Chapter 22

Mr. Opporknockity

Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 01:12:51 PM EST

I woke up with a sinus headache Saturday (yesterday), took a sinus pill, which combined with the Paxil put me right back to sleep.
I didn't even finish this until this morning, Sunday. So only one diary this weekend, but I did combine the two.




My thanks to the fellow who prayed for me to not commit adultery - Married Lady's husband took a day off work to spend with her, and it appears she realized she still loved him.
She still went for a walk with me on afternoon break. But at least it appears she's not going to seduce me. Until, I suppose, he leaves for a week's gambling again. I keep telling her that if that's his only fault and he doesn't gamble them into Chapter 7 she's lucky.
Friday I woke up with a bit of a sinus headache, and aspirin fixed it pretty quickly. Something's in the air, as a woman at work complained of a bad headache, too.
I wasn't going to go out Friday night. But I wanted some company.
Daughter Patty and her friend gave me a ride downtown, and I walked down to Dempsey's. There was only one woman in the place, the bartender, Mandy.
Usually a musclebound guy is there on Saturdays, making me look extra puny, so I usually go to Marley's. Dempsey's has acoustic night on Saturdays anyway, and one of the bigger local bands was at Marley's.
“Bush?” Mandy asks. “uh, depends,” I say. “If you'll sell me a Rolling Rock for two bucks like Chris does I'll have one of them.” Chris is the dorky looking kid with the backwards hat.
“Chris don't work here any more,” she says. I feign surprise, remembering his request that I not mention his interview last week. “He got another job. Probably wanted out before he got fired.”
So I got a Busch and a glass of water, per my usual. I walked around the bar where Mandy sits, and she was talking to a fat, effeminate fellow wearing earrings. I think he was trying to hit on Mandy, although somehow I got the idea that he was going to hit on me. He was giving me that look I give beautiful women.
“So how ya doin'?” Mandy asks. “You seem in a better mood than last week.”
Heh, I took an extra half Paxil. “I don't know why I was so down,” I said. “Probably because I can't get a girlfriend.” Fat fellow spent all of two seconds looking crestfallen. I don't know for sure he was gay, I've known effeminate straight men before.
Mandy pulled out a cigarette, and I lit it for her. “Well first,” she said, “that pink lighter has got to go.” She traded me for a black one.
The gayish guy was pleasant enough to chat with, especially with Mandy between us. PC? No, but I don't like hurting people's feelings. Sometimes it's necessary, but I really don't like to. As long as he wasn't going to shove any “gay pride” in my face...
Talk somehow got to cute kid stories, Mandy talking about a niece that was learning to read. I wish I could remember the story, but I slept since then. Twice.
Anyway, I recounted something that happened to me when I was 6 or 7 years old.
We had company, some kind of family party with Aunts and Uncles and cousins, and my mother sent me to the store for napkins.
I came back with the sanitary napkins - Kotex brand.
Mandy cracked up at this and laughed for a full five minutes. The effeminate guy seemed embarrassed by the story, but laughed too. I think Mandy was half drunk; her water isn't always water.
She'd be really good looking if it wasn't for that nose.
Anyway, I finished my beer and went to Marleys to get in before they started to collect covers. They start at 9:00, Dempsey's starts the Acoustic Night at ten.
Too late. I'd spent too much time talking to Mandy and the effeminate guy. Three bucks.
I went in, and they were selling hats, T-shirts, and CDs. “How much for a CD?” I asked. “Ten bucks.” I frowned. New price for indie records, I guess. “But if you buy one we'll give you another one free!”
Well, that sounded like a good deal - two CDs for the price of two. I bought the CDs and had the band sign one, and talked to the band members.
“So,” I said, “I sure hope you guys don't suck!”
They laughed, and one said “me, too!”
We talked about P2P and the RIAA. The RIAA and its labels seem to be universally hated by anyone who doesn't have a contract with them, and quite a few who do have contracts.
Mr. Opporknockity, like most sane independent artists, not only doesn't mind P2P, they rely on it. They don't, however, like folks burning copies of their CDs. I personally think this is self defeating, as there is no legal way to prevent it under the Home Recording Act, and a bootleg CD may lead to a sale, but I generally try to respect the artists' wishes.
I walked around and got a draft. The place was pretty crowded, with little miniparties. I felt alone. By the time I finished my beer, I decided to walk back to Dempsey's and have Mandy hang on to my CDs for me.
As I was talking with Mandy, a familiar face walked in. “Hey, I know you,” I exclaimed. “You're Joe's girlfriend.” Joe had a gig somewhere else tonight, according to the Illinois Typo; er, excuse me, Illinois Times. “Why aren't you with Joe?”
“He's in the restroom,” Mandy said. Joe's gig was an early one.
I got a beer and Mandy got busy. Last week it was mostly women on Friday, this week was definitely lacking in the fairer sex. And the fellow playing couldn't seem to keep his guitar in tune. In fact, he seemed to spend more time tuning than playing.
I walked outside, and a portly fellow I'd talked to before, a keyboard player, was holding a hitter. “Damned thing's clogged,” he said.
I decided to stick around. I really should buy some pot. I'm starting to feel like a bum.
He got his hitter cleared and offered me a hit. I lit it and handed it back. “It's just one hit, go ahead.”
Mandy walked out. “Hey, guys, you're gonna get me in trouble. Go back in the alley!” I wandered down closer to the next bar and lit it again.
This was one big “one hit,” that was for sure. I kept hitting the pipe, got wasted, and handed the pipe back and wandered back inside. He told me where his band was playing next and I promised to be there.
The guitar player got two whole songs out before somehow getting it out of tune again. After he spent ten minutes trying to tune it, Joe walked up and tuned it for him and handed it back. The guy played another song and took a break. I walked back down to Marley's.
