So sometime after the encounter with Tara Ann and the aquarium, a couple of Bear’s high school buddies come over, still Christmas eve, still with everything closed for the holidays. But first, a little bit about Bear’s friends.
Bear has this group of guys he’s been friends with since elementary school, which I find incredibly adorable especially considering how they all know each other. Bear is a certified genius. They are all certified geniuses. They were kids pulled out of regular classes to be in a special program for brilliant babies.
Did anyone else but me watch Malcolm in the Middle? Does anyone remember Malcolm’s Krelboyne classmates? This is how I picture Bear’s childhood.
So two of these guys come over, the pretty one and the military one, for the sake of the argument. One now lives in San Francisco following hipster fashion blogs and pillaging girls from OK Cupid, the other lives in Texas drinking a lot and maintaining an insane amount of muscle mass. I’ll let you guess which is which. We’ll call them Frisco and the Texan.
I had been excited about seeing The Texan for some time. Frisco, Bear, and I had hung out quite a bit together by now, being that I went to college with Frisco and that he and Bear were roommates for years, right up until he came to live with me in Los Angeles. Meanwhile the Texan had always been more of an enigma. From the livejournal days, he had been one of the harshest “trolls”, always under the belt, always hilarious. But I’d only met him once, when I was 21, and the kid and I hadn’t said two words to each other. I figured that six years later, and me living with one of his oldest friends, I’d finally get to know the guy a little. Especially after a couple of drinks.
So we all go out to the local Pool Hall, Hard Times Billiards which other than Denny’s seems to be the only thing happening in town. Bear makes a joke about going to a strip club. We all laugh. I slap him playfully.
The pool hall is pretty crowded – especially for Christmas eve. It in fact seems like we have stumbled upon the busiest place in town. We get a pitcher of beer and try to relax. This really isn’t any of our scene. The Texan has an initial lucky streak. It fades fast. We all kind of suck.
There is a girl I had been looking at a little bit. She was tall and had very long blonde hair and a wholesome (if drunk) beauty to her. She had a wide smile and tight clothes. And then, she was coming right for me.
“Hi, I’m Tory,” she says. She shakes my hand. I’m a little drunk and feel so out of place here anyway that this whole encounter is already a bit much. What does she want from me? Does she want to know if I was staring at her? Does she want to know why? Oh god, is this going to be highschool all over again?
“Me and my friend over there were wondering if he was in the military.”
She gestures toward the Texan.
“Actually he is in the military. The air force.”
“Hey you! You hoo! Hey! I’ve been watching you – hey! I knew you were in the military!”
The Texan walks off, either uninterested or more likely unwilling to accept that he and his new muscles are being courted by the hottest girl in the pool hall.
“He’s shy.” I explain.
As she goes on about him, a man appears who bears a striking resemblance to Biff in the Back to the Future movies. He doesn’t act much better, either.
“What the hell are you doing here?” he asks her, and then proceeds to stare us down, asking variations of the same question. Sadly, the Krelboynes aren’t fighters. Eventually, they walk off. Bear and I are delighted that the Texan was approached. Frisco, always the pretty one, seems a little bewildered to have been second choice now that he was out of trendy San Fran. We had no idea that the entire incident would go from being cute to hilarious. In time, that is.
On Christmas Day, before the family dinner, Bear takes me around Sacramento a little more. One place he knows I’ll really dig is Placerville.
Apparently so many people were hung in this town that in 1849 it was officially called Hangtown. The churches and likeminded people petitioned for a real name. They got one about 6 years later. I love how the city dawdled on letting these poor residents tell their relatives they live anywhere else but Hangtown.
What’s great about it now is that the town seems to be using this gruesome history for tourist profits. Bear grew up seeing this gaudy guy, which sadly seems to have been removed now:
Nevertheless, hanging onto the Hangtown name, although a nickname now, is morbid enough to give me a nice little chill.
Hangtown, along with the rest of Sacramento, was completely dead on Christmas day. After a short visit to there and a good bit of weed smoked at sunset in a drive through an apple farm, we go home for the great goy dinner.
