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Archive for April, 2017

Lindsey’s City: Chapter 3

by on Apr.22, 2017, under 'The Blog'

“What’s orange and sounds like a parrot?”

Ami was visiting from the UK, staying with her friend Kaylee. When they stepped into Fado’s for a drink that Monday night, they had no idea they would meet someone like Will.

Well past 10:00, they had planned to be at home and asleep already. Ami, vacationing in Austin, had nothing to do the next day, but Kaylee started her new job at 7:00 AM. Lindsey felt sorry for her, knowing her day was going to suck. There were six empty glasses between the two girls, and the waiter had already picked up many others. She walked back over to Mitch and saw stacks of glasses among the 20 people there.

“We should find somewhere to go dancing.”

Everyone else agreed, and they asked the waiter for their check.

Walking outside, a suggestion was made to go across the street. About half of their group was from out of town so Will felt compelled to clarify.

“Y’all cool with gay bars?”

Everyone agreed, where better to go dance. Walking in, Lindsey headed straight for the dance floor. Will and Ami went to the side to watch a game of mega-Jenga. They arrived just in time to see the tower collapse, which may have registered on the Richter scale. Mitch walked to the bar.

Most of the group, now 22 people, had only met that night. They were all friends now though, joining in on bar games, dancing, and some really, really bad singing.

— The Friday Before —

Mitch couldn’t think of a better Friday night – going to see Flatland Cavalry play at Cheatham Street Warehouse. He’d been waiting to see them again since he’d first seen them 4 months ago.

It seems like every time he met up with Will at a bar, they made new friends instantly. This night was no exception, and already Chelsea and Tiffany had joined their group. They were teachers at a high school a few hours away, a stark contrast to the mostly college kids at the show.

Chelsea was busy braiding Will’s hair. He didn’t seem to be very enthused, but it didn’t interfere with watching the show so he didn’t protest. Mitch was talking to Tiffany, trying to find out if she had any family from Illinois.

“You look just like this girl I know, Lindsey. Don’t you think Will?”

“Yeah, y’all could be sisters. Are you from – Ouch!” He definitely wasn’t enthused with the braids.

“So, this girl, is she like… attractive?” Mitch could tell she wasn’t sure what to think of this. Before he could answer in the affirmative, Will stepped in to make it weird.

“Oh yeah, she’s hot. Like everyone I know is trying to get with her.”

Mitch and Tiffany just stared, unsure of what to say. Not paying attention to them, Chelsea finally broke the silence by announcing “Done”.

Mitch recognized the chords to his favorite song. Closing his eyes, he started to dance, and thought back 4 months and 1 week ago to that fateful conversation.

After another drink, Mitch joined Lindsey on the dance floor. He was hesitant, being surrounded by some pretty good dancers, and being horrible himself. Lindsey didn’t mind though, and danced along with him.

Their group was getting pretty rowdy, and most of them were dancing along. Jim, a co-worker Mitch had somehow only met an hour before, was up on the tables. It was mildly entertaining, until he walked right off the edge and fell face first on the ground. Then it was horrifying, until a few seconds later he finally got up and continued dancing. That made it legendary.

Kaylee was staying on the edge, not dancing, and struggling just to stay standing. Lindsey was pretty sure she’d be late to work in the morning.

Ami had put back a few more drinks as well and was dancing with Will, an amazing swing dancer. She was having problems keeping up. More than once she tripped over herself and tumbled across the dance floor, once bringing Mitch down with her. Will gave up and introduced himself to some others. “What’s orange and sounds like a parrot?”

Looking around as he danced with Lindsey, Mitch couldn’t understand how they hadn’t been kicked out yet.

“We’re headed to West Sixth, you coming?”

Mitch appraised Will’s group, now grown to include the teachers.

“Nah, I’m gonna stick with my original plan and head to Lake Charles. I didn’t stay sober tonight not to drive to the casino. Y’all have fun on Sixth.”

