The Process

Tag: beer

Cups

She says now that we live together, we have too many cups between the two of us and that we need to pare down.  I say the Brady Bunch didn’t jettison their excess children when they joined up. She says it’s different because children are different from cups.  I don’t know; I like my cups.  A lot of the glasses are specific to traditional service of various beer styles, so I want them.    Some of them are dumb.  Like the printed pint glasses.  But you always need pint glasses, is the point.  She tells my mom what about the Kinky Boots souvenir cup from the theater.  Mom guffaws or does something that might be in the guffawing category.  I am judged.  I shift in my shoes thinking they’re right.  But I went to that show.  It happened to me.  And I paid like eighty-five dollars for a cocktail at intermission.  Their faces say I’m a fool for nostalgia but that they love me anyway but also will ultimately coerce me into abandoning the cup.  It is plastic, and I know that’s not right.  But I like it.

This morning, when I woke up for work, I moved my pillow to find my phone and turn off my alarm so as not to disturb.  My pillow brushed my favorite rocks glass off my nightstand onto the floor, where it shattered into many pieces.  It had a blue old-fashioned bicycle on it.  I don’t ride bikes, but I’ve made some good drinks in the glass, and it reminds me of cold, proper cocktails.  Well, that’s one down, then.  I really don’t mind it when my things are gone too much.  I just like them while they’re still there or I think I do.

The Lost Kids

FIFTEEN

When we leave the restaurant, I realize I am severely underdressed for the weather.  It’s dropped to about zero degrees, and it’s snowing, and all I brought was my peacoat.  Of course I knew that was a fucking stupid move when I was leaving, but cold is always a very distant theory until it’s gnawing at your face and ass.  “Jed, I think I should go back and get some more clothes to put on…” I start.

“No, no, you don’t need more clothes,” Jean interjects.  “Wear the Pastis jacket!”  He hands me the half-finished bottle–er–half finished second bottle of Pastis.  “It will protect you from the cold.  Look at me–I’m not even wearing a coat as heavy as yours.”  Yeah, and you just worked in the hot kitchen all night and weigh about two hundred pounds more than I do.  Although I find fault with Jean’s argument, I take the Pastis and drink, feeling my belly and face warm up a bit as I do.  It’s better than nothing, to be sure.

“Jed, want some Pastis jacket?”

“Nah, I’m good,” he grins, holding up his two already full hands, one with a joint and one with a beer.

“I see that,” I smirk.  At least I haven’t seen him do anything hard since we’ve gotten here.  Not that I’ve had my eye on him the whole time, or anything.  Who knows whether he was taking pills while I was asleep in the car.  Although I like to think he might care enough about me already not to put my life on the line for a temporary high, I also know that rationale is not solid…at all.  “Jean, where are we going?”

“Ask Bette and Louis.  I never choose.  But we usually go to the same places.  Bette and Louis know where the fun is; I just follow along and enjoy.” Louis turns around, looks at me playfully, and says,

“Why do you need to know?”

“Curious.”

“Have you read Alice in Wonderland?”

“Yes.”

“So remember the part when Alice asks the Cheshire cat which way she should go at the fork in the road?”

“Yes.”

“And he asks her where she’s trying to go.”

“Right, and she says she doesn’t know…”

“And so he says that, in that case, it doesn’t matter which path she takes.”

“OK, Mr. Party Philosophy 101…I get it.  Take me down your rabbit hole…I’m in…Why did that sound so dirty?  I don’t really know what I’m saying…let’s just go…”  The cooks trailing behind us laugh at me in a sort of well-orchestrated movie effects kind of way, and I giggle, taking another swig of Pastis.  This Pastis jacket concept isn’t too bad, actually.  We stop and turn into a smallish alley, and Bette turns around to me and asks,

” ‘ave you ever been to a strip club?”  I smirk, thinking about how the last time I’d been was before getting arrested for drunk driving.  Great.  At least Jed is in charge of driving the Rush-mobile.  She opens the strangely warped wooden door and nods toward the inside, signaling for us to go in.

The warmth of the bar causes my cold face to go immediately ruddy, and I imagine I must look like something in between a young woman and an old Irish man, but not in the post-plastic surgery Joan Rivers kind of way.  I laugh at this.

