An hour after my last post, I received a barrage of messages. They ran the gamut from “good for you” to “please don’t go down this road.” Honestly, I appreciated both kinds and the few that were hybrids of the two. But I was still ready. Dresses locked and loaded, debauchery planned for the spring (that’s likely when I’ll be healed enough from surgery). Then, while riding high from that blog post–which was a somewhat awkward proclamation of brokenness with a vow to be an unabashed fuck-girl tied in for good measure—something happened in the “be careful what you ask for” category. We’ll get to that in a minute, though. It feels like a tale I need to ease into, you know? Some legit, story-style shit.
NOTE: This is a true story. You know it is because no one in their right damn mind would paint themselves this poorly for sheer fun.
*Sigh* Let’s go.
The text said “Shark Bar?”
I’d heard of it but couldn’t remember where it was or if I’d been. Then my friend went on to explain that I had gone but it was before the pandemic. With that reminder, something switched on in my brain and cleared the cobwebs from the memory. Oh, that bar.
Miles away from any reputable, cultured scene, this bar is so random that it’s hard to tamp down what the actual theme of it is. There are thirty-somethings in button up shirts, young nvggas in sweats, moms in their best push-up bras…and seafood. When the details I could remember about the place came flooding back they brought an actual grimace to my face, but still, one of my favorite people asked me to go and I had nothing else going on that night. Also, because she thought it was a shitty place too, that made the proposal oddly fun. Dive bar fun. So, slightly buzzed from the Prosecco I’d had at dinner with the ‘Chrisses’ (two adorable friends of mine who are both named Chris and just got hitched a few months back), I decided to get obnoxiously overdressed and go.
In a black dress and my favorite calf-pop, CFM pumps, I hopped in my car and set the GPS coordinates for an area so deep in Maryland that a guy friend of mine jokingly refers to it as ‘Mordor’ instead of Waldorf. I checked my makeup in the rearview mirror before I pulled off and decided that the dress was actually a smart move since I had other options in the air for afterward; it was only nine-ish when I left home.
We stormed the bar by force (hips switching, eyes smoldering) before rediscovering that there were still no prizes to be won in this particularly dimly lit, faraway tavern. I again reminded myself that it was more suited to be a watering hole than a hunting ground, anyway. So we took off our jackets and relaxed. After a margarita that should’ve been considered as a death threat aimed at my liver, I relaxed some more. In about twenty minutes, we were walled in on both sides by suitors we weren’t even mildly interested in, but we were being barsexual bi bitches, so we offered little spurts of small talk.
Immersed in a conversation about 90s hiphop with a dude on my right, I didn’t notice that my friend had been trying to get my attention until she tapped my shoulder. I spun around and she leaned in to whisper that a third suitor had entered the chat. I glanced at him. He was cute, tall, and very much my type. So naturally, I turned my back to him and continued talking to the other guy.
Not today, Satan.
But the guy didn’t give up. He offered us everything the bar had to offer, which we declined. Including shrimp (which is really difficult for a drunken me to decline). Finally, he walked over and struck up a convo, causing homie on the right to shift his attention elsewhere. Well played. He then invited us to watch the MMA fight at a cigar bar. My friend was into it, so I followed by default. We rolled out, but not before I gave my number to 90s hiphop dude in front of him because I’m a sucker for those conversations…and because I was trying to do everything to imply that I cared not for nary a gentleman’s feelings on that crisp, Autumn eve. The adoration was nice, though.
Anyway. I didn’t know it yet, but I was at a tipping point. I’m such a sometime-y ass Muslim chick that I legitimately can’t hold liquor well. My tolerance is low and it’s a catch 22 kind of thing; I don’t wish for a higher tolerance because that would require more drinking—which I’m not into—but in instances where heavy handed bartenders send liquid diss tracks to my liver, a higher tolerance would come in handy. Last night was one such instance.
That said, it felt like the second drink activated as I entered the cigar bar. Seriously, it felt like the drink was a dusty amp on the ride over, but the moment I began walking I could feel that amp being plugged in to a power source. Volume? Max. I was gross. I slurred. Flirted with a few sweater-wearers by the bar who looked like they had their wedding rings in their pockets. Harmless fun. Then, I went full on lascivious.
It’s important to mention here that, my friend and I are considering that we may have been dosed. We say this because, between us, we had three drinks–one and half drinks each. One and a half. This is because we abandoned our partially consumed second drinks at Shitty Bar #1 when we headed over to the cigar bar/Shitty Bar #2. Plus, we drove over there okay. Walked in and were coherent. Only after we got there did shit began to spiral. Guess we’ll never truly know when/if that happened. All I do know is, I felt like something was wrong but couldn’t stop.
So I didn’t. I was leaning close, talking shit, behaving like I was raised by stripper coyotes. I look up. Cute persistent guy from Shitty Bar #1 is standing a few feet away. He’s watching me but his eyes flit from me, to my inebriated friend who’s nearly as worse off as I was, then to another group of animals…apparently the sweater-wearers had morphed into wolves. And I? Their prospective prey. (Did one of them slip us something? Or did it happen at the other spot? Was it the dude I rejected when we first sat down? He and his friend were hovering for a bit afterward. Meh. I digress.)
