My doom was delivered to me via a ghastly social networking tool: the rotten, meddling Facebook IM! Suddenly the Master of Danger could locate me at all times; he knew when I was home, when I was bored, he could suddenly see into very tapestry of my existence! Oh, the terrors of the internet!
By the time I saw him next, he knew everything! I’d agreed to what had all the makings of a date (he asked me out, picked me up . . . etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.) and we were going out to play pool at a dive bar (the only thing we would ever do). He started commenting on things he should not have known to comment on- my breakup, my writing career, my brief stint as a dominatrix! He knew it all! It was so spooky, so horrible . . He’d gone back through every Facebook post I’d ever written . . . EVER! He’d read and retained everything!
And I knew nothing of him.
(Though I honestly lacked interest at that point.)
I was spooked, but I pressed on and tried to make it through the loathsome evening without jumping ship, without heading for the hills, without going to the bathroom and never coming back! We’d gone to Bermuda Shortie’s, a full bar and restaurant with an open deck that overlooked the St. Septemberstine Beach. We were lounging by a pool table, eating rubbery, greasy bar food and he looked as homeless as ever! I yawned and shivered while he rambled on awkwardly, in some ridiculous accent I couldn’t pinpoint, an accent I did not know to be indigenous to any society on any planet! He had a strange, loopy way of speaking: he’d speak in seven different directions and then end up miles away from whatever it was he had started talking about. Baffling. Mystifying!
Though he did tell ONE complete story. It was one of those profound, monumental stories about a personal epiphany! He ran his bony fingers through his tangled vampire mane, felt at the vagabond stubble on his face and he began passionately:
“So I was dumpster diving in Canada . . .”
A dumpster! Of course a dumpster! He’s telling me about a deep and meaningful, life altering event and of course it takes place in a blasted dumpster! On a snowy moonlit night in Canada, he saw the light while sorting through garbage in a frozen metal dumpster! Oh, what revelations one can discover while looking for glass coke bottles he could turn in for measly pocket change! What else did I expect?
This had to be a joke and I waited for the punch line, but as he was talking to me, I realized he was serious. His eyes were glittering and excited and the unidentifiable accent morphed into something very definitely trying to be British:
“You see, I was dumpster diving in Canada. It was cold and I was digging for empty glass bottles so I could turn them in for the refundable deposit. It was one of the lowest points of my existence! I mean, I had nothing! No money, no job, nothing to look forward to! But then I looked towards the moon! And in that dark night sky, I saw a tree branch a single icicle! Just one brilliant and magnificent icicle! That solitary ice needle was hanging in front of the moon in all its crystalline glory and I looked at it and realized that I was HAPPY! I was happy there in my dumpster in the moonlight!”
Or something like that.
I rolled my eyes. He had to be joking!
I didn’t have time to react because just then, two girls walked up and asked if we were using the pool table. One was large and built like a refrigerator, but then the other one was a short trampy looking thing with tousled short black hair. She was wearing Fuck-Me-Heels, too much shadowy eye make up and something not quite long enough to be called a “skirt” . . . she wasn’t all that pretty in the face, but I guess she was all right looking. If you like that sort of thing.
I was amused with the way Jakobha looked at her, like he was pleased with her appearance, but at the same time, snickering a bit at her brazenness. It didn’t even faze me, I giggled proudly and didn’t bother to compare myself to her. Girls like that were ten cents for twelve!
I examined my fingernails absentmindedly before I heard him reply boisterously (still being British), “Why, hullo! I wonder, would you like to play a game with teams?”
The Refrigerator announced that sure, they’d like to play against us, but first they wanted to play one game alone. After they started their game, I looked fearfully into his cloudy eyes. “I don’t play pool,” I said. “I hate it. Loathe it.”
“Go on,” he said. “I dare you.”
I popped a chicken finger into my mouth, took a swig of my beer and leaned back in my chair, rolling my eyes. Now I had to play- I never refused a dare.
Great, I thought, as I saw him peeking down Fuck Me Heels shirt. The Homeless Vampire is inviting other women on our “date.” Whatever. At least I didn’t have to deal with the down and out pauper on my own . . . And now maybe I could hide the fact that the game of pool was but a mystery to me, a baffling ordeal I endured by fire! The Refrigerator was trying to teach me some pool tricks, but I did not understand her secret language. Her words fluttered in one ear and bounced around for a bit before seeping out the other ear in a cloud of steam. I didn’t notice Jakhoba talking to Fuck Me Heels. If I had, perhaps I would have noticed what Smash had- the bitch was out to have fun on her vacation, she was looking to get laid.
Since there were no attractive men anywhere and I was with about the only guy in the empty bar, the slimy whore looked at me in scorn: “You should be good at pool,” she said smoothly, her hollow eyes gliding up and down my frame. “You’re not wearing a skirt, so you can get as low as you want, eye level with the ball if you need to. And you’re small breasted, so you need not worry about boys looking down your shirt, the way I have to.” She smiled condescendingly, mocking me. Challenging me.
I searched my brain feverishly for a moment, desperate for a biting response, but I thought better of it. I plunked the empty glass down on the table, then pushed past the foolish woman, sauntered straight to the bar. I sat down, ordered another drink, then shivered as I felt someone’s hot breath on my neck.
“Don’t worry about her,” I heard the vampire say. “She’s on vacation, she’s looking to have fun. She resents anyone who may take attention away from her.”
“Well, she’s cute, go for it,” I said, purposely testing him. “She just wants a guy and you’re single. Not dating anyone.”
I was politely letting him know he had no chance with me, but he didn’t take it as an insult. He was thinking about it, I *saw* him thinking about it . . . but watching the wheels in his head turn gave me a damp, awful feeling in my stomach. My whole being began to quake with unease as I saw how thrilled he became at the mere thought of picking up some slut at a dive bar. His shoulders straightened and he stood tall, his ego visibly inflating at the prospect of making it back to Fuck Me Heels’ hotel room.
“Okay,” he breathed proudly. “But you have to go tell her we’re not together.”
“Huh!?!” I cried in disbelief. “No way! I was kidding! You brought me here, jackass! I’m miles from home, you will NOT ditch me to go off for a weekend special with some STD infested tramp! Get real.”
In one fluid motion, he reached into his wallet and pulled out a fifty dollar bill, handed it to me. “That will more than cover a cab. Now go tell her we aren’t together. I dare you.”
I stared into his eyes, looking for comfort, some sign he was joking. He couldn’t possibly be serious! He was going to not only ditch me at a smoke filled, mangy bar, but he wanted me to set it up? To orchestrate the sordid affair? Appalling. So demeaning, so grotesquely humiliating! I trembled with the realization he thought me so dispensible, worth so very little.
But I never refused a dare.