Super Surreal Sunday

By the time Super Bowl Sunday rolled around, I was going mildly insane after a week spent cooped up in my apartment with very little social interaction. Why did I spend a week alone in my apartment? Well, that’s not really important. Let’s just say I was recovering from some minor surgery that I didn’t want the whole world to know about.

The point is I was going pretty fucking batty. All I wanted to do was hang out with friends, drink, and watch da Bears. Unfortunately very few of my close friends drink, and the few that do aren’t into sports. Rather than lose my remaining grip on this thing I claim as sanity, I headed out to a local bar. The Blackthorn, an Irish pub I used to frequent last spring. In fact, I still had a free drink coupon I’d won on a quiz night, and a good thing too, as I have no money.

Every bar I pass on the way to the Blackthorn is spilling over with people. The Blackthorn is a ghost town. Two people are there, plus Grace, the young Irish bartender. They didn’t even realize they had the TV on the wrong channel to watch the game, and this was about 2 minutes before kickoff. Grace fights an agonizingly long battle with the satellite remote but gets the game on in time for the coin toss. (In spite of the near mathematical impossibility of it, the NFC has won 10 straight coin tosses.)

I look down the end of the bar and suddenly there’s someone else there: a young woman in her 20’s who must have been out back smoking when I arrived. I had to do a double take because at first I didn’t think she was wearing a shirt. She wasn’t, really. I mean, I’m sure it was sold to her as a shirt, but it was more or less a piece of green fabric that came down over her shoulders and around her waist where it tied in the front, barely covering her breasts. I must say this was not a flattering look for her, given her bust size, as it more or less made her breasts disappear.

But I digress. She sees me double take and the flirt was on. The Bears run the opening kick-off back for a touchdown and she goes crazy (as do I). She jumps into my arms hooting. Things settle. She returns to her end of the bar and I sit back down trying not to be in pain from the unfortunate place her hip hit me (think “incision”).

She’s Irish. If I couldn’t tell that from looking at her with her red hair, brown eyes, and perky button nose, her thick Irish brogue would have tipped me off. She’s talking to the bartender and across the bar to me and finally says to me “You, come over here.”

I settle in next to her as she attaches herself to me. Half the time I don’t understand her, not only because of her accent, but because she’s completely plastered, a fact for which she keeps apologizing. She is Collette, Grace the bartender’s younger sister.

She rambles on and on about various things, including the fact that two complete strangers had commented on her “small tits” that morning. I say nothing. As we talk, I half watch the game and mostly watch her. She’s fun and crazy. Grace brings us free shots.

Then I find out the piece of information that I should have seen as inevitable, given the state of my life of late: She has a boyfriend. Not only that, she has a boyfriend named “Alan”. How’s that for a universe with a sense of humor?

We continue to talk and laugh. She continues to lean on me and flirt. We talk at great length about what she’s going to get Grace for her birthday next week. She’s agonizing over two options: a camera or Coacella tickets. Every now and then she’ll look at me all serious and say “You’re not getting anywhere with me tonight.” Then Grace brings us more shots.

Collette decides she needs to move on and meet up with her friends at the Kezar pub. She also decides I am to walk her there. Grace (and, admittedly, even I) try to convince her to just take a cab. I mean the girl was schnokered. As she’s standing there insisting she’s ok to walk, she nearly pukes on the bar. Seriously. But she insists.

Then she looks at me all serious and asks “Are you psycho?” She asks Grace, “Is he psycho?” I insist I’m not and I can tell from looking at Grace that while she isn’t altogether comfortable with her shit-faced sister leaving the bar with me, I’m not the scariest guy her sister’s ever left a bar with. And she knows better than to argue.

So here I am babysitting an ass-drunk Irish girl while I myself am drunker than I’d planned on getting that day. She hooks her arm in mine, and we walk. Fortunately it was a beautiful day and she’s highly entertaining. Every now and then she looks at me all serious as if she’s calculating the odds of whether or not I’m an axe murder. She tries to walk on her own but can’t keep a straight path. She hooks her arm back in mine. “You’re not getting anywhere with me tonight.”

I’m really not trying to. At this point, I just want to make sure she makes it to Kezar without stepping in front of a bus. I’ll admit she’s damn cute though.

We get to 4th Ave and Irving, some 6 blocks from where we started and about a third of the way to Kezar, when she stops to smoke a cigarette. We sit down on the curb and then she insists we lay down on the sidewalk. She stretches my arm out underneath her for a pillow and rests against me. I must say, it was a beautifully surreal moment, having an attractive (and drunk) Irish girl (whom I’d just met) essentially lying in my arms on the warm sidewalk looking up at the blue sky on a sunny day listening to the birds chirp in the tree next to us. Even she commented on the birds. I’ll never forget that moment.

I mean, when does that happen? Ever?

Apparently, Super Bowl Sunday at about 5 o’clock on the corner of 4th and Irving.

An N-Judah train goes by. She cheers at it and sort of flashes her breasts to the train, but not really, but I see them. They were nice.

She finishes her smoke and we sit back up. She curls her knees up in front of her and starts to tell me about her boyfriend. They’ve been together for years, but he doesn’t really treat her all that well. Grace hates him.

“I love him to bits though.”

“Does he love you?”

She doesn’t know. She looks at me all sad and then looks away. He pushes her around, literally, physically. The other day he pushed her and never apologized for it. (I don’t think he hits her. She didn’t have any visible bruises and given that most of her torso was visible, I don’t think he hits her, yet.) That morning he told her to fuck off. That’s why she’d been drinking since 7am.

Her mood significantly changed at this point, she decides she doesn’t want to go to Kezar. She’s going to her friend Sara’s only a few blocks away. She doesn’t need me to walk with her anymore. I offer. I consider insisting as I’m not sure I should leave her, but I already know better than to argue with her. She continues down Irving. I turn around and head back to the Blackthorn.

I tell Grace where I left her. She calls her and by then Collette has arrived safely at Sara’s. I have another beer and talk to Grace for a while. She thanks me for looking after her sister.

The Bears lose.

I go home.

I’m not getting anywhere with her tonight, except 4th and Irving.

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