(*Sally: While this story has me doing a public service and attempting to be the chivalrous son you always wished I could be, it has lots of language and honesty about things I have done in the past. Skip it. But trust me when I say, “I did the right thing.”)
I just recently moved from Nashville, TN to the St. Petersburg area of Florida. It was difficult for me to just pick up and leave all of my friends in Nashville, as I have documented in the story I posted here, but as I like to say often is one thing leads to another. Every decision I have ever made has brought me here. Because of the decisions I made throughout my life I have this story to regale you with. This isn’t one of my best stories. It’s not even really that great. I didn’t learn anything from this, but I do feel it is a worthy enough story to pass along. I feel this way mainly because I am pretty sure I met the douchiest guy alive. This guy was so bad I told a condensed version of this story to my dad and he laughed out loud at the story. I texted a very condensed version of this story to a friend of mine and she noted that guys can be such pigs (She’s right. We can be). This is the story about “That Guy”.
I am living here in this little fishing town on the bay in Florida. I moved down here essentially not knowing a soul. I wanted to have the time to sit down and finally write the new novel I have been planning out for quite some time. What I have found is I am too social of a person to sit at home in front of a computer all day long. I need to be around people. Even if I am not talking to anyone I need the constant blustering around me to get my creative juices flowing. So even though I have my house set up as I would like to imagine a writer would have his Floridian fishing-town cabin set up, it doesn’t really get utilized. It’s more decoration so whenever someone comes by the house he or she can note, “My, you have this house set up as though a writer from the 30’s (40’s, 50’s, or 60’s also work) would have his or her house set up. You must be a writer as well.” To which I would act shy about my craft and humbly nod, saying something along the lines of, “Yeah, you know, it’s a job.” One night I decide I can’t sit at home any longer. I had been home for two days and that has been way too long (I don’t stay home two days in a row). The Home Run Derby was that night. I thought it would be a good idea to go out grab a couple of beers and watch the Derby at a bar close to my house. In fact, it is so close I can walk there. Trust me when I say the ability to walk to a bar had a lot to do with my choice of residency. This particular Monday I finished eating dinner around the time the first round of the Derby ended (with the added benefit of no team from New York having a representative in the second round) and thought this would be a good time to take a little stroll down to the pier and grab a couple of beers.
I get to the bar and sit at one of the remaining open seats available in view of the television and ordered a beer. If another seat had been open I never would have met “that guy”, at least in the capacity of which I did.
A few minutes later Tim walks in (Tim is his real name. If you ever meet Tim from Baltimore in Florida know he is a pretty big douche). He was already drunk after being at a happy hour with his roommate not too far away from where we were. You could tell from looking at him he was someone who worked outdoors. He was tanned, with sunglass tan lines, dirty, still wearing the stained t-shirt and shorts he wore to work that day. He came in and sat in a seat two down from me, three down from a couple of girls who were bartenders downtown.
He was probably there less than five minutes and had already alienated his entire side of the bar. I hadn’t been paying attention to him, or anyone else at the bar that night, but I did look over and see that the two bartenders were upset with him.
As most of you know, I have two sisters, a mother and a rather extensive dating history. I am exceptionally adept at making women upset with me. I can typically annoy a woman in less than two minutes if I want to upset one. I know the look on a woman’s face if she is upset, mad, annoyed, peeved, angered, irritated, irked, miffed, bothered, perturbed, or exasperated. Then I know when I’ve really done it and exacerbated the situation with something else I’ve done to get under their skin. I take pride in this fact. This isn’t a fault. This is art at its greatest level. The looks these women had on their faces were looks I had seen in my life, a lot. Tim did not recognize these looks. This was when I started paying attention to what was going on around me and not just the Derby.
Tim started arguing with the women (Good way to get on their good side from my past experiences). Stating he didn’t know why they didn’t just want to hang out with him. He would buy them drinks if they sat near him. I thought to myself, I wasn’t given that option. He just sat down near me. Where’s my free drink?
I could see the two bartenders getting more and more upset as time was going on. I decided to take this time to be a little chivalrous (I’m not always a bad person). I don’t remember exactly what he said that made me realize this but whatever it was sparked something in my memory. I looked at him and said, “You’re from Baltimore, aren’t you?”
He turned away from the two girls and looked at me. They seemed appreciative almost immediately.
“Yeah, man,” he jumped up from his bar stool to show me his Baltimore Orioles and Natural Bohemian tattoos. “I’m Tim.”
“Hey, Tim,” I said. “I’m Matt.”
Tim now moves a seat closer to me and I am suddenly seeing where I may have made a mistake in my plan. Now people are going to assume he and I are friends and that we like each other. I don’t want people thinking that about me.
“Yeah,” he said. “I’m going back up there next month to see my girl. She works at the hospital up there.”
(He was just trying to get the two girls a few seats down to go home with him. Classy guy.)
“Cool,” I said, looking up at the television, wanting him to not talk to me but also not piss off anyone else.
Tim noticed my disinterest and turned to continue to annoy the women. This upsets them and they move all the way to the opposite end of the bar from where Tim and I are. They moved to seats far enough away that Tim couldn’t see them anymore.
“Man, “ he said. “I just want to buy them drinks and maybe take one of them home. Like they can do better. Bitches.”
I just shook my head and drank my beer.
Tim looked around the bar and noticed the only other girls who were in the bar not accompanied by men were just across the horseshoe-shaped portion of the bar from him. One had long reddish-brown hair. The other had the same haircut I did, except hers was black.
“Hey, man,” he said. “They Fucking Lesbian?”
