Work has kept me busy, so this installment of the story is a little smaller than I’d like.
As for the actual story, I need to do just a little more mise en scene, so please bear with me as I introduce two more people…
There was one little kink with my plan to date The Waitress, and this particular kink was her boyfriend, someone I’ll refer to as The Artiste.
I call him The Artiste with the extra “e” not out of any disdain for artists, but he was more a graduate of art school using his artist status for street cred rather than someone who say, actually created any art. He had the image — the perma-stubble, the drab clothing, the Elvis Costello glasses and especially the 16th-century personal hygiene. Although he sometimes talked about his works in progress, we never saw any sketches nor did he tell us where we could see his works. He ran around with the small “shock value for shock value’s sake” clique from Ontario College of Art and Design, a group who counted post-post-post-postmodernist Jubal Brown — the prat who vomited on paintings as a some kind of performance-art/artistic-statement/cry for help sort of thing.
Most people who spent more than a couple of hours at Tequila Bookworm were usually engaged in some kind of work. There were a students doing group homework assignments, film crew people discussing how they were going to set up their upcoming shoots, businesspeople cutting deals over coffee and cheesecake, a number of writers and programmers working on their latest essay, screenplay or software application and artists scribbling furiously in their sketchbooks.
The Artiste was not among these busy people. He spent hours alternately leafing through the magazines (particularly the “lad mags” Loaded and Maxim) and leering at women, and occasionally his girlfriend The Waitress.
“See him?” I said to my friends Sarah and James as I discreetly pointed him out, “that’s my future girlfriend’s future ex-boyfriend.”
“And you future girlfriend would be…?”
“This fine young lady coming up to serve us right now.”
“Would you like a refill?” she asked me, gesturing towards my glass with those otherworldly eyes.
“uhhh…” C’mon deVilla, pull yourself together. “Yes. Yes please. You know how us Scorpios love our Diet Coke.”
“Again with your Scorpio-ness. You’re such a…such a…scorpiopath!”
“Damn, that was pretty clever,” I said after she walked back to the bar. “Wordplay. Clever repartee. Wasted on that smelly poseur. She needs a clever guy, someone who still has brain cells. Me.”
“Well, good luck,” said Sarah, in that tone of voice one uses with people obsessed with winning the lottery.
“Oh, Joey, I don’t know. It sounds like more girl trouble to me,” said James.
“That’s the best kind,” I replied.
If 1998 was The Year of Hell for me, it was The Year of Poor Impulse Control for the friend whom I’ll refer to as Crabs. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve already met Crabs — he’s the guy from the entry titled The Best Christmas Present Ever, the one in which he caught crablice while on a trip to New York and had to borrow money from me in order to buy some delousing lotion. If life were a highway, Crabs would be the guy in the eighteen-wheeler with a bottle of cheap Tequila telling the monkey in the passenger seat “Hey buddy, you take the wheel for a while.”
I’ll re-introduce him in the next installment, and then maybe I can get the actual date part of the story!