Matters Of Little Consequence

December 31, 2008: 

Before she became Red to me, she was Geena. We’d gotten to know each other well enough that she invited me to a New Years shindig she was throwing at her condo. I brought my son and my friend Karen, because my son loved parties where he could hone his extensive vocabulary whilst flirting with the ladies. I brought Karen because she called me out of the blue to vent about having taken a break from her Romeo.

We’d dabbled in perpendicular associations after our respective divorces, but our friendship had become a hands free dynamic long before the Dame came along. Besides, the Dame and me had forged a compact inside our long distance relationship in which we socialized with friends of the opposite sex- including former flames. It was a matter of trust, and a dearth of friends.

My son talked politics with Geena’s daughter while Karen found some shot partners. I hung with a lesbian couple, and we kvetched on celebrity crushes. When the clock struck nine o’clockish, I collected my son and searched for Karen, who was having a blast and asking if we could stay till midnight.

I figured the night was still young and I’d be able to partake on the other side. So I drove my son home and headed back to the party, after which I called the Dame. Her plans had fallen through and she was short with me, so I decided against telling her I’d gone back to the party. But then she asked me and then I told her and then I promised to call her later, and then she told me she was going to sleep. If not for my schedule, I would’ve been there. And so I let it go and I hoped she would let it go, and I went back upstairs. I was intent on digging into a friendly beverage when I was swiped up by my new pals.

“We’re going dancing!” Tara said, as the party began heading out. A block and a half later, I was failing miserably on the dance floor, so I grabbed a beer and moved to where Karen and her new friends were sitting. By this point, Karen was several sheets into a stiff tequila wind and nursing a beer much too cozily with Paul, who oh by the way was Geena’s husband. So I tabled it with my sisters in rhyme, after which I danced up the floor to more proper conclusions thanks to an old school DJ who went heavy on disco.

When Geena wrangled up our motley crew, I couldn’t hit the door fast enough. I was feeling melancholic about Chi-town and dreading having to work the next day and bummed as all get out that I wasn’t feeling nearly as jovial as everybody else.

“Hey mister . . .”

It was Geena, sidling up next to me as if she could read my mind. Inside my depressed state, she was coming up aces. She asked about the Dame as we chatted our way back upstairs, where I constructed a martini for myself while Geena, Lori and Tara involved themselves in Gatsby sized vino glasses. I was feeling shin bone deep in a mellowed out feeling when Karen came in and handed me my coat. “You left it at the club, so we bummed a few cigs . . ,” She smiled.

We toasted the dwindling minutes as they teetered into dust and the hands of the clock reached for an indelicate breach. My brain began deconstructing a year whose wings had perched themselves into the vespers of a raging fire. I’d won and I’d lost and I’d given up trying to figure out the reasons why.

As midnight exploded, the martini swam upstream and the beer chaser dovetailed the setting magnificently as I let tomorrow work on its snooze. Me and Geena debated the best Bowie song while the girls took me to task for converting to deep dish over New York style. And just when the night had settled into a peaceful logic, one of Karen’s shot shuckers ran into the condo in a panic, “Your friend is bleeding in the hallway,”

Sure enough, Karen was sitting on the ground and bleeding from the forehead after hitting the astragal between a set of double doors which led to the elevators. “I’m fine!” she said drunkenly as Paul came out with a hand towel. I went back to grab my jacket and when I returned, she was gone. Geena wished me a vaya con dios and I went searching for a tall redhead doing a civil war drummer boy impersonation as I headed towards the parking garage.

There were plenty of times in my life where my past has spoken to me in bold cursive, but none quite so bizarrely. So I wasn’t shocked to find the parking garage booth had closed up shop, leaving me stuck between a gate and a single lane spiral I was never going to be able to navigate in reverse. I had two choices: crash through the fucking thing or try and lift it. I chose the latter and then cursed my way out of the garage, shortly thereafter finding Karen strolling down the street.

“Get in,” I said icily.

“Hey fuck you for laughing at me!” Karen slurred.

I pulled over and she got in, after which I told her where to go and how to get there. “I wasn’t laughing at you, so ease the fuck up,”

“I’m sure your girlfriend loves the fact that you were having such a great time with a married woman . .”

“What in the fuck does that even mean?”

“It was awkward!”

