“Well, I kind of stink, so… I’m gonna go take a shower,” I told Leoni and Anna, my new German friends. “I take quick ones, though. I’m talking two minutes – go ahead and time this world record.”
“Okay, we will,” smiled Anna.
And I really did try to make it quick, folks. But after riding coach in an Amtrak train for fifteen hours my niblets were sticky and icky. Not ideal for when you might – might, I say – get your jimmy waxed.
Anyway, fifteen minutes later I was a refreshed weasel ready to get drunk with two 20-year-old German backpackers. And for a 29-year-old weasel this was a big deal. I made sure to wear the blue thermal that makes me look more muscular than I really am, along with my favorite grey 505 Levi’s and original black and white high-top Chucks that smelled of the tea tree oil I doused my feet in. Oh, and my virile locks are long enough that now the edges curl like the tentacles of an octopus when wet.
Ah, my true residual self image.
But back upstairs I didn’t see the girls. Now, when you enter this area from the hallway, the kitchen will be to your right, dining area to your left. I sat at one of the three tables in the middle, and I think the only other person in there was some weasel in the troll corner behind me. That’s actually where I spend most of my time here, to be honest, since these three troll tables are perpendicular to the wall and its church-pew like bench, giving creeps like me a great vantage point.
There was nothing to do but wait and look around, so I stared at one of the six shitty paintings: three in front of me, three behind. These 24 x 32s were painted by a local putz who made different parts of Portland look like one of those archetypal Mexican paintings that used to annoy me in the taquerias back home. Too much orange, too much pink, too much red, and too fucking cartoony, amigo. And with a much, much smaller Hispanic population than my hometown of San Jose, CA, these paintings don’t make sense to me. Maybe my crafty subconscious feels threatened by the familiarity of a land and culture I’m seeking to escape. Hmm… let me get back to you on that.
Anyway, I then heard a familiar voice. Anna came out covered in a long cream-colored cardigan over a black shirt and dark blue jeans, and the only thing that looked off was the beat-up black Nike Frees on her feet. She still looked great, though.
“I just want to say that I would’ve totally been out in two minutes flat, but there was something wrong with the damn faucet,” I said, trying to be funny.
“Oh, really?” she said, smiling and squinting her eyes.
“Yup,” I replied.
“Well that’s okay because Leo (she pronounced it like Lay-oh) is still getting ready or some shit.”
“No worries,” I said. “I can just sit here and admire this artwork – look at it. Looks like something my grandma would’ve painted if she were on acid at the Flea Market. Dios mio.”
“Dee-oh what?” she asked.
“Dios mio. It’s Spanish for ‘my god.’ Usually we say ‘ay dios mio,’ which means ‘Oh my god,'” I explained, putting my hand to my forehead and shaking my head to help her understand. And yes, she laughed. And blushed too.
Five minutes later Leoni was out, dressed in a faded pair of red New Balance 574s (great fuckin’ shoes, btw), black yoga pants, a black jacket, and a burnt orange scarf. Her hazelnut locks were in a chignon. And unlike Anna’s smooth olive skin that seemed mole free, Leoni’s was pale with more baby fat and a large brown mole on her right cheek – aligned almost perfectly with the edge of her nostril.
Anyway, it was time to party. We walked Glisan to the Trader Joe’s on Glisan and 21st, where I grabbed one bottle of Charles Shaw chardonnay and one bottle of Charles Shaw Cab Sauv, while the girls grabbed a Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Lover’s Bar for yours truly, along with a few white-chocolate macadamia Clif Bars for themselves – but mainly for Leo, who was crazy about them.
Clif Bars and cheap wine? Fuck it.
Then, at the register I started talking about wanting to try peyote, catching the ear of the cashier – a black man in his late twenties with glasses, a jolly-as-fuck smile and a medium afro. “Right on,” he said. “I love when customers talk about drugs in my line.”
“And I like your style, sir,” I replied, followed by, “It’s obvious the Cosmos brought us through your line.”
Leoni and Anna didn’t know what to do but giggle.
“Ever been to Burning Man?” he asked, eyes all wide ‘n’ shit.
“No. But I had a teacher at SF State who said it’s a helluva time.”
“Oh, it can be,” he said, followed by, “So what else you guys up to tonight?”
“Just cooking with all this wine,” I said. Then Leoni spoke up.
“Why do you use two bags?”
Burning Man was caught off guard a bit. “So it doesn’t break,” he said.
“We have delicates here!” I told them, but then understood what was up due to spending too many years in the grocery biz.
Leoni then said, “In Germany you cannot get two bags,” speaking to Anna in German after.
“I promise that these two bags will be recycled,” I added next.
Burning Man kept up the good spirit and wished us a goodnight, and it was the perfect opportunity to offer him a fist bump.
