Saturday, November 17, 2007

The One Night Stand

It was Friday night and the weekly woes that had been overcome needed to be forgotten. A bar, that sanctuary from stress and thought, was in order. Numbers were dialed, suggestions were offered, conclusions thus made, and plans were ultimately established.

The bar was selected and we marched en masse to the protected castle of liquor and beer. “ID please” said the looming tower of a man who guarded the gates, his face long and horslike. I wielded my wallet and produced my ID and was allowed to pass. The poignant smell of beer immediately filled my nostrils; the undecipherable chatter of conversations rattled freely off the walls, while glasses chinked together, and a live band played to an inattentive audience in the dimly lit, cozy and close quartered room—ah this was a bar!
I walked up to the decidedly attractive, rosy-cheeked bartender and pursing my lips firmly together, as if pulling back the bolt on a crossbow, released the word of my desire into her little question mark curled ear: [B]eer.

“What kind?” she replied rather bluntly, clearly failing to recognize that I wasn’t here to pleasure my palate with toothsome beers—I was here to get drunk!
“Whateva’s cheapest” I averred back to her.

She turned away from me and gripped the Moosehead stout with about the same lewd avidity as a hooker who grips a paying customer’s cock, professional and uninterested, and turned back to me and thrusted the golden gleaming glass of beer in front of me in exchange for a single sheet of paper which had colorful patterns and a handful of tens written on it. I raised the glass of beer in reverence to my lips and opened my mouth to let the golden stream slide joyously down my throat. “Ahhh” I murmured in utter satisfaction, followed by a burp and a hiccup. After some time passed my shoes came into view at the bottom of my glass, which meant another beer was in order, so I ordered another, and another, and another…until pretty soon my speech was becoming noticeably slurred, my footsteps uneasy, and the girls surrounding me unbearably attractive.

The ones closest to me were so tightly encircled with their backs to me that they may as well have been a horde of wilder beasts protecting a calf. And to make matters even worse I also noticed that they were speaking Quebecois…

“Bonzhur” I said in my thick vulgar Americanized accent, thus expressing the extent of words I knew in French “can I buy you gals a round of drinks?” They giggled at first, then exchanged more French words and giggles amongst themselves, and then the female closest to me finally addressed my inquiry and simply said “Oui.” I bought us a round and commenced in the standard ‘what to say amongst strangers’ conversation procedures, occasionally making jokes (which were either lost in translation or me+beer=not funny, since most did not produce laughter), but despite our linguistic shortcomings both they and I were too drunk to care what was being said. I knew, however, that I was going to start needing to strategically aim my words and actions if I wanted to ‘get-to-know’ one of these girls better. The girl in the rear of the group had let down her guard and was quickly flanked by some other stranger, who quickly started chatting her up. I had to advance quickly or else lose to the other guys who were hovering around trying to divide and conquer. At that moment the girl nearest me was shoved even closer as a guy butted between her and her friend to get a beer, a clever move, since he then capitalized on his preciously conquered territory by asking the girl he had just divided from the girl nearest me if she wanted a drink.

“What’s your name by the way” I inquired since the small talk had worn off.
“Celine” she responded in a beautiful feminine French accent.

Then I think I asked her if her last name was Dion (a tale to tell my friends), which in retrospect probably wasn’t as witty as it had seemed at the time, and she tried to teach me simple French phrases which I disastrously failed at, but she found laugh inspiring. Meanwhile I was keeping a trained eye on her friends who were still preoccupied with other boys, so I decided to ask Celine if she was hungry and wanted to get some ‘poutine’ (the key to every drunken Canadian girl’s heart). She said oui and so we departed.

The night was cold but the beer warmed our bodies and dulled our senses, so it was bearable. As we walked, stumbled, giggled, and gurgled, down the cracked and uneven sidewalk littered with fallen leaves which made a crisp crackle when trodden on, I knew that I had her, that she was mine to be had…she was my concubine, my pet, mon possession. I marveled at her long and savagely wild blonde hair, her soft ivory skin, and her eyes, those beautiful green eyes which twinkled with a curious innocence.