“What’s so funny?”  Jed asks, his face starting to look relaxed and dazed from all the drinking and smoking.

“Everything, don’t you think?”

“Yes, my lady.”  We sit down at a large table just off the bar, and Jean shows up with two brimming pitchers of beer and a tray of whiskeys for everyone.  Jesus H. Christ.

“Well, everyone,” Jean begins, in all his sweaty, drunken glory, “We are lucky to meet two young travelers tonight.  While they may be Americans, we will forgive them this for the simple reason that it is a gift to enjoy the company of young lovers experiencing life’s great gifts of food, drink, and good company.  They uphold the values we prize in our lives, and it’s comforting to see that a next generation of people are safeguarding the institution of bounty and excess.  To l’amour!”

L’amour!” Everyone shouts.  And just then, I see her on the stage.  A familiar face on a naked body…the receptionist from our hotel!

“Oh my God, Jed–it’s her!  The hotel receptionist!”  Jed looks toward the stage and chuckles.

“Shit…”  She dances toward the edge of the stage, catches my eye, and winks.

“So, I see you’ve met Clara, probably at your hotel?” Louis catches on quickly.  “She tends to direct people she finds interesting to Jean’s restaurant because she knows he herds people in here like flocks of sheep.  She’s been a friend for years.  When she’s done with her shift, she’ll come hang out.”

“Damn, good thing we listened to her dinner advice,” Jed says.

“Shut up!”  I punch him in the knee cap, feigning jealousy.  Am I feigning anymore?  I’m not so sure.

“So you’re a cook?” Jean sidles over to me from the other end of the table and sits in a free chair.

“Yeah…but I don’t have a place to work right now.  It’s hard, you know?  Trying to understand if all the work is worth it at a fancy place or whatever.”

“Well…if you love the food, you don’t have to think so hard.  Like anything else.  I love my kids.  I hate when they fucking wet the bed and I have to change their sheets at four in the morning when all I want to do is sleep.  But it’s worth it.  You love the food?  You understand why you’re taking the trash out at three in the morning or scraping grease off the fucking oven.  There’s just no choice in the matter.”

“Oui,” I giggle.  It is a little wise, but I’m drunk, so it’s also funny.

“You speak French?”

“Enough.”

“What is enough?”

“Enough to shut the fuck up and say oui.”

“Ah, oui,” he laughs.

“Am I interrupting?”  I feel a hand snake around my shoulder and turn toward the voice.  Oh, shit…it’s this Clara bitch…

“No…no, not at all,” I stammer.  She’s way prettier than I realized back at the hotel.  And the inkling of badass I got before has gone full blown in the context of the strip club.  She’s put on a pair of tight black jeans and a rust colored silk blouse and still managed to come off sexier than when she was almost completely naked ten minutes ago…amazing…

“So, surprise…” she smirks.

“Yeah…you played us right into your trap, huh?  Do you bring all the cute American tourists into this little set-up, then?”

“No…”

“Then…”

“Platelet people.”

“What does that mean?”

“I have a theory that people who have seen a darker side of life stick to each other…like platelets…It’s an unconscious effort to heal the wound…”

“What makes you think we’re wounded?”

“What makes you think you’re not?”  I follow her gaze to Jed, who looks happy but hopeless, as usual.  I laugh.

“OK, but me?”

“You’re content in life?”

“Well…no…but contentedness seems lazy…I’m just hungry for more…”

“We’re not all the same, but you don’t see any…how do you Americans call it…basic bitches around here…do you?”  She laughs.

“No!  No basic bitches!  That is true,” I laugh.  Fair enough.  Platelet people it is.

“And besides…I get a sense of loss from you, somehow.  You’re having fun, but you have a guard up.  You’re not letting yourself be with him…easily.”

“Maybe that’s not exactly what I’m into,” I smirk, pointedly.

“Ah, oui, but either way, I think maybe you are.”

Bette comes over and saves me from the strange direction this conversation is going in, and I’m relieved. “Can I get you two another drink?” she asks.

“You know, yes, but I don’t know what I want.”

“Well, young lady, it’s a bit too late to tell you to stick to one thing, so your guess is as good as mine.”

“This is true.  How about a beer and a whiskey again.  I can try to stick to that.”

“Oui, Clara?”

