"how old do you think i am?" she says, a slurred tease as we walk past.
"um ..." he says.
just when i get the feeling we are catching the first winks in a lolita crime, she announces: "i'm 33 ...," and collapses with laughter.
we walk into quinlan's as he assures her she doesn't look nearly that old.
chuck grabs two beers, and i immediately head for the back door. it looks like i'm going to have to make another tedious seven-minute friendship with a stranger, i notice the grey and wiry beard o'chaos of a friendly acquaintance. i shuffle toward him.
we're talking about the half-marathon when a man stumbles toward us. his focus is bouncing like lotto balls.
"i can git as much coke as i want whenever i WANT!" he announces.
i ignore him, until he spits in my direction.
"you think something's funny? you embarrassed to be seen talking to someone with a crater face?" he accuses me.
"uh uh, um," i stammer.
"you gonna sit there and make fun of me now?" he challenges.
"i'm. uh. not making fun of you?" i say weakly.
i talk a step toward my bearded friend. i'm seriously scared.
back inside, the 33-year-old lolita has gathered three men at her table. they don't seem to know each other, but they have something in common: none who has the patience to pretend he is not very obviously watching her bend over. she also has a friend, whose dress is more like a shirt, and has the pretty-but-doomed look of jennifer connolly at the end of "requiem for a dream."
lolita is on the receiving end of some heavy whispering from one of the men, but every five minutes or so sidles over to an older man and crawls into his lap. he buys her a drink. she wanders off again.
during a lull in the music, mr. all-the-coke-i-want-whenever-i-want announces: we should go rob a bank or put some caps in someone's ass!
back outside again, and there are two men standing over a woman, who is plopped on the sidewalk. one man is talking about his new boat. at the end of his story, the woman begins talking, but i can't hear her.
the first guy busts in again and says: "i could totally scale this wall if i wanted to."
when i look at him, he's already got his leg three feet off the ground and he's testing the structure for something to hold onto.
hard-luck jennifer connolly has introduced herself to most of the men at most of the tables. lolita tells her it's time to go home. the older man escorts them to his car.
outside, jennifer connolly screams: YOU THINK YOU'RE BETTER THAN ME!"
the girl who had been sitting on the sidewalk points to me from across the bar. "hey," she slurs. "i LIKE you!"
she invites us to an afterbar.
we tell her we have to get home and let the dog out.
this is, obviously, a lie.
today, we are in an elevator headed to the fourth level of the parking ramp and it lurches. uff, we both say. the woman to our left laughs and nods.
"it's a little rough," she says.
as we walk toward the car, i notice that the person who parked windshield to windshield with me actually is abutting my front fender.
"seriously!" i say. "they're touching my fender! why?!"
the woman from the elevator gets into the car in question.
i make my best chagrin face.
"who got here first?" she asks.
"i parked here last night," i say.
"hmm ... i guess i got here first, then," she says, gets into her car, and drives away.
liar. i'm sorry we shared that moment in the elevator with you.
i'm eating a large cone and we're walking around the denfeld neighborhood when a 12 year old boy calls to me.
"excuse me, ma'am?" he says. "did you get that cone at dairy queen?"
"yes," i say. it was the biggest crunch cone in the building.
"how much did it cost?" he asks politely.
"i don't know," i say. "we got two things for like four dollars."
he looks at his friend and says "yesssss!"
chuck's getting his haircut and i'm reading about ashley simpson in people magazine. the song "proud mary" is playing on the lite radio station.
"you ever see miss congeniality II?" a nonworking employee asks me.
"no," i say.
"because there is the funniest scene in that movie, and this song is playing, and if you ever see that movie you'll never hear this song without thinking about that part of the movie," she says.
i think she's thinking of "sister act II."