I went out with Tennessee for dinner last night. We went to a restaurant I'd never been to that recently earned a Michelin star. It wasn't really a restaurant. It was a big bar with a tapas menu. It's owned by a fellow who has two Michelin star restaurants in town. We ordered a lot of tapas. I guess I don't appreciate the same things Michelin does. It was o.k. but nothing I'd jump about. The drinks were better than the food, but the whole place looked like that bar scene from the first Star Wars movie. Now that my town is open to intergalactic travel. . . the world just keeps getting cooler and cooler.
We dined, of course, at the bar, and just as our first drink arrived, another gymroid and his wife walked in. We asked them if we should get a table, but they shook their heads. It was their ninth anniversary. I was glad. They sat around the corner of the bar from us, and we sent them a round of drinks. Nine years of marriage, though. . . that false sense of celebration ("where do you want to go, darling. . . what do you want to do?) wears off pretty quickly, I guess, because it wasn't long before they were standing next to us chatting.
We ordered plates of food--spicy Yuzu pepper shrimp, Japanese fried chicken, Brussels Okonomiyaki, lamb Karubi lollipops, blue crab and corn croquettes. . . and would-be Margaritas made of arette reposado, la luna mezcal, lime, pomegranate, and supremely effervescent soda. That's what the menu says, With Tajin. You see?
The celebrating couple bought us drinks back. I took one sip and decided nope. I could tell it was one of those drinks sleazy boys buy their first dates that tastes like punch but has nothing in it but a combination of liquors. I let it sit on the bar for awhile.
"Don't you like it?"
The celebrant wife shot it right down.
The gymroid's wife is Malaysian and more fun than he is, so I talked to her mostly. They had been out since four, but you really couldn't tell. They were hardy drinkers for sure. Now Tennessee likes to stir the pot, and he is always flirting the the Malaysian. The gymroid celebrant seemed to enjoy that. Tennessee was lit before he got to my house.
"I ate a gummy, dude, and I'm kind of flying."
Drinks went down. The talk got weirder. The Malaysian said something to me, and I whispered in her ear, "I'm not like them. I'm sweet."
She looked at me and asked, "How old are you?"
I told her it was hideous, and she replied, "You're sexy."
She told me I needed to go to Singapore. I would have many girls, she said.
"I told you, I'm not like them. I'm sweet. I'm only looking for my own true love."
"Oh," she exclaimed, "many women would love you."
The night was turning weird on a dime. Our old bartender had disappeared. Now we had a lady boy serving us. The Malaysian. grinned. Eyebrows went up. Tennessee had spent much time in Thailand at a fighting gym.
"I've seen plenty of Lady Boys," he said.
The three of them were trading far eastern tales now, of sex clubs and hookers and the sex trade. The Malaysian looked at me. I just shook my head. She leaned against me and smiled.
The night had swerved off the road and was heading for the ditch as we paid our tab. There were suggestions of going elsewhere to places I didn't want to go. I could have simply driven home, but I didn't have my car. Tennessee had picked me up. And the next thing I knew, we were all piling into his luxury pick up.
"I can't stay long," he said. "I have to pick my wife up at the airport at eleven."
O.K. I thought. I can ride this out.
I did. Again. . . right into the ditch. There were only two choices available to me now--Sodom or Gomorra.
At some point, Tennessee got a message. His wife's flight had been delayed. Estimated time now was midnight.
I got a call from Tennessee this morning. His wife didn't get in until quarter 'til four. He'd barely slept. But he couldn't wait to tell me "the rest of the story." After he dropped me off, he said, he was almost to the airport when the gymroid called him. Wanted to know if he could go back to the club. His wife had left her credit card there.
"--They ain't gonna give me your wife's credit card," I said.
--"Well. . . can you come back and get her and take her there to get it?"
--"Dude. . . you don't want me to come get your wife. . . ."
If I don't have Covid, I'll be happy. We had ended the night, or at least my part of it, with a secret pact never to tell anyone what went on that evening. I laugh. Of course it will be told. Tennessee is already worried this morning. He knows the other gymroid will leak something. I really have no dog in this fight. I mean, I have no one to answer to, so I don't care one way or another. . . but it is a hell of a story to keep under your hat. And if it becomes the first bit public. . . you shall be the first. . . no, second. . . to know.
My throat feels a little scratchy.
Today, I go to drink with the other crowd, the factory crowd. Thank god it happens early and I can take the train. I've blown my one meal a day diet, of course, so I'm happy about that. Ha! I'll be eating bar food once again. And though this crowd is somewhat more demure, I am expecting at least a little intrigue. Nothing like last night, but some. And maybe something a little more sweet--like me! Don't get me wrong. I enjoy a good show, and we had one last night, but I like to retreat to my Leave It to Beaver world when I'm ready. Still, you know. . . a little weirdness is good for me. If I don't get sick, last night was a real good dose. Now I want to simply sit in the shade on a brilliant day and sip drinks and hold hands with. . . .