“But Emily, you’re always complaining we only go to bars. Here’s our chance to go to an art gallery, for a good cause, hear some good beats, and meet new people. It’s exactly what you’ve asked for. You’re always saying we should go to 111 Minna – let’s go.”
“Lori, I’m wearing a scruffy work outfit, no makeup, I’m tired…”
“C’mon, it’ll be fun. What are you wearing? I’ll wear something similar. I just washed my face, so I have no makeup on. It’s even. Even, I tell you. It will be fun.”
“Okay. Get in a cab and meet me there.”
I couldn’t believe it. I had convinced her to go! I immediately changed out of my pajamas, ran a brush through my newly short hair, and ran down the stairs.
Ten minutes later, I sidled up to her at 111 Minna, a trendy art gallery/bar/dance club. “I love you! I’m so glad I can convince you to come out at the last minute on a school night!”
We sat down and began talking. Soon a gentleman walked over to us. He came behind me with the words, “You so gorgeous; I must sit and talk to you.”
Emily and I exchanged knowing smiles. He sat down. “Hi, I’m Emily,” she began, “this is Lori.” “Hi, I’m Richard.” That was about the only part of the conversation that made sense.
“So, how do you know Keyatta (the host of the party)?” Emily asked.
“Well, I’ve never been there, but I’ve lived in Chicago.”
Emily and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows. What did he think we said?
“No, Kenyatta. How do you know Keyatta?” she tried again.
“I’ve been here 4 years, you?” Then, to Emily, he said, “You have such baby face!”
We gave up trying to establish a mutual connection. Emily laughed and said, “Hmm. No one’s ever told me that before. Baby face. Thank you, I think. I’ve lived here 4 years.”
I began, “Well, I’ve lived here off and on for about twelve years.”
“Twelve years? You moved here as little girl?” he countered.
How had this man, who didn’t speak English as his native language, learn such cheesy pick-up lines?
This wasn’t boding well for getting Emily to come out again on a whim.
Emily graciously asked him what he did.
“For one year, I live above bar. I drunk for one year. Every night. Drink. Drink. Drink. Too much drink.”
Emily continued trying, “No, for work. What do you do for work?”
“I drive. Truck.”
We looked at each other, hoping that he wasn’t driving the truck while intoxicated for a year.
“Oh, that’s interesting. For who?” we asked.
“Warehouse. Big warehouse.”
“Really? What kind of warehouse?” We were thinking furniture, import/export, technology equipment…
“Frozen meat. Big pieces meat.”
There was no way this conversation was going to get any better.
“We’re going to go now. It was nice to meet you,” we said in unison.
He followed us to the door, perhaps making sure we were really leaving.
As we walked to the car, I looked at Emily, shaking my head. “You know, I’m just not sure what to think. How come the only guy that took marked interest in us was a toothless, drunk for a year, truck driving, cheesy pick up line specimen of a male?” We both burst into laughter.