“No, awkward was whatever you and Paul were doing. We were dancing . . . and I’m pretty sure it was the only thing keeping Geena from scratching your eyes out,”

“Your girlfriend might not think this is so funny,”

I thought this black comedy of an evening had run out of surprises, as if there was a chance in hell the universe was done with me. 

As if.

33 thoughts on “Matters Of Little Consequence

  1. B,

    You and New Year’s Eve parties… they do bring all sorts of “situations”, don’t they? Your son must’ve been just barely old enough to parlay his way ’round the ladies!

    Friendships like you had with Karen are great – when they work.

    Nine o’clock is a tad early to leave a NYE party! Course, maybe that would have been a good idea to stay away in hindsight. Then again, things happen for a reason, don’t they?

    Dancing, eh? And ex-girlfriends with friend’s husbands does not a good mix make especially when too many adult beverages are involved.

    I’da hightailed it out to the dance floor myself to avoid any scenes, too

    Nothing like the stroke of midnight and the mellowing qualities of martini with beer to get one to think of the year that has just ended.

    Karen sounds like a hot mess and is beyond lucky to call you friend. I might have been tempted to let her bleed there or not chased her down. And to have to fight with a fucking gate, to boot? Lucky for her.

    Awkward all around, I’m thinking.

    As if it ends there.

    Q

    Liked by 1 person

    • Q,

      Early on, I loved NYE parties. But after this one . . never again, LOL. That’s actually true. I quit going to ’em.

      DT was a raised voice to a holler by that point in time. Fourteen going on Rico.

      Karen always had the idea that she held sway, for whatever reason. I think she always resented the Dame, not because SHE wanted me, but because she didn’t want someone else to have me.

      Nine seemed plenty appropriate seeing as how I had DT. I never liked being out on NYE with all the crazies.

      I should have gone home with Red, in hindsight. But since she was home and I still had a breakup to get to . . . But we joked about it later.

      The whole night was a scene.

      The martini was my true love. I just didn’t know it yet! LOL

      She was a hot mess, but hey, we all have those friends. And besides, she wasn’t my concern. I didn’t talk to her for months after, and that’s before I knew what she did!

      Actually? No. Just stupid. But it all worked out. How, I’m not quite certain, but it did.

      As far as the way I saw Karen, it did. I didn’t consider her a friend I could be comfortable around after that. And once I found out what she did, well, it was over quickaly.

      B

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve only been to a handful of NYE parties in my lifetime. Most of them have been meh.

        DT is lucky to have you as a dad.

        Why do women (and men) do that? I don’t have you so no one else can even if I don’t want you.

        I figured that was the real reason you would leave so early. And yeah, NYE seems to bring out all the crazies!

        Had a breakup to get to… You kill me.

        I don’t doubt it.

        Some romances take a while to make themselves known 😉 🍸

        Yes, we do have them. I can understand not speaking to her for a while…

        Maybe stupid. And lucky.

        With friends like Karen, who needs enemies? I just don’t understand some people’s behaviours. They do things I would never even contemplate!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I would have taken meh. But I am thankful that it allowed me to get to know Red, even though it would be another year, and a much better NYE party, before we became a thing.

          I’m lucky to have him.

          It’s the worst! But in this instance, I didn’t learn about her stunt until years later. I think she believed I was going to grant her a full pardon or something, but no. There is a hilarious story about her wedding reception where she laid a kiss on me as I was leaving. It was full frontal. And right in front of the groom. I posted about it on my old blog. THAT was awkward.

          It’s a creepy feeling on that night, because you’re thinking everybody is drunk.

          Man, and what a breakup it was!

          And when I broke up with the martini, bourbon was there for me.

          Interesting postscript to Karen. She contacted me last fall, out of the blue- because some shit ain’t ever change. Asked how I was, as if that whole confessional she’d laid on me a few years earlier never happened! So I told her it was great and that Damian had not only met a girl but was married. She never replied. I think she expected an invitation to the wedding. I’m not kidding.

          Having been sober excepting for a blissful few minutes of buzz, I can remember there was some crazy shit going on at that party. There were some political names there, and a few swingers and well . . this is why I struggled. Because I left out the best parts! But I’m glad I was sober, because I never would have caught on to what all was going on otherwise.

          Karen was always that way. And I don’t think having been physical after our divorces mattered. I think she was just one of those people who wanted what she wanted, even when she didn’t want it. If that makes sense.

