Monday, April 19, 2004

Sketchy Bill 9: Neil Always Gets the Girls

Razor left. Bill went upstairs for a nap, leaving me on the couch with Coco and Patty. It was raining, hard enough that neither Coco nor Patty was willing to get up and put the top back on Coco's car. They were content to sit around, hemming and hawing about this guy named Neil and some sort of benefit concert that was scheduled for that day.

Now, as you can imagine, I had a serious vested interest in keeping Coco around. But although she was still lying, very soft and beautiful, in the crook of my arm, she hadn't been too keen on kissing me since the precipitous departure of Sheryl. Initially I was willing to chalk this up to a dip in the candyflipping rollercoaster, but after several more iterations of body language evincing a change in heart on her behalf, eventually I came to realize that I'd been a patsy the whole time! It was confirmed that afternoon by Bill that Sheryl had been so focused on Coco because she "thought" Bill and Coco were flirting. Or making out, or something like that. The advent of Oklahoma Hippy Boy had been a godsend to Coco, who had been essentially feigning death under her black leather coat until Sheryl passed out or had a stroke from sheer frustrated rage. I had enough (I guess) that I was a plausible beard for Coco's true feelings, or at least to appease Sheryl as to Coco's intentions.

I don't know what happened, folks, but I do know that the entire FBI raid scenario of less than 10 hours before (remember being stranded at the airport, with a shoe full of LSD?) was wildly off the mark--the true "bad time, brother" was due to a tense "situation," or more baldly a "mexican standoff," between Coco and Sheryl. For some reason I pictured Sheryl lunging at Coco with a broken beer bottle, but of course that couldn't be--it must have been a wine bottle. Or maybe cognac. My visions of Bill upstairs with a Mac 10 and a pile of cocaine the size of Rhode Island, screeching at the DEA agents outside to say hello to his little friend were thankfully just one more paranoid fantasy.

It was a little humiliating to think that I'd wandered cold and alone on the streets of SF for several hours just because Bill didn't want any of his stemware to get broken, but I was still OK with that. What I was not OK with was being left alone in a huge, weird house with no supervision and no friends, on the rising curl of what was turning out to be a deepwater acid trip.

But of course that's what happened. The rain began to lighten up around 10am, and they began making plans to leave and get to wherever this thing was held. My last argument: hey, it's raining--if you don't want to go, then just don't go! Patty's response was, "well, Neil will be mad if he doesn't see me."

"Neil, please. He'll understand. It's raining, for chrissakes," I said, as I gently tickled Coco's slender flank.

[Jesus, you have no idea how pleased I am to be able to write shit like this.]

"Well," said Patty, clearly disturbed at the thought of pissing off Neil, "it's not that simple. I mean, you don't just not show up at a show Neil Young's invited you to, just because it's raining."

And you know, I didn't have anything to say to that. I mean, what would YOU have said?

Defeated, I dragged out my brand new black leather organizer (god, how I agonized about losing my soul when I purchased that), which was completely pristine except for Bill's phone number, and had them write their info inside. As they were doing this, another balding, middle aged dude came downstairs and started rifling through the fridge, looking for a beer. His name, let's say, was "Alex."

Alex was followed shortly by Bill, who ushered Patty and Coco out of the house (I micromanaged Coco's parting hug to the nanosecond, all the while trying to absorb as much of her scent as I could, without seeming a pervert), tossed a beer to me, and ensconced both of us downstairs in front of the bigscreen. OU was about to play Nebraska (I think) for the conference championship. Or something like that.

Alex was a typical college football yuppie dude. He'd crashed out early in the party, and no one saw him til he came downstairs in a polo shirt and khaki shorts, shaved and clean. Only his bleary eyes betrayed the wild evening the night before.

I, on the other hand, was cranked up on two different types of hard drug, as well as five layers of conspiracy theory and social minefields. I could see from far away that this conversation was going nowhere fast.


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