Short Story: Really Great Nights

Really Great Nights
by: Jennifer Patino  

“I’m all about things that are real…that’s how I am with my photography…life can’t be Photoshopped so why do it to a moment of life that you capture, ya know?”

    What a night.

    I wouldn’t call it a night that wasn’t like any other, but it was a great time with some really great people.

    Isn’t that what I’m all about, really?

    Collective accounts of really great nights with really great people.

    Is this the idea that will make me rich?

    So, something was making me think about Missy earlier that day and I had a message from Dave telling me to call him and I was thinking how great it would be to hang out with them together.

    It happened.

    I went over to Missy’s at around 9ish.

    We talked.  “How’s it going?”

    “Haven’t seen you in forever….”

    Blah Blah Blah….

    Called up Mags.  She was bringing some photography chick with her.  Sounded good to me.  I never had a problem with new people.

    The three of us went for a beer run though.

    It pretty much involved running across Flicker Ave. and having a few laughs while we smoked these vanilla cigarettes that Missy had.

    Dave wasn’t drinking.

    “I’ll be driving and I have a career to protect.”

    Sometimes I forgot that he was a cop.

    A cop with friends who did drugs and occasionally drove a little tipsy.

    Sometimes in front of him.

    But we weren’t “in his precinct” nor did he really care in the first place.

    He was the type of person who was all about catching the bad guys.

    Not the college age kids who smoked a little weed.

    Upon arriving back to Missy’s apartment, we discovered that Mags had arrived.

    “It’s freezing, motha fuckas.”  She greeted us.

    “Yeah it is.”  I said.

    “This is Julianne.”  She pointed to her friend, a skinny girl with stringy brown hair and glasses who said “Hi.”

    We said, “Hey, how’s it goin?”  in unison practically and then headed back up the three flights of stairs.

    Missy tried to get us to play Beatmania but we all really sucked at it.
    Her cat’s litter box was making me sneeze like crazy so I made her put it outside.

    Mags made fun of her.  Mags had a way of making fun of everything…. but it was so funny and she never meant any harm.

    I found myself on the porch talking with Julianne.

    She was telling me about photography and capturing life and I told her about my writings and how I try to do the same.

    She was really cool and was saying some really beautiful things and I found myself really wanting to be friends with her.

    She talked about her girlfriend.

    What types of females she liked.

    How the government was wrong to say she can’t get married.

    About her school, some of her professors.

    How much she hated Photoshop because it didn’t capture reality.

    I agreed with pretty much everything she said.  A woman after my own heart or something like that.

    But it wasn’t like that.

    I couldn’t really explain what it was.

    Just one of those really great nights where I met a really great person.

    “Connection in an isolating age” or some shit like that.

    Just her and I, a cold night, cat shit and cigarettes.

    It was pretty cold and my cigs were running low so we went back in.

    Had some Jager shots.  Julianne had some Goldschlager.

    I remembered a time I threw up and there were gold pieces in it.

    That freaked me out too much so I never drank Goldschlager again.

    I tried to get Mags to teach me to booty dance and she kept refusing but in the end it was quite a workout.

    I considered practicing every day to work out my abs and legs.
    It would have probably been worth it to have the whole dance lesson on film or something.  But I know it was pretty much recorded into our minds.

    We almost peed ourselves.

    Dave and Julianne kept talking about food.

    I couldn’t think about it.

    But then I found myself hungry.

    Drinking is like that.

    The idea of eating sounds repulsive but then give it a few minutes.

    The next thing I know we’re on our way to Denny’s and Julianne is stumbling to the car.

    “Ok, Dave.  You’re driving like a cop,”  Mags was saying.  “Let’s NOT make this poor girl puke.”

    “They’re going to put us in the drunk section.  Watch.”  I said.

    Sure enough, booth for five in the very back with a host who asked Missy if she was “straight” with that.

    I had to have the phrase explained to me because I thought he was insulting her.

    No, I wasn’t THAT drunk.

    I was tipsy; Tired from dancing and the allergy pill Missy gave me was kicking in.

    Mags and Julianne stayed outside and smoked while Dave, Missy and I ordered drinks for them.

    “What the fuck is that smell?”  Dave was saying.

    “What smell?”

    “I smell cat shit.”


    I didn’t know what he was talking about.

    He kept sniffing around though.

    Missy suggested he check his shoes.

    They both did and they were clear.

    Then I started smelling it.
    “What the fuck?”  I said.

    I checked my shoes and, lo and behold, I had stepped in cat shit somehow.

    Mags and Julianne had returned and we were all laughing and I was going crazy about it.

    I sat there for a minute but I kept smelling it.

    “Go out and wipe it on the curb or something,”  Mags suggested.

    “Yeah.”  I said.  I had to make Julianne move.  “Wanna come with me?  We can go like we’re having a cigarette.  I’ll give you one of mine.”
    “Ok!”  She agreed.  Being drunk made you want to smoke more.  It was a proven fact.

