Saturday, June 13, 2009


it was well into the 21st century
and I was living in Las Vegas
earning six dollars an hour parking cars
crashing at a friends place
and drinking away the nights
at her kitchen table
with bottles of rotgut wine
and the occasional cigarette
the only humor I was treated to
in those days
aside from the ongoing joke of my life
was in the stories that my friend would tell
about the dates she’d been on
with different guys around town
this one night she came home
laughing harder than usual
said, “you won’t believe this one.”
I leaned back in my chair
took a slug of wine and said,
“all right, let’s hear it.”
“well, I’ve been out with weirdo poets,
guys who think they’re rock stars,
all sorts of bigwig business assholes,
but this guy!” she laughed. “all he did was smile!”
“he musta been happy about something.”
“no, I’m serious. ALL HE DID WAS SMILE.”
“no way. Nobody can do that. Not all the time.”
“I met him at a fancy bar for drinks. He was already
seated. I sat down and said hello
and he just smiled at me. Maybe there
was a faint nod. I asked him if he’d been there
long and he just kept smiling. Staring at me
and smiling. A big, crazy smile.
Finally the waitress came
and asked for our drink orders
she and I looked at him but he just smiled.
I ordered a bottle of wine
and she brought it over
and poured two glasses
and he just kept smiling
just sitting there and smiling at me.
And he did this THE WHOLE TIME!”
“bullshit. No way.”
“he didn’t say a word. Didn’t even touch his wine,
he just smiled! The waitress came back
and I ordered another bottle of wine
because it was so weird. He must
have been some sort of lunatic or something!”
I began to laugh and she began to laugh
and then after we’d had a good laugh I said,
“so what happened?”
she got a hold of herself and went on
“so after I drank that next bottle,
did some texting on my phone,
even made a few calls, and he just kept smiling.
Maybe an hour later, I got up and said,
‘excuse me, but I have to go.’”
“yeah, and then what?”
“and he finally SPOKE! He finally opened his mouth!”
“and what did he say?”
she began laughing again
and so did I
“he said, ‘I think we should do this again sometime.’”

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