“I wouldn’t, if I were you.”
The defeated guy with the disheveled hair and sunken eyes who said it sat alone at a table for three. On the table were three empty cocktail tumblers, while an angry waitress held a maxed out credit card in her hand beside it. But the guy wasn’t paying any attention to the waitress. He was looking at me, while I was looking at a girl. His would probably have been good advice if an unworldly youngster at that age could have given a care what anyone else thought to start with.
You see, when a young man like I was back then sees a woman like the one I’d just seen he doesn’t think of how much money it takes to look like she looked. He doesn’t think about the cost of the tight, low cut, hip-hugging dress, or the incredibly high-heeled Versace shoes that she somehow manages to dance in, much less walk. He doesn‘t consider her December tan, her professionally applied nails and foundation, or her Coach purse. He doesn’t account for the pearly smile, the rounded boobs, the muscled calves, or the dyed and highlighted hair. All the poor son-of-a-bitch thinks is, “Damn!” And that’s exactly what I thought.
She was with an equally well-coiffed friend. Together the pair pushed easily through the throngs, somehow finding an unoccupied one of those high sitting tables that nearly every nightclub has near the dance floor, as girls like these two seem to always find whatever it is they desire conveniently free. They climbed/hopped/struggled up onto the high table’s high barstools where they proceeded to wiggle and grind to the dance beat in the most seductive of manners, as it was entirely too loud in their current location for effective conversation. As I watched them, I looked back once more to see that my soothe-saying friend was being hauled bodily from the bar by a gigantic bouncer. Looking back at the grinding girls I thought the only other thought that could come into a young man’s mind in such a moment. “Shit!”
Being an “aware” type of person I read the room, clearly seeing the hurdles on the track before me, yet I was too inexperienced and too hungry to be deterred by them. I was aware of the uselessness of approaching and attempting conversation above the musical din, so I did not. I was also aware that it was too early in the evening for dancing with strangers, and that mine was not really the look or type to pull much of an impression out of such a divinity in any event. No, if I was going to cross this finish line first it would have to be by a more devious route.
The “Moonshot” was a little known, potently secret confection devised by this very establishment’s top barkeep. I was only aware of it because I had happened to be ordering a beer earlier while he was perfecting it, and was happily offered a freebie if I would be his Guinea-pig. His Moonshot had been like drinking a candied buzz, only better. This mind bending delicacy could be my “in” if I could only manage to get close enough, quickly enough, to present her with one before her honey drew other flies.
So I waited my turn at the bar and ordered three. Thirty-six bucks plus a tip for the concoction-mixer later I picked the three shooters up with both hands and made my way towards their table, where I allowed the crowd to bump me into my angel’s little friend, for which offense I pretended to nearly drop my liquid cargo while profusely apologizing for “the mob hanging around the dance floor’s unabashed rudeness.” I then continued on my way. Once out of their sight I waited two slow minutes before making my way around again, loitering beside their table, pretending to be hopelessly searching for someone just long enough to ensure that I (with my hands still uncomfortably full) got noticed, and then I wandered off again.
Two minutes later I orbited around once again, only this time I stopped at their table, a pitiable look on my face. “I can’t find my friends,” I yelled above the pumping music. “Would y’all mind helping me with these?” Anyone can refuse a drink, but what woman can refuse an offer for assistance from one as obviously useless and helpless as I seemed to be? With appropriate drama I made a show of setting all three of the shooter glasses on their table and flexing my fingers afterwards, as though they were cramped from an impossible weight. I slid a shooter glass in front of each girl and picked up the remaining one myself. I held mine out over the center of the table, allowing the girls time to tap it with their own before downing it in one swallow and begging my leave. As I walked away I looked back to see them inspecting the strange color in their glasses before sniffing suspiciously at them, but I was not concened. They would try it. And when they did they would like it. Curiosity kills every cat.
Twenty minutes later, alone at the bar with my beer, I sensed rather than saw a presence around me. Turning I found them behind me, grins plastered across their tipsy faces. “Still haven’t found your friends?” My beauty asked over the noise. I sadly shook my head in the negative.
”Lucky for us!” She squeezed herself in closer. “What was that drink? It was sooooo good!” The other girl nodded with enthusiastic approval.
”It’s called a Moonshot.”
”Well, your Moonshot has got us going! Come dance with us?” It was not a question. Without waiting on an answer I was grabbed by either hand and drug willingly to the dance floor.
It was a grand, if exhausting three week whirlwind; late night clubbing, all night love-making, early morning work hours, paying for drinks, filling her gas tank, and stopping for “after clubbing food-calls” day after day, night after night, waking early and sneaking out for work while she slept in, calling during breaks or lunch to find her at the salon, or at the gym, or somewhere shopping with her Daddy’s credit card. When I finally told her I could not keep it up any longer, and begged her for a quiet night at home, she only frowned. “Ohhh pooh… and we were having so much fun!”
I suppose it’s easy to hurt others when you are immune to pain.
It was a rough few nights afterwards, driving home from work, passing by the club, seeing her BMW glimmering there beneath the parking lot lights. I stopped in one Friday night, still not recovered, arriving early before she was there, ordering a few drinks while I waited. I had nearly given up on her, and had asked my waitress for the tab, praying there was enough on it to get me the hell out of here when she made her appearance.
She and Candi arrived together, as always, both as hot as expected, but I could not do it again, could I; being leached of both money and time? They passed right beside my table without even noticing. As always, their table by the dance floor was free. Taking it over they proceeded to wiggle familiarly for each other, grinding along to the music. Beside my table I heard the utterance of a chiseled young man in jeans and boots as he stepped past my table and stopped, a familiar slack-jawed and hungry look in his eye. “Damn!”
Her next meal. If he heard my words of advice there was no outward sign of it, but then, what untried young man could give a care what anyone else thinks, anyways? But I uttered those words regardless, a fair warning from one fool on a stool to another.
”I wouldn’t, if I were you.”