Monday, August 22, 2005

See Me

Part 1 - We Meet
Part 2 - She's So Lovely


It was the perfect lie, as that misperception was naturally associated with my character. There was a bar at the corner of Lombard and Octavia where a group of regulars came to drink and ogle the bartender, who moonlighted as a stripper and Sambuka girl. The bar also served as a watering hole for night clubbers on the pilgrimage from one bar to the next, creating a unique environment that was delightfully unpredictable as groups came and went like flash floods.

On one such occasion, I hit it off with a fun bunch of guys that came in with a head start on the evening. New York, New York was playing on the jukebox and we were singing along in a Rockette chorus line, arms across each others shoulders and high kicking as best as our beer battered bodies would allow.

"Listen, I'm having a poker party next weekend if you'd like to stop by," I told one of them. His eyes narrowed shrewdly and peered at me as if he was seeing me for the first time.

"And who's going to be at this party," he asked slyly with the delivery of a police investigator.

"A couple guys I know," I replied simply.

"I see." He rounded up his friends and left.

I saw him six months later at another bar on Union Street, and tapped him on the shoulder. "Hey, how are you doing? Long time."

He nodded and smiled. "Hey," he said, scanning the people around me. "Who are you here with?"

Wow, I thought, this guy is a lost cause. My buddy Eric was at the bar competing with thirty others for the attention of two bartenders. His feet were close together and he was bouncing up and down with his hands neatly clasped on the bar on which he leaned, so that his rear stuck out like one of those girls on the old Hauling Ass poster.

Oh well I thought, and pointed in his direction. The guy took a look, then gave me that 'Aha!' expression and melted into the crowd.

The youngest of my two cats was no bigger than the palm of my hand when I got him, a tiny helpless little thing with crossed eyes that couldn't focus on a spot without great effort. When he tried, his head would shake like the coffee jitters. He emitted a volley of faint and high pitched mews on that first day, so cute that I named him for it. As he got older his adorable little mew was replaced with the signature Siamese yowl, but those eyes never straightened out.

Mew jumped onto the couch next to Beth and fixed her in his gaze, and the two became fast friends. "Oh! He's got koogley eyes! He's so sweet." My other cat Johnny, named for one of my early favorite guitar songs, Johnny B. Goode, was the prototype of a beautiful cat, perfect in every way from his fur and eyes to his warm affectionate manner. Almost nobody noticed Mew with his funny little face and reclusive personality. Mew needed to be cajoled, to be treated gently, whereas Johnny loved everyone unconditionally. Beth loved Mew for his quirks.

I suggested that we all go get dinner at a local restaurant called the Brazenhead, a darkly lit and charming place I had the good fortune to live around the corner from. We sat in a secluded corner booth and ordered an appetizer with spinach artichoke dip.

Somehow the conversation turned towards college, and I explained how I had been in a fraternity for a short while, and Beth's eyes darkened slightly.

"You were in a frat?"

I swallowed the oversized hunk of dip soaked bread in my mouth, "Don't call a fraternity a frat, would you call your country a cunt?" I laughed out loud and displayed my pearly whites, adorned now with a pair of neatly lodged spinach fragments between my front teeth.

She burst out laughing and the spark relit in her eyes. I thought I was quite charming, and the truth is I was, but not for the reasons I intended. She saw something that cannot be faked or hidden for long, an evanescent quality that once detected has compelled a few to seek the back way out. She had glimpsed my bare essence, my true and flawed self. Offbeat. Quirky.

Me.

16 comments:

mr. schprock said...

I think I have an idea of where this is going based on the first part of the post, but I'm not going to say anything yet. Looking forward to the next installment.

Tee said...

I had a siamese growing up but his eyes were just fine. I loved his yowl though :)

Waiting for the next post :)

Mr. T said...

I think I'm there with you, Mr. Schprock. Looking forward to seeing if I'm right or not.

Scott said...

Feel free to contact me privately, as I am curious as to how you think this is going. Scratch that, I'm intrigued.

magnetbabe said...

There's nothing better in the world than the feeling that somebody "gets" you. I like hearing about your cats!

mr. schprock said...

OK. One email, coming up!

Mr. T said...

Bombs away... email to you.

Trevor Record said...

Haha, I think that pretty much everyone is a "mew" in one way or another, though.

Scott said...

True, but most women are looking for a "Johnny" to settle down with.

Thanks to T and S for their postulations. Interesting ideas if I were taking creative liberties with the truth.

Scott said...

MagnetBabe - Man, that is so true.

Jason said...

Cats and suspicious potential male friends. Story of my single life.

Miranda said...

You write like James Joyce, but you're much less depressing. So far!

I always looked for a Mew. Johnnys are for looking at in movies. Mews are for keeping.

Mrs.T said...

Reading while 'vicodin'd' up, but still reading.. :)

The Zombieslayer said...

"Don't call a fraternity a frat, would you call your country a cunt?"

Now, that was weird. But I kind of like that. Never been in a fraternity though. The ones I've seen drank too much and I was too serious (and broke) of a student.

Scott said...

Jason - Are you sure we aren't the same person?

Miranda - Wow, that was a nice thing to say. Glad to see there's more of the good ones to go around.

Mrs T - I'm glad that you can read through your Vicoden haze. I used to save mine for major hangovers.

Zombie - Well, nobody said I was perfect. Fraternities are for major drinking, and the only reason for which they exist. Oh sure, ostensibly they stand for academic excellence, but any frat boy will tell you why they really like being there.

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