Friday, November 12, 2004

Story of Kim 3: "You Fucked the Autopilot."

So it was that one day in early November I was playing hooky from work, lonely and bored. I hadn't seen much in the way of my friends since the end of the summer, due to a couple of them dicking me over, school, and the cold weather-related reduction in available roof/wine drinking time. The New Orleans had either shut down, or I was mad enough at the owner that I wasn't spending any money there. Either was likely.

As I laid in bed, reading, and being bored, my thoughts wandered to a certain sweet young girl I hadn't seen since that summer. Her name was Tiffany, and she was literally sweet and young. I don't think I've ever met a kinder, gentler person than Tiffany, and she was only 17 when I met her. She was the type of girl that made me feel like a coarse, dirty thug, but that she loved me anyway. In other words, I felt like she was unreachable--too pretty, too perfect, and too nice.

I had recently heard she was single, and I also heard that she was working at a comic book store close by my house.

So I figured what the hell. No harm in visiting an old friend, hey? We were friends, mind you, even though I had ulterior motives. Off I went to the comic shoppe.

No Tiffany. But oddly enough, there was a Kim. She seemed entirely too glad to see me, and sort of bullied me into agreeing to get coffee with her later on that day, once she got off work.

And yeah, I have to be honest, I didn't mind the company too much. I was lonely, and she wasn't hard to look at, and we had Edward to talk about. Additionally, it was time to start Christmas shopping, and I HATE shopping by myself, so we drank coffee, cruised the mall, and split, after exchanging phone numbers. By the time it was all over, I'd spent most of the day with her, and was ready to be alone again.

She talked about Edward a lot, and apparently had been speaking with him on the phone some, which I thought was kind of weird given that he'd barely escaped her clutches when here in the city. But shit, I thought, I'm sure he's lonely as all get out up there, so I can't blame him too much. I was also kind of relieved that she didn't appear to be latching on to me, because she definitely seemed to be the clutchy type.

A couple of days after that, she showed up on my doorstep with a handful of comic books. I was rather nonplussed that she came over without warning, but not wanting to be rude, I invited her in. She gifted me with the comic books, despite the fact that we had never discussed them, and in fact I'm not much of a fan [as a side note, that is changing now] there were a few moments of awkwardness when she realized she'd just given me a gift she'd meant to give to someone else (I gave them back to her a few days later). She didn't appear to have much reason to come by, exactly, and as some of my former roommates can attest, I'm not much of a talker or socializer during the work week. After a couple of (interminable) hours, she apparently got the vibe I was sending out, and left. But first, she gave me a big hug.

I wasn't paying attention to any of this. She verged on annoying, and I thought she was still carrying a torch for ol' Edward, so I didn't think much farther than "getoutgetoutgetout."

The next night, she came over again. And the following night. The night after THAT (yes, the fourth night after the comic book thing), I did the honest and forthright thing and shut off all my lights and locked the door. I was going to bed early in those days anyway, so it was no big deal.

It seemed that did the trick--I didn't hear from her at all over the weekend and during the week. I did, however, hear from Edward. He was going to be visiting the city over Thanksgiving, and wanted to make sure I had the fridge stocked with whatever cheap ass beer I could afford.

So the weekend finally arrived, and I made a special trip to the liquor store for supplies. I was very, very pleased to be seeing Edward again, partly because my life at that time was pretty well devoid of both intelligent conversation and human interaction in general. That, and I wanted some good alcohol for once.

I'd been reading the autobiography of John Densmore, drummer for The Doors, because I've always been a fan of Crazy Jim Morrison, and one specific paragraph had been sticking with me lately--it talked about an incident where Jim had slipped away and purchased a bottle of Jack Daniels right before a show, and gotten too drunk to play.

So, my shopping list was short: a case of beer, a fifth of Jack, and a 2 1/2 gal jug of bad German white wine. And a bottle of Boone's Farm, for the Land Speed Record which is another story.

Saturday night, a couple of my friends showed up to wait for Edward and his people to arrive. We sat in my bedroom, because that was the only room that was heated, and talked back and forth. They were drinking beer, I was taking hits off of the whiskey and chasing it with beer. Pretty soon, we were drunk, and Edward wasn't around.

I remember finishing the beer, and I remember the empty whiskey bottle. There's a brief flash that I can recall, later, of me opening the screw top on the big bottle of wine. An even dimmer flash of the 2 1/2 gallon wine jug, nearly empty.

And then, nothing.

I woke up in the morning, with a head (predictably) the size of a basketball. Something wasn't right--I wasn't...alone.

It was Kim. She was naked, and I was naked, and we were in bed together, and I couldn't for the life of me remember how it happened. I mean, I had a pretty good idea, but there's nothing in my mind (to this day) that could serve as a supporting fact to my hypothesis.

Edward, I knew, was going to be fucking pissed. Not that he'd have a lot of valid reasons to be pissed--after all, he'd dumped her and moved away, and in fact had to do some pretty fast talking to keep her from moving with him, which is as good a reason as any to think that ol' boy was "finished" with her. But I knew, deep down, that Edward wasn't rational about some things, and one of those things was (at that time) women.

Worse, she had that look in her eye. That one look, you know, that reminds me of puppies and baby deer and soft, helpless, innocent things that should be cross stitched onto a goddamn pillow somewhere. The look that all but screamed "I LOVE YOU!" The look, ladies and gentlemen, that you don't want to see on someone's face the morning after a bender. It was a look that told me Edward might not be the biggest of my problems.

When she caught my eye, she got all modest and began saying things that ultimately would have led up to something I definitely didn't want to hear. She stammered something along the lines of "I don't normally do one night stands," and then something about how wonderful I'd been, and how she'd always liked me, etc. This was hurting my head, and I realized I was going to have to be direct and kind of mean to keep this from getting out of hand (or more than it already was).

So I kicked my feet over the side of the mattress, knocking over the empty whiskey bottle on the floor, and found a pint of E&J brandy I'd bought, then realized I didn't like. Anything was better than listening to her drivel when I was sober, I thought, so I took a couple of big mouthfuls and listened to her while it warmed my belly. Finally, I turned to her, looked her in the eye, and said "look, I don't want to give you any false impressions. I don't remember sleeping with you. I don't remember when you got here, or how we wound up in bed together. Plainly we had sex, but I don't remember it. In fact, Kim, I think it would be safe to say you fucked the autopilot. And that's not going to happen again."

She took it better than I thought she would, but didn't seem to show much inclination to get dressed and leave. Thus would begin the awkward part of the morning after--giving someone the hint.

Thankfully, my pager went off, and I was quick enough on the uptake to tell her it was my boss, and I was going to have to go to work. It wasn't my boss, of course, but rather my actual date for the evening, but the little white lie hurt no one. Kim got dressed, reluctantly, and left. After another hug that lingered way too long.


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