Friday, May 10, 2013

Little Miss Path Not Taken

I met some people for dinner in Hollywood and opted against going with them to a bar afterward, because I had a busy enough work week that the most anticipated thing about this Friday remains going to bed, because I am a grown-up now, because this is what happens. Besides, I hate playing that game of waiting until I’m good to drive and then second-guessing myself the minute I get behind the wheel. Getting a DUI in Los Angeles means social and professional death, and any additional drinks beyond the one I had with dinner will only make me more anxious about the drive home.

Anyway, once in my neighborhood, I stopped at my liquor store and right at the entrance was this girl who’s clearly too drunk to be in public. She wasn’t, like, a lady hobo or a wasteoid or something, and she probably looked pretty put-together when she left her house this morning. In fact, she still seemed to be wearing her work clothes. But she was drunk in a way I’m not used to seeing since I left Santa Barbara — all sweaty and disheveled and blissfully unaware of everyone else who can see your messiness — and she was tottering on her heels and nodding approvingly whenever the door makes that bing-bong noise announcing someone entering or exiting. It was almost like she was checking to make sure the door did, in fact, make that noise every time, but I’m fairly certain that she hadn’t been hired by the store to monitor this because (a) it seemed unlikely that anyone would hire her in her current condition and (b) this is a silly job for anyone to do.

I maneuvered around her and began looking for Friday night wine, but she eventually got close enough to me that, soon enough, she was tugging at my sleeve just as the door bing-bonged again. “I know that song! What song is that?” she asked me. There was no music playing in the liquor store. Yeah, she was talking about the bing-bong noise. I didn’t know what to say. Someone else walked in. Bing-bong. But I figured she wanted me to say something, so I offer this: “Wait, it’s that one song. Right? The one that guy sings?” A wave of relief passed over her face. “Oh my god, you’re right,” she says, smiling all drunky lopsidey. That was enough for her, and she then pivoted toward the candy bars.

So while I maybe did the boring thing and turned in early tonight, thus enabling me to write this immediately after it happened, at least I didn’t get so messed up that I mistook the liquor store bing-bong as some unplaceable Top 40 hit.

Good night, everyone!

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