Rigid was about to leave for work Friday night. He'd be there from 9pm to 2am which is when the club would be closing. There isn't much work for him right now, but every once in a while he'll get the cigarette detail. He goes from club to club guarding a guy/girl handing out free cigarettes. It's a devious but great marketing scheme and on the days when they accidentally schedule more than one cigarette company at once Rigid can come home early and be paid as if he'd been there all night. I have to say, those nights are wonderful. I'm usually lonely on the evenings when he's gone. Those are the times that I sit and wonder if I could handle it should he go back to Iraq like he's planning on. I sit in the living room by the light of the television barely concentrating on what's playing and I think to myself, 'What if I couldn't handle it? What if I'm tempted?...What if he's...'
He was dressed in his usual suit, black, sleek. He actually combed his hair and, good lord wait for it, shaved. He has no hair to shave mind you, but the little shaggy type stubble he has around his chin is irritating and a bit unsightly. I walked him out and grabbed my cigarettes on the way. I only had two left and complained because one was broken, but there was nothing he could do. We stood outside for a minute while I lit my ciggy and my neighbor walked out of his front door. It was "Hollywood". He stood there chatting with us and we agreed that we needed both soda and cigarettes to get through the night, being that we'd be all alone and everything. His girlfriend was off in Vegas at the time. Rigid left us and when I was done with my cigarette he gave me a minute to get changed.
I quickly grabbed the first thing I could find and ran out of the house. We walked out at the same time and laughed. He faltered a little when he saw what I was wearing and asked if I wanted to go out for drinks instead. I have no money and I certainly didn't feel dressed up enough so I kind of tried to make an excuse, but he wouldn't have it and decided to change when I finally agreed to a drink. People that know him call him Hollywood for a reason. Apparently he used to be there every weekend either shopping or going to nightclubs. Let me tell you, Hollywood can shop like a motherfucker. He's got so many clothes he's practically filled up his spare room. He's even given quite a few to Rigid. Perfectly new designer pants and shirts.
Everyone knows that if you go anywhere with Hollywood you're in for a wait so he sat me down, turned on Cloverfield, told me to relax and promised he'd hurry. Approximately 40 minutes later we were on our way. Let me tell you something, if it takes you more than 10 minutes to get dressed and out of the house you're wasting my time. You a man...get over yourself. Still, I love him to death. Super nice guy, good looking and so very friendly. I don't do friendly so I try to let other people do it for me...when they're so inclined.
We picked up a pack of smokes and headed off to an Italian restaurant not far from there but before we jumped back in the car he made his way over to open my door. I really thought nothing of it, but he'd done the same at home. This isn't the first time I picked up on something, but I always end up thinking I'm being paranoid. We made it to the restaurant and he walked me across the street. Yeah, he walked me. Didn't touch me, didn't hold my hand, but certainly walked me. Hand at the small of my back, still careful not to touch me and waited for a car to pass. Fuck that, I have no time for this and just started walking.
Hollywood is a goofy guy. A really sweet and totally goofy guy that I would never have cause to think badly of. I went to take my seat and he went in to grab it and I thought, 'ok, now he's starting to piss me off.' I kind of stopped when I saw him go for the chair and he stopped when I went in for it. We went on back and forth this way for a couple of seconds but long enough for me and said, "Dude, cut it the fuck out. Opening my door, taking out my chair...f'off already." and I fell into my chair laughing. "Jesus!" I said.
He laughed at himself and took his seat saying, "What? I do this for everybody trust me."
"Dork!" and we laughed together. I felt so comfortable in that quaint little bistro. It's only two towns over so I didn't feel like I was too far away from home in case Rigid had to come back early. We could even have him meet us there. We ended up having such a great time. I introduced him to a drink called, "The Godfather". I think I saw a couple of hairs curl out of his chest when he tried my drink. I made a face when I tried his cause it sucked not because it was strong. The conversations went from topic to topic, but you know how conversations always end up with me. Sex. If it's not Rigid it's me. It doesn't mean anything really, I'm just comfortable talking about it. At one point though I ended up feeling like I was interviewing a new potential boyfriend. I ended up feeling like I was on a date. It was fucking weird so I just smoked, drank and totally ignored that feeling putting it out of my mind entirely.
We finally drove off and passed and old dive I had mentioned that evening. Seems he remembered and went that way on purpose because he was totally prepared to take me there. Kind of made it seem like I made the decision, but I don't know...things begin to get a little hazy from here.
