The Bodyguard

It’s Otha’s birthday (Otha works at Brick and is celebrating his birthday at Bungalow, a local bro spot). I have rehearsal until 9pm, so don’t get to Bungalow until around 10pm. I arrive and take a lap. See no one I know. Text Rocco and Jordan. Jordan gets back to me – he’s bartending at Brick, and Frankie and Jimmy are there. Otha has already gone home – passed out early. Couldn’t hang (definitely not Gucci, Otha). I debate going home or going to Brick. While I debate, I have a drink at Bungalow. I order a glass of red wine and lean on the back of an outdoor patio couch.

Some drunk guy sitting on the couch sees a glass of red wine near me. “Is this yours?” No, it’s not. He then takes the glass and dumps it on the patio, right next to my feet. Woah, dude! I’m wearing nice shoes, dick. Like, what a fucking asshole. He doesn’t respond. His friend sitting next to him on the couch makes a pathetic apology for him. I look around again. Jesus Christ, what am I doing here. I hate everyone here. Seriously.

But you know what, I’m already out. And I ubered here. Might as well make the most of it.

Uber to Brick. Let’s do this. Frankie, as usual, makes a big deal when I am not in work clothes. He makes his usual comments. “Stets! You clean up nice!” Jimmy is here, too, with his friend, Robin. She is cool as shit. Jimmy is supposed to be my wingman. So now it seems that Jimmy and Robin will be my wing “people.”

Frankie gets us all a ride to JP’s, a local bar where we all know the bartender, Jonas. On the way over, everyone in the cab understands that I am single and need to meet dudes. So that is the goal of the evening.

How nice for everyone to be so concerned.

Before we walk in, Robin and I…and some other guy, stand outside the bar looking in (they smoke cigarettes). Robin is trying to get the lay of the land. She looks in the window, at the scene. “OK, I only see one decent guy, this guy in the blue baseball cap.” I look in the window and see him. He looks like a regular sports guy. Sorry, no. Not interested.

“OK, I don’t know. Look around.” I do. And over on the other side of the pool table from blue hat, is another guy. He’s a regular guy. I don’t know how to describe him, but I guess nerd is the word. I tell Robin. Oh, OK, he’s cute. “I knew it! I saw him before and thought no, he’s a dork, but OK, I get it, you like nerds.” Yes. This is true. We make a plan for our walk in. It’s ridiculous. I have to be all confident, like I own the place. And walk straight to the bar (Robin’s instructions).

I do. Frankie is at the bar. So I stand at the bar with Frankie and talk to him and Jonas, who is bartending. He pours me a big Jameson ginger. Frankie and I talk for a while. He’s telling me to enjoy being single. Blah blah blah, I know.

Robin somehow manages to get the nerd over my way. We end up playing a game of pool. I think we play best of three. I know I win. (I think his name was John. This was a while ago and not the point of my story so his name really doesn’t matter. His name was definitely John.) He is a very nice guy. From Michigan. A lawyer. When he tells me he’s a lawyer I’m pretty sure I say something like, “Ew.”

Who does that? What’s wrong with being a lawyer? I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m just socially inept sometimes.

Anyway, I end up with Robin and Jimmy telling them that he’s fine but you know, nothing to write home about. And now it’s late, and I want to go home. Robin asks me, “Do you like him enough to have him walk you out?” I don’t know, I guess so. “So tell him you’re leaving.” Just tell him I’m leaving? “Yes. He’ll follow you.” How do you know? “I know.” Ugh. Fine.

She’s right. He does. We exchange numbers and chat as I wait for my uber. If there was any chance of anything actually happening in this moment, Alex makes sure that doesn’t happen.

Remember Alex? Who got all big protective brother when I was leaving the bar with the last guy? Yea, him, he literally appears out of nowhere, and starts giving John a hard time. Dude, where did you even come from?? I didn’t see you inside. It’s a small bar. It’s like Alex has some kind of radar on me, whenever a guy gets too close.

And again, Alex is a sweet kid, but you wouldn’t know it by the way he reads this guy the riot act. I’m pretty sure he asks him what his intentions are. I can’t help but laugh. And now my ride is here. And Alex is here. OK, so. Bye. I wave to John and get in the car. Another successful night out.

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