January 30, 2004

Never Trust a Naked Guy Juggling Three Cantaloupes

By Tenzin McGrupp © 2004

"Oh shit! I can't go to my therapist drunk!"

Cordelia had just stumbled back from the bathroom where she had snarfed up no less than two Bobbie-pin sized lines of coke. I added three more olives into her vodka martini, and she quickly fished them around with her fingers. Like a six-year old on Ritalin scooping out four-day old, dead goldfish from her massive aquarium tank, she splashed and splashed as tiny puddles of vodka collected on the stained mahogany bar, until she finally got a firm grasp and then yanked the helpless soused olives out with the brazen authority of a veteran dentist. With her lanky fingers drenched in top shelf vodka, she unsympathetically popped both olives deep into her gaping mouth. She sensuously and slowly licked both fingers, and almost fell off her bar stool when she caught me staring at her.

"What am I going to do? I'm drunk!" she insisted as if 'drunk' was a form of terminal cancer. Cordelia and I played this game twice a week. She'd come in and get drunk and I'd have to convince her that curing her mental health (or at least attempting the illusion of correcting her woes) was far more important that trying to see if I could draw the entire map of the United States on the back of a cocktail napkin, from memory, in less than five minutes for $50. Her therapist had an office one block from the dive bar where I leisurely worked the afternoon shift. I spent most of my time watching Dawson's Creek and Sportscenter and pouring draft beers for the regulars, that was until Cordelia came in and took over the remote.

"Seriously," she continued her slurred rambling thoughts, "I can't go see Dr. Phil while I'm all fucked up like this. And what am I going to do? Show up to my therapist's office, shitfaced and with a quarter-pound of weed in my new Kate Spade bag?"

"You could always trade him for a couple of prescriptions. Valium. I'd prefer 200mgs," I suggested. Doctors were as crooked as lawyers. They just got more respect on the streets because you have to be smarter to go to medical school than go to law school. Anyway, I never should have sold Cordelia the rest of my stash, but I needed the cash for rent. She finally gave up and tossed the remote control back to me. She sauntered out of the bar, reminiscent of a run-down cowboy who just got laid in a West Texas whorehouse, and wandered outside.

"What does she do for a living?" one of my regulars wondered.

"Cordelia?" as I strained out the front window to see her blindly crossing the street, almost getting hit by a speeding taxi.

"Yeah, what's Blondie’s job?" another guy piped up after downing his beer.

"She calls her Daddy."

Tenzin McGrupp is a writer from New York City.

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