It’s like a marathon of convo mode. Well. It works best. This one is a phone call.
My friend HandyMandy in Phoenix: Hey, what are you doing?
Velvet: Walking to my boat, I mean rental car to pick up some peeps and go to dinner.
HandyMandy: Damn, I wanted you to come out with us.
Velvet: We’re just going to dinner. They are 80, and they were out until midnight last night. I doubt they want to do more than just eat and come back.
HandyMandy: Want to go to a country bar?
Velvet (As CMT.com blares on my laptop back in my room): Do I? Hells the fuck yeah!
HandyMandy: Ok, Call me at 9:00. But here’s what you’re gonna do….Take 51 South to I 10 East toward Tucson. Exit at Elliot Road. Turn left on Elliot and Right on Priest. You will be going to a place called Graham Central. We’ll be in there. (Sidebar: Did I hear Gram Central? Shit. Velvet doesn’t need to be in a place like this when we’re so close to Mexico. I’ll end up arrested for sure.)
Before she hung up, she told me it was a “huge bar.” According to this link…I see that.
So, hmm. Making my way across I 10. I see my exit and steer the giant American made boat I’m driving across the road. So not used to this car. Speedracer would have gotten me here sooner.
I park and get out of the car. Holy fucking cowboys Batman. Jesus Christ. All I can see is a sea of men in tight jeans with cowboy hats. Holy. Shit. Did I mention that I’m not coming home? Good lord. And I’m just in the parking lot at this point.
Ok, so you must now put this all into perspective for a second. I’m (of fucking course) sauntering up to the front door of this monstrosity in the usual 4 inch heels, jeans, white peasant type shirt thing. From the girls we have a sea of tank tops and cowboy boots. Let’s say that I stand out a tiny bit. I’m a casualty of my geography. Right now, I scream “East Coast Snob.” I’m very conscious of this so I overcompensate in being nice. And I get tested very quickly as some guy approaches me in the parking lot.
Guy: Hey, are you going in there?
Guy: Well, here, I want to give you a guest pass to L.A. Fitness. We’re having an event this weekend and….
Velvet: Save your breath. I don’t live here.
Guy: Where do you live.
Guy: Hey! Congratulations on getting a baseball team again!
Velvet: Thanks! They are closing the gay strip bar and drag club to build that stadium, but I’ll survive I suppose.
Guy: Let me finish handing these out and I’ll come in there and buy you a drink.
Uh. What? What the hell just happened? Shit that would NEVER be so easy in D.C.
So I get to the door, show my ID and it takes them 45 minutes to find my damn birthday on it. Then the guy looks at me, smiles, shakes my hand and says, “Welcome to Arizona.” Dude, are you fucking kidding me? In D.C. they push you in toward the bar hawking the $15 drinks du jour. I find my HandyMandy, so named for her master cooking and sewing abilities, and we join her friends. They are already surrounded by a bunch of cowboy hats. And yes, I took out my camera. I seriously, could not stop. And the “I’m from out of town” worked pretty well, until I got drunk enough to use the “Guys just don’t wear their jeans this tight where I’m from” line. I got pictures of it all.
And drinks? They cost like $2 or $3. My bar tab was a joke. Everyone was drinking on it and it didn’t break $30. And I tipped the girl $20 and I thought she was going to cry. Again, in D.C. these damn bitchy bartenders act all deserving and shit. I waited tables and/or bartended from age 16 to 28. Twelve years of restaurant wages. You can bet your ass whenever someone gave me an OBVIOUSLY generous tip, I went back and thanked them. Yet, when I tip well in D.C., no one says a peep. So fuck all of them. Good or bad, they get 20%.
I took tons of pictures. I’d post them if I remembered my flipping USB cable, so the pics will have to wait. I saw HandyMandy perform a strip tease type of dance, all by herself on the dance floor. I line danced. Some cowboy tried to teach me to slow dance, but I’m totally just boobs, hair and high heels. Not much else. I’m unteachable. He insisted that everyone can be taught. “Cowboy, no, seriously. I can’t dance, but you should watch me surf the net. I’m real good at that.”
The Cowboy took me back to his place and found out that I’m good at a few other things as well. He was…fierce. When he started slathering me with oil I was like okay this is how a dick just magically ends up in an ass and I’m out. But the next day I realized I wanted another round. And I also realized I had forgotten to get his damn phone number.
I hate ending with the question thing, and this one is really rhetorical anyway. Do you D.C. folk remember what it’s like to go to a bar and not have ONE CONVERSATION about politics? It was sooooooooo nice.