          Liked by 1 person

          • There is that. Silver linings and all…

            That is a beautiful thing to say – my father told me those very same words on his deathbed.

            Seriously. She is a number that one. I think I would have retaliated the same way – for all and sundry to read. OK. Maybe not. Nah. Yeah!

            Everybody drunk and allowing themselves to do things they wouldn’t sober because they have an “excuse”.

            Which we will read about 😉

            You might have broken up with the martini, but she has become a friend with benefits on occasion 😉

            Hah! What a cheeky broad. Maybe she was hoping you would tell her “Great! Miss you, Forgive you, K. Let’s get together!” Not.

            I’m glad you remained sober as well. There are parties that attract all sorts of situations – not that I would know as my social life never involved this level of whoa, what the fuck? And yeah, being in the same state as those around you could have caused more grief than that which was already caused.

            Yeah, There are peeps like that – this I can attest to.

            Liked by 1 person

          • We became closer after that, platonic but important as hell. I shared the things that I was going through and she listened.

            It’s a true thing.

            It was too good NOT to share!

            That’s exactly what was going on. Paul and Geena were a power couple and their friends had money and influence. Those kinds of peeps feel bulletproof.

            I really gotta condense. LOL

            On occasion. But the gin, I don’t think I’ll return to the gin. Vodka, jes.

            I think you’re exactly right!

            I was mindful given the date. We have, or at least we used to have roadblocks around here. Wasn’t worth it. Not that it’s ever a good idea. But you know what I mean, even a second martini would have been a bridge too far.

            Those peeps!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Those relationships are definitely important. To have someone actually listen is a gift in itself.

            It is.

            It was!!

            They must. And if they do get into trouble, they have the cash to get out of it..

            Not on my account. Write away!

            No? The gin did ya in?

            On occasion 😉

            It id definitely not worth it and of course there are roadblocks on that particular night all over. I do know what you mean. I may have pushed the limit once or twice…

            Uh huh.

            Liked by 1 person

          • It’s why we stayed together so long once we did become a thing. Because there was a trust involved. Could she have made a move while I was still with the Dame? Sure. She even admitted she was curious about me early on. But she loved listening to how me and the Dame got together, and as an avid reader, she really loved all that writers stuff.

            As we have seen time and again, money not only talks, it screams.

            For this series, Imma wrap it up. But yeah, fleshed out it would be interestinger.

            Gin works a black and unwelcomed magic on me.

            More than some of the time.

            We all have. Not proud of it, but it happened and thank God no one was hurt.

            Uh huh Uh huh . . .

            Liked by 1 person

          • I can totally understand that. Even sounds a tad familiar.

            It shouts from the rooftops.

            It does have to come to an end. And I know there are parts that cannot be shared so no matter how much more interestinger it could be, I get it.

            Ahhh…. funny how some liquors affect peeps differently.

            OK. I’ll take it.

            Yes. We have. And no, nothing to be proud of.

            Da da da… (Uh oh Here we go again!)

            Liked by 1 person

          • There needs to be a common theme, rather than a pointed interest. But that’s my opinion, not saying I’m right. It just seems to work for me.

            It really does!

            I think the parts that I have not shared are the ones that are most interesting. But they are so dark, and there really is no way in hell I could tell them inside 1,000 words.

            And I’m willing to pay attention.Bourbon makes me chill. I’ll take it!

            I just said that! LOL. 😉

            But we’re here. Thankful.

            Oh no you di int!

            Liked by 1 person

          • There does. And your opinion is shared by yours truly, so there.

            🙂

            I dunno whether to say dammit or I understand. Coz all you’ve done is piqued my interest more 😛

            Bourbon makes my tongue go numb!

            You did! 😉

            Yes. And smarter than then, hopefully.

            Oh yes I did!

            Liked by 1 person

          • I became friends with Jen in 2009, and she would often say that if she been at this party the year before, she would have driven Karen out to the woods and dropped her off, LOL.

            Your comment made me think about that.

            Yanno, I’ve never had tossed salad and scrambled eggs?

            Liked by 1 person

          • My secret weapon is that I possess a coven of Luca Brasi types who got my back. They’re more valuable than a tree trunk of a Goomba with an automatic. Way more.

            Eggs DO go with everything, so I’m willing to give the tossed salad and scrambled eggs a chance.

            Liked by 1 person

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