Outside the girls were much looser now. “He was so cool!” Anna said. “Very nice and funny. We are so happy to finally meets these kinds of American peoples,” added Leoni.
“Well, this is the place,” I said.
We headed to Couch Park next, which, I enjoyed telling the girls, is pronounced “cooch” according to the ladies at the front desk. “In America cooch is slang for vagina,” I happily explained, which they loved. And having two Germans with thick accents saying cooch repeatedly is always smile worthy for this weasel!
And at the park Anna was afraid we’d get busted, her getting the cowboy boot for taxes and all. So now the plan was to take the party to, yes, another park. Leoni led the way with her iPhone until we reached North Park Blocks, I believe. “Whoa, hey, these are some sweet basketball courts. Straight out of Rucker Park!” I said, knowing damn well the girls were oblivious.
North Park Blocks is basically a narrow rectangle that spans, yes, a few blocks. It even has an elephant statue and a playground complete with a sandbox full of homeless Lincoln Logs (just kidding). Anyway, I used my brain and recommended we sit on a bench. The lighting was just right, too: dim with the city’s choice blend of yellow, red, pink, and green. It was also warmer than expected, and for a second I was reminded of summer nights in San Jose with skanks of the past.
The white was opened first, then passed to the ladies. On my turn I tried imagining that I was drinking bourbon. It didn’t work, though, which was okay as soon as the wine took effect. Then, maybe thirty minutes later, Anna noticed an SUV of the law passing by in intervals. “Okay, that policeman has drove here about three times or something,” she said, hiding the bottle under the bench.
“Maybe he’ll crash,” I said. But with the bottle nearly done it made sense to play it safe and head elsewhere, and again we reentered the Cooch – this time for good. We were feeling damn fine now, and after a few sips of vino tinto we were loose enough to take turns watering a tree with urine. The great thing about Couch Park is that it rests on a hill, and the lamp-lit benches offers a great view of brick apartments, trees, and the corner of 19th and Glisan.
So there we were, drinking, chinwagging, and listening to Leoni’s playlist through a tube-shaped bluetooth speaker. I loved this thing. It would change colors and rearrange colorful shapes – like Tetris, but with better music. Dammit, and I wish the hangover hadn’t deleted most of the dialogue here, because I’m pretty sure I said some shit that made them slap their knees. However, I do remember making fun of Trump and my fellow disillusioned American weasels some more, along with chinwags about Leoni’s favorite musicians (Jose Gonzales, Shakey Graves, The Drums), Anna’s shitty time in Texas, and, yes, the fact that I self-published my own book.
“You write a book?!” they asked, which was cool and all, but it’s something I sometimes hate talking about – only because it’s a reminder that I had to go that route due to agents and publishers throwing my shit in the trash.
“We must read this!” Anna declared. “What is it called?”
I don’t think they understood the title at first and had me write it down on Leoni’s phone. “But don’t buy it,” I demanded. “Seriously. Don’t buy it. I’ll send you both a copy if you give me an address – even a fake address.”
“Okay, that is a deal,” laughed Anna.
With the bottle now empty, Anna and I decided we weren’t ready to quit, brah, and then visited the store across the street. It’s called Natural Mart, folks, even though I thought I spotted some processed caca before finding the beer cooler. Your typical stoner weasel was at the register looking straight out of a Kevin Smith flick. “What’s up, boss?” I said, not getting much of a response. I couldn’t tell if he was autistic or just digesting edibles.
“So what’s it gonna be, miss? Beer or wine?” I asked Anna, Leoni looking at the Clif Bars.
“You choose,” she said.
“Hmm, let’s see what local shit they have…” But I was too drunk to focus on labels, and immediately my subconscious spotted the familiar. “Ooh, they have Arrogant Bastard!”
“What is that?”
“Look at the bottle,” I said. “You see that? That’s me.”
She laughed. “You are an arrogant bastard?”
“Hey, don’t call me names…” I said, followed by, “Anyway, this shit is strong, it’s from San Diego, and it’ll get you drunk.” I also forgot to mention that it was cheaper than some of the other choices.
Back at the hostel we weaseled the booze into my room, which, I was too drunk to remember, was the room I shared with about seven other dudes.Whoops. We walked in while two of my roomies were getting their bags ready for check-out tomorrow. And I’m not going to bother calling them anything other than Ginger Teacher Weasel and Lanky In-the-Closet Weasel.
Now, let me remind you good folks that I was a bit drunk now. Not enough to pee on my shoe or anything, but still enough that I was on autopilot now. This means I started getting jealous when Anna began playing with her hair while speaking to Ginger Teacher Weasel. He looked like a younger and pinker Sean Astin. Goddammit, I thought. Don’t let this little ginger fuck from Columbia’s Teachers College make you clam-up, Eddy! UNLEASH THE WEASEL!
