Laura was lovely. She was sweet. She was beautiful. She was enticing, but she wanted too much too soon.
I met Laura at a bar called, wait for it, Boots and Buckles. I know how it sounds, but it was like Nascar. I had to see it once just for the experience. The people that went to such a place were outrageously odd. My first night was on a lady’s night, which meant no cover and six free drinks for the girls. That oughtta do it, I thought when I first walked through those doors. Inside was the biggest bar I had ever seen and it was understandably packed with fembots. I made my way to the bar and ordered a drink, scanning the crowd and my surroundings. A long row of pool tables behind me, and in front of me an entire dining hall dance floor filled with people doing a Hoedown to Apple Bottom Jeans. That’s when I saw her.
She had on a tie-dye shirt and was standing with her friend talking about something inaudible. I swaggered over and slyly made fun of her wardrobe. “Nice Tie-dye shirt!”
“Thanks!” I don’t think she got the sarcasm. Instantly I segued over to another subject, and we seemed to hit it off by relating to the fact that neither of us felt as if we belonged in such a place. She said her name was Laura and mine Errol. She went to refill her free drink and I spoke with the friend. I thought I was going to have a tough time avoiding a cock-block, for lack of a better word, but in fact she quite surprised me. “Do you like her?”
“Yeah. She seems pretty cool.”
“Yeah, I’m trying to hook you guys up.”
“Oh…thanks.” She was a cock-guide! I thought there was some catch, but when last call came for the girls to cash in their drink tickets and we all clanged a few whiskey cokes Laura’s friend stated that she wanted to go home.
“How’d you get here?” Laura asked.
“I walked. It’s the only bar that’s within walking distance from me. Well, and the Linkster’s that’s right around the corner. They’ve got a pool table if you wanna go play?”
“Oh, well I drove her.”
“That’s okay,” My savior said, “You can just drop me off real quick and then you guys can go play some pool.” We dropped Laura’s friend off before we made our way back to Linkster’s for a round of beer and billiards. She said she wanted to wait until the next time we met to kiss me. When she drove me home we had sex and she swallowed like a sweetheart.
The next morning I wrote her number down in her little notebook and we plannet to meet again. Later that week I received an awkward voicemail from Laura after work at my low life water bottle factory job. “Hi, um…I guess I’m trying to reach Errol? Anyways, me and some friends were gonna to go this bar tonight and I was wondering if you wanted to come. I’s Laura by the way. Okay…bye.” I called her back to apologize that I couldn’t make it out and asked why her voicemail was so strange.
She claimed she was worried that I had given her a fake phone number. I assured her it was me and invited her out for more festivities Wednesday. When the day came I called her to confirm our evening plans. When she didn’t answer I left a message. Five o’clock rolled around and I heard no response so I called again, once more being told to leave a message at the beep. I did so and headed to the bar. One thing I could never stand was dedicating a night to a woman who didn’t want to show. After an our or two of conversing with my favorite legal drug dealers, my phone buzzed and Laura’s name came up. I walked away from the Aerosmith filled room. “Hello?”
“Hey! Sorry I was out with my Dad all day.”
“Yeah, I called a couple times.”
“I know, that’s so sweet!”
“did you want to come out?”
“I do, but I don’t have any money.”
“Well I’ll buy you a couple drinks.”
“You will?” She sounded so surprised. Apparently no one ever offered to buy her drinks before, and she had people give her fake numbers. I couldn’t understand it. She was sweet, attractive, and from my limited experience, undamaged. All these assholes were breaking a perfectly good woman. She came out and we enjoyed a few drinks with some of her friends who were there. Then she found out I was moving. I told her of my plans to go to Chicago to live with Robert and get my life back together. She was not happy with this news. We still had sex that night, but the next morning she dropped me off at my car and later that week she got herself a boyfriend. I often wonder what a relationship with her would have been like. Would it have been strong enough to keep me from leaving? I’ll never know, but what I do know is that every time I see a tie-dye shirt, I think of that little metal head with the perfect breasts who swallowed even when she didn’t want to.
If I end up at burning man, surrounded by hippies, hipsters and nomads, lips chapped and dustnado’s ruling a land I rue, and I pass out beneath the sun, fading from dehydration as I shield my eyes with a shitty tie-dye shirt some asshole’s kid made, I’ll die that day wondering if anything could ever have happened between Laura and I.