another drink?"
And an expensive one.