The guy in the spandex and cut off shorts, he’s back on my next day of work. And the next after that, in some kind of variation of the same outfit: black spandex and red cut off sweat shorts, then blue spandex pants and gray cut off sweat shorts. He’s got big wire frame glasses and slicked back hair that makes me think of pedophiles and televangelists. Not that the two are connected. Not that they’re not either. He doesn’t buy anything, just plays pool on the free tables. On my third day he actually comes up to the bar.
“Hey there Beautiful, what’s your name?”
What do you say to something like that? Hey Ugly my name’s Tina. What’s yours? “Uh, Tina.”
“I’m Arthur. Wow you sure are pretty.”
“Um, thanks.” I’m trying to walk away, but he won’t stop talking.
“Hey, can I get a water?”
“Sure, that’ll be a dollar.”
“A dollar for water? You’re joking right?”
I shake my head ‘no’. Did I mention Charlie doesn’t give anything away for free?
“C’mon Sweetie, it’s just water.”
Gross. Gross. Gross.
“It comes out of the tap for free.”
“Well there’s a tap in the bathroom. Help yourself.”
It only shuts him up temporarily. He’s back all too soon for a spit cup for his chew. “Hey say something in Chinese.”
“I’m Korean Dumbass.”
This place is a cornucopia of bad pick ups. In just a few nights I have been called Beautiful, Honey, Gorgeous, Pretty Lady, and Mamasita more than in the whole rest of my life. I have been asked out more times than I can count and proposed to twice. Of course none of that comes close to the straight up propositions.
“You have a boyfriend?”
“Yeah, of course.” I don’t really. He’s not looking so I switch my grandmother’s ring from my right to my left hand, then hold it up for him. “Husband, actually.”
He strokes his long orthodox beard. “Maybe, you know, you guys are running a little low on money, maybe I give you $300, you…” He winks and nods. I throw up in my mouth.