The White Stripes’ Black Math is playing on the outdoor speakers of Slappy’s Bar. Victoria jumps in excitement at the song playing and says, “I love this song.” to Derek. He starts to reply, “You know, The White Stripes always – ”
“Shhhhhhhh. This is the best part of the song,” Victoria interrupts. The song plays on for a moment before she continues, “I’m sorry for interrupting. You were saying?”
“I was just saying The White Stripes remind me of you.”
“That’s cool, dude. Can I ask you something that I’ve wanted to ask you all night?”
“Sure, go right ahead.”
Nicole, the waitress, returns to the table with drinks. “Hi guys. These drinks are with Mike the manager. Your next round is on me.” She said to both of them.”
“That’s really nice of you.” Victoria said.
“Yes it is. Thank you Nicole.” Derek said.
“No, thank you.” She replies. “It’s because of you that I don’t have to worry about getting called a ‘Froot Loop Dingus’ anymore.”
“I’m sorry. A what?” Victoria asked.
“He called me a ‘Froot Loop Dingus’. He apologized and told me he wouldn’t do it anymore.”
“Sounds like a victory to me.” Derek said.
“Just let me know when you’re ready for your next one.”
“Will do. Thanks again.” Victoria said.
“Now what were you saying?” Derek asked Victoria
“I have to know. What’s with the beard?”
“The beard? I don’t know. I think it looks zippy.”
“Zippy? No, you look like a racist.”
“Yes, a big fat racist.”
“Great, another fat joke?”
“No, no, no. Not another fat joke. It’s the same one over and over again.”
“I’m just teasing you. You’re not fat. So really, the beard?”
“Yes, I like it.”
“Even though it makes you look like a racist?”
“I can’t be a racist.”
“Oh really? How is that?”
“Because I hate everybody equally.”
“Fair enough, but it is what you look like.”
“I don’t want to be a racist.”
“I’m not saying you ARE a racist. I’m saying you look like one is all.”
“I’ll shave it tomorrow.”
“Don’t do it on my account.”
“It’s not your account. I don’t want the perception to be out there. I’m shaving it.”
“Yes, if the racist comment didn’t work. I was going to say you look like a dirty old goat.”
“Dirty old goat?”
“Whatever would have worked to get you to shave that hideous thing off of your face.”
The drinks and the evening continued on and they were both having a good time. Listening to music, reconnecting, and genuinely enjoying each other’s company.
“It’s my turn to ask you something.” Derek said.
“Go ahead, as long as it doesn’t make me mad.” Victoria replied.
“Mad? Why would you get mad?”
“I don’t know. I’m just saying.”
“I’m pretty sure it’s not going to make you mad.”
“Then ask away.”
“Have you ever had a hot dog?”
“I’m sorry. A hot dog?”
“Yes, a hot dog.”
“Do you mean like a special kind of hot dog?”
“No, not special. Just a regular hot dog.”
“I don’t think I’m understanding, but yes I’ve had a hot dog.”
“You are a strange, strange man.”
“Not the first time I’ve heard that, but really no different than you asking me if I’ve ever had Hershey’s Kisses.”
Victoria looks over at the bouncer that’s guarding the door to the patio area of Slappy’s. She had been here several times and he has never uttered a single word to her, which slightly aggravated her. A few drinks in, she decides to say something.
“Do you know the bouncer?” She asks.
“Who Donny at the door?” Derek replied.
“Is that his name? He’s never said two words to me.”
“Yeah, that’s Donny. I’m surprised. He’s very friendly, unless you’re a sloppy drunk, then he’s all no-nonsense.”
“I’ve never even been drunk in front of him. I’m going to see what his problem is with me.”
“I don’t think he has a problem with you.”
“We’ll see about that. She said as she got up from the table and walked over to Donny.
“So what’s your deal?” She asked Donny.
“Excuse me?” Donny asked.
“I’ve been coming here a while now. You never smile. You never talk. You’ll give a head nod to Derek, yet you won’t even acknowledge me. What am I chopped liver?”
Donny looks over to the table where Derek is sitting. Derek gives him the thumbs up sign. Donny nods at him.
“I needed to know if you would commit.”
“I’m sorry. What?”
“I said I needed to know if you would commit.”
“I’m not following.”
“Do you know how many people come and go here? They’ll come in once or twice then are never seen or heard from again. Now I know.”
Somewhat confused by the exchange she said, “I’m Victoria.”
“I know.” He said. “Derek told me.”
“This would be the part where you tell me your name.”
“Not all at once Victoria. Not all at once.”
They both shared a laugh for a moment before she walked back to the table where she and Derek were sitting. Fresh drinks were there at the table waiting for both of them.
To Be Continued…