Saturday, September 11, 2004

and reminiscing... Part 4

What follows below is the fourth part in what will likely be a five part series recalling the gruseome details of the winter of 2000-2001. If y'all been keeping up, you know that means there are three parts previous to this. To find out how this story began, check it out...

I unlocked the door to see the welcome face of a long-time friend whom I had graduated with only three years earlier. He had a busy life now as he had completed his police training and was now employed locally as a security guard. He was always a hard worker and that one friend who showed up when you needed a friend the most.

That particular Friday night, he fell right into his suspected mold.

I invited him in and I flipped on a light to make things less dank and depressing. We sat and chatted for a few minutes about what had transpired in my part of the world. He sympathised with my feelings and suggested we head a few blocks to the downtown bars for a few drinks.

I grabbed my coat and gloves and we were out the door. We arrived at the particulat bar he had suggested which just so happens to feature topless dancers. He had heard rumors of some new dancers there which, in his mind, deserved a look. I could have done just fine with a slice of pie and a bottomless glass of Coke at the local Perkins restaurant but this would do just as well for tonight.

We bellied up to the bar and he ordered us two beers. I grabbed mine and took a small swig, letting the smooth and cold taste roll down my parched throat.

Remember, I hadn't had much of an appetite or thirst for a few hours now.

We sat at the bar, slightly turned towards each other and talked. We talked about how his job search as a peace officer was going. I asked, inquisitively, how his job had been treating him and why myself and my friends see him so rarely. He reminded me that with working his security job's second-shift type hours and his janitorial job he had picked up for some extra cash that money was tight and he, for the time being, had chose work over fun.

I agreed and said that I think most everyone has chose work over fun at some time for a cornucopia of reasons.

There was a brief silence as we each finished our first bottle of beer and ordered the second round. He then cleared his throat a bit and asked what had happened with me tonight. I had briefly touched on the subject at my apartment but had changed the subject to something else less depressing.

I eventually began talking about the night's events. I told him the basic version of the story and he listened. He did what he has always done best. He listened and nodded his head. After I was done rambling he repeated a few things to recap my ramblings and, as I realize as an older guy now, showing that through all the nodding he had listened. He remembered the sordid details of my account of the story minutes after I had told it. It was more than I had expected from anyone.

We kept talking after he had given his breakdown of my story. He offered up a couple solutions and we traded talking points back and forth. We eventually moved to a table to judge the bar's talent and continued our conversation. Sometime around the midnight hour, we got up and walked to his car.

He gave me a ride back to my apartment and I thanked him for being there for me. I thanked him for listening and I thanked him for getting my mind off of the events which took place earlier in the evening.

He offered up the popular guy phrase of "No problem" and asked if I was alright. I responded by saying that I would be alright. I shut his car door and walked towards the door of my apartment.

I grabbed my right hand glove in my teeth by pulling the fingers and reached into my jeans to find my keys. As I always do, I opened the door and turned on the hall light and walked up the carpeted stairs.

I flipped on the upstairs light and exchanged it by shutting off the light on the stairs. I left the hall light on as I sat down in my rust orange recliner and turned on the TV. I found a particularly enlightening video with some solid meaning on MTV2 at this late hour. I leaned back and tried to get the events of this disturbingly real night out of my head.

I would sit in that chair until 2:30 AM. I watched the same channel. Maybe I wasn't alright.

I hope you enjoyed the fourth part of this stressful evening. Part five will be here tomorrow and will pick up on the day after. Saturday. I knew I would get through this. Things have a mysterious way of working out in the end.

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