Monday, February 18, 2013

Valentine's Night

Coarse language ahead

Oh Valentine's Day.

For people who have significant others, it's day where you get together and do god-awful things, like snuggling or taking screenshots of your seven-hundred-mile FaceTime conversation. Go kill yourselves.

For single people, and/or for those who don't give a shit, it's just another Thursday. And that's what it was to me. I was actually helping my brother on a school project where he had to make a diagram where the layers of the Earth were pointed-out.

It was 7.25, and I was researching an image of Earth's layers. Crust, lithosphere, asthenosphere, upper mantle, lower mantle, outer core, inner core. Then I was cutting out a section out of a foam sphere when my phone rang.

It was friend Alyssa. She asked me if I was doing anything, I replied "no". I asked why, and she asked me if I wanted to go to the hookah bar I had gone to the week before. She went on explain that her boyfriend, while recharging the radiator's water supply, was burned when the cap popped off and hot water sprayed all over him. 

"Is he O.K.?" I asked. She said that he was in pain, and there's wasn't much she could do, other than apply a topical anesthetic. She added that she didn't want to just sit there seeing him in pain, so she decided to go on without him. In addition, the bar was selling its existing stock of hookah because a new set were coming in. She was going to buy one, and "nothing was going to get in [her] way."

Alyssa asked me at the end of the explanation, "So can you get ready in thirty minutes?"
I replied, "Yeah, sure. I just have to take a shower."
"Alright," she said, "I'll be outside in half-an-hour."

At that point, it was 7.30, so I quickly finished cutting out the section out of the foam sphere and rushed to the bathroom to shower. 

After a ten-minute delay, I was in the shower when the phone rang. With the water still on, I answered it and Alyssa said she was outside.

"O.K., well I'm still in the shower. There was a slight delay, so I'll be out later than usual."

I washed off, and soon enough was clothed, and ready to go. I couldn't find my wallet though. I didn't want to go through what happened to Cynthia the week before, I so I frantically searched for it until I found it on top of some envelopes. Then I couldn't find my shoes, they were under a chair in the living room.

After all that, I quickly grabbed my cell phone, my SKA scarf, and rushed outside to meet Alyssa. It was 8.15.

I got into the Corolla and away we went.

On the ride to Pantego, she told me that her boyfriend's injuries weren't severe, but that the skin from his nipple had gone missing. "Oh my God! Is his nipple intact?" I asked. She assured that it was, but that some skin had gone off.

Along the way, she asked if I wanted to smoke. "Sure, why not?"

We cut across a parking lot and made it to a CVS/pharmacy that was on the corner. We walked up to the counter and Alyssa asked the cashier for the Camel brand. The cashier asked for an I.D., and without hesitation, pulled it out. But when it came time to pay for the cigarettes, she couldn't find her wallet. So she sent me to look for it. 

I walked to the Corolla, and looked, but I didn't find anything, let alone know, I had no fucking idea on how it looked like. Two minutes later, she came out and said she had left it at home. After some expletives that I don't remember, we started the drive back to her house.

Fifteen minutes later, we got her wallet, and began the drive back.
We were talking when she asked me a serious question.

"Did you ever have a crush on Lupe?"
I know this was Valentine's Day and everything, but I answered it regardless.

"Well, yeah, I did. It was before she got back together with [The Archenemy]. When I found out they were back together, I dropped it."
Alyssa, in her wisdom, said, "You should have fought for her."
"I would have," I replied, "but her and [The Archenemy] have history. They were in my freshman biology class. They were always hanging around one another. For a time, I thought [The Archenemy] was gay."

Alyssa laughed it off the 'gay' notion as we drove up on a convenience store. We bought the cigarettes there, the same kind as she was going to purchase at the CVS, and we began the long drive to Pantego.

Fast-forward fifteen minutes.

We park outside the Lebanese restaurant, and walk inside to be met by a waiter with hazel eyes. I'm a sucker for coloured eyes. 

Alyssa inquired about their hookah sale, and he said she could have whichever for $50. We led another waiter, a twenty-something Middle Easterner (probably Lebanese), to a table in the corner. The tabletop was dirty, and we didn't mind. The waiter, though, promptly grabbed a bottle of spray cleaner and washed the table off. 

As we looked at the tobacco flavours offered, we (democratically) chose the Absolute Zero (which provides a mint base) with cherry. We figured the AB+Lemon was a good combination and that this would be just as excellent. As we waited for the hookah, the same waiter asked if we'd like anything to eat. 

Alyssa had mentioned on the second drive that she and her boyfriend has gone Monday night, and they ate something called a baklava, and had something else which has escaped my memory. We ordered the shawarma; I got the chicken, she got the beef. All washed down with water. It is Lent, you know.

Soon enough, we got the hookah and began expelling white luscious clouds that smelled of faint cherry and mint. We also lit up the Camels, prompting Alyssa to give me a little lesson on how to properly handle the cigarette. "Don't put your lips onto the cigarette, just on the tip."

I asked, "How do you avoid getting the smoke into your eyes. It burns!" She laughed at me. :(

In between taking hits of our hookah, and taking drags, the waiter brought our shawarma meals. It's like the gyro, but the bread is thinner, and there's no tzatziki sauce, or maybe there is. I just remember biting into it and loving it.

After extinguishing the cigarettes, and our meals, we asked for a board game. "Chess." The board was accompanied by our orders of baklava, and my half-assed attempts to eat it.

We set up the chess pieces, and after a little intro, we got on playing.

These are called "pawns". They can move forward two spaces on their first move, and one after that. These are called "bishops". They move diagonally, forward or backwards. The Queen can move in any direction, however many spaces. 

The first game, she checkmated me after I it was decided that I couldn't move my King.
The second game was the same, although she apologized for both time because, in her words, "didn't mean to checkmate" me. 

Women, am I right?

It was 11.30, and it was sadly, time to go. She ordered a few things for her boyfriend, and asked for the hookah to be washed before we left. While she checked out the restaurant's stock of tobacco, I took a photo of the chess board and some cigarettes we had lit after our game.

Alyssa's photo is much more artsy than mine.

We asked for the check, and noticed something odd.

"Hey Alyssa, did you notice his name?"
"Yeah, I did."
"Jason Cherry? God that's fantastic!"

At this point, I believe I tweeted: "Part of me wants to be a twenty-something Middle Easterner."

After paying, we had like three bags, which contained the take-out for Alyssa's boyfriend, the hose and coal dish for the hookah, and the tobacco for it. As we made our way to the car, two people standing outside next to an SUV said, "Happy Valentine's Day!"

Alyssa and I stared at one another before Alyssa corrected them. "He's my brother!" I followed up with air-quotes, meaning, "Yeah, sure."

Back in the Corolla, we drove back home, and talked about a few things, including porn/masturbation habits, and life, on how to deal with a transient situation.

She dropped me off at midnight. Once inside, I proceeded to finish my brother's Earth-layers project.

He got an "A".

I still got it.

(I was able to finish this post thanks to this song in this Soundbox post.)
Coming soon intro:
Yes, I'll be glad to go!

Coming soon to the ESF