“Jesus is Just Alright,” by the Moody Blues plays overhead from the drop off parking area of the casino. The Beachside Resort and Casino.
My wife and I were blazed as fuck, I mean tore up, when we walked out to meet our shuttle driver for the satellite hotel, who was waiting to take us back down the main strip. His name was Stan, Stan the man, “Ok here we geaux folks,” the music is drowned out as the double doors to the van shut, the brakes squeeze, sqwoosh, and we head out. Stan is a nice guy, a good ‘ole fashioned kind of gay, never realized it, kept repressing it, for the longest time until he had a daughter, with his ex wife, Sherry. moved out, got divorced. Now he drives the Beachside shuttle at nights and waits tables at a breakfast diner down the strip. It’s not exactly a gay Haven out here, so it’s kind of a lonely existence if it weren’t for his daughter, which is exactly why he has no regrets.
We’re here celebrating my 36th. We got a whole day before the kids meet us, so we’re doing it right, just like the old days, smokin’, drinkin’, fuckin’, we plan on being the seediest couple in the motel tonight, we won’t be.
Terry Ann catches a ride with Stan the man, she sits in the way back, in the shadows, with her thirteen y/o granddaughter, who sits, mortified, looking bored like a real sweetheart, “ch’ya ri ight, chhh’ this little sweetheart right here won’t do her chores, won’t do her homework, and I know she’s stealin’ my rum.”
Anyway Terry Ann tells us we’re a real sweet couple, she starts talking us up, like she done any night a young couple is in town, plenty of em pass through, that’s all this town is anyway, passers through, drunks, lovers, sunsetters, and Terry Ann.
Moxie doesn’t like Terry Ann, well she doesn’t not like her, she just kinda can’t stand being around her, it’s a constant reminder of how her mother left her, and her daddy, who’d been leaving both of them since she can remember.
Terry Ann’d been following booze all her life. Grew up about an hour south of Coeur d’Alene Idaho, followed her first drunk husband to Spokane, settled down, got beat, had her only daughter. After the last time she got beat she took her daughter and left, continued on to the coast. “Hey, we drove through Coeur d’Alene once on our way to Montana.” Her daughter did about the same as she did, married a drunk and an abuser, though she was smart, “‘cause he was native.” When her daughter left Terry Ann took in Moxie and they been doin’ the best they could ever since.
“Did’ya get to spin the wheel?” she said under a half buried smile. She knows we spun the wheel, they all spin the wheel.
Stan the Man sure was being quiet, and that silence made me feel isolated, watched. How did I get this way anyway, so separated from anyone else, where does that come from? now it all starts to sink in, the quietude of space. I’m an asshole. How will Moxie remember this interaction? probably not much in the long term, but it’ll probably be thrown in with the other late night shuttle ride conversations, people being fake, distant, polite, but acting like they’re on some kind of pedestal, what makes me better than them? cause I live in a bigger town, cause I have other addictions that I think are ‘better’. Goddamn I’m an asshole. now this karma shit starts to hangover my head, like ‘cause I’m responsible for contributing to Moxie’s fucked up outlook on life, and furthering her alienation from people. Aren’t we all just furthering our alienation from people. We pull up to the motel, the brakes squeeze and Stan opens the door at the same time the shuttle comes to a stop. Thank cod. we stand up and I, trying to make up for my previous self, turn to Terry Ann and Moxie and say, “Well it was real nice to meet you,” and shake her hand. But that doesn’t do anything to make me feel better, because that’s exactly it, I was trying to make myself feel better.
We get into the motel room and my wife disappears to put on her new bra and panties she bought just for tonight. in order to get myself in the mood I turn on reruns of Seinfeld,
Kramer: I still don’t understand what the problem is having her in the building.
Jerry: Let me explain something to you. You see, you’re not normal. You’re a great guy, I love you, but – – you’re a pod.
“Oh. My. God. this is disgusting, I can’t believe it! There is a stain in my new panties!”
“Do you think someone tried them on and…”
“Could you go look at them?” sure enough slug trail down the crotch.
“That’s like a dude trying on underwear and starting to jerk it and like precumming in them and putting them back. Ooh maybe that’s what happened…”
“Cause women aren’t perverts right? if it was a woman then people need to know, we can’t just have everyone thinking that only guys are perverts that precum in the dressing room at a department store and put the underwear back on a shelf… Where’s my phone?”
“Oh, I can’t believe it!”
“I,” Seinfeld continues, “on the other hand am a human being, I sometimes feel awkward, uncomfortable, even inhibited in certain situations with the other human beings…”
“Terry Ann and Moxie were really sweet,” I say distractedly. “I can’t believe I forgot to introduce us.”
“Who the fuck is Terry Ann and Moxie?”
“From the shuttle,”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, they never even said their names. And plus she was drunk.”