Unedited snippet from In the Pursuit of Charity

Interior of an American Dinner

 

Seriously? What was it about me that made Mikey think I would be interested in this chick? What a strange name for a street. Hi, my name is Linc and I live on Friendship Circle. No guy could ever live on this street. Shit, did she just ask me a question? Shit, what’s her name again? Fuck! I don’t know her name.

“What?” I ask. I have no idea what she just said but I don’t.

Giggling, sitting across from me in the booth begins speaking again. This time I was determined to follow what she was saying.

“Ok, so. The cheerleaders sort of treat us …” She babbled on.

Friendship Circle girl is wearing way too much make-up. Wait. What is her name? I can’t keep calling her Friendship Circle. Such a dumb ass name for a street, I bet some guy named it that to get laid. What the hell, did I miss the question again? I’m going to beat the shit out of Mikey for this one.

“Ah huh.” I nodded. She babbled.

“Exactly! See, I knew I was right.”

Quick affirmation was all it took. Friendship Circle was off to the races in conversation with herself. I nodded every few minutes and kept eye contact as she spoke which seem to keep the story going. If she would have paused at any point to ask a question about what she had been sharing, I would have been busted.

“HA! Overtime! Exactly like I said. Pay up!”

Linc was caught off guard at the words coming from a light soft feathery type of voice. The seat popped up. Someone had slid into the seat directly behind him.

“I’d say Arizona did an excellent job at shutting Mercer and Padgett down. As I said they would. Pay up!”

The cracked red pleather cracked as Linc slid his arm across the back of the booth trying to get a look at this chick talking about the playoff game from last night.

“You got lucky on this one.”

A bully laugh comes out of the basketball expert. It was a full laugh and he wanted to see the face of the woman behind this infectious sound. Without knowing it he began to laugh to himself.

Friendship Circle cocked her head and gave him a look of disgust. “I didn’t think it was very funny. Perhaps, I didn’t explain our side clearly enough.”

“I’m sorry. I must have misunderstood. Go for it.”

She looking down at her hands then plastered on a smile.

Slowly, her eyes met his. Batting her lashes, she reached over the table to touch his arm.

“It’s ok. The whole cheer and dance squad dynamic does get confusing. I’ll go slower.”

And with that, Friendship Circle was once again off on a tangent that I could not care less than five shits about and I am again hostage on a date that I will be kicking Mikey’s ass over when I see him.

“I call it total IMPLOSION of your team.”

Linc got sucked back into the conversation from the booth behind. He smiled. Implosion was the exact word he had used the night before while sitting in his living room watching the championship game. His dislike for Kentucky, combined with his roommate’s reverence for the team, had made for a loud night of shit talking.

“Thank you very much. It’s always a pleasure taking your money!”

The waitress sets the plates down in front of us and asked if we needed anything else. It was burgers and fries, we are good. All I wanted to do was switch seats and join in the conversation behind me.

“Ummmm. Excuse me.” Friendship Circle waved the waitress back over. “I said no tomato or onion. Clearly, there is a slice of both on the lettuce. Am I correct?”

“Oh. I apologize.”

“Just don’t put it on the burger.” Linc says picking up my burger and giving the waitress a quick wink.

“My instructions were clear. I don’t even want them on my plate!” She stated sitting back against the booth with her arms crossed and a definite pout on her overly made up face.

Dropping my burger on my plate, I look up to the waitress confident that my feelings of disbelief are evident.

The waitress silently removes the plate from in front of her and walks quickly back toward the kitchen. She is in for way more than just the removal of a tomato and onion slice.

This chick is ridiculous.

The laughter from behind draws him back in his seat to a more interesting conversation.

“I can’t believe she fucking called that game.”

“She knows her shit, Dude. Have you ever watched a game with her?”

Linc pushed back a little further to hear better.

“My roommate is home for the weekend. Do you want to watch a movie after this?” Linc flinched as Friendship Circle touches his arm from across the booth. Linc half nods not wanting to miss anything being said behind him.

“I heard she goes to some of State’s practices. Scouts for them too.”

“That’s kind of hot.”

“It would be if she wasn’t huge.”

“Would you fuck her?”

“Ah. It would be like fucking a cow.”

The waitress gently places the new plate in front of her and stands to receive any comments.

“Finally!” Friendship Circle girl replied in a totally bitchy tone.

“Check, please.”

“Linc, I haven’t eaten yet.”

“Ma’am. Can I get the check please? If you would box up both plates, I need to get out of here.”

Without saying a word, the waitress smirked at me and grabbed the plates and departs quickly.

“Are you going to tell me what’s going on?”

“Yeah, I am just not feeling that well. I think we should cut this night short. You can finish your dinner at home.”

The check was on the table with the boxed dinners in an expedited manner. Linc dropped money on the table adding a generous tip to make up for the lack of manners of his date.

This has to be the longest ten minute drive with this chick huffing and puffing. I am going to jack Mikey up for this shit. Do I want to watch a movie? Are you fucking kidding me? I can’t even remember your name because you are rude as fuck and boring as hell. Let me walk you to the door and not drop kick your ass off to the curb.

“Ready?” Linc already placed the to-go container in Friendship Circle girl’s hand.

“Sur-“

Not waiting for that response, Linc walks around the car and opens the passenger door waiting for her to exit. Upon closing the door, he has made his way up the walk as Friendship Circle girl gathers herself to leave the side of Linc’s car.

“Are you positive you don’t want to come in and hang out?

Watch a movie or you know whatever?” Her offer came across clearly and louder than necessary.

Linc stops and looks down at her, “Look, I don’t think this is going to happen.”

“Oh. Ok.”

“Have a good night.”

“Thanks for dinner. I guess.”

“Yep.”

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