It was the kind of bar that I liked going to. And is probably part of the reason I’m single to this day. It’s the kind of place people my age would go because it was easy on the wallet. It was the kind of place the baby boomers and older went because the girls who went there were easy on the eyes.
Or maybe just easy.
Either way, it was an easy kind of evening.
I was dressed in a skirt and going through my fishnets are cool with everything phase; one that lived well past its expiration date, but brought me joy so I went with it.
I’d just started wearing heels… walking everywhere like a velociraptor. (I would continue this fashion faux pas for many years until I learned that I just can’t get the hang of it. Stop already). After traipsing up to the vinyl swivel seat at the bar, I sat – ordered my classic Jack Daniels & Coke – and sat.
I’m pretty sure something was playing on the jukebox that resembled Crazy Bitch by Buckcherry, followed by Sweet Home Alabama, but that exact detail escapes me. But at least you get the idea of what kind of place this actually was.
Passing time between cigarettes and juke box selections, I gained more confidence. Call it liquid courage or an internal spark of feisty self-confidence, but I was bored and needed some entertainment. And entertainment that night took on the form of a square-jawed, ball capped man sitting on my right, looking at me sporadically out of the corner of his eye.
Naturally, I bought him a shot and slid it over to him. Conversation was struck. The clock struck 1am. This was my companion for the remainder of the evening. Or for the next several hours anyway.
I don’t remember much else about him, other than his hair was very short – clean cut almost – his face was freakishly smooth and a foreign change of pace from the scraggle muffins I was used to playing face Olympics with, and he had on white K-Swiss shoes. OHHHHH , the white K-Swisses.
The next 35 minutes progressed in the pace of a 3 hour date, or a 10 minute phone interview… I can’t really remember. Things were getting fuzzy and still are. We decided to leave, in my car – he didn’t have one. (This detail, also, seems to be some sort of metaphor for my dating life, or lack thereof).
He was a vet. Or a discharged military man. Or whatever you wanna call them nowadays. He’d been sent home from Iraq with permanent damage to his ear from an IUD that went off unexpectedly. A fact that we bonded over, as I’m deaf in my right ear. But that wasn’t the only body quirk we discussed – or discovered.
Upon arriving at my house, the makeout session was on. The waffle colored couch, furry, enveloped our bodies as the springs gave way while we laid down to laugh and cuddle in a boozy stupor. It was leading to more. It was going to for sure.
We took it to the bedroom … started to strip… my shirt was over my head, revealing my chest, when I heard “STOP! I have to do something quick”
What I was really thinking was oh, wow. This dude came prepared. And I kinda had respect for him. I pulled my shirt from over my head so I could see and the streetlight was shining through the window. Just perfectly displaying what shocked the shit outta me.
An arm. Laying on my dresser. With a hook.
Now, I should probably explain. We were mid-makeout and he wanted to adjust… which involved him removing the Velcro strap that was holding his prosthetic hook-hand arm on over his “good” shoulder. I couldn’t stop staring at the arm. It was taunting me while we were making out. I kept one eye open, wondering how he was going to maneuver my 197 pound body with one arm. But I figured, hey he’s capable. He was a soldier.
Eventually, I got bored. There was no beard. There was no sex. There was only an arm, taunting me. I pretended to fall asleep and he eventually left.
I haven’t worn fishnets since that day. They tend to lure in men with hooks.