I see a bad moon a-risin',
I see trouble on the way.
I see hurricanes and lightnin'.
I see a bad time today.
Don't go out tonight
'cause it's bound to take your life
There's a bad moon on the rise.
The moon was blood red when Kathie called. If course, I couldn't see it because the damned thing was on the other side of the world. "What ya doin'?" she asked.
"I'm at work," I said. "I thought maybe I'd done something Sunday night to piss you off, I was really shitfaced. I don't even know whether I walked home or got a ride. I saw yesterday morning you tried to call me Sunday night but I was already asleep, left a voicemail but you didn't call back Monday or yesterday."
"No, I'm not mad," she said. "I just had a couple of moody days."
"Want to go to D'Arcy's tonight?" I asked.
"Hell yes! I've never been there!"
"You're in for a treat, they have the best food in town." So I had a date that night. The moon wouldn't be red, but it would be a big, fat full moon.
When I got off work I went to the bank, then straight to Kathie's. She was sitting outside waiting for me. "Since it's Wednesday and we're going early we ought to get right in," I said. "If you go at five on a Friday you're going to wait two hours for a table and it could be eight before you ate."
"Ate before you what?"
"Eight o'clock before you eat. Not ony is their food the best, the prices aren't high. Better even than Ghallager's, and a hell of a lot less expensive. D'Arcy's is a nice place, too."
"Not many cars," she said as I pulled into the parking lot. "Wow, we're right by the door!" We went inside and were seated right away. I asked Kathie "Ever had an Irish car bomb?"
"No, what's that?"
"It's an Irish Republican Army terrorist drink. It's a shot of half Baily's and half Jamison's, you drop it in a sixteen ounce glass of Guiness and down it. Tastes like a chocolate shake. A guy with an Irish accent turned me on to them and showed me how to drink one."
"Sure, why not?"
The waitress quickly came to take our drink orders. "Bud Light for her, Killian's for me, and two car bombs, please." The leather covered menus were closed, so the waitress asked if we were ready to order our food. Kathie ordered one of their award-winning ponyshoes. A ponyshoe is a "small" horseshoe and is about twice as much food as normal people can eat in one setting. I have no idea how some of the fatasses you see at D'Arcy's can put away a whole horseshoe.
The horseshoe is a Springfield thing that dates back to the 1920s, if the history I've read is correct. As far as I know, Springfield is the only place in the world you can get one, and every non-fats food restaraunt here has them; it's like some kind of venal sin or something to have a restaraunt in Springfield without offering horseshoes, and every place has its own variation, or in some places like D'Arcy's, variations. Amazing that a restaraunt that otherwise tries to copy a nice Irish pub, with Guiness posters and antique Irish musical instruments on the wall, Irish beer and whiskey (with, of course, non-Irish foreign "American" swill like Budweiser and Miller) and Irish food like Shepherd's Pie would have a dish that you can't buy in Ireland -- the shoe.
She came back with the beers. "Did you want an Irish car bomb?" she asked. I was dumbfounded. I didn't know there was any other kind of car bomb. What, she thinks we want an AlQuaida car bomb? In an Irish pub?
"Uh, yeah" I said. As she was fetching the bombs I told Kathie the story of how I drank my first car bomb. Well, not the whole diary entry with the exploding car, just the part in the bar. "...so the Irish guy says 'you ARE Irish!" as the waitress came back. We clinked shot glasses, dropped them in the Guiness, and downed them. The waitress came back shortly with Kathie's pony shoe and my corned beef and cabbage -- as far as I know, D'Arcy's is the only place in town you can get corned beef and cabbage when it's not St. Patrick's day, when everybody has it. And of course I ate until I was so uncomfortably stuffed I couldn't eat any more; the food is delicious and the portions are huge. I asked for some go boxes, as we both had half the meal left each. We headed out to Felbers.
It was packed, but we'd planned on sitting in the beer garden, anyway. I got us a couple of beers and started to head out back. Kathie was talking with Connie. "I'll be out in a minute," she said. I chatted with some old guy for a few minutes and Kathie came out, still with a full beer. I didn't realize that I should have figured she'd drank the first and gotten a second, since she'd had two beers ar D'Arcy's and I'd only drank one. We sat down on the picnic table, and I finished my beer and went in for another one. Cherish, the bartender, was pretty busy and it took a few minutes to get my mug replenished. When I got back outside, Lucky was sitting on the other end of the table. I sat down between them.
Lucky's insanely jealous of me. He'd considered Kathie his girlfriend, even though she didn't. The last time we'd been there Lucky had shown up, and Kathie had told me that Lucky hated me. He got up and left, grumbling. It had been a pleasant evening. "We're going to have to go after this next one", I said. "You said you had to get up early, and I have to work."
