And now back to our program... the summer sauntered on and i was a busy man. The new five pound deal had done exactly what i thought it would do and i now had three independent contractors looking to work that move every time they showed up. Of course one of those was the Billy Goat and the Billy Goat besides being a dirty fucking hippie was also a colossal pain in the ass. I'd begun to learn that the Billy didn't have much sense or more correctly that he did but he liked to pick and choose when he used it... but more on that later. This story isn't about a man with the world's most disgusting toenails, it's about a beautiful young woman. Dare i say there is a soft side to the hard guy who stars in this show, if he had one weakness it was most definitely women and if you wanted to take that further those women tended to be brunettes. Hence when a doe-eyed young brunette finally kicked her hoodrat to the curb the wheels were most definitely put in motion. Add in the money pouring in and our (anti-) hero was full to the brim with piss and vinegar. I understand innately how money and power can corrupt the soul but i also recognize that there is a time, however short it may be, that it can be used to bring beauty and joy. This is that part of the story.
Little Blonde was now relegated to the role of sidekick. While it was an interesting experiment she went back to being nothing more than another dancer in my mind. Yes one could say that this is a callous and somewhat misogynistic way of looking at things but i was a male living in a callous and misogynistic society. This is an attempt to dig at the truth and the truth is often ugly and unflattering and though i thought i was some kind of enlightened individual way back when i wasn't. I hung out in strip clubs for fuck sake. These places are human meat grinders for all involved, particularly the girls working but i saw more than my fair share of broken men sitting at the bar in those places too. And so i went to work on Veronica... in my cool, calm and calculated way. Of course we have to remember it wasn't like i was single. I wasn't. To say i'm not the man you'd want your daughter to date is an understatement. Yes i can play the game, be the charming and well-spoken gentleman when need be but for the most part i was more tomcat than anything else. Sometimes though even i could be caught off guard and act something akin to human.
It wasn't long before i would clandestinely check the schedule posted on the wall to see what nights Veronica was bartending. I also knew on her off nights there was a good chance she'd stop by the Little Corner Bar before heading out to the club with her crew. It wasn't lost on any of the dancers that i was spending more time at the bar instead of the stage though i still made sure to spread the money around. I had a standing order at the Little Corner Bar that if Veronica came in while i was there that i had her drinks covered. Ever the player i told the bartenders not to tell her who was buying them but it wasn't hard to figure it out. The more we talked the more it smoldered. I kept mentioning to her about a ticket to London, she kept saying yes. I suggested we hang out some night, she said she would love to, almost like a date she laughed. Almost, i said and smiled back. When she wasn't working she was hitting the clubs and partying like any 20yr old would while i was usually working the bars and slinging the weed. It probably didn't hurt that the bar she hung in was the place i ran. I was the fucking Don in the place and you fucking toed the line or got the boot. I bought drinks for whoever and received many in return out of respect for a ranking hood. Even those who didn't know knew that my clout on the street was large and not to fuck with me. Apparently some women find that sort of thing attractive.
Of course one must dodge the potholes and pitfalls that can plague an endeavor like this and while i was most adept at keeping my shit wired tight there was always the unpredictability of humans. Before that first "date", when if pressed i could say it was all just harmless flirting with a local bartender, there was an episode at the Little Corner Bar. It was a Saturday afternoon, the Waitress was there back before she morphed into something else (i'm sure one can guess her name now). I had moved out of the 759 and now lived with the Waitress in the a swankier part of town a few blocks from my old place. My Lawyer who was not really a lawyer but a nickname stolen from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, was there and we were doing a bit of early afternoon drinking on a beautiful summer's day. Veronica rolled in pie-eyed, most likely having been up all night after candyflipping (taking ecstasy and acid together) she stood looking at me and smiling, Frannie was behind the bar doing her best not to look nervous realizing that i was there with my girlfriend while the girl i was pursuing was out of her head and not realizing what was going on. To say it was a mildly awkward and uncomfortable ten minutes for our hero here would be an accurate statement. Veronica, killed her drink while it began to dawn on her why i wasn't my normal flirtatious self, she had a brief and hushed conversation with Frannie at the end of the bar who told her to get some sleep and then she waltzed out the door, the whole time gazing at me while i pretended not to notice. Needless to say the Waitress noticed.
Through the hard lens of hindsight and the like i can say unequivocally that i'm a fucking bastard. I was not and most likely never have been the guy you'd want your daughter to bring home. Of course that made a lot of daughters want to bring me home but as i've said before i was about as faithful as an alley cat. Slinging weed makes one a local celebrity and we all know the trappings that come with being a local celebrity. As soon as Veronica was out the door the Waitress turned to me and asked what that was all about? As usual i put on my best look of bewilderment and innocence and said, what was what about? It was not lost on the Waitress that i tended to be good at drawing female attention (for a homely geezer) but i went on to explain that she was a local bartender and looked to be rocked off her face on E's and whizz or something. Frannie, ever the professional herself and probably worried about my business hitting a snag, hence her tip jar not as full a few nights a week, chimed in and stated that Veronica was a good kid but was out of her mind on shit right now. She probably thought we were someone else. As the crisis subsided i bought another round and asked if anyone wanted to shoot pool. Divert, deny, deflect. I was first division when it came to that shit.
Needless to say the next time i saw Veronica i laid into her a bit. What the fuck was that bullshit? i said, laying the old steely gaze usually reserved for some fuck up who didn't have my money. I had it right for the most part, she could barely remember what happened because she had been up all night and was still going on an ecstasy/acid cocktail. I explained to her the situation and how that shit wouldn't fly. I had a budding empire to protect and that she could enjoy the fruits of my labor from that empire or we could be acquaintances who passed on the street with a polite nod and hello. She understood. Back then it was all a game to me, attempting to live like my beatnik heroes and one Henry Charles Bukowski. What i didn't realize was how much power i had. Here i was basically laying out the rules to a young woman, The Mistress Rules so to speak. Seeing that she was genuinely sorry i softened my tone and told her it's cool i just need to be smart about shit. I then asked about hanging out. She said she was off on Friday. I asked what time i should be over and what she'd like to drink.