The mood was devilishly sour, which matched my Whiskey Sour in a Reeves’ ‘most-excellent’ manner. I’m prone to alcoholism, but I forget often. Something with how the world hazes over when you’re properly inebriated…it makes life seem more real. A moment of clarity in a world that is bent on capitalizing on broken, lovestruck people like myself. I arched my back to desperately try and pop the ache, but like most things of late…I failed miserably. I finished off the whiskey, ordered a shot of ironic Skyy, drank that, and ordered a Sex on the Beach. It was a bit out of character, but (hey) you only live a blurry once. Someone brushes my shoulder and taps it twice in quick secession— Quick, but light. I turned. Amidst the cliché club lights and the deep boom of the bass I saw a beautiful brunette with long curly locks staring back into my grey eyes. We embraced—our lips touching gently (at first) and then exploded into something more… Suddenly the Skyy seemed not so ironic, nor the Sex on the Beach. We parted, she tipsied, and I caught her by the small of her back. We leaned in close— One of the beauties of cliché nightclubs.
“Where are John and Greg?”
“Who?” I owled.
She firmly grasped my hand and led us through a haze of smoke and hips. Dreams, wet and dry alike, were being forged between all of the lonesome souls that we cascaded through— Emotions compounding upon emotions, ad infinitum. We weaved and parried between those looking for love in all the wrong places, or those looking to forget all together. Eventually, we arrived back at our nice nook nestled within the cranny of sin. We slumped together in loud whispers. Chiding each other for not being close enough— Asking superficial questions just to pass the time between stolen kisses. As my hands inched closer and closer to the prize…my thoughts…my drunken thoughts…wafted to yet another brunette. This one was tearing off her ring in muted frustration and driving…driving away. The music suddenly shifted, and those that were dancing scuttled as those that weren’t filled the newly created void like flotsam washing upon the dance floor. A quick peck snapped me back to the moment…and to Diana.
“Do you want another drink?”
“Is that rhetorical?”
“Is that?” she smirked.
I watched her as she walked and weaved back into the sea of people. My best friend John—and Diana’s friend Greg—slid into the booth beside me. Greg seemed to be an introspective, giant of a man who had never gained the courage to tell Diana his true feelings. John and I had only met him tonight, but even with just a few brief comments we both saw how Greg felt. Diana was either clueless or never had the heart to let him down properly.
I heavily bet on the latter, while John the former.
John was a different beast all together. John is a stocky Irishman who pounded drinks to drown his own recent and equitable sorrow. Who knew that fucking a married woman, who was engaged to yet another man, would end so badly? Clambering out of low-hung windows in the dead of night and sprinting across Cheney farm fields was never what our old Track & Field coach had in mind, but John used what he was taught and he did it well.
I swear when John chased the worm the worm ran.
For whatever reason, there was an electricity that clung in the air about us that evening. It hovered and crackled with intensity. John and Greg lamented, while my sorrow extended elsewhere. Whether it be sex, sorrow, or sex to mask sorrow we all found our reprieve that night.
“Where’d you guys head off to?” I shouted above the music.
“Outside. We both needed some air.”
“You okay to drive?”
“No, not yet— man. I need to sober up a bit.”
“No worries. I’m in no hurry.”
Diana slid in close next me. She sipped both drinks before passing me one.
“What is it?”
“Just drink it,” she smiled.
I took a large swig, which finished half the cup, “It’s got bite.”
“That’s because it’s 151 and Coke.”
“Nice! If I didn’t know any better I’d say you were trying to get me drunk?”
“Nah, just loose.”
“I’m already loose.”
“Cool, your jets turbo.”
I grinned, “You started it.”
She returned my grin, and kissed me yet again. By this time Greg and John and begun instinctively conversing to avoid the awkwardness that would have come at a table filled with more-sober company. However, no one noticed the intimacy building between Diana and I…save for perhaps Greg, but even he was distracted with light-hearted conversation.
John leaned over to me and shouted once more, “I think we’re going to go outside, again.”
“Yeah, I just don’t feel so hot.”
“You sure you’re okay?”
“Yeah, I just need a couple of minutes.”
“Ok…we’ll be out in a bit.”
Again, the two stumbled off to get some air, and I stayed to get selfishly closer to Diana. She wasn’t the one, but she was for this evening. We talked and drank for a while more, and eventually we followed in the footsteps of John and Greg, and headed for the exit. The cold November air stung like a hard dose of reality. Diana and I were both drunk enough to be able to ignore it, but John and Greg sat side-by-side along the curb entrenched within the harshness of it. Together they had cried and swapped stories.
Diana and I gave them their privacy and sauntered off towards our own sort of recovery, but I’ll never forget the tearstained cheeks of Greg…nor my best friend, John’s.
That was a lie. It was in the moment that a looked back into Diana’s eyes. My sadness ebbed and my drunken heart punched out, whether Greg was there or not.
Tonight was a night of nights.