Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Women Only Like Me When They're Drunk

Sunday I was in Atlantic City with my parents. Whenever we go there - about three to four times a year - my Mom and my Grandmother usually go their own direction (to quickly rid themselves of their hard-earned money on the slot machines) while Dad and I do what we affectionately call the Atlantic City Crawl: we start at one end of the Boardwalk (usually the Tropicana) and work our way down, drinking and eating, eating and drinking, walking walking walking. Since we start early (10 AM-ish), we can't let yourselves get sick by 1 PM, so we regulate the heavy doses of regular coffee, beer, whiskey and different kinds of food (sweets, chicken sandwiches, soup, seafood) with the walking we have to do. We figure we'd rather buy things with our money we can enjoy instead of dumping it all in a slot machine/Skinner Box or rolling ourselves broke at a craps table, so we save the gambling for the very end of the day (because by then we won't give a shit about how much we lose).

One of our stops - around noon or so - was at the Liquid Bar in the Trump Plaza. He and I sat at the one (nearly) vacant end of the bar - across the way was an Elvis Impersonator drinking a beer (I can't make this up). Ordered a Yuengling Lager and so did Dad; I was watching the Phillies/Reds game on the big screen TV while Dad was clearly fascinated with the Elvis guy.

Before I knew it, a young woman in her early thirties (maybe even late 20's - it was hard to tell) came in the place stumbling and planted herself next to me (when there were clearly other seats available), orders something I can't make out, the bartender nods and gets to it (I assume at that point she's a regular). After ordering she tosses her handbag next to her, stretches both arms out and lays her left cheek on the bar, so she's looking right at me.

Like every other drunk person in the world, she felt like talking. To me.

"How much did you win?" she asked me, spacing out her words with care.

"Nothing," I replied. I was telling the truth, because I didn't start gambling yet.

"I got 1200. Nickels. Never happened before." The bartender brought her drink over and then immediately walked away. My Dad didn't say anything either and - though I neglected to check - was probably snickering at me behind my back (like he always does).

"What are you going to do with the money?" I asked. I had to respond - I was kind of trapped and had to say something.

"Spend it," she said.

"On?"

"I don't know. What do you think?"

At this point she had made me thoroughly uncomfortable, although to be fair I was uncomfortable from the moment she sat down. "Shoes," I said. "Buy a few pairs."

"Naahhh."

"Buy more booze, then!" I said, pointing to the bottles of vodka behind the bar. (I was making fun of her, but she didn't seem to notice.)

"YEAH!" she yelled, loud enough for anyone to hear if anyone cared at all. Meanwhile, I heard her handbag vibrating. She lifted her sleepy, dazed head slowly and reached in her purse. She checked the device. She put it back in her purse and put her face back down on the bar. She looked at me. She didn't say anything.

I took a few swigs of my beer and said something to Dad, who was switching his attention between the Elvis Impersonator and the TV. I turned back to the young woman and she was still looking at me. I didn't say anything (I maybe nodded, I don't remember). I went back to my beer. I fiddled with the napkin. I looked back. She was still looking at me.

"Are you tired?" I asked.

She didn't even respond. The drink she had in front of her had mysteriously disappeared, as if there was a hidden straw under her cheek that looped under the bar that she was using. I don't recall seeing her take a swallow. I quickly finished my beer and nudged Dad to finish his. "Do you want to go?" I asked him.

He and I got up and put our coats on and she asked me where I was going. I told her we were walking to the Hard Rock Cafe, which was a lie (we were actually going to Caesar's Palace).

"Stay," she said. "Have another."

"No, no, no, we have to go," I told her, already pushing my chair in.

"Is that your Dad?" she asked, smiling like she figured out some great mystery.

Dad didn't say anything, so I had to answer. "Yeah, that's my Dad," I admitted.

"Awwww!" she exclaimed.

"Have a good evening," I said and walked out in front of a very slow-moving Dad, who was probably relishing my chance encounter with Ms. Stolichnaya.

Upon walking out into the rain, neither of us spoke for a few minutes. Then, being Fatherly, he said to me, "If you wanted to stay there with her I could have just met up with you later." He smirked.

I laughed, because no other response was fitting. I was once again reminded of the disturbing fact - and it's happened a lot - that Women in general only talk to me when they're fucking plastered. A fast-food whore in a dive bar? Talk to Matt. A fatty on a cruise ship who drank too many Mai Tais when her boyfriend wasn't around? Talk to Matt. An older, beat-up looking woman with a fetish for emaciated poets? Talk to Matt. Taciturn librarians from New York? Bi-polar sorority girls from California? Devoted Catholics who are saving themselves for marriage? There's Matt. Do a shot. Talk to Matt. Do another shot. Bother Matt. Do another shot. Yell in Matt's face.

Sober, it's all a different story. Sober, I'm a pylon that you have to drive your truck around. What's that noise I heard? I think I ran over someone. That was Matt. Who's that guy I bumped into and never said excuse me? That was Matt. I spilled my coffee on this guy's shoes ... who was that dweeb? That was Matt. Did someone just ask me something? Oh, that was Matt ... but because I'm a brain-dead twat with a hearing problem I'm going to ask him to repeat whatever he asked me over and over and over again until he gives up asking and I can devote more time to thinking about why men have nipples and why Rico Chico the Banana Baron got voted off the Big Survivor Brother Island of the Stars.

As a result of all this, I'm starting to think I only look presentable if and when everyone's over the legal limit to drive. Maybe I am the ugly girl at the party. You know, the one you 'settle for' and wake up regretting? Instead of "Awww, dude, I did the fat girl!" it's "Awww, shit, I did the Matt!" Getting thyself to a nunnery is the next logical step.