“The same.  You know, I’m a bit tired after my shift.  Would anyone like to…get less tired?”  She grins and taps her nose with a well-manicured finger.  Well, it’s not as though the night seemed like it would end anytime soon, anyway.  

Ouaaaiiiiiiii” all the cooks and Jean chime in, clearly excited that cocaine has made an appearance in the conversation.

“Wayyyyy!”  Jed adds.

“Fuck it,” I agree, as she passes around a small bag and spoon.  The bag goes around the circle until it’s out.

“No worries; I have more for in a bit,” she says.  The bitterness invades the back of my throat as I perk up a little.  “How is that?”  Clara asks, looking me over.

“Great, thanks.”

“Want some more?”

“Maybe.”

“Ah, oui, but I can’t find the spoon anymore…” she smiles, tucking it into her pocket.  “But I know a good surface.”  She jumps up backwards and has a seat on the bar, spins sideways, and lays down.  Before I can process the situation, she’s topless with a roughly poured line between her tits.  Well this is occurring…I’m highly amused by the situation and completely ecstatic that I agreed to go to Canada with Jed.  This is hilarious, ridiculous, and all the debauchery I ever wanted and more.  Well, maybe.

“How can I be so sure this is coke?”  I joke, and I stick my finger in her mouth, wet it, use it to pick up some of the powder off her chest, and rub it on my gums.  She looks surprised and amused.  “Yep, it seems to be…”  I bend down and stick my face between her breasts, snorting up about half of the coke and missing the rest.  We’re both laughing uncontrollably by now, and Jean appears out of nowhere and licks up all the rest off her body.  “Jesus, man!”

“Jean would replace powdered sugar on his donuts with blow if he could; don’t be concerned,” Clara laughs.

“Evidently!”  Clara sits up and leans close.

“I liked your finger in my mouth,” she whispers in my ear.  “But–”

“Oh, hello, I see you’ve met my lady,” Jed appears, wide-eyed.

“Monsieur Jed, hello…”

“Thanks for your recommendation earlier.  The restaurant was incredible.  And this…this is not bad, either, he says, glancing at her still naked chest.

“I thought you might like it,” she says, as she puts her shirt back on.  “Come, let’s dance.”

The Lost Kids

FOURTEEN

When I wake up, I look out to a line of cars ahead of us.  Holy shit, Jed–are we at the border already?  What time is it?”  He looks over at me and laughs.

“It’s six.”

“Jesus.  Should we be worried about border control?  Are you sure there aren’t any drugs hiding in this van right now?  Are we gonna get arrested?”

“Calm down, Gretchen.  I don’t think there’s anything in here.”

“You don’t think…”

“I checked.  Just calm down.  Here.  Want some?”  Jed holds out a half-eaten McDouble.

“Ew…you’re disgusting…”  I take the burger, realizing I’m starving, and take a bite.  For a cold, grey meat sandwich, it’s perfect.  I wolf down the three remaining bites.

“So disgusting…” Jed smirks.

“Shut up.”  I turn up the radio, which Jed has switched to some hip hop station and sing along:  “Ass fat!  Yeah I know!  The mo’ you spendin’, the fasta it go!” I do my best Nikki Minaj impression, and Jed looks surprised.  “C’mon Jed.  I know you know the words, too.  Throw some mo’!  Throw some mo’!”  He grins.

“You’re fucking crazy.  Turn it off for now; we’re coming up to the booth.”  I turn off the radio, as we drive up to the woman checking passports.  She asks Jed a bunch of questions about our trip and what kind of shit we have in the car.

“OK, can you pull up there and go inside so that we can check your car?”  Fuck.  I knew this was going to end in a drug bust or something.

“Sure.”

“Jed, what the hell?  No other cars ahead of us got checked.”

“I don’t know.  It’s probably just routine.  Don’t worry about it.”  We get out of the car and go into the building.  To take my mind off the situation at hand, I read some brochures about Canadian tourism and maple syrup, but my hands are sweaty, and I have to pee.  After a few minutes, the man who went out to inspect the car comes in and says something to another guard at the desk.  I can’t hear what they’re saying, but I see the second guard put on a pair of gloves and go out to the car.  We’re totally fucked.  I shouldn’t have come to Canada with this stranger.  I don’t want to go to jail.

A couple minutes later, I see another guard summoned out to the car.

