I don't even know... how to get into what happened last night. I really just fucking don't. I'm so out of practice with this drunken debauchery nonsense.
The long and the short of it is, I feel like shit. I look like shit. Some fucking fucker's wandering around out there with my phone number and the notion to make me his 'girlfriend', and the last time I saw Smalltown, we were walking down a main street in broad daylight -- he stopped to answer the phone, I kept walking. I don't remember why. I think I was angry.
It would have been justified, given that a man stopped us and tried to basically buy me off him, prattling on about me being from Russia, none of which Smalltown understood, and Smalltown, being not at all out of his natural frame of mind, turned around and told the man that I like sex. Just like that. For no reason. And didn't see the fucking danger he had just fucking placed me in at all.
This was after he tried to start a fight with a Canadian fucking asshole three times his size, because the prick tried to intimidate me. Seeing that Smalltown had had enough, and returning from the bathroom to see two shots setting on the bar in front of him, assuming that one was for me, I turned and quickly dumped both shots into an empty beer glass and shoved it at the bar tender, who flicked his eyes up at me, tilted his head, and then emptied the glass into the sink after I nodded. The two men turned back to me after finishing whatever nonsense they were talking about.
Smalltown: "Where's da shots?"
Me: "Drank 'em."
Smalltown: "Both of them?"
Smalltown: "Right on, Liz! Dats da fucking spirit, love!"
Canadian asshole: "Now wait just a minute, you drank his shot? That's not right, man. That's not right."
Smalltown: "Ah it's fine, sure! She's a fucking trooper, dis one!"
Canadian asshole: "That's just not right. You." Pointing a finger and leaning into my personal space. "Buy him another shot. Now."
Me: "..... Fucking. Excuse me?"
CA: "Buy him another shot."
Me: ".... I'm sorry. Are you telling me what to do right now? I don't suggest that."
Smalltown, edging his way between us, after I stepped forward, rather than back, after the man entered my personal space: "Look man. Don't.... don't fucking do dat, alright? She may not look like it but she'll break a bottle over your fucking skull quicker den you realize. Just don't do dat, alright?"
CA, ignoring Smalltown, pushing him out of the way, and staring me down: "I don't believe we've met. I'm [some fucking longass name] of the [whatever] clan from Ireland." Taking my hand and squeezing the fucking fuck out of it. "We've been around for a long time. And we're not going fucking anywhere anytime soon."
Me: "Why are you trying to intimidate me right now? Do you think it's cute that no one in this room knows that you're squeezing the fuck out of my hand right now, trying to intimidate me?"
His grip tightened.
From there, it's all a little hazy. But basically, he ended up screaming, "FUCK YOU!" over and over again at the top of his lungs from across the bar, while I held both of Smalltown's hands and murmured to him quietly to just look into my eyes, that there was no one else there but me and him, no one else mattered, just keep watching my eyes, don't look away from them, after Smalltown got into such a fucking rage that there was about to be serious fucking trouble if his eyes broke away from me and fell on that asshole, even for a second.
After thoroughly embarrassing himself with this display, while Smalltown and I appeared to be not engaged with it at all, quietly holding hands and whispering to each other in the back, not in the least disturbed, the cunt fucked off to whatever rock he crawled out from under.
I had already stopped one (more amicable) fight earlier that night, between Smalltown and a Korean man, this time by impressing the hell out of myself with my adaptation of Korean style pouting. To the credit of whoever that guy is out there with my number, he was a grade A fucking gentleman for the time we were seated with him, and his five (also Korean, also male) friends. When Smalltown bought another round of shots, he saw me trying to convince Smalltown not to drink it.
"You don't like it when men drink too much?"
"Yes, I don't like it. I really hate it."
He left his own shot untouched on the table, and wouldn't budge even when his friends were calling him out for it. And when Smalltown and one of the other men got it into their heads that it would be really fucking funny to have it out for a laugh outside the bar, seeing that Smalltown was already beyond reasoning with, with that crazy drunk look in his eyes, I just fell back on the other men for assistance. Fuck it.
Sullen face, body turned away. "Forget it. You men do whatever you want. It's nothing to me. Forget it." Bam. Subject instantly dropped. Smalltown having it explained to him in peckish English that I'm "very sad", while the other men gathered around to comfort me, ruffling my hair, telling me not to be sad, not to be angry. Smalltown taking it all to heart and grabbing me around the neck from behind into a bear hug until I had to give up the act, breaking into a smile. Gotcha. You cunt.
And later. Smalltown still drinking. Telling me that I'm bigger than Korea, better. That if I'm still here in 30 years, he'll fucking cry himself sick over the waste, because I should be out there making art -- that I'm better than these fucking stupid teaching jobs. That I'm too fucking talented to waste myself here. That I'm' bigger than all the rest of these fuckers combined. That he's got his issues recognizing his own worth, but mine are miles wider than his.
Me, knowing Smalltown's personal history, sitting unaffected with a fucking grin on my face. What? What are you fucking smiling at, girl? I'm trying ta level wit ya here!
Because you're full of shit. Because you know how much having one fucking teacher who doesn't think you're a total dumbass, piece of shit, waste of time could change things. Fuck the art. I don't give a fuck about the art. Who fucking reads poems, anyway? Fuck them. Fuck the poems. Fuck all those people. I don't give a shit about them.
Fist to my fucking heart, in that intensely drunk, deep way. My students. Even if I don't do shit for them. They do more for me than any fucking poem I've ever written. It's not even about that. I'm no fucking Jesus. I can't save the world. But put a poem next to a student. I feel one of these stronger than the other. So it's beneath me. So I'll be a fucking pathetic loser scumbag who fucked off to a joke of a job and never came back. I don't care.
You're immense, Liz. You're fucking immense.
You're immense, too. And I'm grateful for you.
So how did it end with me casually strolling away from him on the street? I'm not sure. This is why I don't drink unless my personal life is in fucking order. Because I hate getting messy. And last night, I was definitely messy. Too angry, too intense. I've never chosen my own anger over Smalltown's saftey before, but last night I just didn't give a fuck. And I can't even tell you why.
So I suppose I've got some phone calls to make. And I went back out there to try it again. It's not worth it.