As a Jewish woman, especially one who has never dated a Jewish man, I have had many Christmas dinners with men and their families. Some were boyfriends, others just friends, but I had never been to a dinner with a guy who’s parents were divorced. It was a little bit sweet to see two divorced people sit with one another as a family, with just as much tenderness, bitterness, sarcastic remarks and love as any other family I’d been with. Who knew.
That said, afterward, we were stressed out. Big time. The teenage sister had already had a melt down in the living room. Even his impossibly patient mom was starting to get a twinge to her voice. Bear and I had to get out. After being at the pool hall the night before, neither of us really wanted to drink. So we dicided to go to an Indian Casino.
I wanted to go to an Indian Casino for a number of dumb reasons. The first was I thought I might actually see an Indian. No deal. The second was I’d deluded myself into thinking I could win money. Ha. The third was I wanted to get that sense of being in a subculture that was exciting, creepy, and ultimately sad. I got that, I did, but, I’d been to Los Vegas twice. This just wasn’t cutting it.
Not to say that it wasn’t a happening place. I mean, there were no showgirlish cocktail waitresses, no free drinks, no place that you could play the house. In fact, it was too fucking packed to deal with. Mostly geriatric patients.
Due to a nasty case of Lupus, I get a handicap placard for life. That’s right, I never have to pay for parking, because it’s already been paid for - with my youth. Hence, I’ve become quite spoiled when it comes to parking. I try to avoid using the actual handicap spot, but certainly assume they will be available to me in the case of a cold and crowded night like Christmas Day at the Casino. No luck. Rows and rows of handicap parking, all taken. That should have been a clue about what was going on inside, but we went anyway, for all of about 5 minutes. The first four and a half minutes were spent searching for an empty slot machine - any empty slot machine, the last 30 seconds, swiftly losing $20. It was time to leave with the little cash I had allotted for fun that night.
Well neither of us wanted to go home after spending a night searching for Casino parking, and everything in town was closed, so, nervously, we decide to go to a strip club. Mostly, we were curious about the caliber of strippers working on Christmas Day. Both of us had been to strip clubs a few times before, but never with each other, and as I've said, I am a very jealous person, so we didn’t know how it would go.
We pull up to City Limits Showgirls, and leave the car as two ridiculously anxious teenage boys trapped in the bodies of two grown people. We laugh a little bit about how nervous we are. We decide we don’t have to stay long, etc.
We walk in and sit down in the corner, away from the stage, away from the world. Within about a minute, one of the strippers, who is pacing the place in a polka dot bikini, looks very familiar. Her face lights up when she sees me staring. She gives a friendly hello.
It’s Tory from the pool hall.
She walks over to us and effortlessly puts one of her legs between Bear’s leg, and one of her hands on his thigh. She caresses him gently as she chit chats with me about how cute The Texan was and how she wished he hadn’t been so shy.
I ask her about the Biff guy she was with, and she starts to tell us a long story about how he isn’t exactly her boyfriend and all of the reasons why, and as she gets more into her rant, she starts forgetting to carress Bear’s thigh, and instead starts using his leg as a sort of podium for angry gestures.
“… and that’s when I told him, if you don’t come to Christmas dinner at my moms, it’s really over,” she'd say, punching Bear’s leg to accentuate her point.
“Tell that Texan he and I… he and I should play our own game of pool.”
She offers us a couples dance, we decline. She offers a two-for-one, we still aren’t interested. She gives us her phone number, with her real name and all, and we get back to our inner teenage selves, all flattered and shy. We text Frisco and the Texan like crazy. About an hour later, she’s on the stage, stripping to nude, stretching out the lips of her pussy for even the creepy kids in the corner to see.
For those of you lucky enough to have a way with women, perhaps this isn’t a big thing, but for little old me, it’s quite something to be checking out a girl one night in a pool hall, and then the next night, get to see her totally naked.
When we get in the car we are shocked to discover we had actually stayed for two and a half hours. We note the vague sense of both horror and arousal that is left with us from that dark perverted place.
We note that we feel just how Bear and I love to feel.
Although I am certainly not the only woman with a boyfriend willing to go to a strip club, to have one describe it as great because we got to make it into “our own Mystery Science Theater 3,000”… well, I really dig that. Our little dirty dance of love, the girls little dirty pole dance, three aging Krelboynes around a pool table.. what can I say? It’s all the same, truly.
Happy New Year, everyone.