“Jed…this is not looking good.”  I can tell he’s trying to stay calm for my sake.  How patronizing.  A few minutes later, the first guard comes back in and walks over to us with a serious expression.

“You can go back out to your car.”  I feel relieved but also confused.  We walk out the door, and one of the guards looks up.

“Where did you get this car?”

“It’s my friend’s…”

“This is the same van Rush used when they first started touring.  Not just the same model, but the same van!  Geddy Lee rode in this car!” he exclaims in a heavy French accent.

“My friend’s uncle helped organize Rush’s first tour in America.  Their van was on its final days, so they left it with him in America, and later on, he gave it to my friend to fix up if he wanted.  It’s a miracle it runs, but it does.”

“Bobo fucking owns Rush’s old tour van?  We’re driving Rush’s old tour van?  Jed!”  I’m at once ecstatic and offended Jed hadn’t told me before.  He smiles, and the guard gives him the keys.

“Have fun in Montreal,” the guard says.

I’m still trying to calm down, and as I get back into the van, I feel jittery.  “Alright, Jed.  Well, that was fucked up.  And I can’t believe you didn’t tell me.  Fuck you!  Anyway, I guess it’s appropriate to put this on, then.”  As he turns his key in the ignition and starts to drive, I put some Rush on my phone and turn it all the way up.  “MONDAY WARRIOR MEAN, MEAN STRIDE, TODAY’S TOM SAWYER, MEAN, MEAN PRIDE!”  I yell.  Jed smiles and joins in.  “THOUGH HIS MIND IS NOT FOR RENT, DON’T PUT HIM DOWN AS ARROGANT!”  We do a wonderful, terrible job singing the song, and I laugh to myself, briefly thinking that Jed is a little bit of a Tom Sawyer guy.

“So I’m really hungry.  Should we just go put our shit in the hotel and go get some food right away?”

“Yes,” I agree.  I’m fucking hungry, and I would love a drink.  Actually, I would love a bathroom, and then a drink, and then some food.  Dennis went to Canada last year, and he said the food was amazing.  “Should we go try some of this poutine shit, or should we go somewhere fancy?  After all, this is a very sophisticated getaway week for us, is it not?”

“I say fancy.  I mean, haven’t you had your fill of poutine in New York?  It’s at every hip eatery.”

“But I would hope it’s better here.”

“Maybe so.  Oh, here it is,” Jed points to a pretty brick building and pulls up to the valet.  The hotel looks really nice, and I feel a little bad that he’s spending his money on our room.  However, it’s not every day people my age get to do such things, so I brush off the guilt.  We check in and go up to our room.

“A king?”  I look at him with a playfully annoyed smirk.  Like hell I’m sharing a bed with a random man I just met.  But I don’t mind.  I’ll sleep on the luxurious looking leather couch.

“It’s all they had available.”

“Naturally.”  We drop our bags and go downstairs to ask the receptionists about restaurant recommendations.  Typically, I have a whole list of places to go when I travel, but something about the spontaneity of this trip made me want to wing everything.  The hostess is a young woman probably not much older than me, and although she is well dressed and groomed, something about her vibe seems a little punky and badass.  When we ask her where we should eat, she pauses, sizing us up, probably wondering what two younger, somewhat grungy Americans are doing at a nice hotel in Montreal in the middle of the winter.  Barely missing a beat, she recommends a place called Gros.

“What’s it like?”  I ask.

“It’s hard to really say,” she starts.  “But just go.  I think you two will like it.”

“What kind of attire is it?”

“Go as you are,” she smiles in a strangely mysterious, all knowing way.

“Well OK, let’s do it, then,” Jed seems pleased with the bare amount of information we’ve received.

“Fuck it, yeah.  Let’s go.  I’m starving.”  We walk toward the door, and as Jed opens it, I ask, “Is it wrong to trust someone’s restaurant recommendation just because she’s hot?”  He laughs, realizing we’ve both trusted this receptionist in blind faith, and says,

“No.  I think it’s perfectly fine.”

Gros is only five blocks from our hotel.  It’s pretty busy when we get there, but it is also small.

“Table for two?”

“Yes, thanks.”

“OK, just give me one moment…here.  Have these while I get your table ready.”  The host hands us shots of brown liquor.

