I’m in another country again and more specifically at a strip club. I stared expressionless among the smoke that polluted the room, the pigs that hungered for cheap sex, and the booze that stimulated reckless behavior. These are some of the things that surrounded me at twenty-two, and much like everyone else, I yearned for something. I’d spent the last few years living with the same surroundings in different countries and still felt like everyone was a carbon copy of someone. They’d all rub off on the people they either hated or loved and eventually settled for the same life. They all started to sound the same and nothing bored me more than repetition.
“Is this seat taken?”
“It will be as soon as you decide it’s yours.” I couldn’t make out if she was laughing out of humor or if she’d simply become tongue-tied then it registered why I even bothered questioning something I could care less for and returned to reading the words of Murakami.
“Yes, that’s my name. I figured you weren’t going to ask nor start a conversation with me.”
“OK, now you’ve put me in a bind. What would a lady named Quinn like to drink?”
She tells the bartender to set her up with a classic pomegranate mojito. I find you can tell what a person is going through by the type of poison they order and a pomegranate mojito is a very precise drink that I couldn’t interpret.
“This is the second night I’ve seen you here sitting alone with your book like it’s your goddamn muse. You’re an odd one, aren’t you?”
“I am whatever you want me to be.”
“Be careful with your words. I might ask you to be someone you might not want to be.”
“I dare you to try me.”
By the end of that night her phone was programmed on my phone and she’d set a reminder to meet her the next evening at 7 o’clock.
I don’t know how I lived that way for years—I must have been on autopilot after the tragedy. Those memories all piled into one big container that paralleled between lust and sorrow. It was the same shit with people; exchanging of names, the anticipation of messages for the next time you’d see each other again, and other bullshit things that make company a rare commodity.