Tiffany looked intrigued. “Casino? That could be fun!”

“Sorry, I roll alone on these trips. You best stick with these people.”

Mitch decided to stay for the rest of the show. Soon, someone approached him and said, “Great job tonight.”

“Excuse Me?”

“You played in the opening act right?”

“Nope, not me, I’m not much of a musician.”

As the band started their final song, they gave their thanks to the crowd.

“This one is dedicated to all those with a black-X on their hands.”

Mitch noticed almost everyone’s hands go up in the air and saw X’s everywhere. Momentarily confused, he suddenly realized how old he was getting. It had been over 10 years since he’d had one of those X’s. He realized he may be getting too old to go out to college bars.

Grabbing a water at the bar on they way out, another stranger asked, “Hey man, didn’t I see you playing earlier tonight.”

“Nope, why do people keep asking me that?”

They talked a bit more as the bar cleared out. Mitch shared his plans for Lake Charles. A stranger overheard him and interjected.

“You should go to Eagle Pass. It’s only 3 hours away.”

Mitch wasn’t concerned with the distance, but he did like to visit new places.

“Screw it, why not. I’m headed South I guess.”

“24! 24! We’re going to 24!”

Granted, Will was excited about everything in life, but nothing excited him like 24 Diner after a night of drinking. He talked some of the group into joining.

Now 2 AM, they’d just put Ami and Kaylee into a cab to get home. While food probably would have done the girls some good, sleep would help as well. The grabbed another cab and proceeded to the diner.

“So they got Peach Jam and Berry Jam for the biscuits,” Will explained after they sat down to the table. “Don’t even bother with the Berry. Peach is where it is at.” The serious look on his face, and the threatening way he was holding a butter knife, was enough to convince everyone to ask for the Peach.

“Chicken and Waffles, you’re my favorite.” Will was now singing everything he wanted. Being well known here, the staff gladly provided. It helped that he kept them entertained with his jokes as well.

“What’s orange and sounds like a parrot?”

Sitting next to Mitch, Lindsey struggled to stay awake as she laid her head on his shoulder.

After meeting Tiffany, Mitch had thought about Lindsey for the entire drive to the casino. They still hadn’t talked about their kiss five months ago, and even though they often met up, it was never alone. He decided to call her.

“I’ll be back in Austin around Noon, we should go get some lunch. I’m incredibly hungry, and I’ve got to tell someone about the World’s Worst Casino which I just visited.”

Lindsey agreed to meet Mitch at New World Deli, her favorite local spot. Mitch had never tried it, so was of course quick to agree to it.

“World’s Worst, eh?”

“Yeah, right here in Texas, who would have thought?” Mitch took another bite of his chicken salad sandwich, one of the best he’d had. It was a stark contrast in quality to the greasy restaurant where he’d had breakfast and the casino where he couldn’t even get a drink.

He finally decided to broach the subject.

“So, what’d your sister have to say about us and… that?”

“Ha, she was surprised, but not upset or anything. She said I should hang out with you more.”

“So, you’d be cool dating your sister’s ex-boyfriend?”

“Well, cool may not be the word for it. It would be weird, but I wouldn’t say no.”

Mitch didn’t say anything, but smiled.

“Under one condition… you take me on one of these random road trips you keep doing.”

“Just one? I think I can handle that.”

Waking up Tuesday morning at 8 AM, way too early after the night she’d had, Lindsey answered the ringing phone. Her sister wanted to know how things with Mitch had been going. Lindsey filled her in. Before hanging up, she had one last question.

“Hey, I kept missing the punchline to this joke last night. Have you ever heard this before?” She was in luck.

“Yeah”, Jessie exclaimed. “A carrot!”

————

My money is betting that Kaylee is unemployed, and I feel kinda bad about that. Kinda…

Speaking of betting, never again in Eagle Pass.

The Tiphanie Doppelgänger incident did happen, was freaky, and was made extremely awkward.

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