Saturday, March 13, 2021

Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Enter the 9th Circle Part 14

“I want to tell you one of my favorite stories,” Scott says, turning my face to his, “now that we’re new friends.” “Hello, Miss Thing,” Dennis yells, moving in right behind me. I mentally check to see where my wallet is.

“I once had this roommate who was a 300-pound tacky black drag queen named Laronda,” says Scott, getting an evil look in his eye. “Anyway, she comes to me one day and I tell her that I need a favor.” Dennis snickers 
behind me. “So, I tell her that my father is sending me money by Western Union and I can’t pick it up.” Scott looks around me at Dennis and they both begin laughing. “So, Laronda says that she will pick the money up for me.” “Delicious, just delicious,” says Dennis twirling the back of my hair with his index finger.

“The day arrives and I send Laronda to Western Union.” Scott pauses and looks straight into my eyes. “Oh, did I tell you that Laronda was illiterate?” 
Dennis is giggling louder. “She can’t read or write a word.” “So I tell Laronda that she needs to hand the teller this note to get the money.” “Tell him what the note says, tell him what the note says,” blurts Dennis, tugging on my sleeve. “The notes says, ‘My name is Laronda, gorilla woman, give me all your money, I have a gun!’ ” With this Dennis and Scott fall off their stools and begin rolling in laughter. They are falling all over themselves. “The cops…, the cops…, the cops took her away!” Dennis and Scott can barely breathe and are slapping and clinging to each other.

“Can you imagine the look on that teller’s face when a 300-pound tacky drag queen with crooked stockings handed her that note?” says Scott, now red in the face from laughing. They continue laughing and slowly climb back onto their bar stools. I feel as if my mouth is hanging open. Don’
t get me wrong, it took years for me to laugh at that story, well okay, weeks. If that story is true, what are these two truly capable of?

An old man squeezes between me and Scott; he is listing from side to side. Scott bounces him like a pinball. Then Scott looks around me at Dennis and whispers loudly, “Oh look, fresh fish!” It’s about this time that I remember I am at work. I have very little money in my pocket and I am not here for a picnic. “
Hey guys, I have to get going.” I say.


Scott and Dennis are no longer looking at me and have moved on to greener pastures. Scott is pressed up to the guy from the front and Dennis has his hand on the guys back pocket, encasing his wallet.

I jump off the stool and head back to the stairs by way of Bob. He hasn’t taken his eyes off me and has a smile on his face. He is softly laughing and shaking his head side to side. I point to the stairs and tell him to “Come up and see me sometime.”

Slowly climbing the stairs, I become overwhelmed. I am suddenly aware that I am in a den of prostitutes, thieves, cut throats, drunks, drug addicts, and probably killers. But I have to tell you, I am having the time of my life. Oh sure, I am fresh off the turnip truck from Upstate New York, but I’m not that naïve, or at least I don’t think I am.

I walk back into the bar and Don immediately spots me. I push through the crowd. The jukebox is playing Joan Jett for the fiftieth time that night. Funnily enough, it’s “I Don’t Give a D
amn About My Bad Reputation.” Somehow, 
that seems very fitting at this moment.

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