I was lucky enough to find the perfect table last weekend. There were four chairs available for me, my wife, my friend Karl and his brother-in-law Alex. We were sitting outside a bar named O'Bricks in downtown Bradenton. It is our favorite bar on slower nights because of the atmosphere and the quality of their bar staff. The “O” in O'Bricks is about the only thing Irish about this Irish Pub, and the “Bricks” is a literal translation of the exposed brickwork that covers the walls inside. They have a few beers on tap, but they are known more for their specialty martinis than for anything Irish. I was having a Jameson and Ginger Ale (one of the few whiskeys they offer), and I believe the rest of my table was sampling an array of ales and/or lagers from the Irish cities of Milwaukee, WI and Burlington, VT. There was a patron directly behind me that could only be described as a “quote a minute.” I glanced over my shoulder at one point to see her silhouette. She was about 5'4”, and her clothes were that of an early thirties mom who had been saving this outfit for her next opportunity to “hit the town.” My initial suspicions were correct when I heard her say she was turning 31 this year, and my further suspicions were confirmed by one of her later comments. She had obviously already enjoyed a few too many drinks that evening, which allowed her verbal inhibitions to take a much appreciated siesta. Needless to say, I was enjoying myself immensely.
I had first overheard her explaining to some random group of people that she was an English teacher at a local magnet school, and that she was a proud mother of a four year-old with Downs Syndrome. After that, she had taken a pause to sample the mixed drink she had recently received from her overweight, yet slightly attractive friend. That drink must have contained either Sodium Pentathol or at the very least, Rohypnol. I say that, because the raw truth had begun taking the express route from her subconscious, straight toward her lips and out into the ether. The Rohypnol guess was based simply on the further commentary when she took to raping the English language. She started abruptly with comments like “I'm a piece of shit now, but I used to be a big deal.” She went on to add “my son is retarded, I'm writing a book” and “I don't take good to dickness!” All those paled in comparison to one of the last of her statements we overheard that evening. After she slurred through a few more nonsensical rants (something about George Carlin for President in 2012 and Zombie make-out sessions), she started a story and ended it all within a matter of seconds. She said “So we went to the drum circle. I ended up fucking this guy in a Cabriolet next to his massage chair. He was a racist, and that was a deal breaker.”
How could someone skip the story telling process and get right to the “Cliff's Notes” version? Why were all the details left out? Whose Cabriolet was this, and why was there a massage chair in it? These were all questions to which I would get no answers. She was still seated two feet behind me, yet I would not dare turn and talk to her. I try not to get involved in conversations like those. They tend to turn into long diatribes of drunken banter that rarely supply better details or further entertainment. She continued to talk, but by that time she has ceased to utter any complete sentences. And I believe at one point she vomited in the metal garbage can over by the bar entrance.
I decided to dissect the short short story she had just told her friends. The first line was “so we went to the drum circle.” So that meant she was either a fan of offbeat Caucasian percussionists or someone who occasionally smelled of patchouli oil and wore Birkenstock sandals. I took her for a woman who sampled all of life's many offerings, and at some point in her earlier years she had toked her share of the magical herb known as marijuana. She was a self-declared English teacher (even though she wasn't flexing her grammatical muscles that particular evening), so she must have mixed it up with those hippie types at some point in her life. Was this what led her to the next chapter in her mini-story? She ended up “fucking this guy in a Cabriolet.” Was it his Cabriolet and he was not at all conscious of the undertones of such an automotive selection? Or was it a more sinister plan that was led by the reasoning of “girls drive Cabriolets, that means we will have something to talk about, and then I get into their panties.” No, I'm sure the car was hers. No self-respecting or even self-disrespecting male would ever make that choice. The next part was probably the second most perplexing of the sub-sections. How on Earth can you fit a massage chair in a Cabriolet? You can't even fit a regular metal fold-up chair in a car that size, much less a full size massage chair. This part of the story made me confused, and a little skeptical of the remaining details. I wanted to believe this was entirely factual, so I ignored those other thoughts and got right to the coup de grace. I'm not sure how much time had passed between her decision to enter into the coital phase of their relationship, and even less sure how long it took for her to the find out about the “deal breaker.” Apparently, this guy was a rare hippie/racist. His attendance at the drum circle and affinity for the art of massage therapy usually would point to a pretty liberal and open-minded individual. However, according to little miss Cabriolet, he was a racist. Did their pillow/headrest talk cross over from “what's your sign” to “I hate black people”? If so, how did such a crossover happen? Was she talking about how she loved to watch the setting sun on the horizon of the Gulf of Mexico, and his post-sexual brain could only produce “Don't get me started on the Mexicans.”
I don't know how such a wonderful story was cut so short and left without the lurid details. No matter how drunk you are, if you have a story like that to tell, make sure you tell it all the way through to the racist end. You only get a few of those experiences in your lifetime, and you better not waste an opportunity to give it the attention it deserves. You say you have a retarded son, and that is what you want to write a book about. Fine. However, this story needs to be told. I have tried my best to give it the publicity it deserves, but a firsthand account could only improve on its merit and cultural significance. Yes, you used to be a “big deal” and even though you think you're a piece of shit now, you'll always have the drum circle. Never forget that.