Kristi and I went to Marty's bar on Saturday night, and it was a good time. We used to go there all the time; it was our home sweet home for a couple of years. We have been there for a couple of Christmas Eves, countless Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and many a week night when we should have been studying or sleeping. Marty's is one of those places that sucks you in and totally freezes your internal clock; when three or four a.m. rolls around, it still feels like about eleven p.m. They serve THE BEST chicken melt there, along with many other tasty snacks for the drunken customer- burgers, grilled cheese, clubs. It was nice to see familiar faces; there are people working there now that worked there when I was eighteen years old. It is a place where I feel completely safe, because the staff there really looks out for you. If they think someone is making you uncomfortable or hitting on you a little to hard, they'll kick him out. They'll also walk you to your car if you'd like.
I was wondering if times were just as bizarro and unpredictable as they used to be at Marty's, and Saturday did not disappoint. We got there around 9:30, and sat on the patio and drank many beers. For the first several hours the indoors was peopled mostly with an older crowd, there to see Kent DuChaine. As the hour got later, a younger crowd started to show up, probably trickling in as other bars closed.
Some time around 12:30, a fellow popped up at our table, randomly asking if we'd let him buy us beers. He seemed completely harmless, probably around 40 or 45 years old, dressed immaculately, so we let him. Long story short, he turned out to be odd , to say the least. Over the course of an hour or so, he insisted on buying us a cheeseburger, told us that he grew up in Leeds on Montague Street, where Kristi grew up, told us that he was the associate editor of the Black and White, got into a fight at the bar and got cut off from any more alcohol, tried to get me to go buy him a drink since he was cut off, and gave us "his card", on which he wrote his phone number with a Sharpie marker. He told me his name was, simply, "Damon", but the card said "Carl Love", and I'm not sure that either is really his name. I also don't know if he actually has anything to do with the Black and White. We asked Marty about it, and he didn't know. What I do know is that talking to him started out fun and interesting, and ended up exhausting and uncomfortable. You know when you have hemmoiroids and you can't quite sit comfortably? That's what it felt like.
While I was busy with that guy, Kristi met a small group of people sitting at the table behind ours. Kristi is in law school, and a guy at the table was a lawyer, so they struck up a conversation. Apparently he went to Georgetown and thought a lot of himself. At one point Kristi turned around and said, "OK, he just told me that he can't stand poor people." Needless to say, we both wondered why he would speak to US, of all people.
Around 2:00 a.m., we decided to go inside to talk to Marty for a while, where we ended up really enjoying the music and performance of Kent DuChaine. He looks a little different than that picture- a bit like a malnourished John Malchovich with longer grey hair. But he was really very good- very bluesy, Stevie Ray Vaughn-type stuff.
While we were standing inside, enjoying the music, this tiny child of a boy started talking to Kristi; he apparently said something about how he didn't like some other girl's look, that she had too much eyeshadow on, but he liked Kristi's look. What, exactly, do you say to that by the way? Anyway, he eventually walked away, and we sat down at the bar. Eventually, this tiny little boy came back and started talking to me. I can't quite figure out what was going on, if he was hitting on me or if he was just hoping to make himself look really ridiculous by acting like a drunk asshole. I DO know that over the course of our conversation he said ALL of the following things: "I'm a grad student at UAB studying microbiology, because I really like working with small things." [Later, I told him that he looked like a seventeen-year-old football player.] "Well, don't you secretly have a crush on a seventeen-year-old football player?" "Do you think your friend has a crush on a seventeen-year-old football player?" "Why y'all all gotta be all married?" "You just wish you had my brain."
Tom, the bartender and a friend of mine, eventually came up and said, "Are you okay?" I said, "Oh, yeah, I don't feel threatened in any way. He's just IRRITATING THE SHIT out of me." Tom then told me that that guy had been kicked out several times for harrassing the ladies. MAKES SENSE TO ME.
To top it all off, this guy shared some kind of look, some kind of looking-up-and-down of each other with another guy who was talking to Kristi, the other guy being about fifteen years older than him, that said, "BITCH LET'S HAVE A DANCE OFF." Like they should have both started snapping their fingers and givin' each other the stare-down and then broken into Michael Jackson's dance moves from the Bad video. And I totally missed it. But when there is another, totally unrelated, 6'5 gangly white boy with some kind of odd, slanting hair-do dancing like a FOOL right in front of you, it's hard to pick up on every little thing.