There was a band playing that night and I wasn't sure how Hollywood would handle it. I mean, he's into Hip Hop and R&B. I also wasn't sure how a black man would be received at a bar like this. 'Would anyone dare give us a funny look' I wondered. Still, I put that out of my mind quickly and if anyone dared say or do anything I was prepared to throttle them within an inch of their life. My chest puffed out with a little drunk pride and I walked in like I'd never stopped going there. I said hello to the guard and walked right in. If he doesn't know you he will definitely stop you to check your ID. I could feel people stare already, but I always act as though I walk around with blinders on. Funny thing is that people actually believe me when I tell them that. I notice everything and I see all, but you'll never know it.
We walked up to the bar and I let Hollywood take the lead, but when they took a little too long to serve him he got a little annoyed. The bar was much fuller than usual so I was anticipating a good band. We took the first seat we could and relaxed. Everything happened so perfectly I could not have planned it. It always happens that way doesn't it? Sometime later we went out for a smoke and a chat. I always end up smoking too much when I drink, but I was having such a good time that I just didn't care. We decided to go back inside for another drink, but found that time flew out from under us. It was 10 min to 2am. We ordered anyway and laughed our asses off because we knew we were being so bad! We were out of there with 5 minutes to spare which means I downed my drink like a sailor in front of my neighbor who had absolutely no interest in me not that it matters because I would do that with anybody...right? Right. I was giddy.
I had such a great little buzz going in the car and it only took us 5 minutes to get home. I figured I'd get home before Rigid, but he was just walking into the house as I got there. I was so happy to see him. We hung out at Hollywood's for a bit and recounted the evenings shenanigans for Rigid. We we're bursting with chatter and Rigid was laughing his butt off and chiming in here and there. It was just one of those nights you know? You're having a great time with your friends, something that isn't always easy to do without a controller in your hand and a headset hanging on your ear. It was perfect.
The next thing I know Rigid went to the house possibly to check on the kitten or...I can't remember anymore. Everything was really fuzzy at this point. I don't remember the conversation or what the fuck I did that would prompt Hollywood to say what he said and I can't even remember his exact words. I know that whatever he said I blew off. I remember saying the exact words, "Dude, shut the fuck up! You dork, your so silly!" and I laughed, my drunk brain swishing around in my skull with each jolt of my shoulders, but as he looked down at something in his hands he told me he was serious.
I can't remember what I might have said next, but I stopped him from saying what I knew he was going to repeat because I didn't want to hear it. Rigid walked through the door as I laughed off the moment and I wondered if he'd picked up on anything. You can't get shit past this guy and even if he did pick up on something he's too, I can't think of the right word here...it's not politeness it's something else. I can only describe it as rope. Rigid and I aren't alike in a lot of ways, but I happen to believe that we're alike where it matters. I like to watch people fall on their face. The closer you are to me the bigger the chance you have at stabbing me in the back. At hurting me deeply and when I see the signs I'll watch you until you've hung yourself like a fucking duck on a hook at your favorite Chinese restaurant. That's what Rigid does and if he didn't pick up on it it's because I didn't want him to.
Now I'm conflicted between my husband and my neighbor. No, Hollywood didn't exactly make a great impression on me. Yeah, I make no secret that I have very little hope Rigid and I would go the distance. Let me tell you something, I don't think I'll be spending the rest of my life with ANYBODY what the fuck would ever make someone think I would leave my husband for them? What did I say? So let's not even take it that far. What makes you think you're worth me risking my relationship for? My fucked up ass relationship. It's mine and mine alone. I won't share it with anyone. No fucking way. When people hear I had an open relationship before they get the idea that I would what...cheat? I'm not going to say what I heard because honestly I can't remember, but in my brain it sounded like...fuck I can't remember. I just remember what he looked like. The words were so fuzzy, but his face wasn't and I remember what he looked like when Rigid came back.
For all I know he could have asked to lick my shoe. We sat outside for a while and things got darker and darker for me as the minutes went by. My brain was beginning to shut down. We talked a bit more, but the things he said to me kept looping in my brain and all I remember thinking was wanting to sleep and not forget. The next thing you know they're helping me across the way to my apartment. Rigid said I fell in the living room, but I don't recall this at all. I have no idea how I got into bed either. I just remember waking up with a start at the sound of Rigid's voice the next morning. My heart was pounding in my chest and I had been sweating. There was an echo in my brain. It was the phone.