What was happening was that I was getting angry, which made it harder to be funny, and so I had to will myself into getting the fuck over it. I repeated this to myself for a few minutes until I felt centered again. Then I asked the ginger hobbit: “So, how many of your students have you dated?” And of course he smiled and looked a little more pink than usual.
“A few, actually,” he admitted. “But that was only when I taught a freshman class at Columbia.” Ha! Exposed! But really, that’s exactly what I would’ve done too if I were a young graduate student…
Come on, folks: you can’t pass up Ivy League tail!
Anyway, Anna and I decided we still weren’t done drinking. Natural Mart had just closed, though, and so we let her phone guide us to Walgreens – both of us walking funny. Eventually I held out a bent arm so that I could escort her and simultaneously balance my own drunk self. “I feel bad leavings Leoni with them,” she said.
“I’m sure she’s fine,” I replied. “Those guys are pussies, really. No cojones.”
“Okay, then,” she laughed.
At Walgreens I was about to grab another six-pack, but then Anna said she wanted Leoni to drink too (both were vegan and gluten free, Leoni being the only one allergic to gluten). I grabbed the cheapest white and found the register, where a tall, lanky weasel was ready to go home. He looked like the guy in Garden State who invented silent Velcro. He was wearing dark grey slacks, a baby blue dress shirt, a dark blue vest, his grandma’s glasses, and a burgundy tie.
“I need to see her ID too,” he said, catching my drunk ass off guard.
“Come on, man, it’s just for me,” I said, probably sounding more like a dick than I realized at the time.
“Well, I still need to see her ID,” he repeated.
“It’s gonna be like that, huh?” I said, to which he replied, “What – do you want me to lose my job?”
I thought about that for a second: Well, weasel, losing this shit job might actually be good for you! To me he seemed like a former junkie given a second shot at life with a job at Walgreens.
Outside I explained everything to Anna. “But I have my fake ID!” she said.
“Yes. And it work before.”
“Sweet,” I said. “Then let’s go show it to that prick.”
The Pride of Walgreens met us at the register again. “Here’s her ID,” I said, as if too much of my time had been wasted.
“It needs to be an American ID,” he said.
“Figures,” I said, wishing I was sober enough to roast him proper. “Thanks a lot, guy.”
Getting to the hostel was even harder now, because both of us were dancing with the ghosts of retards. It’s a miracle I didn’t tear my ACL going down the stairs. And when we entered the cozy little common room – that was empty – I realized that this was where it had to happen. I turned around, still slowly walking backwards, stopped, and then closed the distance.
Not much to say about her kisses, really, except that they were soft and tasteless. Honestly, I expected her to pull away, but instead she didn’t hold back – at least not yet. We were so drunk that I have no idea how we ricocheted down the hallway without disturbing those asleep.
Finally our careening mass stopped just outside my door. I then pinned her against the wall. The kisses were now aggressive and raw, and without thinking I started doing some indoor rock climbing with the two bulging holds of her chest and glutes. Her moans and stronger kisses gave me more confidence, and a minute later my hand pulled a Pooh and reached for the honey pot. Whoops. “Let’s go to your room,” I said.
She stopped me. Whoops. “No,” she slurred. “We can’t leave Leoni.”
“Okay,” I said, taking a deep breath.
In the room I looked at everyone and tried to read their faces, too drunk to focus. We sat down on the carpet and explained how Walgreens had employees who were just a bit too dedicated. It was a good time for the girls to speak German now, and an even better time for the baby-boomer who scolded us about how late it was. “Shit, man, I didn’t even know you were in here,” I said, without thinking. I wanted to tell him to get some fucking earplugs like me and every other wise traveler in the building, but, again, I was buzzing too much.
Then a choice was made while I internally lambasted myself. Now Leoni was going to come with me to Walgreens! “Alright,” I said, still confused. On the way over we had a nice little chinwag about how she was glad they met me since Anna had been in such a funk recently. “Anna was really depressed,” she explained. “She and I even gots into a few fights, so I’m glad we meet you and you make us laugh.”
“Thanks,” I said, trying to let the warmth take over.
And of course Walgreens was closed now. Whoops. Back at the hostel I was eager to make sure Anna wasn’t sucking any ginger-hobbit cock, which she wasn’t, of course. And the conversation only lasted an extra ten before the girls decided they were hitting the sack. I then walked with them upstairs and into the kitchen (their room led into the kitchen), said goodnight – but not wanting it to be goodnight – and then went back downstairs and fell into bed…
Or did I?
*Part 3 coming soon. So shut up.*