No, the reason was I need better friends.
A friend was supposed to go with me to the reading, but she stood me up for what she considered a better offer. I told her he could come, too, but she just laughed. Well, I’m no stranger to going places by myself so I went anyway. It was fabulous. I was enjoying Mr. Kesey’s recounting of a time where he ended up on a roof with a guy and a pistol with the orders “shoot whatever comes in the driveway” when my phone vibrates. I ignore it. It vibrates again. Then I have texts. So, I pull it out. It’s my friend—I’ll call her Jane.
To sum up: apparently boy I got stood up for ran over a puppy in the road—or it may have been a cat. He wouldn’t turn around and let Jane check on the animal. So now Jane was in the ladies’ room at Darrel’s Sports Bar wanting me to come get her because she obviously can’t stay with a man who wasn’t worried about a puppy--or cat. I told her I was at the reading and couldn’t and she said oh, you went by yourself?
Well, yeah, since someone stood me up.
But, she sounds distressed and I'm a generally nice person who likes most animals, so I can't say no. I wait to find out what happens to the Sea Monkey scheme before leaving, though.
So, I get to Darrel’s and go to the ladies’ room. The only person in there is a transvestite. “Have you seen a girl in here recently?” I ask.
“You mean, cute little thing with a Tinkerbelle haircut and gorgeous pumps?” Sounds like Jane so I nod. “She was crying and then a guy knocks on the door, said something about a possum and then she left”
So, I text Jane as I go out. No answer, but I see her at the bar with some guy. “Hey, what’s the deal?” I ask.
“Oh, turns out it was a possum, so we’re good.” She answers. She turns back to some guy.
My answer? “Oh, no, ma’am.” I pull her by the arm off the stool. He’s putting a twenty on the bar and pauses when I grab his date. I take it too. “You made me leave a very good reading and I missed meeting the author. So, you will go home.” I’m pulling her out of the bar. We pass the transvestite on the way. I hand him the twenty and say “Thanks for the tip.” He gives me a thumbs up. Some guy is following at what he probably considers a safe distance.
“I don’t care. I will take you home all despondent and then you will put on your old PJ’s and get a bottle of wine to cry into while you watch one of those awful chick-flicks you like.”
“No,” I say as I push her into the passenger side of my Avalanche. She doesn’t say a word as we drive. Her house is only ten minutes from Darrel’s. I follow her in and make sure she complies with PJ’s and wine. “Here.” I toss Titanic to her. “Now, I don’t care what else you do.”
I left her staring at me. Her date was pulling in the driveway as I was pulling out. I couldn’t help but think “Shoot everything that comes in the driveway.”
I’m inclined to think that for Roy Kesey this wouldn’t even be a remarkable occurrence, if Cochlear, a short story he read, is any indication. He has a new collection of short stories, Any Deadly Thing, that’s worth checking out. I’ve read a few and they are fun and different. If they are any indication the other collections and novel will also end up on my reading list. Check him out here: Roy Kesey (hint: click on the bee)