I didn’t want to see K at chops 2. She wanted me to meet her at chops 2.
I decided to go because I wanted to see and feel her breasts mindlessly. She agreed to
come back with me to my place afterwards.
The twenty something hipsters were out in droves. They don’t recognize anyone
older than themselves so I looked at them without them noticing that I was looking at
them. They looked like another species with their smooth white skin and vibrant
hair and glassy eyes.
K and I hung at the bar. She was drinking cranberry vodka and red bull.
I hope you don’t mind I chain smoke, K said.
No, I said.
K works as an RN to a nurse who she thinks has ocd because she is rigid.
They treat alcoholics and heroin addicts.
There are more and more heroin addicts, K said. I don’t know where they come from.
They don’t look like what you would think. They don’t look like anything. Portland
has a serious heroin problem. They die if they aren’t treated. We get them on this drug
I forget what it is called. It’s not as addictive as methadone.
I know this fifty year old woman I said. Her daughter has been off heroin for a year.
I used to be a cocaine addict, K said. When I was abusing drugs heroin wasn’t as available as it is now.
K and i kissed. Her mouth was an ashtray. I kept my tongue inside my mouth.
I would like to see you less subdued K said. I think you get loose when you are sexual.
K said she had dated two men one of whom reminded her of me.
He’s intelligent she said. You’re intelligent.
Not particularly, I said.
You’re being, modest.
No not really, I said.
You intrigue me, K said.
You intrigue me is the same as to say you are a mystery. I think it is a lazy thing to say.
There is less and less to say in this life. Anyone who is forty has had the shit kicked out of them and has the capacity to understand what most any brilliant person can pull out of their ass. Why do women feel the need to tell me that they think I’m intelligent when they clearly are interested in something other than intelligence. I’m lonely. I want someone to be with and to have a beer and look at young and middle aged folk make asses of themselves. The last think I want is to fuck unless I feel like it and that is rare.  The woman I want is the one that hurts to look at for longer than a second and is unavailable.
K introduced me to an interesting black woman called Winter.
I write songs, winter said.
Americans are so cool, I said. They have a culture that undermines everything. When I saw and heard the karaoke last night I remembered how the Americans are the first
at everything. They do everything first.
Thats not necessarily cool, Winter said.
It’s bad and good, I said.
Yes, Winter said.
I wore a dress and make up on New Years Eve, Winter said. I showed Cho my pussy. He had to take a picture of it. It was right there. He had no choice.
Cho has a cot in his office. He sleeps there whenever he likes. He spends thousands of dollars on the gambling machine. He is all about the money. He fraternizes with the regulars and plays golf with them.
WInter flashed her toothy yellow smile. I liked her. She gave me hope that there was something more to life than the modern condos that have been popping up around us like mushrooms.
I believe in the soul K said. I believe there is something after life.
My believe in something immaterial lies between the idea of a soul and karaoke.
I’m bi polar K said. I’m stable. I have daughters and I have a job.
We need to take it slow, I said.
I hope you’re not judging me, K said.
Why would I judge you, I said.
Tell me about the time you worked with the insane people, I said.
There were four of them, K said. Their living space was next to a building. They had constructed it for them. They had been institutionalized all their lives. They
had them on many medications, too many to count. They got worse over the four years that I took care of them. I hated them. I knew they were ill. I didn’t want to hate them but I did. They got to me. They tried to get to me. And they did. There were days they were lucid but the next day one of them would be like the niggers are trying to kill me and there was no reasoning with him and I didn’t have the energy to reason with him. I was a burn out. One time I was in the kitchen preparing food and one of them went at me. He had never attacked me the four years I worked with him. He threw a ceramic plate at me. I was scared.
The bartender is gay, K said. He thinks you are cute.
I didn’t say anything.
Her boozy medicated gaze and my boozy medicated gaze were steady.
K had a brace around her swollen left ankle. She ordered a Radio cab to take us
a few blocks to our Granada apartments.
I like to walk, K said.
We should try it, I said.
Okay, K said. Radio cab will never show.
I know a short cut, K said.
We walked through a school park. K walked very fast as if she was gliding which was insane because she said her ankle was in bad shape.
At my apartment K and I reclined on my shitty brown couch. I really like you she said
I don’t want my heart broken. H hurt me. He was my fiancee. He writes like yourself.
We had great chemistry. He fucked me five times and still wanted to fuck. He wants it all or nothing. He’s into extremes like myself. He ran to the monastery. He was an orthodox Christian. He wanted to be a monk. He was a monk and then he came back to me to fuck and to be in my arms. I did this for four years with him and then I couldn’t do it anymore. I still think I may fuck him if he comes to me.
K’s face looked enormous and like it was growing. I felt like a Buffalo head was staring at me.
Can you show me your breasts, I said.
I’ll show them, K said. But on my terms. I first want to smoke a cigarette.
Can you show them while you smoke, I said.
I can do that, K said.
I would like that, I said.
K smoked her cigarette and only when she was done showed me her sloppy breasts that weren’t as perfect as I thought they were when she sent me a pic of them.
You are disappointed, she said.
No, I said.
I’d rather you tell me now if you don’t want to see me, K said.