My Ladies of the Night

July 17, 2008 at 1:35 am (Clairissa, Sweet sticky things)

Today was Clairissa’s 30th birthday. I’d been invited to her party months ago, and requested the day off last week. Party plans had changed, but she invited me to come by anyway. Since I’d already worked the hours to make up for lost wages, it was a guilt-free day off! I could do worse than to laze about with my girl-crazy crazy-girl barber.

I’d planned to text message her at midnight, to be the first to wish her happy birthday. It kept me occupied while waiting at the bus stop.

” i 1 2 4 Q lyk & n-m-L…” Hmm… Nine Inch Nails lyrics don’t translate well into text format.

“Is that the new phone?”

Twitch! I clicked it shut guiltily, then realized it was my bus stop buddy. We’ve been catching the same bus for months, and recently started passing the time of night while waiting. I flipped it back open, showing off. “Yeah! Check it out. This is the new screen-saver, it’s got a camera- hey, wait a minute! I’ve only had this phone a couple of days. I haven’t seen you since last week. Uh?…”

“I’ve been reading your blog.”

Duh. Every now and then I forget. I tend to spill my whole life out here for the all world to see. (Well, most of it.)

We had a nice chat while crossing the bridge. After she departed, I remembered what I’d been doing. Instead of being cute, I just typed out a paragraph confirming our ‘date’. That burned up most of the bus ride.

About 9:30 AM, I hear what sounds like an ice cream truck. WTF? Then I see the red light on my new phone blinking. It’s my first text message! (Note to self: find less cutesy ring tone.) I flip the Phaser open, resist the urge to say “Beam me up, Scotty,” and see that it’s Clairissa confirming. I type “ok” (or something poetic like that) and roll back over to try to nod out. Five minutes later the phone is ringing. “Good morning, sleepyhead. Did I wake you?”

“Mmm-hmm. I just texted you like five minutes ago. I believe my exact letters were ‘ok’.”

“Honey, that was two hours ago. It’s almost noon. You’re still in bed? What are you wearing?”

I shook out the cobwebs. Yep, Regis and Kelly were on the TV. I had fallen back asleep. “Huh? Oh, I’m wearing shorts.”

“What kind? Like manties?”

This was a twist. *I’m* usually the one asking the pervy questions.

“Not quite. Fleece, sorry to say. My candy red pantyhose are in the shop.”

“No shirt? That’s hot…”

“Oh, I have a tee shirt on. I don’t want to scare the kids if they wander in…”

“You should get naked. I want everyone to be naked on my birthday. I’m naked! I’ve got a naked girl next to me…”

I liked the way the conversation was drifting. “Well, damn, reach down and grab a bit for me!”

I heard a muffled something. “What did she say?”

“She said ‘Clarumphumphurumph…’ I got her good for ya! You coming over?”

“How could I not? I’ll be there as soon as I shower.”

A very cold shower.

And so I spent the first part of my day at the barbershop, playing with Daddy (the bulldog) while watching girls do hair and canoodle. Clairissa rested her head on my lap, showed me yet another set of new tattoos and modeled an I Dream of Jeanie-type pair of PJs. They gapped up the side, rode low, and clung to every curve. I’m surprised walking the dog didn’t cause a car accident.

As I scribbled on my legal pad, she asked, “Whatcha doin’?”

“I have a favor to ask. I need a new message for my new phone, and I’d like you to record it for me.”

“You want me on your answering machine?”

“Yep, just read the script.”

She looked it over, and said, “I can do this…”

We tried, and she nailed it on the first take. “High five!” We high-fived. “Let’s listen to it.”

She dialed my number, and we shared the phone. When my voice came through the line, “Aughh! We forgot to hit save! Fuck!”

“It’s okay. I like the Cereal Killer Hotline…”

“I need something new for the new phone. Can we do it again?”

“Okay, but let’s go into the back. I need quiet. Do you mind if I get a little naughty?”

My look must have said it all. We went into the back, where the other barber station sat unused. I set up the phone again, and after a couple of false starts she said, “I’m just going to stick to the script, but instead of sounding like a dominatrix I’m just going to try to sound sexy. Is that okay?”

It was.

