I used to save money. I thought bars were pointless because beers were more expensive. I didn’t understand why anyone would pay fourteen bucks for two beers when they could get a twelve-pack for the same price. I’d also freak out when I had to use my credit card and if I spent more than $10 on a meal. After all, a meager bank account was surely the sole ingredient to homelessness and misery. One day, while wandering through a grungy Las Vegas nightclub, I had an epiphany, and I became liberated.
Locke and I drove to Vegas on a weekend in late August. I pathetically lost $400 playing craps as soon as I arrived, and it nearly ruined my Friday night. With just $40 left for the entire trip, Locke called me a moron and told me we were going out regardless.
We chose a watered down club called The Beach. The $10 cover was 25% of my entire wallet. When I got inside, I was dead sober, and when Locke asked if I wanted a drink, I refused. I couldn’t afford the next round. Not content to be a boring wingman, he bought himself some drinks while I waded through mobs of skittish guys and self-conscious women, suddenly realizing I was a combination of both. At that moment it hit me. What the fuck was I doing? Here I was, at a nightclub, on a Friday night, on vacation, and I was saving my money.
I stopped in my tracks and opened up my wallet. $30. But I had a credit card. I had maxed out my last two credit cards, but this one had several hundred dollars left on it. Fuck it. I took out the card and began a legendary walk to the bar, ready to expand my debt. In that moment I had made a decision to live my life. I stood at the bar, ordered two beers, and radiated in my personal triumph. I sipped on one of my beers and held them both proudly in my hands like tiny beacons of immortality.
An epic buzz overtook my soul. I walked around the club like a king. I hit on chicks. I got rejected. I hit on more chicks. I got rejected. My smile remained; I was unstoppable. Beneath the shimmering lights of cheap disco balls, I finallyâ€¦got it.
I met Chloe, a tall slim brunette, in the smoking area outside. Locke and I sat down in a chair and started talking to her and her friend. We started things off with a, “So, have you guys been out here all night?” It was weak, but it really didn’t matter because the moment I sat down in that chair, I could tell Chloe was attracted to me. Staring and smiling at me ardently, Chloe took a couple pictures of me within two minutes after sitting down. Chloe was mine. Unfortunately, Locke was heading for a dead end with her slutty friend whose droopy face just oozed “I have a boyfriend and I’m going to try and be faithful this time.”
Chloe was obligated to her hopeless friend, so going home with them was out of the question. I got her number, and my revolutionary buzz had entered tired-drunk mode. Locke and I left and returned to the hotel to pass out.
I awoke the next day a liberated man. My credit card had saved me. I had confidence that my future self would work hard enough to have a good job that would one day pay off the debt. After all, if I couldn’t spend money, then I couldn’t spend my time. And if I couldn’t spend my time, my life would be wasteful and uninteresting. At any rate, I called Chloe around two p.m. She sounded boring on the phone, but I didn’t read too much into it. I made plans to meet at her house at nine.
Since I had no cash, I spent the day at the sportsbook watching TV. Locke wasn’t much of a gambler, and he didn’t really care what we did. I told him about my plans for the night, and he said he could party with one of his Vegas buddies.
The drive to Chloe’s house was a nightmare. Her directions led me to a fucking mountain, and we ended up driving fifteen miles in the wrong direction. Locke was about ready to give up on this chick and have me find a cab, even though I’d told him Chloe had a friend staying at her house, who was, “down to fuck.” He managed a little enthusiasm, and we finally arrived at her house after the irritating detour.
Dressed in a skimpy white top, Chloe was waiting for us on the porch. The whale sitting next to her looked like John Candy with a wig. Locke got one quick look and said, “Aww FUCK THAT.” I got out of the car and tried not to laugh, and he zoomed away, making it known he was angry and afraid. I joined the girls and cordially shook hands with Ms. Candy.
We hung out on the porch for a bit, and Chloe played footsie with me while Ms. Candy told us stories about her ex-boyfriend. I could tell Chloe had heard these stories at least ten times, but she fake listened to try and keep me interested. I acted amused, but when there was finally a break in the stories, I suggested we go inside.
We went to Chloe’s bedroom to watch Space Balls. Predictably, Ms. Candy followed us into the room and sat on a chair to watch the movie with us. With no regard for the friend’s presence, Chloe and I started making out. A few minutes later, Ms. Candy got out of her chair declaring, “Um, you shouldn’t make out while other people are in the room!” She stormed out, slammed the door, and Chloe and I both chuckled.
We got naked, and I asked if she had any condoms. From the bathroom, she brought out this little container full of “wild and crazy,” as she called them, condoms. They were all sorts of colors, but she picked out a jet-black one for me. I put it on and, feeling somewhat like a dildo, penetrated her. My dick looked foreign in its bizarre wrap, but I got over it quickly and we had a good fuck.
