Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Future


Right now, you’re taking a nap in the hotel room and I’m lounging poolside next to three women who keep sending their food back.

From what I’ve gathered, one of them ordered a grilled chicken sandwich and two are splitting a plate of baby carrots. Their server — a thirty-plus cabana boy with an iron jaw and a teal polo with Palomar Dallas embroidered over his heart — has been chastised twice for fucking this up.

The sun only shines between breaks in the parade of passing clouds like a strobe light on Xanax. When it peekaboos out, I put down my pen and pad and stretch my limbs — exposing the fullest extent of my pasty skin for a fleeting moment before it’s covered again. My belly is still full from breakfast at Bread Winner’s; the place with glasses shaped like little cowboy boots and yesterday’s cookies, individually wrapped and priced at 75 cents each. After breakfast, we drove to The Belmont because someone told us it had the best view of the Dallas skyline. The place looked like one of those fake neighborhoods the government built in the 1950s for nuclear testing [your joke, not mine], and the view was obscured by a bunch of trees. Later, we wandered around Bishop Arts District for about an hour; me picking things up and putting them back down and you picking at your nails, anxious about your car getting towed. We returned to the hotel with two hours ‘til checkout. You crashed and I came to marinate in the Memorial Day Weekend sunshine, which presently feels like it’s being filtered through a colander.

We got into a fight at dinner last night but I can’t remember why and I don’t really want to bring it up again. You paid the bill and we left without speaking. Outside the restaurant, I pulled out my phone and played a song. I dropped the phone into your shirt pocket and asked you to dance with me. The sailors say ‘Brandy, you're a fine girl. What a good wife you would be… We're both terrible dancers, but we pretended we were better. You spun me around and I braced against you. We basically did the same move over and over again. But my life, my lover, and my lady is the sea!’ We were cracking ourselves up, shimmying and swaying back and forth. The people on the porch at the Tex-Mex place across the street must’ve thought we were hammered! Which we totally were. But we must’ve looked like we were in love. Which we totally are. When I woke up this morning, there was a six-pack of High Life and a pack of Camel Crush cigarettes on the side table. The beer was untouched but two cigarettes were gone.

It seems like every gay person east of Houston is in Pensacola this weekend. Not us, though. Pride festivals [in general] give me anxiety because the odds of running into someone I hate or someone I fucked are pretty high. It’s easy to dodge someone in a dark, crowded bar but there's nowhere to hide in the open daylight. "The beach setting makes it exponentially more unappealing," I said to you. "I can’t imagine subjecting myself to an entire weekend of self-loathing and sunburn." I heard the bitterness in my own voice. You heard it, too. That’s when you suggested we go somewhere different.

It came down to Dallas [also your idea] or Hot Springs, and I’m so happy we picked Dallas. It’s been wonderful and I want to remember it. My favorite moment was last night before dinner. The Palomar hosts a wine reception every evening, but we only caught the last ten minutes because we spent too much time getting ready. I had wine and you had beer. It was almost 6PM and the lobby was thick with an ambient orange glow. We sat near the towering front windows and talked about what it might be like to get married one day. This is how we frame most of our conversations: in the future. Anyway, I went back over to the hostess to grab us a few more drinks and she was packing everything up. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I know we were late, but is there any way we could get one more glass of chardonnay and one more IPA?” “Wine’s right here,” she said. “But we’re out of IPA.” “Oh no,” I said. “The beer’s for my boyfriend. I’ll just run over to the bar.” She told me to wait a second and then she disappeared through a door behind the concierge, returning with another can of IPA. “Here you go,” she said. “Keep him happy.”

I left my phone in the room, so I don’t know what time it is. The sun feels like it hasn’t moved at all, but I’ve been writing for a while. I hope you’re awake by now. Maybe you’ve packed some of our stuff. That would be nice of you. And I can’t wait for the drive back home. We can listen to a Simon Rich story on Selected Shorts and then New In Town by John Mulaney! And then maybe before we reach Louisiana, I’ll fall asleep.

And when I wake up, it will be the future.


This is me trying to keep you happy, dammit.

Oh, before I forget. Remember when we had dinner at Social a few weeks ago? I got drunk and said, “You know babe, sometimes you say things that annoy the shit out of me.” Really sorry about that. Pretty sure that was the least apropos way to share my feelings. What I meant was something like: I’m an irritable human being and most things bug me without rational cause. Like the way you ask questions with that bizarre Scottish inflection at the end. And the way you pronounce something like sampin. Oh, and Tootie! Sweetheart, please stop calling me Tootie. I know it's a Cajun thing, but I hate it. You can continue calling me Catfish Nugget, though. I like Catfish Nugget.


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