Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Meghan 3: The Escape/Interlude

I shot bolt upright in bed--my testicles tried to climb right back where they came from. 
"Hey, relax," she said, "he always hits the snooze once."
I couldn't tell if she was trying to be funny or not, so I whispered "so you're telling me I've got nine minutes to get my boots on and get out this back door before he comes in and blows my guts out through your bedroom window?"
"It's OK," she said, "just get in the closet."
Now ladies and gentlemen, your favorite monkey is not a dumb monkey.  Yes, at times he makes poor decisions, and at times those poor decisions have actually bit him in the ass.  But I was nowhere close to hiding in her closet.  Nosir. 
So I threw on my clothes, and pulled on my boots, and tried not to listen to her whispering seductively in my ear:  "he only comes through here once on his way to work, and then we have all day here."  I don't think I growled at her, but I probably came pretty close.  I was cursing myself, too:  mad at myself, most of all, for wearing those great big clunkers of combat boots. The kind that have, like, 200 holes.

I don't know why I wear them, people. Maybe it's nostalgia for the first pair of boots my dad ever gave me, that were made before I was born and didn't give up the ghost until the mid nineties. Maybe it's because I hate shoe shopping--I hate it with a passion, with something deep within my soul, something central to my very core. I mean...well, you understand. So I appreciate footwear that will last 20 years.

But since that morning, I don't buy anything with more than seven pairs of laces. Too much time to lace...

As it happened, I only made it about halfway up each leg before my mental countdown began to go red--so I grabbed my shirt and my socks, kissed her again (hurriedly--I was already mentally calculating my odds if I went back through the same gate, or chanced the other side), and hit the door with a minute or two to spare. Turns out, there was a completely free gate on the other side of the house--I wondered as I sprinted through it if I'd just misheard her, but I'll never know.

Jennie says this is a terrible story because I don't get chased, or shot at, or anything. I think it's great story for just that reason--my ass did not wind up in a sling. Granted, it could have been better if I'd hidden in the closet, or if he'd shot out my back windshield, or something like that. But I'm committed to the truth, here, and I'd only be encouraging kids to behave in this lascivious and irresponsible manner if I made it seem "fun," or "rebellious," or "downright kick-ass." So there.

Anyway, I spent the better part of two weeks dodging her phone calls. This wasn't hard, since I was working 14 hours a day and didn't have a phone. Times were very good at chez Jefe back then, with lots of wine, women and LSD (song, too), so it wasn't hard to convince myself I was too busy to talk to her.

It was during this time that my friend Dan got himself hired on at New Orleans Cafe, as what amounted to the entire waitstaff for the shift aptly titled "Midnight Madness." There were something on the order of 20 tables in that place, all covered with beatniks or worse, and all of us drunk as pirates (or tripping) most nights. Thankfully, these shifts were only on Friday and Saturday nights, but they were literally all nighters, from about 9pm til the morning crew showed up, between 7 and 9 the next morning. Generally, some of us would stick around once the place closed to help mop and sweep and get Dan (or whoever) out earlier...but it was still a weird and difficult job.

So there I was, contemplating my prospects for a Saturday evening, when up dashed Dan with the phone: "TELEPHONE! NO TIME!! TOLD HER YOU WERE HERE!!" This was all you could really expect out of him during these days, since he drank more coffee than all of us combined, and tended to lose focus after about three hours of having orders for food and drink shouted at him.

Of course, it was Meghan. I couldn't escape.

She said, "Hi! I was just thinking, maybe you could come over to my Mom's house..."


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