Eavesdropping on Lesbians

Eavesdropping on Lesbians

by Mark Driver

Six months in a new city, and as always, I’m swamped with a trillion projects. The only thing different (other than the fact that I don’t get guns pointed at me anymore) is I’m actually getting paid these days, quite a nice thing when you’ve spent most of your life on a regimen of ramens and potatoes. Right now I’m doing lots of silly jobby stuff, writing my second movie (the 2000 to 1 longshot in my dream to never work again), and working on a long piece of writing tentatively titled “Why You’re Doomed, and Why It’s Funny” that will eventually become a spoken word CD with sound effects and celebrity guest stars and all that shit. Tis’ a screwy day when producing and manufacturing a CD is cheaper than putting out a book.

With all this other fun stuff to work on, I think it’s obvious what’s suffering – this lame ass column. When I lived in LA I was full of fucking hate and the column was the steam valve for my brain. Now, especially since I’ve started boxing again, there’s not a whole lot of hate left in me. I’ve fallen comfortably into a state of positive nihilism (everything is awesome and nothing matters), which is a pretty selfish way to be, but not as selfish as hating everything I suppose.

So whatever. I’ve got a funny story.

Last Friday, I went to see everyone’s favorite one-lumberjack noise machine, Thrones. Waiting for them to come on, I was leaning against the bar, chugging beers and reading some hippie book from 1973 about how to hitchhike around North Africa (“always shave your head before entering Turkey – you can grow it back later”). Hanging out at shows by yourself is a sort of art form that takes many years of practice. You need to give off the aura that “I’m by myself because I am only here for the music” or “I am by myself because frankly, other people bore me.” “I don’t have any friends” is probably more accurate for me, but self-pity rarely makes for good reading so I’ll stop it there.

Not that there’s anything wrong with hanging out by yourself (believe me, I’d know if there was), but you can get uncomfortable if you let it. So don’t. Actually, at really good shows, I will purposefully go by myself, or at least separate myself from everyone I went with because there’s nothing more annoying than someone yelling in your ear while you’re drunkenly attempting to rock out. I never hear what they’re asying anyway, I just nod and smile and look annoyed. Half the time I think that the ringing in my ears the next day is more due to the people screaming over the guitars into my head than the volume of the guitars themselves.

So anyway, I’m hanging out by myself and minding everyone else’s business, because my book was starting to use words like ‘groovy’ and ‘vibes’ too much. A bunch of frat guys walk in and immediately mock some goth kid sitting in the corner to make themselves comfortable. A girl and her date attempt to have a tender moment over plastic cups of Miller and a basket of soggy fries. Some woman with cleavage down to her knees and an ass down to her ankles caught my imagination for a few seconds, the dirty part of my brain devising combinations and permutations that could make even a Congressman blush. Some 16 year old looking kid chased his 16 year old looking friend around a steel support post until the chaser tripped, bit it really hard, and tried to play it off like it he wasn’t hurt.

Then this middle-aged yuppie lesbian couple sat next to me at the bar. Imagine Susan Powder on a date with a flat-topped Janet from Three’s Company. They smelled good but looked like they felt a bit out of place, like when you see parents of punk bands videotaping the show from the back of the room, elbow deep in surly teenage angst, trying to ‘be cool’, but smiling a bit too much to be convincing. They started up a drab conversation about some new upscale brew pub that had a lot of promise, it was a good location and they had heard there was good food and how lucky they were to have so many good restaurants, how Seattle was supposed to have more restaurants per square mile than other cities, a statistic that pleasantly surprised the other one. Jeez, reading equipment packing lists for North Africa seemed like a roller coaster on acid compared to these two yawn machines.

My attention passed to some guy with a Sonics sweatshirt, probably about 45, big bushy beard, big bushy gut, talking loudly and laughing even louder in the face of two young girls he certainly shouldn’t have been trying to have any sort of conversation with. He seemed to slowly realize that under normal circumstances, cute 21 year old girls don’t normally go home with fat, hairy men, and these circumstances were indeed normal. So he thanked them politely for ignoring him and stumbled over to the bar, where he saw my middle aged lesbian buddies and, like a fat, bearded shark, moved in for the kill.

“Hello ladies,” he started, “you’re both looking lovely tonight. My name’s Ron.”

The women smiled painfully and said hi to Ron without introducing themselves, but that didn’t seem to stop our buddy Ron. Oh no. Ron got a little closer to the blonde one. “So do you come here a lot? This is my first time. It’s pretty crazy! Lots of beautiful girls!” They sat and sipped their drinks, half smiling, looking beyond poor, drunk Ron.

All this was happening like 2 feet away from me. I pretended to read my book but was absolutely captivated by the scene unfolding, it was like watching a train plow into a church bus full of kids in slow motion, I couldn’t look away from the ironic horror. I mean here was this guy, disgusting by anyone’s standards, showing off the male traits that turn off most straight women, let along lesbians. He was fat, drunk, loud, aggressive, and more than just a little bit stupid – completely hitting on these two women who had looks on their faces like an elephant had just taken a dump in their purses. And yet, bless Ron’s little heart, he was oblivious to it all, and man did he try. He tried so hard. He smiled, asked questions, made jokes, complimented, and he was getting nowhere. The women had completely stopped acknowledging his presence altogether, when he grabbed the blonde one by the arm and said “Hey!”

The woman jerked her arm back as if she had just accidentally dunked it in a gallon of sperm. “Excuse me!” she yelled, shocked and not quite sure what to do. Then, with their full attention, Ron glanced at his watch and went right for the jugular.

“I’m not drunk,” he said with a suddenly calm face, “and I know you’re both lesbians. I was just killing time until my ride showed up.” And he walked off soberly, right out the front door of the club, leaving two shocked lesbians in his wake. I laughed, hard.

“Did, you know him?” the blonde one asked me, wide eyed and still looking confused.

“No,” I replied, “but now, I wish I did.”