Friday, August 1, 2008

An update, a favor, a beginning

**The Update**
Thanks for all the feedback on Children & Cash. Lots of ideas to consider...with your help, I'll have the next Warren Buffet on my hands!

Last night I was tying on Mr. B's cleats for his final T-ball game when I spotted a cloud of fruit flies below the utility sink in the laundry room. Aha! Something rotting and sticky was making them too comfortable--I took out the trash and opened the doors to let them fly outside. I wondered why my traps weren't reducing their numbers--apparently they were breeding faster than bunnies in the laundry room all the while! I made coffee this morning WITHOUT swatting them off my face and out of my way.

**The Favor**
My pal Nina writes A Writer's Blog: Food and Poetry. Blogger is being mean to her, accusing her of being spam so she has to fill out some form to prove she's legit so she can keep her blog. She's a fairly new blogger but full of lovely words and images, so support her by visiting her site and leaving a comment, please. Thanks!

**The Beginning**

While in college I tended bar in a river town. Fishermen, locals and tourists populated the place depending on the season. As the only female behind the bar, I made good money. I remembered faces, drinks, names and could make conversation with anyone. Fleet of foot, quick with a comeback and swift with a bar rag, the 2 brothers who employed me liked me pretty well.

One weekend the local guys played in a softball tournament up the road. They came in excited because B's friend D was in town to play for their team. Seems that D was a real BASEBALL player--played in the big leagues and surely they'd tromp on everyone with a guy who could throw a runner out at home plate from left field and could crush the ball over the fence every time he was up to bat.

B arrived at the bar and introduced us. "Green Girl, this is D--he's from Iowa!"
I looked D over--he was cute, a confident jock type with a woman--his wife? leaning up against his side. I shrugged and smiled. "What'll you have?"
"A vodka lemonade," he told me. "Easy on the vodka." Mr. D talked with his hands and frankly? Any guy ordering a drink like that wanting me to go "easy" on the booze? I laughed at. I poured him a double and moved on to the next customer.

At this time I had a boyfriend. He was like this:
Attractive but Kee-ray-zee. Since I was preoccupied like college girls tend to be, I didn't dress to attract anyone else's attention--I wore cut off jeans and t-shirts behind the bar, add a pair of Birkenstocks and bangle earrings. I emitted a hippie chick vibe and never gave any man a lingering look. Enough about that.

Some time later I was working the night shift and it was busy. Around one in the morning I had a bus tub and was clearing tables along the front windows. My bus tub finally full of glasses and abandoned drinks, I crossed between the bar's 2 pool tables to resume my post behind the bar. While on my way, a guy spit and it landed on a pool table.

"What the hell!" I screamed. "Your mother teach you to spit like that? You spit in your living room? What the f***'s the matter with you?" (I'm not proud, but that is how I talked back then. Coarse and foul-mouthed.)

"I'm sorry--I'm sorry," the guy told me and stumbled away towards the door. My blood boiled the rest of the night--enough to clean up after these morons, but to have them spit while inside the bar! For crying out loud!

More time passed and occasionally D would pass through the bar with his buddy B. He'd always ask for a "vodka lemonade, easy on the vodka" and I'd always kill his drinks. The locals adored him and the women fawned over D, he was popular and beloved and from Iowa. Whatever.

On my birthday I was retrieved by my boyfriend for dinner at the nicest restaurant in town. I wore a burgundy dress and high heels and while the hostess led us to our table, I noticed B and D at another table across the restaurant. D was in a suit and tie and looked, well, I told you I didn't give anyone else a lingering look, right? Let's just say I noticed D in a different way that night.

Fast forward nearly a year.

Kee-ray-zee and I have broken up. I've graduated from college and have a job lined up on the other side of the state. My parents are moving to South Dakota so any safety net I might have is now gone. My wisdom teeth were recently removed, I have to find a place to live in a town where I don't know anyone and I'm full of the angst that comes with a break up and a new job and CHANGE. Until I start my new life in 2 weeks, I'm working between the bar and a bait shop up the road.

It's New Year's Eve. Of course I'm behind the bar and some former local who now lives in Texas asks me out to dinner for tomorrow night. Why not? Worst case scenario, it's a free meal. Best case scenario, I'll have a good time.

We'll call my date Tex since I don't remember his name. What I do remember is how he spent dinner talking to a girl he knew from high school who owned the restaurant we ate at. Lucky for me, a guy I knew from my high school was there for me to talk to until the check came.

On New Year's Day not many places are open--everyone's recovering from the night before. But this year the Badgers are in the Rose Bowl so Tex takes me back to the river town and we find a perch at one of 2 open taverns.

A crowd of local guys walks in and D is with them. They sit near us and I start up a conversation with them.

"D," one says, "Did you know that Green Girl is leaving us? She graduated college and she's moving across the state to start a teaching job."

"That's too bad," D says, looking at me. "Now I'll never have a chance to date you."

To be continued.