Jim was aware of his surroundings and then he wasn't.
It was as if he had at last achieved equilibrium with his
surroundings and this gave him comfort. Or had he?
Or was this just another illusion? He was teetering
between two maybe three states of conciousness one
battleing with the other for supremacy. A high wire
act between the two nether worlds and not quite
exactly sure if he could straddle the two, or worse still,
fail. The music appeared to make sense and his drink
felt cold between his hands, and therefore, he reasoned,
he still had one leg in the real world.
Someone was asking Jim if he'd like another drink but
Jim could only manage a quick smile and then resumed
examining his surroundings for the warning signs. "How
did it all leed to this?" he asked himself over and over
again: "Why here? Why now? Is this my destiny?"
"Hi, my name is Alison. Do you come here often?"
Jim wondered if her question was an attempt to trick
him. Jim didn't know what to make of Alison's question.
"Is she just making small talk? Or was it that obvious to
everyone around him," Jim worried.
Jim said "Yes, I've been here a couple of times." Jim
wondered if this response would settle for good any
further discussion with her or would it leed to more
questions and then there would no end to it. Jim
"Do you live around here?" she asked.
Jim debated whether or not he should answer the
question honestly or not. "I may have cash lying around,"
he said to himself: "Yes, I live around the corner," Jim
blurted out, then rebuked himself for doing so. Maybe
now she would leave him alone now that she knew where
he lived. "But don't they already know where I live," he
thought. Jim began to consider exit strategies. It wasn't
that Alison wasn't pleasant enough and attractive to look
at, it was just that Jim had too much on his mind to
acquire any new friends this week. Jim then began
willing his beeper to go off. Any excuse to get away from
her. And then he said to Alison: "Believe you me, I'm not
in a position to establish any new relationships. I want to
surround myself with the people I find important and then
maybe later I'll brush up against you again, but at this
moment in time, a dark force is guiding my actions, and I
must tread lightly. Can't you feel it too?"
"Did you say something?"she replied nonchalantly.
Alison then went into a long tirade about how no one
apprectiated her at work until her words were drowned
out by the hard beat of the music.
"Maybe we should go somewhere else?" she whispered
in his ear.
Jim's left hand began to twitch as he examined all of
Alison's possible motives for wanting to leave. "Where
did you have in mind?" he said.
"How about my place? We can listen to some records
and share a bottle of wine."
Jim began again to straddle the ground between here
and never never land and his language and behavior
reflected it. "Out with the old - yes sir! - no sir! In
with the new, hey sweetheart, what's your name again?
I'm passing and not doing a very good job, am I?"
"Honey, you're passing with flying colors; and it's
It could still proceed to suggestive commentary and
crude gestures. It was still too early to tell. Jim
needed an excuse to just walk away. "I need to
make an important phone call."
"Here, you can use my cell phone."
"Thanks, what's your name again?"
"I've already told you. It's Alison."
"Listen Alison, you're right, let's go to my place. Care
to join me?"
"Sure, why not."
Jim pulled a crumpled pile of greenbacks from his front
pocket and began counting them out on the bar.
"Hey, you're dropping your money all over the place."
Jim had shifted gears and 4-lanes had now become six.
Jim began concocting biblical stories in his head to
impede his trip into never never land. "Dear God above,
I gotta pee."
"I'll go with you."
"You'd do that for me?" Jim remembered the story of
the man who had washed Jesus' feet and Jim pictured
Alison holding his winky while he winked.
The Men's restroom was empty and Alison began
finger-combing her hair in front of the mirror while Tim
struggled to release his penis from his pants. His zipper
had become entangled in his underwear.
"Here, let me help you."
Alison, standing in front of Jim and using deft precision,
as if handling a pair of tweezers, unzipped Jim's pants
and gently removed his penis.
"Now turn around and face the urinal!" she commanded.
Jim began to weep. Jim was experiencing Nirvana and
Enlightenment simultaneously. This was the meaning of
everything he thought to himself. Jim's attitude toward
humanity swelled with love and admiration as he emptied
his bladder into the filthy pocelain urinal.
"Do I have to shake it for you, too."
"You feel experienced. Would you please?"
"I had three brothers."
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"Just kidding. God, you're so tense!"
Jim did not know what to say because he did feel tense.
Alison's quick jerks caused Jim's penis to expand in her
"I suppose you'd like for me to help you out with this
little problem too?"
Jim came to his senses momentarily and reclaimed his
penis. "Alison, what are we doing here?"
"We're having a pee. Don't worry so much. Give me
Jim kissed Alison hard on the mouth, grabbed her hard,
and pulled her out of the restroom. Jim lead the way and
Alison had to pick-up her pace to keep up. The room
was thick with people and smoke and Jim found an
empty corner near the entrance.
"Why do you like?"
"I don't know. I just do."
Jim broke away from Alison and staggered out the exit
falling onto the street pavement out front. A small crowd
of on-lookers gathered around him.
"Jim, are you hurt?"
"I'm okay, I suddenly felt pinned in and had to get out."
"Come to my place and I'll fix you a cup of coffee."
Allison helped Jim to his feet and they began walking
together. The night was perfect. And they came to his
building at the end of the block and Jim suddenly
covered his face in shame because it could not possible
be him at this hour of the night. It was in fact his Uncle
himself, powdered and silk-stockinged, reeking of
cannabis, and wearing a brocaded dressing-gown and
snapping his fingers to and fro as if gesturing the letter 'Z'.
"Oy!" said Jim.