And to think, I almost didn’t get in my truck to go see the big game between the Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs because I had just rented a video game from the Box on my way out of the grocery store from getting the kind of peanut butter that they pull the real peanut oil out of and mix in the soy oil-crap and corn syrup so it tastes good. (It was for my dog, not me, because that is the only kind he will take his flea pills with). But my roommate had these prime football tickets and was very proud of his generosity to offer me a free one. So since Rissa was waiting tables at the chain restaurant from hell all weekend and she wouldn’t be bringing me home any steaks since she was closing or some shit, I figured I may as well go and drive 6 hours down to G-ville with the guys instead of putting holes in the enemy on the couch by myself until I beat the whole game. And to think that I almost just stayed at our friend’s Gainesville apartment to smoke weed, and almost didn’t go to that stupid club and only went because I was starving and we were supposed to go to get a sandwich at Flacos afterwards because that little late-night hole-in-the-wall has the best Cubans with cream cheese and in-house strawberry jelly in the south.
It was one of those dance club nights where I seriously wondered again if I needed glasses it was so dark with laser lights searing from behind shit in this unnerving way. Drunk girls kept coming up and talking to me, eyelashes and straw-sipping and I really didn’t want to deal with it. I thought uneasily of Rissa working her cute butt off in that unoriginal, dimly-lit and secretly-dirty restaurant. And these sorority girls here tonight, they all had that look…clingy dress, so short you hope they are wearing shorts underneath…or nothing; heels awkwardly high and obviously, fucking-ridiculously uncomfortable so that you wonder if they are gifted athletes to move in those things or just fools to bother. Sometimes I like that look. Not tonight. The chatter around me was long-straight-blonde-haired giggles and “oh my gawds!” and dudes stressfully amped about the game the next morning at 10:00 am, more drinking tomorrow, kegs and beer pong to set up after the club so they didn’t have to get up early. Sure I like football, especially when I played quarterback before I busted my knee. But win or loose, each game doesn’t either make me want to do monkey back flips or else freak out and look for a fight like my roommate likes to which has been come boringly frequent since Georgia’s not doing so well this season.
But when I was sitting there on the dark velvet couch, trying to take up all the space so no one could try and sit down and spill their drink on me, it was like through my utter irritation at life and the smoke from the damn black box on the DJ booth, everything changed when I saw her. She lit up the entire room gold and I swear the smoke even cleared for a moment. What the hell was she doing here in Gainesville, right there in front of my velvet couch? She didn’t give a shit about sports. She probably didn’t even know who was playing this weekend. When she looked over at me from the dance floor the bass shook my whole body and I wasn’t even sure if it was the bass. Then her sudden, sweet, bright, smile when she realized it was me sent this funny feeling all up my arms and into my chest. I don’t remember even getting up and moving over to her. I just remember how it felt when my bare arm touched the skin on her back and I wanted to just take her out to my truck right then and there and zip her out of that sweet little blue dress. But we both knew that this was it. This was as far as it was going to go right here on the dance floor like everyone else. She seemed perfect to me, the epitome of what every girl here should aspire to dress like, arrange their hair and makeup, how they should smell and dance and breathe and blink, jingle their bracelet on their wrist. This was it. This was what I wanted now more than anything else in the world and I couldn’t breathe her in enough. When I touched her hair I could barely keep my shit together and yet I had to. How much had I had to drink? Nothing yet? Jesus. I just pressed my hand on her back and she laughed and danced so close to me and could feel her body brush against me. I had to close my eyes so I wouldn’t kiss her. I glanced over at who we were dancing next to. Her hot friend looked like an Egyptian queen or something. Then when Odette moved her fingers down my arm I got that God-awful gnawing in my chest. This pain for her was nothing I had known before and I found myself silently gasping, almost panicking to have the opportunity to satiate it. But this was it and all I could do was fight with myself about doing the right thing for Rissa, and not completely loosing myself in this girl that I was never going to stop loving, ever.