Segment 7: When a Third World Came West

I fumbled through my clasp purse, my cigarettes littered all over the place in it and I looked through grounds of tiny tar for my twenty which was stashed in a ripped open zipper pocket, in it’s brown pouch. The guy was texting on his wireless and looking to the back of him where a busser came through a swinging door that slammed behind him, bringing in clean glasses in a black plastic tray, with sweat streaming down the sides of his forehead from the steam from the dishwasher, I supposed.

“Can I have another one?” I handed the guy with curly hair another twenty. Holding his cell phone and reading a text with one hand, he dug out from his right pocket the same gnarled pack of foil and handed it to me. “Just take one,” He instructed, using both hands now to type back to the other person on a black AT&T phone and leaning now against the side of the hallway wall. I wondered what type of girls he liked, if they were more edgy or quiet, I banked on quiet, and wondered how far away I was from being his type .

I got it out, swallowed it quick, handed it back to him, said ‘thanks’, and opened the red velour curtainagain, back to the bar elbowing my way through more throngs of people talking over each other and meeting up with friends. The bar was packed with people and with the lights dimmed, I couldn’t recognize the faces of the guys and girls in front of me. I tried to look towards my right to see if Sam was still where I’d left him, or if he was clinking glasses with one of the curly haired girls in black skimpy tights and black tube tops and who’d smiled at him a little easily, that we’d passed earlier. In addition, I was keeping my eye out for Robbie, whose former seat was flanked by groups of guys in button down shirts, and girls following each other towards the back of the club, towards the bathrooms I supposed, with martini and tumbler cocktail glasses, filled with Cosmos, gin, and vermouth it looked like, in their hands.

My brown heels were sticking to the black wooden floor from the drinks that people kept spilling when they bumped into one another, trying to get napkins from the bar, or to get up to the counter to pay off a tab, and I had to watch the floor now for puddles of drying liquor to dodge, to keep from slipping in the shoes of mine that were now wet. Sam was checking out every which way of the bar, finishing the Budweiser I’d gotten him, and now picking up mine, swallowing from the bottle big gulps, his eyes narrowing when he squinted to see a soccer player run down a field in Manchester, on a TV . “Where’d you go,” He asked. “Hey, that’s mine, ”

I pulled my bottle from his grip a little hard and sipped any remaining feelings that the pill hadn’t been swallowed, in my throat, looking around anxiously for Robbie to my right. He was gone, I was pretty sure and I didn’t bother to pick out my cell phone from the broken cigarettes and grounds of tar in my clasp purse, so I relaxed, found a narrow space between a rowdy guy yelling at the TV screen on the wall, and Sam, and leaned my head back to see if I felt anything yet. I closed my eyes and said, “Oh, well. Back there? Oh, well I was just looking for the bathroom and I thought it was that way and this guy said it was this way and he showed me where it was.” “The bathrooms are over there,” He said. I opened my eyes for a minute and looked to see where he was pointing.

There was a separate hallway from which a girl stood wearing pink stockings and a yellow dress, next to her friend who had curly hair and who was wearing a yellow thick head band that I would never wear, next to her. There were other groups of guys and girls passing through and by her. I asked, “So where’d you live in Italy?” I took another big sip from my beer bottle and held it up to the ceiling, seeing if I could get it close enough to light so I could see how much I had left.


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