We inhaled the cup of poutine in our crazed hunger, scorching our tongues in the process. What a pair of kids we must have appeared to be. Shameful adults stripped of their social mannerisms and strictly adhered to behaviors of sobriety by the despotic and inescapable rule of beer. After we finished our artery clogging meal we departed once again, but this time it was her turn to move, to choose our next destination, and decide how the night would end. Would she let the lewd avidity of my bishop conquer the chastity of her queen, or would she send some pawn out, some excuse of having to wake up early in the morning, to block my bishop’s rapacious advance. She asked if I wanted to come back to her place. Her squares were left open, her Queen was checked, my bishop advancing. We climbed the stairs to her first floor apartment our thoughts muddled by beer and our bodies flooded with youthful aphrodisia. She fumbled around for her keys, opened the door to her apartment, and our lips soon met. Her lips were warm and wet and our slippery tongues rolled over one another, hers on top of mine, mine on top of hers, always unable to pin the other. Vraiment un adversaire formidable!

She pulled me towards her and slowly retreated backwards leading my steps, in this labial dance, towards her shadowy bed. The bishop got his queen.

When I awoke I could see the light of the rising sun elegantly tip-toeing across the room, slowly making its way towards the bed, then crawling up the covers and over us, until it illuminated the entire apartment. I turned and looked at my sleeping beauty, my reine conquise, and thought how funny it was that two complete strangers could be so blindly led by lust’s commanding hand to find themselves together the next morning in the same bed. How succinctly odd it feels to be a guest in a stranger’s bed! If only I could tip toe as quietly across the apartment as that sunlight, I thought to myself. I could make my escape without the slightest disturbance, without waking her up. I lay still, trapped like a soldier on a land mine, fearful to move, and stared listlessly up at the cream colored ceiling. The cold stranger sleeping next to me tugged on the blanket and rolled herself up into a warm cocoon. Her golden hair formed flowing streams in the wrinkled crevasses of her covers. Her breathing was quiet and heavy. I made my move. I slipped off the side of the bed. My feet made contact with the cold hardwood floor first and then I dragged the rest of my body slowly across the bed in the same fashion that one peels a band aid off of a healed wound. I found a scrap of paper and a purple inked pen and scribbled out the following note:

last night was phenomenal. I didn’t want to wake you because you looked so peaceful and beautiful in your heavy sleep (and I don’t think I could have even if I tried because you ensconced yourself in your thick blanket!). I have to run to work, needless to say bathe and shave, so I can’t stay. Thank you for sharing your lovely bed with this unflattering stranger…perhaps we can do it again sometime. ; - )
Anyways enjoy the rest of your sleep!



I laid the note on her pillow where my head had formerly been and then quickly turned and let myself out. The walk home felt shameful since one can always tell who had followed lust’s temptatious calling into the trap of spending the night at someone else’s place by the disgruntled, disheveled, and disconcerted look on the hung-over faces of fellow early morning passerbyers. Sometimes there’s even mutual nods of recognition and smirks when your eyes meet, a voiceless exchange that basically says “yeah…me too.”

After about twenty more minutes of walking I finally reached the front steps of my apartment building. The elevator courteously carried me up to my floor. I keyed myself in, slipped underneath the blanket of my bed, and murmured c’est la vie before permitting gravity to close the heavy curtains of my eyelids and sleep, that mysterious spell, take the reigns of my thought.

Fast asleep and dreaming, I slept through the day, and awoke to the setting evening sun. I watched as the amber sunlight slowly seeped away, a receding tide on a sloped shoreline, taking with it all of the colors of the room. After a couple of minutes had passed by I decided it was time to get up and face the night.

My pieces had been moved back to their original squares and the game...was about to begin againe.

1 comment:

dj-jas said...

this celine must have made quite an impression on you!! good to see you're enjoying montreal.. are you gonna see her again?