(I capitalized those words because I wanted to insinuate he didn’t exactly yell them, but he didn’t try to make it so they wouldn’t hear him either.)
I lowered my head and was actually embarrassed for this poor person sitting next to me, almost as much as I was for myself sitting next to him. I didn’t know how he could have grown up with as little couth and class as he had. This is coming from a guy who at one point told a 10-year-old kid he could go fuck himself and he would turn out to be a bigger piece of shit than his father (Not my finest moment). That should tell you exactly how little I thought of this person sitting next to me.
The bartender came over and politely requested for Tim to keep it down and informed him he was upsetting all of her customers. He made some snide comments about the other patrons and then mentioned her eyes and how pretty they were. This received a well-deserved eye-roll and she said she had no problem telling him to leave. He asked for another beer, handing her way too much money and said he would quiet down (He is a dirty liar).
The bartender brought his beer back and he excused himself to try to convince somebody, anybody, to sing a karaoke duet with him. The bartender asked if he was bothering me, and I told her it was better he bother me than anyone else. She let me know if Tim started to bother me too much and she would kick him out (She put the fate of this man’s night into the hands of a narcissist. I love being given pointless power). I told her it was fine at the moment, but if he got worse I would be sure to let her know.
Tim came back a moment later saying he was going to be singing a Sublime song with the karaoke singer. I nodded, keeping my attention on the Derby on the television screens behind the bar. I decided not to mention I have hated Sublime since the 90’s, he would probably have stated something obnoxious back to me and I would have had him thrown out (I should have said something).
He sat down and regaled me with a story that I will try to recreate for you all now:
“I was up there this one time and this law school bitch was here and I figured I would see if I could take her home and fuck her. We are making out on the dance floor and she’s all feeling my shit up and I’ve got my hands basically up in her pants. We ball out and head back to her place, and I’m like, Yeah, I’m in! We get to her house and she says her boyfriend would be home soon and I should probably go. I didn’t even have my car. I had to walk to find a cab. Stupid slut, why would she lead me on?”
(I don’t know. I’m guessing you probably accosted her on the dance floor. Somehow convinced her to give you a ride home. Then attempted to get her to take you to her place. She freaked out and drove to a boy friends, not boyfriends, house hoping he was home. Told you it was her boyfriend’s house so you would go away. I’m also guessing she had already dialed 9 and 1 on her cell phone because you reek of date rape to me.)
At this point two girls walked in, unsuspecting of what (I won’t even give Tim the proper pronoun of who) they were about to be sitting near. They sit down and order their drinks from the bartender. Tim said something to them (I don’t know what it was, I think it had to do with wanting his lighter) and they immediately wrote him off as someone they would not want to engage in conversation. One had her back turned to him, the other had her arms crossed across her chest in a defensive stance. Tim couldn’t seem to read the body language, even though it was pretty obvious. He continued to call out to them in the rudest and most degrading ways (cat calls and whistles don’t work on any girl you would want anyway), ignoring the fact they weren’t paying the slightest amount of attention to him. He apparently had not read this blog (posted by a friend of mine) on how to properly approach women in a bar and what to do, and not to do, when talking to a woman (She’s pretty smart).
This is wear Tim decided he and I were friends, or at least should be friends. He turned and looked at me and decided these words were the ones that would be the first toward a long and fruitful friendship: “You totally gay?”
Now, I have been confused for gay many times in my life. I typically take that to mean I am good looking and well put together, with a stylish haircut. Yes, it is true I prefer V-necks to crew necks. I do, in fact, still wear earrings in both ears. I work out quite a few times a week so I don’t start to gain weight. All of this is due to my narcissism. Although, I can see how that mistake can be made. I did know that Tim’s approach was not the way to broach the subject. Considering the person we are referring to though, this may be the most sensitive way he’s ever brought up the subject with a guy he met at the bar only moments before.
“I’m not even a little gay,” I replied.
“You’re not?” he asked, voice filled with genuine surprise.
“No,” I said again, looking back at the television.
“This is the way I see it then,” he went on. “There are two girls over there, and there are two of us. Will you take the fat one?”
I looked at him with shock. I was completely bewildered someone like this exists in the world. What sort of monumental parental fuck up created someone like this person? Do parents of these people actually brag about their children to others? I understand I am not the picture of morality. Anyone who has read all of my stories knows that. I understand that in my youth I did some pretty terrible things to women and I would like to think I’ve been forgiven by apologizing to them for the sins I committed in my past life.
How difficult is it to treat people with the respect you would want them to treat you with? Why actively attempt to upset, or annoy people (This does not qualify for sisters, girlfriends, or friends you already know on a personal level. It is fine to do that to them anytime you want to)? It just makes you look like a complete and total jackhole in public and makes people like me, people who genuinely like people, actively dislike you. Then I write a story for everyone to read about you and how truly large of a jackhole you are (There are nice people who deserve to have stories written about them, you are a walking Public Service Announcement).
I have been on a kick recently of explaining to people it is just easier to be nice to people than to be mean. I learned that fact years ago. People who say they don’t like people and don’t see the need to be nice to others seem to live sad and pathetic lives. Maybe this affliction stems from people not thinking they deserve respect from anyone else, so they show others the respect they believe they themselves deserve. Maybe their mother’s didn’t hold them enough as a baby so they don’t know what good self-esteem feels like. Maybe Tim from Baltimore just feels his self worth is so low he doesn’t need to treat anyone else with respect either.
Look at me making excuses for him. He’s just a jackhole. If you ever meet him, turn and walk away. He isn’t worth the oxygen you are sharing with him at the moment.