Andi, part 2

10 Jan

“Don’t you just love that?”

We hadn’t spoken for endless minutes, but I hadn’t been thinking about that. I’d been looking out the passenger window at the passing one-story houses of Dayton’s semi-suburban satellites, trying to convince my body and brain that their experiences of motion were in fact identical, and that, therefore, I did not need to lean my head between my knees to puke on the floor mat. Also, the window and the outside beyond it were on the opposite side of my head from Andi, helpfully preventing me from seeing her. I could hear the faint clattering sound of her lifting her Miller tallboy from the cup holder and sipping from it, but actually watching it made me nervous. She shifted the transmission through hills and curves, wedging her beer against the steering wheel with one hand while with the other she manipulated her needlessly complex radio. I think it was the sort of radio that can talk to satellites. Probably she also watched the road. Thinking made me queasy. I sipped my own beer, hoping that it would calm my stomach, or my nerves, or something. Two more tallboys lay behind my seat, rolling fretfully, still wrapped in convenience-store plastic. According to Andi, this was what she did to unwind. It was about three o’clock, and we’d just left the bar where we’d spent the afternoon.

I looked blearily at her, sharply aware that I had no idea what she was talking about. It had been that way since we met.

“Um, what?” I asked.

“Comfortable silence. Good job, high five!” With her beerless hand, she high-fived me. Cheerfully exceeding the speed limit, she swept the car around a curve, never swerving. “What did you think of that bar?”

The bar, a nondescript sports bar in the corner of a Centerville strip mall, had been tended by Becky, a grimily pretty girl with big tattoos and dirty fingernails. She was the sort of person who looked like she might give you something itchy if you slept with her, but she also made the part of your brain that is stupid think that maybe being itchy is not the worst thing. Strangely, I’d known her from Columbus. She and Neal had been friends, and we’d first met during a drunken evening of watching Australian westerns. She had a persistent habit of giving me her phone number and then pretending not to know me when I called. By then, I’d learned not to take these things personally. Andi and Becky bonded over an improbably personal conversation about Becky’s recent bankruptcy, while I listened passively, watching the two of them. Andi punctuated their conversation with questions to me about the quality of Becky’s ass whenever she went to the other side of the bar to serve the only other patron at two in the afternoon. Becky’s ass met with my approval. Andi then tipped forty dollars on four gin-and-tonics, gassed up her Mercedes, and bought cheap beer to go.

“It was all right. I mean, it was weird to see Becky. I thought she still lived in Columbus, and I haven’t seen her in months. Is it—“

“Do you want to see the river?” she interrupted me.

I’d thought we were driving randomly, but clearly she’d had this destination in mind. We came upon a park, and she pulled her car into a space with the easy grace of a habitual drunk. I stepped dizzily out of the car and followed her as she avoided the marked trail and walked into a space between two trees. We walked a few dozen yards until we found a small embankment. The Great Miami, brown with sediment, flowed beyond it.

“Let’s go swimming,” she demanded.

I thought about it. I didn’t have any swimming trunks and I wasn’t wearing boxers, less out of hope that Andi might take off my pants than so that I could still fit my thickening torso into my adorably hopeful size 32 corduroys.

“No, not really. I’m not much of a swimmer.”

She looked out over the choppy water.

“Well, I’m going to swim. Close your eyes,” she said.


She peeled off her shirt and thrust it into my hands.

“Close your eyes, I said. And don’t drop this.”


Leave a Reply


  1. Jon

    January 11, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Haha, restraint Dan! “Don’t stick your dick in crazy,” right?

  2. Jon

    January 11, 2011 at 8:48 pm

  3. Dan

    January 13, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Yeah, I think I heard about that before. There’s just something hypotic about reading these sorts of stories.