One more beer and she wanted another one. "Ill buy if you'll fly", she said.
"Ok, but just one more and I have to take you home. Two more you'll have to crash at my place. Three more and we're walking!"
Four beers later we were inside the bar. She started to get up to go to the restroom, and fell backwards out of her chair -- she'd gotten really shitfaced. Mike and I helped her up. "My fault", I told Mike. "I shouldn't have bought her that car bomb!"
"Hey!" he said, "we don't have car bombs! What are you doing drinking in a different bar?" he grinned.
"It wasn't a bar, I took her out to dinner at D'Arcy's." I told Kathie we had to go home, she'd had more than enough. Mike said he had to go, too, and left. By now it was apparent that she'd drank two to my one. I didn't relish the thought of driving, as I was pretty sure I was at least
By then Larry the Loser came out. "You can't call the cops!"
"The fuck I can't! I won't hit a woman but by God I'll put one in fucking jail!" I snarled.
"But you can't call the COPS!"
"I won't hit a woman but I won't be a human punching bag, either" I said. "The worthless bitch knocked a tooth out last year and goddamn it it ain't happening again!" Billie hightailed it out of there, and I helped Kathie to the beer garden while we waited for the police. I walked out to greet them when they pulled up in front. I told them what happened, and they asked if Kathie needed medical attention. "I'll get her," I said. But she was gone -- as I was talking to the cops she'd gone in the back door and out the front door and was by the car. "You stand right there," the female cop commanded, pointing to the side of the building. I stood right there.
She came back. "We're taking her to Memorial," she said. "An ambulance will be by in a minute."
"I'll come along," I said.
"No you won't, you're going home. Now go home before I arrest you!"
As if I wasn't enraged already. But I wasn't drunk enough to get stupid; in fact, I was sober enough to know I was too drunk to drive. I trudged home, seething. I should have beat the holy shit out of that goddamned fucking cunt Billie. When I got home I realized that I'd left the beer and food and Kathie's purse in the car, and it was unlocked. In the ghetto! But fuck it, I wasn't going to walk back. I poured a glass of ice water, rolled a joint, and sat on the couch, trying to calm down enough to go to bed and sleep -- I wasn't going to be worth shit at work.
I called Felbers. "Tell Mike I'm sorry, but I can't go back there unless Billie's barred. I won't hit a woman and I won't be a punching bag, so staying away is my only recourse." I felt like crying; I love Felbers. I prayed. Blood dribbled down the side of the glass, and I realised my lip was bleeding. It was pretty sore, too, and a tooth seemed to be a little loose. God DAMN that fucking bitch cunt!
When she'd first started going to Felbers I was nice to her, like I am to everybody. Hell, I'll give rides to people I don't even like. But she didn't know that, and probably had never met anyone like that. God knows there aren't many like me. I'd given her rides home, and she'd have me in for a beer and a couple of hitters. She obviously thought she was going to have a new boyfriend, but I wasn't the least bit attracted to her. It wasn't her looks, it was her manner. I've known bull dykes more feminine than Billie. When I never made any moves on her she stopped asking for rides and started getting mean, until it culminated in her knocking my tooth out last summer.
And I no longer felt rage, only pity. The poor tortured soul had just tried to kill herself a couple of days earlier. She'd lost both her daughter and grand daughter a few years ago, both overdosed on drugs. She was impoverished, bitter, and lonely. I prayed again, this time for God to forgive the worthless waste of skin.
The next morning I talked to Kathie on the phone. "How you feeling?" I asked.
"My head hurts!"
I thought of the Monty Python psychaitrist sketch -- my head hurt, too. Well, my mouth, at any rate. My fat lip didn't stop bleeding until that night. This time at least the tooth is tightening back up.
"Did you get your purse?" I asked anxiously. I'd walked back to Felbers after my first cup that morning, and the beer and now spoiled food was there, but not her purse. It had worried me, but she did have the purse. "I can't find my glasses, though."
I talked to her on the phone at lunch today. She said "Mike's mad 'cause the cops got called".
"You went there last night?"
"No, I ain't goin' back there either. Lucky called and said Billie thought you pushed me down. I told him 'hell no he didn't push me down."
Poor Billie. It was my taking her friend Kathie to D'Arcy's that set her off. She should get together with Lucky, that poor pitiful bastard is as angry and negative as she is.
Remember is a place from long ago.
Remember, filled with everything you know.
Remember when you're sad and feeling down,
Remember. Look around.
Dream... love is only in a dream, remember?
Remember, life is never what it seems.
Long ago, far away, life was clear, close your eyes...