Amanda’s Story, Part 3

11 Apr

“Why the fuck did you even invite me?” Amanda squinted at Johnny. He had a really, really stupid face. She couldn’t understand why she’d never noticed before. It was a slab of boyish, angular gristle poking hatefully out from beneath his spiked hair. She wanted to punch it. Behind him, the ball reached the bottom of the pole. Its numbers lit in bright, garish curves. The crowd on TV and the crowd at the bar roared. In both places, people who liked each other moved together and kissed. “Seriously. You fucking fuck.”

Johnny stepped back and took a pull from his beer, turning his face away to scan the bar. Drunkenly and without thinking, Amanda followed his gaze until it buried itself in a bouncing ass sheathed by an unseasonable miniskirt. She thought she saw sequins. “What do you mean? I didn’t really invite you.” Johnny tipped the beer back, swallowing a vast, conversation-stalling gulp. “I just told you that this is where I would be and that you could come out if you want.” A few of the drunker or more enthusiastic couples mashed their faces together with furious, aggressive lust. In an hour or two, those people would be fucking. Amanda felt blind, vicious hate for them burn in her chest. “Why the fuck didn’t you say something earlier?” She shouted at him. “Instead of being here, I could be having sex. I could be having sex right now!

Amanda slid off her bar stool, groping for her keys. She took a step toward the door and stopped. Her car was parked three miles away. In her driveway. Where she’d left it. Liz, her other roommate, had dropped her off on her way out. Two hours earlier, both of them had believed that Amanda wouldn’t need the ride home. Liz was blocks away at Surly Girl, too drunk to remember the names of colors. A barfly slid onto her ass-warm stool and began ordering a drink. Glaring, Amanda drank from her beer.

Johnny moved closer to her. He bent down to her ear, speaking in a slurred crowd-shout. His breath was thick with the smell of used beer. “You’re making me feel like an asshole. I want to be friends. Let’s talk when I’m not fucked up.” He swayed slightly. “Look, can I give you a ride home?” With some vague intent of paying his tab, he turned and tried to wave down the bartender.

“That will not be necessary.” Already digging her phone out of her purse, Amanda spat the words at him and shoved her way toward the door. If ever there were a moment for drunk dialing, this was it. Many things can be said about Amanda. One of them is that she knows her moments. She burst out the front door of Byrne’s, full of rage, beer, and momentary forgetfulness that the walk between Grandview and the Short North is really, really far. Her thumb flicked through her contacts list. She pulled her coat tighter around herself and began to realize that she’d spent all her cash at the bar. None was left over for cab fare. Shivering, she started walking.

She called me. I think I mentioned that. I expressed outrage and sympathy in sincere, appropriate ways.

She called her ex. No one knows why she did that. Amanda didn’t tell me at the time, and now she doesn’t remember. Still, he is a nice guy, as guys go. Probably it was okay.

She called Mike Downey.



Leave a Reply


  1. Jon

    April 22, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Just clicked on a random archive article. I think I miss the days of Polly

  2. Ls

    April 24, 2011 at 8:45 am

    up. date. please!

  3. Dan

    April 24, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    I’m working on an update right now. Sometimes I need my ass kicked in order to start working.

  4. Dan

    April 24, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Oh God, I don’t. Reliving that was unpleasant. I’m glad you liked them, though.