Thursdays In The Valley – Part 10

“Doh, here they come.”

“Dude, what’s up? How have you been?”

“I’ve been alright, just the usual. Pull up a seat . . . who’s your friend?”

“Oh man, this crazy mother fucker right here is taking off to Alaska in the morning. What time do you gotta be at the airport?”

“Four thirty.”

“Damn that’s early. We’re just kicking back tonight, making our rounds, having a few cocktails and then I’m gonna try like hell to get him to the airport on time. What are you doing, drinking?”

“Yeah, go figure huh?”

“Wanna go out back and have a smoke?”

“I don’t smoke.”

“Since when?”

“Since like forever. I’ve never smoked.”

You don’t smoke?”

“Nope.”

“Damn, what was I thinking? Fucking brain’s turning to mush.”

“So did you talk to the bartender about the design work?”

“Dude, I tried, that is one strange cat. Fucking guy is wound up so tight, I’m just waiting for him to pop. Kinda reminds me of my cousin.”

“Just give it a little while, I’m sure he’ll pop sometime tonight.”

“Man, so this place isn’t too bad. I like it. I don’t think I’ve ever been in here before. It’s pretty laid back, nice atmosphere, drinks are alright, my soda seems kind of flat though. Good thing there’s lots of whiskey in there to distract me.”

“Yeah, good thing.”

“So who’s your friend?”

“Oh, we work together. This is her first time in here too.”

She seems kind of bothered . . .

“Hi.”

She looks away . . .

“Damn, why so mean? What did I do?”

“You want me to tell him what you told me earlier? About what you want to do to my leg?”

“Alright, alright, I was just messing around. You didn’t really take me seriously, did you?”

“Seriously enough to think you’re an asshole.”

“DAMN! There’s fire under that dress. Somebody call 911. Shit.”

“Man just leave her alone, alright?”

“Sure, no problem. Just one last thing, the leg thing, you don’t know what you’re missing.”

“Man, come on . . .”

“The leg. Exactly. You know what I’m talking about. You’re the one who told me about it you sick fuck.”

“It’s a joke man, get over it.”

“Not to me, thanks to you, it’s become a way of life. Ohh . . . what have I become . . .?”

“You got problems man.”

“Don’t we all. Don’t we all.”

“Man, we’re going out back to have a smoke, see you in a bit, ok?”

“Yeah man, take it easy.”

She pauses for a moment, eyes squint, face grimaces, turns to me . . .

“Why are you so bitter?”

“What!?”

“I’m sorry to be so blunt, you just seem really bitter to me, really jaded.”

“I’m not bitter about a God damn thing. And I sure as hell ain’t jaded over anything. What gave you that idea?”

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that. It’s not my place. I didn’t mean that, I don’t know anything, sorry.”

“No, you said it. Can’t take it back now, you must have said it for a reason. Do I really come off like that?”

“Honestly?”

“Yeah, honestly.”

“Well yeah, you kind of do. There is definitely something going on with you. I’m not trying to knock you or anything, it’s ok, I just can’t help but wonder what happened.”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Why?”

“Because it doesn’t. Everything’s fine. Trust me.”

“I do, totally, for some reason I would trust you more than anyone, really.”

“You’re getting drunk.”

“Yeah, it’s the rum. They make some strong drinks here.”

“You gonna be alright?”

“Oh yeah, I’m fine. I actually don’t live too far from here, if I drink too much, I can just walk home. Pretty convenient.”

“Really, where do you live?”

“You don’t know?”

“Uhh, no, that’s why I’m asking.”

“You know the building you live in?”

“You mean the one with the apartment I live in, with my bed and all my stuff?”

“Smart ass. If you are facing the building, look to the left and there’s a small white house on the corner, I live in the downstairs.”

“Oh man, no shit? I totally know that place. I have never seen you around there, that’s kinda weird.”

“Yeah, that is weird, I’ve seen you lot’s of times.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, I see you out back smoking all the time.”

“I don’t smoke.”

“I’ve seen you.”

“I’m telling you, I don’t smoke.

“Ahh, I’ve seen you a hundred times, sitting on the picnic table, smoking a cigarette. It’s no big deal, I don’t care that you smoke.”

“Damn, I don’t smoke. You’re the second person tonight that’s talked to me about smoking. I don’t smoke, never have. I think I would know if I smoked. You must have been seeing someone else.”

“Well, whatever you say, it sure looked like you though. Guess I was wrong.”

“Don’t patronize me, I recognize that condescending tone, it wasn’t me, I’m telling you.”

“Alright, forget about it already, it doesn’t matter. Sheesh, move on . . . talk about something else.”

“Ok then, I will. Damn, you’re getting all ornery on me, sure you’re not drinking too much?”

“No, I’m fine. And as a matter of fact, I need another drink. Where the hell did that bartender go?”

“I don’t know, I haven’t seen him in awhile. Hang on, there’s Kenny, I’ll go ask him.”

“Kenny, where’s your brother, we’re getting thirsty out here.”

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