“That’s how I always want to be greeted.  Everywhere I go,” I say, as I sniff the beverage, verifying that it’s whiskey.  “Cheers, Jed.”

“Cheers, m’lady!”  We down the fiery shots, and my belly warms up immediately.  My stomach growls, wondering why I’m only sending it alcohol when it really wants food.  Shhh…I tell it.  Food to come.  The host sits us at a table in the back corner, which is dim and beautiful.

“Well, how romantic!” I joke.  Jed laughs, but there’s a hint of something else in the laugh that worries me.  I hope he doesn’t feel this is a romantic dinner.  Or is it?  Canada feels like an alternate universe to me.  Maybe I will create a new world today.  This place…this food…this person…for now, I love them all?  I could love everything here.  And that might be perfect.  And yet, maybe this is the whiskey talking.

“What can I get you two to drink?” A woman appears next to our table.  We order a large bottle of La Fin Du Monde, a beer made in Montreal, to split.  A few minutes later, the waitress comes back with two glasses and the bottle and pours it for us.  She sets down a basket of biscuits between us and gives us some time to look at the menu.

“Cheers!”  I clink glasses with Jed, and some of the tall, white foam runs over the side of my glass.  The beer is refreshing and strong, and the biscuits are warm.  “Do we even need anything else?”

“Haha…yes…but this is pretty great by itself,” he agrees.  “What about this braised goose tacos situation?”

“Mmm…that sounds great.  What about this lobster po’ boy with crispy pig ears and Ranch?”

“Should we have smoked before coming here?”

“Maybe.  But we’re pretty hungry already.”

“Excuse me,” a woman at the table next to us looks over at us. “I don’t mean to intrude, but would you like to go smoke?  My husband and I are taking a break in our meal, and we’re going to step outside.  People actually do it here quite frequently.  The restaurant doesn’t really mind; there’s an alley right next door.”

“Seriously?”  Jed looks happy, and the woman nods.  “Gretchen?”

“Sure.  Let’s go.”  We put our napkins on the table and walk outside.  It’s started to snow, and most of the streets are empty.  I realize it’s already ten, and that makes me happy.  Late dinners are one of my favorite things.  The woman pulls a joint out of a small tin in her purse and lights it with a match from a Gros matchbook.

“So where are you two from?”

“New York,” I say.  “Are you from here?”

“No, actually we’re from Toronto, but my husband is a graphic designer, and I’m a musician, so we moved here, because it’s more conducive to our work.  Perhaps not because of the work itself, but, em…the nature of the environment,” she laughs, taking a pointed drag.  “And what do you do?”

“I’m a salesman, and she’s a cook,” Jed replies.

“And how long have you been together?”

“Oh, we’re–”

“Two years,” Jed cuts me off.  I smirk. I can play this game.  We talk with the couple, Bette and Louis, some more, and when we finish the joint, we return to dinner.  Back in the restaurant, we push our tables together and order a ton of food.  Even though Bette and Louis were once half way through their meal, they’re again ravenous.

It turns out they’re both devout wine lovers, so they order wines with our food that make everything perfect.  Muscadet with our seafood, Carignan with our goose tacos, a Cote du Rhone with a fried rabbit dish.  Although at first I was nervous about prices, it eventually becomes clear that the chef is good friends with Bette and Louis, and by extension, everything is on the house.

“We’ve known Jean for ten years,” Louis says.  “He was my best man in our wedding.  He’s like a brother to me.  I design all his menus and book covers, and I eat here free.  It’s the essence of a symbiotic relationship.”

“To symbiosis!”  I toast, as I begin to feel quite drunk.

“Symbiosis!”  Everyone cheers, in unison.  After the other tables have cleared out of the restaurant, Jean and a few other chefs come out of the kitchen with some more food and a few bottles of Pastis.  We all drink, talk, and smoke in only candlelight, now, and I feel a sense of peace that I’ve never before experienced.  Jed looks happy, too, which makes me happy.  He looks up and catches my eye, and I smirk, thinking, yes, two years, we’ve been together now.  He looks healthy in the candle light, and something like love bubbles up in me for a moment.  I’m surprised, but I suspend the concern to prolong the good feeling.

“Well, then,” Jean announces, stirring me from my dream-like state, “I think it’s time to go have some fun.  To the bars!”