*Sigh* I don’t actually know what happened next. Had to piece that shit together using feed snippets from the cameras installed on/in my house (I have my reasons), my hung over and half-asleep friend, and the last dialed number in my phone. According to those things and the amateur physical exam I performed on myself the next morning, this is what transpired.
Left the bar on the elbow of cute/apprehensive/observant guy from the first bar. He told my friend he was walking me outside “for air.” That part checked out on both sides.
Got the air. Got to my car, attempted to wrest my keys from the depth of my clutch. He stopped me. Said I shouldn’t/couldn’t drive. In his telling of the story (with regret in his voice) he points out that, he didn’t actually want to drive me home for two reasons: he’d already told my friend we’d be back, and it was fucking far. But, he also didn’t trust that he could run back in the bar to alert my friend then run back out because he feared I’d pull off. Fair, I guess.
Fast forward a few hours and I woke up in my bed in my office (it used to my kid’s room) fully clothed. Not a hair out of place. Makeup still on. I stood up and walked around, checking everything out. Shoes were neatly by the ottoman near the front door, purse on the ottoman next to it. Credit cards there. Phone. All of it. Door was unlocked, though. I locked it.
But, what did he/we do? My throat felt…odd. I panicked. Sloppy, forced fellatio, maybe? I briefly considered my options. After scratching ‘murder’ and ‘suicide’ and ‘murder-suicide’ off the list. I calmed down a little. Then, I looked outside. Car was gone. Instant despair. At this point, I hadn’t checked my phone yet. I sprinted back to it. One bar. Shit. I plugged it in and rang my friend until she picked up and drowsily answered my hysterical questions.
By the time the call was over I had a name. Checked the call log. Turns out it was already saved in my phone. Okay…cool. Would a guy face-rape me and leave a cell trail like that? Maybe. Couldn’t think about that at the moment, though. My voice was hoarse. I checked the still saved in my phone from the cameras repeatedly. Just under seven minutes of stuff, and none of it untoward. There are no cameras in the office, but the rest was enough to figure stuff out. Still, my throat felt…off. I ordered the Uber, put on a teddy bear coat and oversized shades. About forty minutes later, I spotted my car. The ground nearby it was a mess. My brain was still too dehydrated to put those Tetris blocks together. I hopped in and headed home. Called an old friend whose conversations always supercharge me. Calmed my nerves again. When that conversation ended, I called the last number in my phone.
“Hey” He chuckled.
I didn’t laugh with him. Instead I went in, First 48 style. Three questions in and his tone changed, switching from good natured humor to horror. “Omg—you really don’t remember?! First off, I’d never do that. THIS is what happened…”
The throat thing? That was from the projectile vomiting I apparently did near my car. My brain flashed back to the goop on the ground that I stepped over to get into my car. Touché.
“That’s when I was like ‘whoa, I can’t let her drive like this’ and took your keys,” he continued. “Remember?”
“Yeah,” I lied.
He explained that it got on my jacket and I was a basically a disgusting wreck (my words, not his), but coherent enough to direct him to my house. He walked me inside, tucked me in, and left after telling me to lock my door. Camera feeds backed him up. Checked out.
After he regaled me with my other exploits at the bar, I felt halfway normal and thanked him. Offered to CashApp him for the gas. He declined.
I sat on the couch for a long while after I hung up. I needed to process it all, though I didn’t really didn’t want to.
He was decent. That is simply the unavoidable truth of it. A decent human male drove me home out of the kindness of his heart on the eve of me releasing a tirade against men, relationships, and what I perceived as the death of interpersonal kindness. Further, he did this even after I was rude to him. DUring our phone conversation, I asked him why he talked to me at all that night. He said he had been “drawn” to me. Some junk about my smile and laugh.
I wasn’t flattered or surprised, though, because I knew the real truth. It was the words I typed with my own two hands that drew him to me, after all. I texted the universe, the universe dispatched Mr. Decency.
I put my face in my hands and punched a nearby pillow as the realization washed over me. This was it–the event I pulled out of the cosmos, and right under my nose, forcing me to acknowledge what I already know. Which is, some people–some men–are just kind. Raised well. Are generally repulsed by the mere thought of taking anything from a woman by force. So repulsed, in fact, that they lead them away from men who would do exactly that, and get them out of harm’s way. But encountering one when I needed to the most? On a night so crazy I haven’t had one like it in years? This was it, and I knew it.
This was the occultation.
And I’m pissed because it doesn’t matter if I never see him again. The deed is already done and I know that it was–the–event. The thing/sign to derail me from my path before I even pass through its entry gate. Part of me resents that. Because it’s the part of me that’s still hurting, still angry.
Luckily, there are other parts of me. Mainly, the grateful part of me that says ‘thank god this person delivered me safely to my front door after a night like that.’ There’s also the mother part who is striving to raise a son who’d see someone in a compromised position and do the same. Then, there’s the daughter-portion of me who wonders about the opinion of her father, even though he’s gone. And yet another part: one that’s busy shuffling through emails notifying me that some of my writing submissions are through to the second round of considerations for publication. And that part? The writer? The girl who feels everything in surround sounds and yearns to write in a way that bleeds HD color; the woman who still has scores of love to give and stories to tell? She wants to get her Robert Frost on and take another path. And that corny bitch (that last part of me…not Robert Frost), may just be on to something.
Ugh. Fucking early-ass occultation. MashaAllah.
You win, motherfucker.
*Looks at vision board.*
I’ll see how this goes.