The waitress whose boobs are superior to Jessica’s returns with our drinks and asks us for our orders, notepad in hand and pen at the ready. I order partially-mashed potatoes and burnt pancakes, she orders a grass and lettuce salad. The waitress turns and walks away, and all hell breaks loose. Jessica starts telling me about what it’s like to be a bartender in a shitty strip club.
“No matter how much makeup I wear, or how slutty I dress, the girls who walk around almost completely naked get way more attention and tips than me,” Jessica whines. “I’m cute. Do you think I’m cute? I think I’m cute. Anyway at my previous jobs all the old creepy guys would stare at me, but here it’s like I’m almost invisible. It’s really affecting my self-esteem.” Self-esteem, isn’t that what you get when you take a hot shower? I’ve heard women mention it before but I know too well that I don’t really need to understand what they’re talking about to “sympathize”.
“It sounds like all those other girls are whores and you’re the only one with class,” I reassure her. “Just remember that you are beautiful, both inside and out. It’s what you think of yourself that counts most, not what other people think.” People love cliches and phony wisdom. No god damn it, what other people think counts more because there are more of them and it adds up.
“All those stripper girls are so catty. I know they say mean things about me when I’m not around,” she pouts, even sticking out her lower lip a little. Okay, HOW CAN YOU KNOW WHAT OTHER PEOPLE SAY ABOUT YOU WHEN YOU’RE NOT AROUND? But I do not say this. I do not say this because of my penis. I do not tell her that she is paranoid and that these problems are trivial. I continue to watch her and listen intently, and ignore the righteous wrath within. “My boss is mean as hell to me and tells me I can’t do shots while I’m on the job. I always have to stay late to clean up puke and the semen in the lap dance rooms. I never get tips because men are saving their singles to stick in the strippers’ butt cracks. Almost nobody tells me I’m pretty. I’m so tired all day and I get bags under my eyes because I’m up almost all night.”
DEF CON 6 emergency emergency. I’m starting to feel like speaking my mind, which will guarantee a dry penis. “I’m really worried about the negative effects all this stress may be having on you. I’m very eager to hear more, but excuse me for a moment, I need to use the restroom,” I manage to say calmly and in a soothing tone. I have prepared well for this very scenario. The men’s restroom is that of a typical chain restaurant. A backwards Nazi symbol is written on the mirror in dried black feces with the letters F-U-K underneath. There are so many puddles of urine that the floor resembles swampland. There are soggy cigarette butts in the urinals. I enter a stall and it has a glory hole carved into it.
I extract from my pocket a Xanax bar, a screwdriver and a bottle cap. I kneel in front of the toilet, put the Xanax in the cap, the cap on the toilet seat, then push the down bottom of the handle of the screwdriver on the Xanax bar and twist back and forth. What would I do-oo-oo for a Xanax bar? Probably kill a lot of innocent people. I turn over the cap and a pile of powder appears on porcelain speckled with piss stains. I roll up a dollar bill, stick it in a nostril then push a finger against the other nostril, and snort the whole pile at once. It burns like hellfire and smells like pee. In fact I will not stop smelling pee for several hours, but I will not care. My ability to give shits has disappeared with the little pile of Xanax.
Courage. Confidence. I stand up and smash into the stall wall, and fall down, bashing my knees into the hard bathroom tile. It’s a miracle! I don’t give a fuck! I know now that I can talk to Jessica and not feel like slitting my wrists, I fact I will feel good about just being with her. I hurry out of the men’s room without washing my hands.
Posted in: Shortened Stories