I can handle it.

Was thinking about this idea of female camaraderie in the wake of some events of the last 24 hours. Pondering the idea of commitment lately. Wondering what Sam and I would have looked like if we were even sluttier than we were. Maybe something like this.

[just a thought]
It usually starts with a bar, or, more specifically, the same bar. We would have beers. Smoke cigarettes. Glance to the door to see who will be joining us tonight.
We always have the same table, the same stools, largely the same conversations. We trade off buying each other two dollar cans and picking songs on the jukebox.
Maybe I like the music or maybe the attention. Maybe it's that puberty spared me ample hips and breasts and so in my day to day of jeans and t-shirts, some smoky dive bar just seems comforting when forced to own the tomboy label I was granted somewhere along the way. Maybe it's the way the bartenders all know me.
It's probably some combination of it all, but the constant was us, our stools, the same beer, our roving eyes.

It is one of those bars where the same people come every day, but when new boys fumble briefly with the front door before entering, tripping on the first stair and taking a stool, she and I will be the first to notice. We are masters at this.

Across the street from the bar there is a mini-mart, and the man who works there knows us. He knows us because at two, when the bartender boots us from our stools he has many loyal patrons that aren't ready to tuck in for the night. He knows us because we live a few blocks away. He knows us because the bartender needs some concrete reason to get the new boy over to our apartment when he's done counting out and locking the door.
Ones and fives are found and pooled, and we can usually pick up a case or so of Ranier or Oly, and by the time we get back to our place with a few buddies in tow, the bartender's phone number is glowing blue on the screen of one of our cellphones. He never lets us down.

So when they get there, it'll be two-thirty or so, and we'll get the new kid's name. It's usually something generic like John or James, one of these suburban white kids who's eager to take in the city, find the dirty underbelly of the north-end grade and revel in his own spontaneity while he's being dragged to some girls' apartment. Sometimes there's more than one. We like boys like this. We give them beer, take our dibs, the rest of the crew starts taking bets. We have it down to a science. From the exchange of names to the locking of our bedroom doors, we can seduce an unwitting boy in under a half an hour. We only ever draw it out for shits and giggles, to amuse ourselves. We amuse easily.

We collect them in lists, nickname them like playthings, dispose of them at will. We believe phone numbers aren't to be granted with actions akin to little more than trick or treating. They always ask, but I can handle it. I have a knack for letting them down softly, sometimes subtly leading them to believe that I don't do this that often, that I was drunk, that I made a mistake. I always imagine them returning to the other guys of their acquaintance extolling on the "girl he nailed", looking virile and manly to them, hiding that he had asked for a second round. Like I was one of the nice ones.
We are not the nice ones. The only relationship we're willing to be a part of is ours to each other and so together we careen through our world swilling whiskey, breaking hearts and taking names, adding them to our lists.

We covet these lists as our histories. Each name is a story, a night we might have shared drinking beers at some bar. Or rather more specifically, the same bar. Some night when we glanced to the door to see who was joining us, and saw them later in one of our beds. Saw them later on one of our lists.


Sam said...

Damn did you paint a good picture. I love you.

charles.bukowski.costanza said...

that shit is tits, and: "making with the jealousy," of course, dude. i love that. of course.

i'll call soon. thanks for the abbreviated props -- and the shout-out.