It was an unusually warm December that year. Christmas day didn’t bring the white snow that Bing Crosby would dream of instead it brought 70 degree weather in a state that is used to subzero temperatures. This year it benefitted him as he sat on a green plastic lawn chair, smoking cigarette after cigarette writing sad songs into his brown leather backed notebook. When he wasn’t writing he could be seen staring off into the distance trying to figure out what exactly had just happened with his life that found him single and alone. Days would pass in this chair, ashes piling up in the ashtray on the round wooden picnic table that was to his left. He reviewed it all, the small moments and the big moments hopelessly looking for the signs. The signs that she wasn’t in love with him anymore, that she was leaving him in her mind years before the actual event happened. Exhaustion would set in, the wine would set in, the sleep never set in. He had no idea how he was going to live his life or how or if he would ever meet another.
Aimlessly wandering his kitchen opening cabinet door after cabinet door looking for something that didn’t make him feel nauseous at the mere sight, bravery set in. The wave of “Fuck it” roared up the beach of his kitchen and enveloped him as he leaned against his linoleum counters. He wasn’t going to just sit here anymore and mourn, he was going to go out and meet people, meet women. He was going to walk up to them with confidence and gravitas like in the black and white movies he loved to watch. His mind transformed him into a cross between Gene Kelly and George Clooney, while quietly raising his pointer finger in the air, Thumb up, making a shooting motion with a wink, he walks up to a woman at the bar asking her if he can buy them a drink. He even ended his suave question with one word “Doll”. She then giggles and blushes, accepts his drink which leads to them laughing and dancing the night away.
That was just the kick in the pants he needed. He was going out tonight. He ran up his carpeted stairs with the excitement of a child. Skipped into his bedroom and started to review the coolest clothes he had in a wardrobe of a late thirties insurance manager whose usual choice of clothing outside of work was jeans and a ragged sweatshirt. Throwing his clothes out of drawers and off hangers maniacally like a criminal looking for secret stash of valuables, he found it! A nice looking V-Neck sweater that was fairly form fitting, a nice pair of dark jeans, the underwear he thought made his package look bigger, and some fun socks. He was set. Now, shower, shave (face, nose hairs, head, and trim the fun zone…just in case), and brush his teeth to lessen the cigarette smell that clouded him lately like Pigpen from The Peanuts. Once out of the shower he got dressed in the carefully selected clothes for his first night out as a single man. He went to the mirror to check to make sure he looked put together. “Oh hell yeah” he whispered to himself, he looked fucking incredible. Watch out ladies, there is a new cat on the prowl and he has claws that are dangerous (while playfully making a cat swipe motion with his hands. A motion that he quickly agreed he should never repeat).
As he grabs his jacket he prepares for his night out by lining his “survival pack” on the dining room table. Cigarettes, lighter (checks the lighter for a strong flame, check), wallet, keys, and cell phone. He carefully spreads the bounty throughout his person so that he doesn’t appear “lumpy”. Once his jacket (just a spring coat because it is warm again tonight, is appropriately portioned out, he takes a deep breath, lets out a hurricane size exhale and walks to the door. As he reaches for the handle his heart skips a beat and he pauses. He should really make sure he doesn’t have any boogers hanging out of his nose. He runs back to the bathroom two rooms away and looks. His head jerks back and he stretches his upper lip as far down his front teeth as humanly possible. After shifting his head from side to side to make sure all angles are clean he is comforted by the fact that he is clean, just in case he stuffs a tissue carefully into his jacket pocket as to not create an imbalance. Turning from the mirror he notices a hair on his goatee that is sticking straight out to the side. He runs upstairs where he has some wax for beards and smoothes it out, while again checking his nose. Back down the steps to the front door he reaches for the handle when sheer panic sets in, did he put on deodorant? He cannot remember, a run back up the stairs to apply a generous amount of deodorant just in case he needs it to last until the morning. He grins slyly, “Yeah until the morning.”
This time he is ready. He makes his way back to the door, grabs the handle with his right hand and with the confidence of a bull on his way to attack the teasing matador. He twists the handle and gives the door a good hard yank, attempting to announce to the world the he is coming. The scene is one of slow motion, his athletically built body twists and contorts as his face projects a curious look running through the steps of his actions as his body slaps against the frame of the door. Where did the simple action of opening the door go so poorly? As his face slides down the white painted board on his way to the floor it hits him. The deadbolt! In his arrogance he forgot to unlock the deadbolt so instead of pulling the door open he pulled himself, at a quite rapid rate, into the frame. He races back to the bathroom to make sure he doesn’t have an embarrassing red mark running vertically up his face. After getting the all clear, and checking for boogers again, he heads back to the door unlocks the dead bolt and pulls the door with a bit more grace than the prior attempt. He made it! Outside of his house, now standing on the front step he breaths in the air that will most definitely lead him to a successful night. He locks the deadbolt on his door, curses the “fucking deadbolt”, turns and walks down the front walkway to the street. There are people out, not many, but people nonetheless and he is one of them, and oh baby does he know it!
