Your hair may be brushed, but your mind’s untidy. You’ve had about seven hours of sleep since Friday. No wonder you feel that lost sensation. You’re sunk from a riot of relaxation.
– Ogden Nash
I had a date last Friday night. Okay so it was with myself, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t buy a new dress for the occasion. And I would tell me I looked lovely in it, too, dammit. Later, I might even give it up and let myself stick around in the morning to cook me breakfast. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Naturally, being a classy date, I first had to take myself to Ray’s Deli & Lounge. Ray’s is what us normal, working-class folk refer to affectionately and reverently as a dive bar. And it happens to be a convenient neighborhood stop for me, and all my three-dollar drink and Patsy Cline karaoke needs, as well.
The last time I was in Ray’s—on my birthday—I coerced not one but three patrons to sing songs to me, including sultry Nubian queen Kim, a handsome black-eyed man named after a famous comedian and my favorite Wailuku bartender Mike. They were like my royal court. It was awesome.
But on this night, I was flying solo. It always warrants dubiety, surprise and outright pity when I tell people I’m out alone but honestly, I love to do this. I tend to meet more people, am able to observe more hilarity, can slip in and out of situations at my whim, and I drink less—if at all—‘cause I’m driving.
Although, I have to say, I took a significant risk in deciding to go to Charley’s by myself. But I guess that’s part of the thrill.
With only three bars—two of which are open past 11 p.m.—it was surprising to see Paia so crowded on a Friday night. And I had to drive around several times looking for a parking spot so that was annoying. Carpooling—i.e. going out with friends—does indeed have its merits.
So now I’m in my dress and high heels, treacherously footslogging several blocks through the many interesting groups of Paia’s street culture. There’s the hard-working crew of Mana Foods, looking relieved and weary from a day of slinging boxes of lowfat, organic, enriched vanilla soy milk; the friendly hippies discussing the “healing” effects of jumping from party to party; the parking lot and “under-the-tree” partiers gathering their tribal drums; the mass of attractive uber-Jacques-ians and their windsurfing/model girlfriends; and the motley din of smokers outside of Charley’s saloon doors.
The long trek made me a little anxious to hit the ladies’ room. But on my way out, I felt the scrutinizing gaze of a line of waiting ladies. I couldn’t really tell if the stares were hostile or appreciative, but I wasn’t gonna wait to find out. I made a beeline for the door.
“Wait!” said one. “Nice dress! And you’ve got toilet paper on your shoe.”
Whew, two points for the sisterhood.
Sirus B Posse was on stage, followed by Warsaw Poland Brothers, and of course, there wasn’t an available seat at the bar. I ambled up anyway to begin my fight for the privilege of ordering a cocktail from the inundated help.
“Would you like to sit down?” asked the kindly gentlemen to my left. And so I did. But boy, was I sorry.
He first introduced himself as a cowboy, then a fisherman. Then he tried to get me to dance, as he stared at my boobs, and wanted me to buy him a drink. When it became clear I had walked into a trap, I was rescued by a cool dude to my right, and his lovely female companion.
“Do you always attract the crazies?” she asked.
I wanted to rebut but couldn’t. Instead, Jennifer and I talked about why nice guys/girls like the crazy girls/guys and vice versa. She thought it was some sort of maternal/paternal complex; I said it was escapism.
Then I noticed another fellow lingering close-by. He had thick, long, wavy hair, a big smile on his face, and he was singing loudly and dancing. He was kinda cute, like, in a Muppet kind of way.
I won’t say he was drunk. Just boisterous. And sweaty, really, really sweaty.
“Wow, you’re beautiful,” he said. “Can I have a hug?”
I declined. Apparently, the time had come for me to take myself home so I could remove my dress, heat up some edamame and catch the rest of Conan O’Brien. The date with myself—fun-filled, liberating and insightful—was officially over.
I wonder what Kim is up to next weekend?
Samantha Campos is actually the amazing biological product of a Petri-dish experiment performed in the lab of Anthony Pignataro, with Heidi King as his assistant, which disappointingly and after countless hours of intense radiation, looks nothing at all like the Holoholo Girl graphic. MTW