I spent the night, and we had another go round in the morning. Conveniently, Locke showed up twenty minutes later. He was on whale watch, so he stayed in his car honking his horn repeatedly. Chloe and I exchanged info; I gave her a kiss goodbye; and Locke and I drove off.
An hour into our drive home, Chloe called me. I was wary but answered. “Hey, what are you doing?” The way she said it, it was as if she’d been dating me for a year.
“Um, driving home, what about you?”
“I’m at Waterworld with my friend. I was just thinking about you,” she replied. She’d just entered psycho status. After some more routine questions and comments related to hunger and sleep, I ended the call and deleted her number immediately.
Eight months passed. One Saturday night after several drinks, I received a call from a 702 number. It was Chloe. Since I was buzzed, I embraced the drunken conversation. We talked about fucking and what she was going to do to me the next time she saw me. Etcetera. Alcohol has a funny way of filtering out the psycho traits of chicks. The phone call gave me a hard-on, and I even re-saved her phone number.
A month later, our fraternity was having its annual formal dance at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The room prices were astronomical, so I decided that I’d spend one night with Chloe. She was unattractively excited to hear from me, and when I told her I was staying with her, she creamed herself. Whatever, it was saving me $150 and guaranteed me of a night of long-awaited sex. I deduced it was worth it, even if she was a psycho.
I arrived at her house late Friday night after a delayed seven-hour drive. I felt grimy from the drive but really didn’t feel too self-conscious considering it was only Chloe. I parked my car in guest parking and walked to her new apartment a couple blocks down. I was horny and ready to get down to business the moment I got there. She had given me terrible directions again. In and out of phone contact for twenty minutes, I probably walked over a mile through a mysterious greenbelt to look for her fucking apartment. Just as I reached the apex of my frustration, I looked up and saw a large pale figure walking out onto the grass some 200 feet away. Oh no. I was on the verge of panicking but figured there was no way that was her. When the figure waved in my direction, I looked behind me. Nothing. She was waving at me. It was Chloe.
Noooooooo! What the fuck?! It had only been eight months! How in the hell did Chloe go from a slim cutie to bathtub blimp? The closer I got to her, the worse it got. And now one of her two front teeth was crooked. What had happened to this girl? She must have been auditioning for the sequel to the movie Super Size Me. Or she and Ms. Candy had found a magic skull, put both their hands on it, and switched bodies. There was no physical explanation for this.
I gave her an expanded hug. I was in for a long night. As soon as we got inside, I immediately demanded alcohol, my preferred medicine to blur the view. I pounded a beer instantly while she looked at me nervously. “Sorry, it was a long drive,” I explained and asked if she had any Captain Morgan. Even though I’m not even a fan of hard alcohol, I figured it would work faster. She only had an ancient bottle of cheap vodka that looked like it had once been on a pirate ship. I took two shots and she took one. I was still sober.
I grabbed a couple more beers and made a rare pre-hook-up walk of shame into her room where I saw a small bulletin board with about eight photos; two of them were of me! One depicted Locke and me at a table at the nightclub from eight months ago. The other was of just me. My stomach knotted, and a sudden rush of fear overwhelmed me. I began to ponder the expectations that had been placed on me, and had steadily been building for the past eight months. Did she expect to date me? Did she expect me to move in? Did she want a sperm sample for her next child? These pictures had been here for eight months! And I was supposed to fuck in this place! I was finishing my beers in four sips, maximum. We talked painfully, while I continued to booze.
I sat on her bed like a seven-year-old at the dentist’s office waiting for a root canal. I finally felt a sufficient buzz, so we undressed, and I paid my dues. She sucked my dick and got me hard enough to fuck. I was disappointed she only had normal condoms this time; I was hoping to wear a purple one. After ten minutes of softy sex, I had her suck me off, and it ended. I told her I was tired and wanted to pass out, but she tried to cuddle and it got worse.
It was a one-sided cuddle session:
“All the people at work are gonna be asking me how my night was,” she said plaintively.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because they all know about you.”
I was silent.
“Do you want to go to Lego Land with me tomorrow?”
“I can’t. I have to go to a dance.”
Moments later: “Do you think I got fat?”
“No, you look the same.”
“When do I get to see you again?”
“I don’t know. We’ll see.”
Pause and then, “So I was thinkingâ€¦what if I moved out to Orange County so I could be closer to you?”
Oh my God.
“But you barely know me. I don’t think it would be a good idea.” It took everything in me to not sound irritated and frightened. “I really need to get some sleep,” I told her, and she finally stopped. I passed out ten minutes later after lying there in silent fear. I’m pretty sure I had bad dreams that night.
I set my phone alarm for eight a.m. I didn’t hit snooze. I hopped out of bed and got dressed. Fast. I told her I’d call her, said a quick goodbye, and exited the House of Horrors.
I had my Saturday ahead of me. On my walk back to my car, I checked my wallet. I was going on my fourth credit card. I looked at my wallet, and then looked back at Chloe’s apartment. I never felt so free.