Sunday, January 17, 2010

The night I saw the hooker get pimp slapped

I stepped out of a bar in Wrigleyville to answer a phone call, when a short, antsy guy, who looked like Gumby, had bought me an undeserved and unwanted drink. It was hot and bright in the bar, so every witnessed annoyance was amplified by the vision of misfits dancing to horrible hit songs from 5 years ago. Everyone in the crowd sweat profusely, and skin to skin dancing fogged the windows of the small room.

I answered the call, and stepped to the curb to hail a cab towards different friends on a different street. Drunkenly, I chatted for a few moments with a fairly normal looking guy and girl who were parked blocking the street before me on a motorcycle. The guy, in sort of a cliche leather jacket, looked to be in his mid-twenties, and had elemental features. I could draw him. The girl was a bit younger, blonde, and almost annoyingly enthusiastic. They asked if I wanted to go around the block a few times on the bike, and thanks to Gumby's drink I chugged, and a few shots seconds before that, I got on. I figured I needed a ride anyways.

We drove back and forth on Clark street a few times, sort of weaving through the always-static traffic. It was funny at the time to see all of the staggerings from the outside angle; girls in shirt-dresses, and packs of twenty-something guys watching them. All of the really cool bouncers who own the street, and the entertaining bums who sit down next to it and wave. I always get this intrusive feeling that I know strangers. I'm wrong a lot.

The girl, named Kate, was annoyingly enthusiastic about the idea of coming with me to meet my friends at Maxbar. 'Eh, sure why not.' She asked Chad (leather jacket) if we could just stop first at some Mexican place a bit west. I sort of lost attention on the way, but heard Kate grumbling explanations of where to turn. Left, left, right, right, left? I didn't know. My head was searching through the city bright for stars. We pulled up to this semi-hidden bar on a side street where an assortment of characters were taking smoke breaks with others taking fresh air breaks with the smokers. It was an interesting crowd. Some obese girls, some skinny sick looking ones, men of every race, but all with dark eyes. It isn't an exaggeration to say that no one was smiling, which I noted as sort of a funny thing at the time. I was making jokes in my head about what a pleasure it was to be there.

So we're sluggishly getting off the bike when a little Mexican man, with grey hair and grey mustache lines running right into a frown, walks over to us fast. He didn't say a word but looked up at Kate and SLAPPED her, hard, across the face. It seemed like fast motion because I couldn't even gather what was going on until she had already methodically followed him into the bar. Chad and I did all the 'what the hell was thats' outside for a few minutes, collecting thoughts and theorizing. Non of the frowners in the smoke and fresh air seemed to give a shit. I needed an investigation.

We went inside of the bar to peek around a bit. I had to pee very badly but thought twice and declined after re-examination of this place and the people. Chad and I took seats on a slightly elevated spot of the bar to look for Kate and the Mexican slapper. Chad suitingly bought us a few coronas with lime, which matched nicely with the festive decor. It made me burst into hilarity thinking of him matching his jacket to the bike, the coronas to the bar, and how endlessly exhausting that would be to coordinate your tastes by context.

I could see Kate now, dancing in the middle of the floor with a few black men in suits, one tall and one short. She was grinning a bit and giving both men equal affection. I was weirded out, but so overwhelmingly confused by the situation. I walked over to her. "Hey uh.. Kate- still want to come to Maxbar? (pause) aaaaand are you ok?" She prompted from dancing grin to excited smile, but smilingly responded that she'd need some time. "Oookie dokie." I was drunk and audacious, and spotted the Mexican slapper.

He was sitting at the bar, looking towards her and the others dancing. He was surrounded by a few other cross-armed Mexican men, not quite as old but still grey. I asked Slapper why Kate needed to be there. I kept the inquiry casual, figuring a twenty questions duel would make me get slapped too. "She's working." "What exactly does she do here?" "She works." "Oook fair enough see you later." I left.

Chad followed after me and offered still to give me a ride to Maxbar. We reviled over Kate for a minute, and she suddenly popped back to the side walk with that same dancing grin on her face. Chad tried to call her name, but she was in some sort of drug comatose, or otherwise crazy. We drove away and I turned, watching her talk to the smokers, wondering what the hell happened to her.

Shortly after, I found my friends at Maxbar. It's obnoxious there; the house music, even more packs of seething guys, and girls with overdone makeup stagger in and wave their arms singing. "This is my song!" A bit sobered up now, I pondered the verity, and sipped on an overpriced, overdone martini, context appropriate.

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