She finished, pressed save, (!!) and then we listened. It was a keeper. “Dude, that made me wet…” Her GF walked in about that time, and I left them alone for a bit. Soon they wandered out and found me on the couch. “We’ve decided we need liquor. You want to walk with us to the liquor store?”

As much fun as getting liquored up with a couple of hot and horny lezzies on a Wednesday afternoon sounded, I had to politely decline. I had yet another previous engagement.

I got involved in a little venture with an old friend, and she wanted me to meet some of my new cohorts. (Sounds so Ocean’s Eleven, huh?) We met at a bar, and I watched them drink while we chatted. I’d not expected to be that comfortable, and had preplanned excuses should I feel the need to bail, but it was for naught. We had a fine time, and when all that was left was my friend and I, I hinted strongly that we should get some dinner. Despite being sober and not having any, um, appetite stimulus, I was ravenous. The Pirate Shack up the street, though a smoky tavern, had excellent halibut and chips, and the sea had been calling me. It wouldn’t hurt my buddy to soak up some of that G & T. Tomorrow is a workday…

The place was packed, so we tried the hot wings place. Even more packed. Hmm. Screen Door? We’d been there for breakfast, but not at night. WTF? There were at least eight people waiting inside, and a couple of hippies by the door. “Bad idea,” she said.

“Obviously not. Seems everyone else has the same idea!”

As we drove toward her house, I mentioned The Oyster Bar. “I have a friend who runs the lounge, and I always threaten to visit her but I refuse to go alone, and whenever I’m off she’s not there. It’s downtown…”

“Done!” She pulled a legal U-ey and we were off across the water.

Parking was an adventure. A little old man from California was circling the block repeatedly, and cost us parking spaces twice by being in the way. Anger turned to bemusement as we found a spot, got a seat in the bar, and watched him creep by the front of the building time after time. Slooooooowly…

Holly, my bartender friend, was most cordial, quizzing me about my date while she was off to the powder room. The gin & tonic was mostly gin, and after a couple of sips Holly brought her a back-glass of tonic, “just in case.” A trio of police officers walked past the window, no doubt in foot pursuit of the turtle in the little white car from Californeeeya.

And there he was! The old guy and his date had arrived, after circling the block for at least an hour. Holly relayed his story to us, getting snippets as she moved from bar to banquet room to dining room. When it came time to leave, (yes, we closed down the Oyster Bar) my friend asked Holly for the old guy’s check. “If the guy is that goddamn persistent about dining here, he deserves a free dinner!”

It may have been only $18, but it made that man’s night. (And damn near made me cry.) The old couple left holding hands, but not before coming by and thanking us profusely.

It’s been what, five hours now? They might have made it off the block…

Holly presented us with a parting gift: Key lime pie! I haven’t had real key lime pie in eons. (The Fred Meyer diet yogurt is okay, but you really need that graham cracker crust to make the whole thing come together.) Not wanting to carry it around, and with it looking so damn good in that takeout carrier, I asked Holly to retrieve my fork. Key lime pie over cardboard? It tastes way better than it sounds.

Since my friend had to work in the morning, and I had stuff I wanted to do downtown before going home, I bid her adieu. We haven’t seen much of each other lately, and it was a nice visit. I walked off into the night feeling full and happy. I’d spent the day with two of my favorite ladies.

But wait! There’s more!

After a long jaunt around downtown, I found my way to the late-night bus stop. The bus approached, and the driver flashed the headlights. Hmm… there’s only one driver who flashes me…

“Shit the bed! Look who’s here!” I flashed my pass.

“Always the eloquent one,” said Teresa. We go way back in the transit world. “How are you? The last time I saw you, you were three sheets to the wind and telling some story about a punk rocker beating up a football player for you or something? How is your friend?” Meaning Clairissa.

I updated her on my day, and my life. Since it was her last trip of the night, on her way to the bus barn she drove the bus by my house, dropping me off. I loved the look on the neighbor’s face as he sat there barbecuing with his ever-present can of Milwaukie’s Best.

“Thank you dahlink!” I shouted in my best Boris Badanov voice. I was greeted by the dog, who smelled Daddy. The cats came running, no doubt from the scent of Oyster Bar. Cue up Elton John. “Can you feel the love tonight?…”

Indeed I can. And I’m grateful.

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