Sunday, January 01, 2006

Misery Loves Misery (and Lightfoot), Part II

I'll call the bar Pete's, though that isn't its real name. I'm not sure why I'm using a pseudonym -- if you know Murfreesboro, you know this bar. It's the largest, flashiest sports bar in town, with ad spots on Nashville radio bragging about two-for-one happy hour and locally famous live music. If you don't know Murfreesboro, you probably know a bar called Pete's, in which case you know this bar. "Pete's" is a generic name, and this is your standard, Pete's-ish place. Plate-glass front doors open to a cramped "wait room," where you dish the $6.00 cover while a bouncer makes the mandated, perfunctory ID check. The main room contains, in addition to the bar (teak? mahogany? some shiny wood...), square dining tables; a backlit stage; and a tiny, oblong dance floor. Also, statues of the Blues Brothers, and -- in the spirit of the season -- a mounted reindeer and Christmas stockings. 'Cause nothing says "the holidays" like drinking yourself into oblivion.

When I didn't see Courtney at the door, I went ahead and ordered a vodka tonic. Vodka tonics and I go way back, to weekend partying on Beale during my TFA stint. For Beale outings, I selected the slinkiest, strappiest tops Express could offer, paired with tight jeans and blister-guaranteed heels. I'm sure this combo spoke to several professions, but "fourth-grade teacher" wasn't among them.

For my trip to Pete's, I chose a TJ Maxx sweater that I actually wore teaching fourth grade. Saggy jeans and Easy Spirit orthopedic shoes almost completed the Look. I could've used knitting needles and cats, too.

After a round of cell-phone tag, I found Courtney at the back ell of the bar. She'd ordered a glass of Merlot, and her friend held a Smirnoff Ice. I think her friend's name was Jackie, but it may have been Jenny or Janet. Like most sports bars, Pete's boasted a floor-vibrating decibel level. I smiled at Jackie/Jenny/Janet. She smiled at Courtney. Courtney smiled at me. And we each fixated on the turbo-merry decor, waiting for whatever was supposed to happen next.

Apparently, that was: nothing. The band segued from a cover of "Hard to Handle" to a cover of "Honky Tonk Woman." Rudolph's nose kept blinking. I finished my vodka tonic and started crunching the ice. "Maybe we should go closer to the dance floor," Courtney offered. As this act involved parting the Red Sea of frat boys, none of us were willing to make any immediate moves.

Instead of a miracle, we got "Sweet Home Alabama." At the opening chords, the frat boys leaped from their seats ("Turn it up!"), and we scooted near the stage. God bless the South.

As they say, "liquor before beer, in the clear," I ordered a Smirnoff Ice. (Hush! Smirnoff Ice is too beer....it's just sweet beer.) My cell phone hadn't buzzed to indicate a text message, but maybe Boyfriendish needed prodding. "Smoky bar, lots of drinks. I miss you," I wrote. One message received: "Have fun!" Time for another Smirnoff.

I guess I should have accepted the invitation to dance. Booze and dancing are a notoriously bad match, like booze and copy machines (or booze and anything but sleeping). I'd been eyeing the guy who asked me, though -- not because he was particularly attractive, but because he wasn't sporting the baseball cap/collared shirt-over-tee look, like all the other Pete's guys. Another perk: he appeared at least close to my age. Between the two of us, we could have parented some of the kids in Pete's. Not that I was thinking this far ahead.

Quick drink tally: two pre-party SoCo crans; one vodka tonic; two beers. "Drink to forget" was working pretty well for me. Until I reached the dance floor, I couldn't recall the title or artist of the featured tune. Mid-spin, I got it: "Folsom Prison Blues," Johnny Cash. Wouldn't you know, Walk the Line is the only movie that Boyfriendish and I saw together at the theater. "What's your name?" my dance partner shouted. Then, "Hey, what's wrong? Why are you crying?"

The song ended; I ran for the bathroom. When I came out, my dance partner was gone. "Where did you go?" Jackie/Jenny/Janet asked. "Your boyfriend was looking for you."

But that was the problem: my boyfriend wasn't looking for me. "Too much cig smoke," I texted. "Going home." No response. He just keeps a'movin', as Cash says, and that's what tortures me.

24 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hugs for the bad night. Hope the rest of the year goes better.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is something that will cheer you up...check out www.murkywords.com and pay particular attention to the "Best of List for 2005" written on 12/30/05. I'll thank him for the tip to your Blog...nice work.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Jesseanna said...

"Goofus Musings" is feeling all self-conscious now...but in a good way. Many thanks to "Murky Words." W. and I agree that if we couldn't laugh at ourselves we'd be in truly sad shape.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't disagree with Murky Words. You are my favorite blog. -A

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chief,

And here I thought that graduation meant no more Newscasts. How glad I am to be wrong! Your posts brighten my day.

xo, The News Editor

10:10 AM  
Blogger Jesseanna said...

Time for a nap outside of Knapp.

As a postscript to this post, Boyfriendish is now officially Friend. This all came about in a rather mundane way, but I'm sure I'll post about it anyway.

Much love, A. It's a shame no one ever gets to read your blog.

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