I got a draft, “Mr. O” played two more songs and it was closing time. I hadn't realized how late it was; must have been the pot, the night had zoomed by.
I walked back to Dempsey's. It was dark and locked. The night was over.
The next morning I woke up with a clogged nose and a splitting headache. And no coffee made.
I used to have a Bunn. Those are great, they brew a pot of great tasting coffee in five minutes. When we moved here, Evil-X threw my Bunn away and bought a Black and Decker, and it's a total piece of shit. One of the most poorly misengineered crap laden kludges I have ever had the displeasure of wasting my money on.
It has a timer, so you can set the coffee up the night before to make itself. Good thing, too, because it takes half an hour to make a pot. But coffee on a timer doesn't taste as good as straight out of the can.
It has a “sneak a cup” feature that stops the coffee flow if you remove the pot while it's perking, again, necessary because it takes two eternities (at least, when you really really want a cup of coffee) to make. The rubber stopper that allows this feature to work lasted maybe two months.
The pot itself has straight sides, so when it's full you can't pour it without spilling it. There is an opening in the back by the handle, so steam comes out and burns your hand when you pour it.
I miss my Bunn. But damn, those things are expensive these days.
I tried starting to write this, but without coffee it was hopeless. I finally got the coffee done, and drank it on the front porch. I fell asleep sitting there. I woke up, took out my contacts, and went back to bed.
I woke back up about 3:30. Daughter Patty was in the kitchen on the computer, complaining about a killer sinus headache. She was supposed to work at 4:00, but had called in sick.
By 6:00 she was feeling better, and one of her friends was giving her a ride to some Karate thing at the mall.
I took a shower, worked on the hopeless diary some more, and walked downtown. I stopped at Bread Stretcher's and ate a heifer and drank a bottle of Rolling Rock.
“Cops” or some Fox shit like it was on the TV. A young cop came in and got dinner. I finished mine, walked outside, past the police car and down to Dempsey's.
Box Spring Station (I think that's the band's name, I should have stolen a flyer) was setting up. Pretty good for a local band, which is really a compliment. There are better local bands in Springfield than I have heard anywhere.
Don't tell the RIAA, Reel Big Fish (not a Springfield band) kicked ass until they signed with Britney Spears' label. Their label CD sounds like they were bored recording it; it's lost all the life their previous CDs had.
I talked a while with Mandy, who was worried that they wouldn't be busy. By the time the band started playing she was working her ass off. “You want your CDs now?” she asked. I told her I'd get them when I left.
Joe and his girlfriend came in. The Dempsey's regular preppie barfly that looked like a petulant Barbie Doll came in. A woman with a flashing red light on her left breast, and a wedding train on her head came in, followed by a dozen women, half of whom had butterfly wings on their backs.
This was going to be an entertaining night.
I went to the restroom, and when I came out my seat was taken by a butterfly girl. I said “excuse me” and got my beer and water, which were sitting in front of her.
“Oh, I'm sorry,” she said.
“That's perfectly OK,” I answered “What's with the wings?”
“My friend's getting married tomorrow,” she replied. “This is her bachelorette party.”
I chatted with the young butterfly girl some more, politely neglecting to ask if she was a worm when she was small, then walked through the crowd to Joe's table. By then, Joe was sitting in with the band, playing his harmonica. Joe plays a mean harmonica.
I said “hi” to Joe's girlfriend. The song ended, Joe came back and I chatted with him about my inability to get a girlfriend. “I'm a fucking loser,” I told him. He laughed heartily.
“Dude,” he said, “these girls are all half your age!”
“Yeah, but the ones my age are all ugly!” I exclaimed. He laughed again. “Besides,” I said, “They're all married and at home with their husbands. Where else are they?”
“Down at the lake,” he said. That was why Mandy was worried about it not being busy; there had been some shindig going on at Lake Springfield with ten bands.
“I've been there all day,” he said. “Lots of women your age.”
I lamented that my goddamned piece of shit car was still expensively broken.
A couple of songs later, Joe went up and sat in again, this time on a conga drum. I walked outside for some air.
A couple of young fellows walked up. “You own this place?” he asked. I laughed. “I wish!” One particularly short fellow with a pierced eyebrow looked familiar. I don't know where I've seen him.
He started telling me about his band, Hed Krush, hyping themselves up shamelessly. “These guys are amateurs. We kick ass!”
I told them I could introduce them to the guy at Dempseys who did booking, which was Joe. “Naw,” the tall one said, “We have gigs.”
“Well,” I asked, “you have a CD?”
“We're working on one, should be done the end of the year.”
“A web site?”
“It'll be up in a few weeks,” he answered.
We'll see. These guys could suck like a Hoover, or be the new Beatles. They walked on down the street, and I went back inside.
By now, girls were dancing. I noticed Hippie Chick was there. I hadn't seen her since Rolling Rock was a buck. I walked over and “danced” (if you can call it that) by her. The song ended and she walked over to the rest room. The next I saw her she was sitting in some young guy's lap.
I drank more water than beer, and aside from the butterflies there were no cartoons. The night was winding down, and I took what would likely be my last beer to the restroom, put it on the back of the toilet and pissed in the urinal.
Joe walked in as I was zipping my pants back up and threw my beer away!
“Dude!” I said, “You threw my beer away!”
Joe was apologetic, I told him not to worry about it; the band was done playing and I was about to leave anyway. He promised to buy me two beers the next time I came.
Maybe he'll have some good bud. Maybe I'll find out where I can buy some. I think if I'd had some reefer last night, I could have taken Hippie Chick home.
Oh, the poll: I spent twenty bucks Friday, and eight Saturday. Not bad, eh?


Chapter 21
Chapter 23

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