Friday, August 19, 2011: 8:42 pm, U Street, Washington D.C.
It’d been a long week. I’ve never been a fan of 9–5 jobs, they seem like they rob the best part of the day from you and you have to be satisfied with the scraps of morning and evening. This had been a particularly annoying week; my boss had been riding my ass for some bullshit assignment that only made sense to him.
“Joshua?” He asked, taking two steps into my office. He never liked to walk entirely into my office and normally I wouldn’t mind, because I’m always quick to get annoyed by visitors when I work and the less time they spend in my designated work-space, the better. But his annoying ass grated on me any time he opened his mouth in my breathing area. “Hey, have you gotten around to pulling those numbers I asked for the other day?”
Have I gotten around to pulling the goddamn numbers he asked for? Of course not. I had actual work to do and he wanted me to pull the stats for each player on the retarded Dallas Cowboys for the last five seasons. It’s not my job to do his bitch work for his fantasy football team. As far as I was concerned, he could take his “numbers” and…
“Because I’m really trying to get that info before ‘C.O.B.’ today,” he said in that high, nasally voice of his that always reminded me of Pee-Wee Herman, for some reason. The worst part? The dick actually did air-quotes when saying C.O.B.
“Listen Mr. Loomis,” I said with a barely-contained sigh. “It’s 15 minutes until the day is over, do you really need the stats by then?
“To be honest, no. But I do need you to finish that task before you leave today. No matter how long it takes.” And with that he took two steps out of my office, without even looking backward, like he was on some sort of Evil Jerk conveyer belt.
God, I said to myself, I deserve every alcohol in the world for this bullshit.
Fast-forward to now. Sitting in one of those pretentious bars on U street, Northwest. They’re each about the size of a Japanese apartment, with drink prices that require you to take out a mortgage. I’ve been pounding down drinks for the last 90 minutes or so. Not entirely sure. You know how it goes when you’re three-sheets-to-the-wind on a Friday night: time is for other people, for people who cared and who had places to go. I was already where I was supposed to be, with my two friends, Marcus and Arthur. Marcus was my friend from college, Arthur was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle brand gin, it made me feel smart. We’d also been friends since college.
“Alright Josh, I’ve got to get going, I’m meeting Trish for a jumbo slice in Adams Morgan in about 20 minutes, and it’s gonna take all my focus to walk there in a straight line. I got to get going now or else I won’t get to enjoy a nice greasy slice…or any pizza!” he said with the guffaws that only an inebriated person has the ability to make. It sounds incredibly fake, but at the same time garners your pity, because you know it’s real.
“Yesh, shounds good. Lemme jhust crush one more quick gin an tonic and I’ll join yoush. I could totesh kill a shlishe of pizzzza the shize of my head,” I responded, sounded incredibly sober and functional. “Bartender, one more pleash?”
“Ummm, I’m sorry to say this sir, but that was the last bottle Of ACD gin. May I recommend something else? Howard, perhaps? Hemingway?”
“Whaaz? Arsh you trying to appeal to my shense of great writersh/drinkersh? How dare you shir!” I suddenly sprung from my barstool and reached over the bar to grab the bartender by his shirt, in an act that was strangely agile for a person in my present state. “Whush your namez?...Dick!”
“Yes sir, my name is Dick. How did you know?” he managed to stammer.
“Beacush if I were your parentsh, I woulda had that tattooed on your shtupid jerk facesh!” I bellowed an inch from his stupid jerk face. “ Are you telling me you’re outta my gin? Caush I don’t believe a word your…shtupid jerk facesh saysh!”
At that point Marcus reached over and liberated Dick from my grasp (a sentence I had hoped to never say). “Dude, relax. If’s he out of that label, he’s out of that label. Why would he lie?”
Why would he lie indeed, I asked myself. It seemed pretty innocuous, and perhaps I was blowing things out of proportion. This could just be the alcohol talking, and I wasn’t being rational.
But if that was the case, then why, when we were stumbling out of the bar, (making it down the flight of steps with only two trip ups) I was so sure I saw Dick winking and offering the crooked smile of a guy who enjoyed the fact that his name was also his personality characteristic? That guy was hiding something from me. And I vowed to come back the next day to find out what it was.
To be continued…