“To the bars!”  Bette echoes.  Jed and I exchange looks of surprise, considering we clearly underestimated just how hard these French Canadians could party, and we shrug, chiming in,

“To the bars!”

The Lost Kids

ONE

I stopped feeling lonely when I remembered to check in with Hemingway.  It’d been a long time, and the bastard hadn’t texted or called.  But he’s just the type of friend that reminds you you’ve got people despite the ostensible.  I had just finished up with some business on the Upper East.  Stranger things all the time with these narcissistic art people.  One day it’s Warhol and his movie of couples macking it, and the next it’s a guy planning to recreate the film starring himself.  Well, to be honest, I didn’t mind co-starring, considering the money.  I had found the dude online, looking for a girl to come make out for a hundred bucks.  I’m no whore or anything, but money talks, and I’ll be damned if a college education wasn’t enough to teach me that a hundred bucks for twenty minutes of my time is a higher rate than the ten fifty an hour I’m getting downtown at the restaurant.  I took Economics; I know about high risk-high reward.  That is why I went with a pair of scissors in my bag.

When I got to the place, I wasn’t entirely sure about the high risk part, but the address was to a brownstone, so I walked in.  It was a fancy neighborhood.  And yeah, I know about facades, but don’t forget about the high reward part.  So I walked in, and I smelled weed, so I knew I was probably at the right place.  Sure enough, this scruffy artist emerged from the door up the stairs when I knocked.  If you’ve ever met a stranger like this, it goes like “hi”/ “yes, hello..”/ “come in”/ “thank you…” and then the door shuts and they offer for you to put your bag down, and you think about your scissors and locate where the person’s kidneys must be before you see the person’s Shiba Inu in the corner and decide it must be okay and surrender your bag to the offered chair back.

I looked around at his posters, wine bottles, shiny floors, and furniture.  Must be nice, I thought.  I mean, the dude wasn’t young.  Maybe by the time I’m fifty, I won’t be needing roommates either, but that depends on how far I can get in my career before I lose my shit.  A guy at the bank today was asking me if I was a chef at my job, and I was too hungover to smile when I said no.  Everyone assumes you’re the head fucking chef.  I should’ve asked him if he was the owner of the bank.  Anyway, this artist shows me his idea for the film, shows me the windowsill where our makeoutery will occur, shows me his nice filming equipment, etc.  And I’m there like let’s do this thing, because I have a date and I need time to brush your saliva and my guilt out of my gullet beforehand.

So we make out in three different takes.  It’s awkward because I’m tiny and he’s tall, awkward because I haven’t kissed a man in over a year, awkward because it was at once the longest kiss I’ve had in a while and the worst.  I wondered if he agreed it was terrible.  Or if it was his first kiss.  By the end of the last take, I did start to contemplate whether I would sustain post traumatic stress issues from it, but there was this healing moment when he handed me the hundred dollar bill.  I was like, well that’s what that bill looks like.  And then I got all socialist and divided the money amongst a number of bars downtown.  No trauma was sustained.

So anyway, I woke up the other day feeling all crappy and alone in the world.  I got out of bed and walked to the corner for a bagel, and Ishan finally stopped questioning me on my untoasted bagel preference.  It felt OK to be accepted on that end, but being a regular at the bagel shop wasn’t the sense of belonging I was looking for at the moment.  I bought a scratch off and lost.  It was one of those stupid crossword ones.  I used to win them sometimes–fifty bucks, once.  But anyway, when I went back up to my apartment, I saw something my cousin posted on Facebook about France, and I thought of Hemingway.  I love the guy, but I think moving to Paris after college was a douche move on his part.  Look, I hate America too, but New York is easily as good as Paris, and either way you slice it, Ebola will get to every country eventually.  So maybe I’m a little bitter that he left.  But we have our adventures overseas from each other, and when we compare notes, it’s more of the same shenanigans.

I hadn’t checked in with him in a while, so I pulled up my last email to him to see where I left him.  It read,

“Hey man,

How’s that Paris life treating you, you fancy fuck?  Come back to New York so we can sit in bars together and talk about the merits of butt sex when we’re sitting next to people who are clearly on their first date!  I miss you.  I’m finally settling into my new neighborhood, and I think it might be a secret lesbian Mecca.  I’m not sure yet, so I’ll keep you posted, but I’m seeing a lot of butch haircuts and Birkenstocks.  Oh.  And there’s this lady who rides around town in a scooter for disabled people with a parrot on her shoulder.  A goddamn parrot!  They don’t write this shit in the movies.

