hunger leads to the minnow, leads to drinks, leads to talk, leads to drinks, leads to unordered glasses left half empty--nauseating to look at, ordered by someone who wanted us to stay after our limit had been met--leads to drunken walk around the shell station scavenging for food, unusual purchases, and fast but broken sleep.
liv from work is there for her birthday, surrounded by young people. all sit around the big table next to the window hunkered together like wild west bandits around a mountain fire. they engage us at the bar on walks to and from the bathroom. john, her husband arrives from somewhere at the end of a drinking binge that began at one. i tell him we're buying liv drinks so he can spend the late night cleaning up puke. "that's why we've got dogs," he says. his talk is filled with gossip and memories of bangkok whores.
after the first shift bar guys leave, shot-and-a-beer carol takes his place next to us at the bar ordering the usual and trying to make the most of the time he has before his pizza is done and he must return home. new bar friend jay takes up his predictable spot as well. the entourage is assembled and completed a couple hours later when a man named corinne arrives and stands behind us pissed at various people and filled with plans for historical research.
john comments on our group. liv does too. she says she understands guys wanting to hang out with n because "she's nice, and hot, and talks nicely to them. i think she's a surrogate something for all of them." then liv's attention returns to her table of 21-year olds.
chick and reggie are bartending. chick jokes that he screams during sex. i spend the rest of the evening asking people, "have you ever seen chick have sex? he screams real loud." too many take the question too seriously and try to show their shock.
the sportsman, as usual, has fantastic ideas and theories. i don't recall them, though. i was penless when he was talking and am suffering the consequences.
we design halloween costumes on the back of coasters and discover many of the coasters already have drawings left by others. it is an art movement. i think n should come as the opposite of a guy named leitzy who always wears shorts and sleeveless shirts. i draw her with just sleeves and pant legs. people look at it closely as if they are really viewing her naked. my cartooning isn't that good.
and the hippy gypsy arrives and lurks bug-eyed as usual at the opposite end of the bar--thank god--carrying on a "conversation," with the disgraced undertaker. both are too lonely to leave.
the drunken irish writer approaches me a few times as he exchanges five-dollar bills for crisp ones for the change machine. he uses the quarters to keep his kids amused. besides his kids he is accompanied by two teenage girls. i didn't ask about it, but he explains their presence anyway. something about a chicago halfway house and his duty to watch them.
i tell him about the horse-faced stroller girl, the most intensely disturbing turn-around effect in town. from behind, as she pushes her stroller, she looks amazing. but from the front or side, she has the most serious overbite i've ever seen--exaggerated by giant teeth. if her picture were on a collection bucket at the pri-mart, i would pitch in money every week to get it fixed.
drunken irish writer hasn't seen her. "stroller girls. that's great. if you wrote a novel about them and called it stroller girls, you'd have a best seller." i'll get right on that.