There Is a Bar on Bourbon Street


It was sometime after midnight. The bedroom was quiet and dark. He laughed.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

“I came on your back,” he said.

I should have laughed back. If he had asked me what was so funny, I would’ve told him he came faster than I could drink a beer.

I’m 29 years old and I’m still should-ing myself.

I picked him up in a blues bar on Bourbon Street; an Australian in town for Wrestle Mania. I was wearing overalls and flip-flops from Walgreens.

I spent sixteen dollars on a Coors light and a vodka tonic for my girl friend. A few minutes after we sat down, a man in a baby blue t-shirt sat down next to us. The bartender was telling me how she taught a sailor how to curse last weekend.

The man in the baby blue shirt ordered a Scotch and Coke.

“Where is everybody?” he asked. There were only four other people in the bar.

We started talking and my friend mentioned the night before was my birthday. He bought me another beer.

“The only time I’ve had scotch was the day J.D. Salinger died,” I said. “Scotch and Soda. That was Holden Caufield’s drink.”

He had no idea who I was talking about.

“Did you get a birthday kiss?” he asked.

I already forgot his name.

“I did not.”

“Would you like one?”

“Sure?”

I felt embarrassed to be kissing a stranger in a bar. He told me I was a good kisser and then asked me about the harmonica tattoo on the inside of my right arm.

“What is ‘honky tonkin’?” he asked.

“It means a couple different things to me,” I tried to explain. “Also, I’m a Hank Williams fan.”

He didn’t know about him either.

I looked over his shoulder at my girl friend, bumming a cigarette from a couple at the end of the bar. The band announced the last song of the evening. A watered down cover of ‘Sunshine of Your Love.’

I was making out with blue shirt at the bar, when I noticed the man passing around the tip hat. I threw in a couple dollars and ordered another beer. I watched my girl friend, drunk and twirling with the tip man. I could hear the smiles filling the room.

The Australian took a sip from my Coors light and made a face usually reserved for Broccoli.

“I know it’s not great,” I said. “But you’re the one drinking Scotch and Coke.”

“Is that weird?” he asked.

“Yes.”

I took a sip. It tasted like Dr. Pepper. He kept rubbing his knee against mine.

“What are you ladies doing after this?”

“There’s another bar a couple blocks away,” my friend said.

The three of us walked down Bourbon Street. The Australian was holding my hand. We stopped for hot dogs and people watching outside the Hustler club.

My girl friend took us to an Irish pub just off Bourbon Street. I liked this bar right away. The curly haired bartender asked what we wanted to drink and was quick to tell us about one of her regular customers.

“When this particular customer comes in, she always fucking plays this Dave Matthews song,” she said. “So I say the words ‘moist pussy’ to her the entire night.”

I gave her a high five and a nice tip.

It was close to two in the morning. We stayed for one drink and a jukebox change.

The Australian walked us back to our car. He had his hands down the back of my overalls, whispering in my ear to ditch my friend.

“You’re a heartbreaker, aren’t you?” he said.


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