I had the weirdest night last weekend.  Remember I told you about the girl I went home with from that 80s party?  Well I ran into her at this bar the other night, and it was awkward, because I left her that fucked up haiku about sorry for falling asleep in the middle of it, and it turned out she was straight anyway.  Total wannabe bi girl, but straight as an arrow.  On the bright side, she let me crash on her couch after the bar.  And her roommate offered me coffee and a phone charge when I woke up like it was some four star hotel or something.  I’m not making this up.  And we got to talking about beer, and she gave me a bottle of her favorite brew.  I’m pretty sure I’m ok with free beer from kind, cute strangers.  Unfortunately, I don’t think she was hitting on me, though.  Everyone wants a big butch these days.  I don’t get that.  I made this horrible mistake of eschewing the institution of categories, and it’s not working out well.  Someone called me a chapstick lesbian, but I’m thinking I’m more of a “needs chapstick lesbian.”  Real talk though, this weather is drying out my lips like a motherfucker.  Maybe that’s the issue.

How are you, though?  I feel like I only get random snapchats from you all captioned, “Don’t drop the baguette!” from various raves you’ve attended.  You really need to come up with a catchier phrase.  Haha..catchy…I think I’m punny.  Speaking of, how are the boys?  I’m guessing they love your American ass, but who knows.  I’ve heard Parisians can be bitches.  I want to hear about your life!

Love you,

Gretch”

He had responded,

“Gretchennnn!  I miss you more.  Calm your horses on this meeting people thing.  It sounds like you’re getting enough for us both.  And what the hell with these nice people inviting you into their homes and offering you free beer in the morning?  Was there a turn down service?  I don’t understand.  I’ve been kicked out of people’s flats here.  Like “OK, this is not a thing, bye, I’m going to bed, go back to whatever arrondissement you came from.”

Still, though, I have been having a lot of fun.  I finally straightened shit out with my work visa, so I can finally get a job.  I don’t want to work, but I’m down to my final Euro, and I’m getting a little partied out, too.  These French people can hang!  Like if you and I thought our blood was made of a 30% wine solution, I fear for the vampire that tries to feast on the Parisians.

You’re done with “don’t drop the baguette”?!  It still gets me every time.  Unclear why.  Ughhh wait so this is so annoying, but I think all French toilets are low-flush.  Everyone has a toilet brush for deuce-dropping purposes, and it freaks me out.  I think as soon as I get rich, I’m gonna get a fancy, American style toilet in my place.  It’s awful.

Oh, I actually do have a story for you.  So I met this guy at a club, and we left at like two in the morning, which is pretty early still for me these days, and we went to buy some blow.  We each do like two small lines, go back to the club, dance our asses off, and then leave to go back to his place.  And at this point, we were starting to come down and we bumped some to keep going (he was going to skip work).  So we’re walking into his place, and this tiny little old lady catches me grinding my teeth a little, and she grabs me by the arm (you know that intense old lady grip–like rivaling Jack and Rose in Titanic).  She looks me in the eyes like she knows what’s up, and then she says in this raspy French, “can I get some?” I died.  She had to be like 90 years old.  I absolutely did not give an old lady coke, but nonetheless…what is my life coming to?

Alright, well I have to go, but we should Skype sometime.  I know our schedules never work, but you know…one day.

Bye, bitch (haha my phone always auto-corrects it to butch!  It knows!)

Hem”

What a guy.  Basically the male version of me, but not at all.  I thought about booking a trip to see him, but I was pretty damn sure I wouldn’t have the money until tax returns come in.  I mean, with my luck, I’ll owe money back to the government, but whatever.  I hate thinking about the government.  Just the other day, my friend, Jen, was telling me her family was all on her dick to vote.  And I didn’t vote either.  The way she saw it, her parents were Republican for money reasons.  And she has Democratic values, but she’s also not making enough money to give a shit either way.  We decided we are definitely fucked either way, so fuck voting.  At least until we read up on what exactly is going on.  We are pretty sure no one really knows.