There was a mood in the air that night. You could smell it. He made his way into the center of the city. Sidewalks lit by antique street lamps and cars parked all along the side of the road. The town appeared to be busy tonight just perfect for the cock strong single guy. He knew exactly which or the six local bars he was going to head to first. That place will be overflowing with single women looking for someone just like him to walk in and make their night. He practiced along the way so that he could make sure his introductions escaped his mouth with confidence.
“Can I buy you a drink?” he said sheepishly.
“With confidence man, no matter how faked, you can do better” he scolded.
“CAN I BUY you A drink?” that, that was just horrible. The word “drink” just sounded like he had thrown up while saying it and shouting every other word he felt would be a huge turnoff.
“Hey baby, lemme buy you a drink!” he just laughed, that was too much.
“Hi, Could I buy you a drink?” he nodded approvingly to himself. It was polite, spoken evenly, and how could any woman turn that down?
Crossing the street he could see the bar which he would stake his claim as the single guy lady slayer. He knew full well that they would, of course, be lining up to meet him. He walks up to the door of the bar, glances at himself in the reflection from the glass door reaches for the handle and pulls the door open. He takes a giant step in, raises his head up with a smile from looking down upon his entrance (for dramatic effect and honestly so he didn’t trip), looks around and the bar is…..well, it is sparsely populated with old people. And the sound plays….Wah, wah, waaaaaaaahhhhh. Well shit, might as well get a drink, just one drink though then he is leaving. He walks up to the bar, nods at a few people along his way, sits down on the stool and orders a vodka tonic.
“Place is a little slow today huh?” he asks the bartender.
“Yeah, the bar down the street is having a special event so I assume everyone is there.” The bartender responds.
He looks down at his drink, takes a long look around the bar, lifts his glass and chugs the strongly made cocktail, requests his check and leaves.
The bar where the event was happening was close; he would be there in a matter of moments. He takes his first right; up a head of him are a group of women standing in a closely contained group. They appear to be around his age and they are laughing, almost a sinister type laugh, one like he has never heard before. As he walks closer he notices something a bit strange, in the middle of the group there is someone sitting in the fetal position. They are taunting him each time downed man tries to speak. As he walks a few steps closer two of the women spin their heads around, only their heads. The shoulders on their bodies stay in the same uniform position it was before as they stood shoulder to shoulder with the other women in the group. He could feel the leering eyes watching his step by step as he came closer to the group. He looked back down at the huddled mess that was enveloped in the dog pack, then back up to notice the two women staring at him, bodies facing forward, heads facing almost 180 degrees in the wrong direction. He attempted to nod but as soon as he acknowledged them their eyes light up like Christmas lights a glowing red that only spoke of the pure evil permeating from their very core. It stopped him in his tracks, he was shaking at the mere sight but he felt he had to try to do something to help that poor carcass trapped within them. He took an additional step forward when the tall blonde snarled at him with spit flying from her sharpened fangs; he knew he was no match. Panicked, he ran across the street it was too late, they sensed his fear; it was like a pheromone that called to them.
Three of them broke from the pack and started chasing him. They were hunting; he was their new prey. That huddled mass must have been feeding on that unfortunate being they trapped in their circle of probable death; their blood lust was insatiable. Desperately he held his screams as he sprinted in and around cars trying to trip them up. He was soaked with sweat in what seemed like a matter of moments, which only led to their growing aggression. Not wanting to turn and look to see if he was actually making an escape he continued his mad dash down the narrow roadway. There was an alley he could turn down, it led to a parallel street where maybe he could duck into the bar hoping to form a posse that would aide in his survival this night. The ally was quickly approaching, he prepared his turn by weaving out to the right a little bit so he could make a better turn to the left and build his speed back up for his hopeful escape. As he veered slightly to the right about to make his plans a reality he was blindsided. One of them must have sensed his plans and found another route to cut him off. As his body slammed against the pavement, she frothed at the mouth, growled a guttural exclamation having just wounded her eventual meal. Unable to get back to his feet he back peddled pushing with his hands and feet as swiftly as he could while dragging his butt on the ground trying to create enough separation where maybe he could make a move. She walked towards him slowly sneering and spitting, scratching at the air with her blade like claws. It was now or never. He leapt to his feet and in a single motion hurled his body down the alleyway wildly propelling one foot in front of the other as he saw her lunge at him trying to grab a hold of anything she could. It was at this time he was glad that he had evenly spaced the articles in his jacket, as he was sure if she had an extra inch she would have undoubtedly ensnared him. He dare not look behind him again.
As he made his way out of the alleyway begging for breath, now regretting the pack of American Spirit cigarettes he had in his pocket and the dozens he had smoked over the past months, he turn back quickly to see if he was still being pursued. There was nothing. Had he made it? He slowed his sprint to a slight jog as he saw the bar, his destination, he would be safe. No sooner than he finished his thought the other two high-heeled demons came barreling down from behind him. Letting out and effeminate scream he picked his pace right back up hoping to make it to the bar where maybe aide would come and his rescue would be complete. He could feel them scratching at the back of his coat, scraping away the fabric almost through to his back. He was only a centimeter at most in front of them; he could feel the blood leaving his face as he prepared for the final attack. In utter desperation he reached out for a trashcan with his right hand jerking it down behind him. The evil creatures leapt the bin slowing them just enough where he was able to grab for the door of the bar throw his almost ragged body inside and slam it shut.
