Willis laughs, so I punch him in the face.
Maybe it’s a mistake, but it still feels good. Inside, I mean. The actual feeling of his teeth gauging (gouging) into my knuckles is not pleasant. It’s still worth it, though. That's the last time anyone will laugh at my fluffy Bunny slippers. But Willis is an okay guy, so I help him to his feet.
He's actually my best friend. Sort of.
"What the hell?" he asks, rubbing his jaw.
"Sorry, I got carried away," I say. I didn’t even hit him that hard. I couldn't because of my Pixie Stix arms.
"Sometimes I wonder why I even hang out with you," he says.
I wonder that too. Sometimes.
We take a seat at the bar.
“I just can’t believe you wore slippers to the bar, man,” Willis says, shaking his head.
“Yeah well, I want to be comfortable,” I say.
“What can I get you?” the bartender asks. It is still early, so we actually get service without having to wait for an hour. The bartender looks annoyed. That annoys me.
“Bud light,” Willis says.
“Boddingtons,” I say.
After the bartender walks away, I assault Willis.
“What the fuck?” I yell at him.
“Jesus, what now?” he says.
“You just ordered a BUD LIGHT, that’s what. Now you look like a total fucking douche bag. And now I look like one too just for being seen with you,” I say.
He shakes his head. He doesn’t get it. That’s why he’s a tool and a douche bag. And he’ll never even know it.
“Look, first you show up wearing embarrassing pink bunny slippers, pajama pants, and a fucking bath robe, and now you’re making fun of my beer? I should just leave, you jerk,” Willis says.
See? He’s a sausage. But I still don’t want him to leave.
“No, no stay. I’m sorry; drink your fucking tool shed beer. And about my attire,” I say, “I happen to be quite comfortable. Who do I have to dress up for? Like I care about impressing all the stupid skanks who come here? They can't even write their own names. And when they sneeze, they get syphilis everywhere.”
“I can’t believe you,” he says.
“Whatever, let’s just let it go, yeah?”
We leave it at that.
The bartender brings us our beers. Willis tips him a dollar. I don’t tip at all. That’s what you get for looking annoyed, you bastard. If you don’t like your job, then quit.
We sit in the bar and shoot the breeze. I’m kind of bored. I wish I hadn’t agreed to come with. But Willis can be such a nag.
“You need to get out, man,” he had said.
“Fuck you,” I said. It seemed appropriate at the time.
“Listen to yourself; you’re a jaded, whiny loner. And you don’t ever leave your shitty apartment. I mean, look at this place. It’s a pig sty, and it smells like ass,” he said.
“Do you even know what a sty is?” I asked.
“Who cares? This place is disgusting and so are you. You’re coming out tonight! It’ll be good for you, you’ll see. Now I’m going to go bring Sophie her dinner at work, and then I’ll meet you at Dempsey’s at eight, okay?” he said.
“Whatever,” I said. I just wanted him to leave; I was trying to watch a goddamn infomercial.
“Alright, see you there,” he said with a corny smile.
Sophie was his girlfriend. She was a bitch. She hated me because I was a “lazy asshole.” The truth was that she hated me because I was too honest. In my opinion, if a girl asks how she looks, you tell her the truth. Lying is a bad habit. I don’t ever do it. So when she looked like a whore in her bar-hopping tube top, I said so. Now she hates me. Girls who say they want honesty in a relationship are liars.
So hear I am, at this Godforsaken pit of vanity and arrogance called Dempsey's. And it hasn’t been good for me so far.
I'm not sure what it says about me, nothing good probably, that I really love this. It's fast, unexpected, and has a main character who is loathsome. I'll find my stiletto bunny slippers and read 50 pages.
What works is that there's no set up, no backstory, just wham, you're in. It's a bit like British noir movies (Guy Ritchie stuff) that just fling you into the soup and say "swim".