The Bar Scene Sucks

What a nightmare-tornado the last five months were.

It was fun while it lasted, though.

I ask the bartender for another whiskey sour, easy on the sour. He asks if I’m doing OK. I lie. He pours the drink.

The upside about coming to The Rusty Screw is I know she won’t show up here. Way too trashy for her.

“Hey, little lady,” a mass of stupidity says, crawling onto the stool next to me. “You here all alone?”

Ah yes. This is the downside about this place.

“I don’t have time for this,” I say, dipping into my whiskey sour, making sure he keeps his hands far away from it and me.

“Aww, c’mon, sugar,” he says, leaning in close. “What’s wrong? You don’t have a boyfriend, do you?”

I almost choke on my drink.

“I am so not interested,” I say, glaring at him and sending all the “EFF OFF” vibes I can.

“C’mon, darlin’, don’t look so sad,” he says, grabbing my wrist. “Smile for me!”

Southern charm at its finest.

“Hey, asshat.”

I turn around to see her standing right behind us.

She looks like a knight in shining armor to me, but that’s probably just the disco ball they have going for karaoke.

“She said she’s not interested,” she says, grabbing him my the collar.

“Whoa whoa, hold on, missy,” Idiot says. “We’re just havin’ a little conversation.”

“You don’t get it,” she says. “She’s not interested… but I am.”

Wow. Either she’s way into me, or I totally misread her.

“Really?” Idiot says, grinning.

“Really,” she says, pulling him up to his feet. “C’mon, let’s sneak out back and see what we can get into.”

As she leads him away, she whispers in my ear, “I’ll be back.”

Even if I wasn’t drunk, I’d be so confused right now.

Right?


I turn my attention back to my whiskey sour, the one thing in the world I claim to understand at the moment.

Ah, yes. Wonderful whiskey. My one true friend.

The mysterious woman is back by the time I finish my drink. Idiot is nowhere to be seen. “Mind if I join you?” she asks.

“Please do,” I say. “What do you drink? I owe you one.”

“Heh… Something else to drink, eh? Let’s go with a Cuba Libre,” she says.

“Hey, Jack,” I say, calling over the bartender. “Cuba Libre for the lady, please.”

“Sure thing,” he says. “Hey, what happened to Dave?”

“Dave?” I ask. “That the guy that was harassing me?”

“Yeah, that’s him.”

“Why do you ask?” my new friend asks.

“The cops just called, said he’s wanted for… I dunno, something to do with drugs. Some violence, too. Sounded pretty serious,” Jack says as he makes the Cuba Libre.

“…You can tell them that they can call off the search,” she says. “They’re not gonna find him.”

Jack frowns. “Why’s that?”

“Has Marty over at the Golden Ilon told you about somebody named Eliza?”

“Oh,” Jack says, backing away. “Right. Got it. Well, uh, you need anything else?”

“No, I got my fill,” Eliza(?) says.

“Right,” Jack says, setting down her drink. “It’s on the house.” At that, he heads away from the bar to check on the rest of the place.

“So… Eliza?” I ask.

“Right,” she says. “Sorry, this is weird.”

“A little bit, yeah, but that’s not always a bad thing,” I say. “I’m Meg.”

“Nice to meet you, Meg,” Eliza says, taking a sip from her drink.

“Likewise,” I say, leaning towards her. “So, listen…”

“Before we go any further, I need to tell you something,” she says.

“Oh, God,” I say. “You’re straight.”

“No, no, no!” she says.

“Thank the Lord,” I say. “I thought I was going crazy.”

“Full disclosure, I’m bi, and I think you’re really hot, but that’s not what I was going to say.”

“Wow. That’s a lot to digest.”

“Yeah, well, if you think that’s a lot… Um. I’m a vampire.”

I blink three or four times.

She takes another sip.

“…Really?” I say.

“Yeah,” she says. “Hence the pale skin and pointy teeth.”

“I was wondering, but I thought maybe they were fakes,” I say.

“Nope. Totally real,” she says.

“Huh.”

“Yup.”

“Oh!” I say, covering my cross necklace. “This isn’t, uh, causing you torment, is it?”

“Nah, that’s not a thing for most of us,” she says.

“OK, good.”

“Daylight’s no good, though. And the soul situation is pretty questionable.”

“Gotcha.”

“So… You’re not gonna freak out?”

“…Nah.”

“You wanna talk somewhere a bit more private?”

“Sure,” I say.

“And I really do want to talk,” she says. “I’m not looking for a hook-up. I really like you. I think.”

“I think I really like you too,” I say, smiling.

“The vampire thing really doesn’t bother you?”

“Let me put it this way,” I say. “I just got out of a sucky relationship, so I might as well try a blood-sucky relationship.”

“I gotcha,” Eliza says. “I had to leave my last town after a bad breakup. Just got here a month ago.”

“…So you left your last town because of a breakup, and now you’re looking to start up something new?”

“Sure,” she says.

“Why?”

“Because what’s the point of immortal life if you have to spend it alone?”

“There’s still alcohol,” I say.

“Fair point. But why not aim for love and alcohol?”

“You’re saying all the right things,” I say, pulling out my wallet and dropping two twenties on the bar. “C’mon, let’s get out of here. The karaoke’s gone from hilariously bad to just bad.”

She downs her drink and stands up. “Right. My place is total crap right now. Is yours OK?”

“Yeah,” I say, heading for the door. “Unless my ex is standing outside it, holding up a boombox to win me back after she realizes the catastrophic mistake she made in breaking up with me.”

“Wouldn’t blame her,” Eliza says. “But maybe I’d just turn her, then.”

“Yeah? You gonna turn me?”

“Maybe someday. Let’s see how it goes.”

We step out together into the night.

Ironically — and much to my surprise — tonight totally did not suck.

The End