As he pressed all of his body weight against the entrance to the bar he dusted himself off slightly and attempted to catch his breath. The demonically possessed women banged at the outside of the door and emitted a loud high scream that seemed to pierce his entire body. The door slammed against his body once, then again, and then a third time before things became quiet. Still pressing with all his might against the door he waited. Five minutes passed without another spine shaking hit to the steel door. He turned from facing the door, leaned his back against the entrance and took a large deep breath then sighing a long sigh. He looked himself over to make sure he wasn’t injured in the attack. He had scuffed the knees on his jeans a little bit but wasn’t really bleeding. As he finished his once over he took a slight step away from the door looked up to see the patrons of this bar, which was packed, to be staring at him. Desperately exhausted he looked around. There was a sign behind the bar on the wall “Single Ladies Night” was drawn on the chalkboard in fancy calligraphy. He gasped so hard that he felt it in the bottom of his stomach. The eyes in the room went from an astonished stare to a huntress leer. Their eyes lit up like fire as they made their way step by step to the now weeping man. Feeling around with his left hand for the door handle, he grasped tightly, twisted and with one motion opened the door as like a slingshot he propelled himself out of the bar. There would be no curious glances, jogging, or halting for even the okay to cross at the crosswalk, he ran as fast as he had ever run before all of the way back home. Desperately he grabbed his keys, swung open the screen door, pushed his key into the lock and twisted slamming his way through the door. As the door violently came to a close he locked the same deadbolt that he had cursed only hours before. He collapsed on the stairway breathing heavily and sobbing. He had survived, he thought to himself, hours of pursuit by the ravenous clan. He stretched out his left arm, pulled back the sleeve of his jacket, to reveal the wristwatch that read 8:15, but that couldn’t be right? That would mean he was only gone 45 minutes? His Michael Jackson Thriller video of a night must have lasted longer than that? He was back home though, safe, just in time to catch his favorite program on Netflix.
The next morning he awoke to a friend of his calling him on his phone. He was so happy to see his name pop up and just couldn’t wait to tell him all about his horrible night. His friend wouldn’t let him start though he had something he needed to tell his first.
“Man, I gotta tell you what a friend of mine said happened last night!!” He seemed so excited, laughing as he started his introduction to his tale.
“He was in town last night at a bar last night as he was leaving he tripped and fell and landed hard on his knee. So he is sitting there on the sidewalk holding his knee when a group of women approach to see if he is okay.”
“They ate him didn’t they?” He exclaimed to his friend.
“Man stop fucking around, although that would have been crazy,” he responded as he continued his story.
“As they are checking on him some guy starts walking towards them, two of the women turn to look and the freak just stops dead in his tracks. They go to say ‘hi’ to him and he starts screaming for them to leave him alone, while he is flailing his arms wildly. Then he takes off running, running like people are trying to kill him. He runs right into this other woman trying to get to the ladies night! As she gets up he starts crab walking as fast as he can backwards then runs down the alley screaming like a madman. My friend and the group of women start following him, desperately trying to hold their laughter. He leaves the damn alley pulls over the trashcan and screams gibberish at the two women walking towards the ladies night. Then he runs into the ladies night and holds the doors closed so they can’t get in. For five minutes they are knocking at the door before they decided to just leave and wait him out at another bar. He said they were dying with laughter at this point. They were standing there having a smoke when this psycho goes running out of the bar as fast as he can go through the intersection, just barely misses getting hit by a car. They were dying they were laughing so hard. Those must have been some great drugs that guy was on. Can you believe that shit?! They said it was the highlight of their night. Man I wish I could have seen it.”
Sheepishly he responds to his friend’s outlandish story “uh, yeah. That sounds crazy.”
“So, what did you do last night man?” his friend asks.
“Oh, I, uh, I just, uh, I just stayed in and watched Netflix.”
“Man you should really get out, think of the crazy shit you could see if you just got out more.”
While my first night out may not have gone exactly like this, there may have been some “artistic license” taken. Reflecting back on it, I think I captured it fairly accurately. While it was scary to be out there, seeing women that prior I would have spoken to without “agenda” all of the sudden I have to walk up to them, and say hello? I am not mentally coordinated enough to think about what I should say then have it actually come out that way. I think I am may be best suited for an arranged marriage at this point. Well, as time has lapsed since this moment, the demons that I fought have lessened. Those demons of course were in my head and while I still have yet to walk up to that woman and say “Hello” their eyes don’t seem to ignite into hellish flames as I walk through the door. If I had my perfect ending to this blog it would be much like the ending of the Thriller video. I would look up from typing for you all to see my eyes a blaze and laughing, maybe not like Vincent Price, but maybe I could get Eugene Levy instead. Mwahahaha, Mwahaha, Mwaaaaaaahhh.