    So here I am smoking in the Denny’s parking lot with drunk Julianne and wiping cat shit everywhere.  I was cursing like a drunken sailor about it too.  Especially when I found out I had it on both shoes.

    “Ma’am.”  I didn’t hear it the first time.  Then it was a bit louder.  “Ma’am?”

    Great, I thought.  We’re getting kicked out of here.

    I turn with the cigarette hanging out of my mouth, mid cat-shit-wipe off pose.

    Some short guy in a black hoodie was standing there.

    “Yeah?”  I asked.

    “Could you help me out with some food?”

    I felt horrible.  For once a bum was asking for food.  Yet, I knew that my late night snack wouldn’t be on me.  I was broke.

    “I’m sorry.  I really can’t.”

    “Awww, I just want some food.”

    “Yeah, I would totally like to help you out.  However, right now…I have cat shit all over my shoes, I’m a little tipsy, and my friends are paying my bill because I’m broke.  Times are hard right now, man.”

    Times are hard?  This guy probably knew that.  Cat shit was the least of his problems.  Yet, I had been robbed of all compassion or something.  But honestly, I had no money.  What was I going to do?

    “It’s cool.”  He said.  Then went into the restaurant probably to use the bathroom or something.

    “Let’s go back in.”  I said.  “I got it off the best I could.”

    “Maybe go stomp in that puddle….maybe that will help.”

    I tried it…maybe it helped and maybe it didn’t.

    Maybe it just made me have wet cat shit on my shoes.

    Almost immediately after we sat down Julianne was off to the bathroom.

    “Is she going to puke?”  I asked.

    “I don’t know.  She’ll be alright though.”  Mags assured me.

    The food came.

    The ranch dipping sauce was on its way.

    No Julianne.

    A girl who went into the bathroom after her was out already.

    Mags got up to check on her.

    “She’s ok.”  Was the report back.

    “Is she taking a shit?”  Dave wanted to know.

    “I don’t know!”

    “Damn, I still smell that fucking cat shit…”  I was complaining.  I couldn’t even eat really.

    “Did you like step in the litter box or something?”  Missy asked.

    I shrugged.  I probably did.  I don’t know.

    Dave’s sandwich was half gone.

    Mags went to check on Julianne again and came back telling me to hand over my glass of water.

    Ladies and gentlemen, we have a puker.

    I had to ask the waitress for another one.  I felt bad for Julianne.

    The waitress came back immediately and asked us if we needed boxes.

    “Yes, and the check, please.”  Dave said.

    It was like she knew that there was a drunk girl throwing up in the bathroom.  It was like she was urging us to leave hassle free.

    A “get out before it gets bad” card.

    She came out looking as white as a ghost.

    A memory of gold specks came flashing back.

    I tried to warn her with my story.

    Mags was lecturing her.  “Did you take trips to the kitchen by yourself?”

    No one could remember her drinking that much.

    Julianne only nodded.

    We gave her a little toast and boxed up her food for her.

    Paid the check and got out of dodge.

    I jumped in the car quick because it seemed to have gotten colder and Dave turned on the heat.

    That’s when I realized that the girls weren’t in the car.

    Julianne was now puking in the parking lot.

    “Aww…poor girl.” I said.

    “She showed us where she lived.  It’s on the way.  I’m going to take her home.”  Dave said.

    Mags climbed in and handed me her food box.  “Just in case I have to push her out the window.”  She said.

    I giggled but it wasn’t a mean giggle.

    We dropped Julianne off at the gate to her apartment complex.  Apparently she didn’t have the code and didn’t want to wake her mother up.

    “I can walk.  I’ll be fine.  I’ll text message Mags when I get in.”

    “Well, let me call you now.  We’ll talk while you walk.”  Mags was saying.

    “No, I left my phone at home.  Trust me.  I’ll be fine.”

    I had confidence in her.  She was a real trooper.

    A strong girl, like me, who seemed to have been through some shit.  It was ok if you threw up every once in awhile from Goldschlager.

    Having cat shit on your shoes was probably much worse than that.

    “She’ll be ok, right?”  I asked Mags as we drove back to Missy’s.

    “Yeah…she will.”

    “I liked her a lot.  She was really cool.”

    Mags was looking out the window.  “Yeah, I think she likes you too.”

    Something in the way she said that made me ask, “What do you mean?”

    “Just that.  I think she likes you.”

    “But she has a girlfriend.”  I said.  I didn’t even add “and I’m not gay.” to that sentence.

    “I know!  And I didn’t say it was like that!  I just said she liked you….”

    I let it go.

    I did that with most things.

    I don’t know if the idea of someone being interested in me was what made me curious or the chance that if it was the truth I would definitely get to talk to her again.

    I get addicted to talking with people who have things to say sometimes.

    I get high off of those really great nights.

    And all of those really great people that I get to share them with.

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