Sunday, June 11, 2006

Scene from Karaoke, Thursday, June 8

Sitting alone, waiting for the perpetually late DM (blame the cab this time) and Liz to show up, I am writing in my notebook a post about our adventures in Wisconsin, and the bar is packed. I found the one open table and claimed it, refusing to get up and lose the space and chairs.

I am content to listen to the singers, some good, some unmentionable, and write in my notebook. The Coca~Cola, no ice, sits in front of me and I avoid eye contact with the creepy, greasy old man sitting at the bar staring at my chest.

A woman walks over, I've seen her before but can't remember anything unique about her, and she hovers over the table. "Can I sit here?"

I have three chairs - one of DM, one for Liz, and one for a possible James that may show up. (In fact, Char and Tom both showed a little later so I needed even more chairs.) I respond, politely, "I have people coming."

She sits down. "They're not here now." How observant.

She starts talking to me. This involves her touching my arm and I want to scream. I don't like being rude and since this woman seemed interested in my writing, I closed the notebook, putting it away from her eyes.

Her name is Nancy. I tell her my name and she starts singing that horrible song by Kiss. She touches my arm, leaving her hand on my bicep as she laughs over, "Oh Beth, what can I do?" I want to reply, "Leave." I make no qualms about my opinion of the song. It is not romantic. It is a song about a guy who wants to go out all night and party and leave the girl at home. You know what would happen if that was my life? His possessions would be on the lawn and the locks would be changed. That's what you can do.

Nancy tries another topic of conversation. "My boyfriend's incapacitated." A man lying in a hospital, white sheet tucked in, while the machines beep because he is comatose comes to mind. Instead, she says, "He's in jail."

Did she mean incarcerated? Somehow, I feel that she chose the word incapacitated intentionally. She proceeds to say, "He has a $100,000 bail. He's in there for awhile."

What the heck did he do? The question is on my mind. So I asked.

As it turns out, she explains to me that he is an alcoholic, "You know what I mean, right?" I want to say no, I have not dated an alcoholic because I refuse to put myself through that crap and I value myself more than that, but I keep my mouth shut. I doubt I would have said anything of value at that point since she felt the need to touch my thigh as she said this and I wanted to climb up the wall away from her.

He's an angry alcoholic. Again, "You know what I mean, right?" He wanted to go to the casino and she figured since Minnesota casinos do not serve liquor on the floor, it was a good idea. She pulled up to the valet and jumped out the car. She was at the cash machine before she realized he wasn't there and headed back looking for him.

She finds the valet refusing to move the car because he is passed out in the passenger seat. (What I wonder is how she got away from the car to begin with. I've been to this casino, used this valet service (back in my earlier twenties it was fun to go to the casinos with friends) and they don't just wander up to abandoned cars and park them. Tickets are involved.) The valet is telling her that he is too drunk to bring into the casino. Nancy decides to get back in the car and look for parking herself.

The valets follow her to a spot and tell her that she can't just leave him passed out in the car. She ignores them and heads into the casino, leaving him behind.

A few minutes later, a man approaches her in the casino, asking her to come outside. She is put in the front seat of a cop car and told that her boyfriend is being arrested. For attempting to strangle her.

This is where I figured she would start referring to him as ex-boyfriend. She doesn't. She is talking about how nice it is to be free and not tied down (and I wonder how literal she is with this). Then she tells me that he didn't try to strangle her at the casino.

The police tell her that it doesn't matter what she says about it, there are security cameras that show him doing it.

She then starts to tell me how much it sucks that he's locked up and how lonely she is. This is where I feel like strangling her.

Do you think I could be a character witness for him?

When the rest of the group arrived, she didn't leave. She continued to sit at our table until after Char and Tom left. It was insane. And her eyes. Serial killer, for sure. Liz commented, "When she looks at me, I wonder if she's thinking, 'Would it take only 4 stabs or 8?'" There was no soul behind those eyes.