Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
Whether I was fired for harassing Kevin Harris at his other job, or whether I quit when my district manager refused to let me fire Kevin Harris was a topic of much debate among the other managers in the eastern Massachusetts region. The only part of the story that remained constant was the way the district manager had called to apologize when all of the managers on Cape Cod called in sick the day after I ceased working there. While that did make me feel special for a few minutes, the true vindication came when Kevin Harris failed to show up for his next three shifts, and ended up getting fired anyway.
"So what are you going to do with your time off?" Beckee asked me.
It was midnight, two days after I was unemployed. Beckee had been calling me about once a week for the past three months. She'd forgiven me for The Shat incident. Now she called to brag about all the dick she was getting in Madison, as well as update me on the status of her on-off-on-off again relationship with UnHarry.
"I don't know what I'm going to do. One of the guys I used to know in middle school offered me a job at Blockbuster, but I want to take at least a couple weeks off to fuck around. I was so busy during the last couple of months at Raspberry's that I didn't have time to spend any of the money I was making."
"Well," Beckee said, "next week is my twentieth birthday party, and my mom is planning this HUGE party for me. You should come."
"Yea. I'll just bop over to Wisfuckenconsin for a few hours for your birthday party, drop off my gift, and then drive home."
"Actually, my mom is paying to fly a bunch of my friends from high school out. And you're a friend from high school." And, so it was, that I agreed to spend the first two weeks of 1998 with Beckee Krackow. As a friend.
The cheapest flight landed me in Milwaukee. The first thing I noticed about Milwaukee when I got off the plane was how cold it was. Fucken cold. The kind of cold your feet get if you accidentally fall asleep just after a shower in the middle of January while camping at The North Pole the night before the wedding you have doubts about. Beckee had brought an extra coat with her when she picked me up at the airport, knowing that I wasn't going to correctly gauge just how cold Wisconsin was.
"Happy b-b-b-b-birthday." I chattered, kissing her on the cheek, and handing her a box of mix tapes I made for her.
And then we were in the car, driving for what seemed like hours. "I have such a surprise for you! We're meeting Harry and a couple of friends at the Safe House tonight."
A restaurant in Milwaukee, where we'd have dinner before we all drove to Madison together. "The problem is...it's a spy-themed place, so...so there aren't any signs for it." She said, defending the fact that we'd been circling the same block for over twenty minutes. Harry said it's around here somewhere, but..." And then I spotted unHarry waving wildly.
We parked, got out of the car, and made our way toward unHarry. Were it not so cold that every human nose in the state had fallen off and shattered to the ground, I would have smelled like a three hour plane flight, and two hours in an artificially heated jeep. unHarry hugged me. And, I wasn't completely sure, but he might have grabbed my ass.
"I can't believe you're here." He said. "Now, I don't suppose you know where The Safe House is, do you?"
According to unHarry's friend, Lenny, the really cool thing about The Safe House was that you had to know the password to get in. If you didn't know the password, they made you do something ridiculous, like dress up in a raincoat and sing "Rubber Ducky." The inside of the club was lined with televisions that broadcast what the idiots who didn't know the password had to do in order to get in.
Twenty-five freezing minutes later, we walked up to a brick a building. I was cold, tired, and, technically, stank stank stank. I didn't care about passwords or raincoats, I just wanted to be inside a building with heat. We appeared to be in a tiny little gift shop. There was a huge bookcase in one corner, and the rest of the room was filled with costumes and hats. A tall woman with a mustache stood behind a cash register. "Maybe you can help us." I said. "We're looking for a....Safe House."
The woman smiled, and pressed a button on the register. The bookcase opened like a door. Was a door. "Right this way." The woman said.
On the other side of the bookcase was an enormous bar. A series of rooms. Some blacklit, some tropical, some set up like a train car. And throughout all of the rooms was a wide plastic tube, the kind they use at a bank to ferry money back and forth between the inside of the bank, and the unlucky schmuck in the far lane of the drive-thru. "What are those?" I asked.
"Oh. Well, if you order a martini at one of our bars, they type your order into the computer, and a bartender at another one of our bars makes it, then covers the shaker, sticks it in the vacuum tube, and it shoots through the entire restaurant back to the bar you originally ordered it from. That way your martini is guaranteed shaken, not stirred."
"Cool." Lenny said. The rest of us agreed.
We ended up sitting in one of the blacklit rooms. Our menu was dayglo white.
"So...Adam." unHarry said. "What was the password, and how did you know what it was?"
"I don't know. All I did was ask for the safe house."
A waitress bent down at the table to greet us. "Oh, you got lucky." She said. "The password is I'm looking for a safe house."
The cheeseburger I ate was the most delicious piece of food ever consumed by man, beast, or god. I chewed it as slow as possible. Both to savor the taste, and to keep from having to talk to Beckee, unHarry, Lenny, or Lenny's girlfriend, Michelle, who spent a good chunk of the meal bragging about how she could orgasm just by giving a guy head. The whole dinner conversation seemed to center around sex. Blowjob, dick size, lactating breasts, you look much cuter than Beckee told us Adam, anal, cunnilingus, swinging. I chewed. I swallowed, but not in the way Michelle bragged about swallowing.
"You're so quiet." Michelle said.
"Just tired. Long flight. New city. You know. I'll regain the power of speech tomorrow."
She winked at me. Then there was a foot rubbing against my crotch.
I crossed my legs under the table. Michelle raised an eyebrow, and returned to eating her tomato soup.
Her foot rested on my brain for the rest of dinner.
After dinner, I hugged Michelle and Lenny goodbye, and sat in the tiny back seat of the jeep. unHarry sat in the passenger's seat and sucked on the fingers of Beckee's right hand, while she drove with the left, occasionally trying to make conversation with me. I feigned sleep. But the vacuum tubes of my brain shot feet and fingers from one side of my head to the other. What had I gotten myself into?