I lie a lot and get offered drugs and strippers
9:25pm. The liquefied Laffy Taffy (watermelon pucker, coconut rum, cherry vodka, blue curacao, Sprite, pomegranate syrup) I drank during happy hour wore off hours ago and I'm hungry. I don't know where the time went, but I do know I put another $60 on my Power Card. I forgot how much I've spent already. It's not completely unlike walking around a casino and playing slots and blackjack, and then losing track of how much money you've lost.
I sit down at the packed bar and order the teriyaki steak for dinner with mashed potatoes, potato strings, and a side of mac & cheese. The bartender says the steak's popular. I'm scared to eat it, considering the chicken fingers earlier weren't my speed.
The steak is... delicious? I don't know if it's because I'm hungry or it's actually good, and I don't care. I ravenously devour the food like I'm in that video game where Pac-Man eats pellets made of teriyaki steak. My brain is mush at this point after absorbing flashing lights for the last 10 hours.
A couple sits down next to me. Both in their 30s. Guy's a little lubricated. Otherwise, they blend in. He ignores his girlfriend and tries to size me up.
“You come up here a lot?” he asks.
“I come here every once in a while," I say. I'm chatty immediately, probably because I've barely spoken to people all day. I start rambling about how I love playing the Pop-a-Shot game.
“You smoke pot?” Damn, this guy is not into segues.
“No, not really. Do you?”
“Yeah you do!” I laugh uncontrollably after I say this because I'm accusing this guy I don't know of being a smoker, and I am delirious. “You live in Colorado, how can you not?” I laugh more, trying to paper over my nervousness.
He's stonefaced. He shakes his head no.
“I got it though, if you need it,” he says.
“Oh, good. Thanks man,” I say. DON'T GET HIGH ON YOUR OWN SUPPLY, THEY SAY. In the next breath, he tells me he grows weed at home, which isn't actually illegal in Colorado.
“Where do you work?” he asks.
“I do boring computer shit,” I say. I'm not lying. Some of what I do for Thrillist can be considered boring (99.9% of it is fun!), and it is on my computer. Also, I wasn't about to tell some stranger about what I was doing there all day, because I wanted him to treat me like a regular person, and not like the Important Journalist I am. Also, because I think he might be a cop.
“I.T.?” he asks.
“Like, project managing. Dude, it's so boring.” I laugh hard here. I'm lying, too. There is nothing funny about project managing, but remember that I'm losing my mind.
“Caregiving sounds like more fun,” I say. People who grow it and then sell to other people legally are called caregivers.
“That ain't my primary income, though,” he says. “I work construction.”
Cool. I know nothing about construction, so I say nothing.
“What else you do, man?” he asks.
“I'm boring, I play a lot of pinball.” I add, “I'm really fucking boring.” Not a lie.
Fifteen seconds pass, neither of us says anything. Then, out of nowhere...
“You know where I can get any white girl?”
Let's analyze this for a second. I just told him that I play pinball and don't smoke, and he's asking me where I can get cocaine? If I had never listened to Jeezy, I wouldn't even know what he was talking about. THANKS JEEZY!
Wait, is this dude an undercover cop trying to get me to buy from him? At a Dave & Buster's on a Friday night in the suburbs?
“I don't do anything, really. I'm boring as hell, dude.” I laugh and laugh and laugh and hope he doesn't ask me if I've got meth.
“So what do you manage?” he asks.
“Developers write code, and they need someone to tell them to do. Dude, I fall asleep talking about it.” I am lying I am lying I am lying.
“Where at do you do it?” Ok, he's definitely a cop.
“It's kinda everywhere. I work for a big company.”
“What is that big company?”
“Umm,” I cough. “They're not based out of here.” I realize where this is going, and that I'm going to have to make up a company name.
“What is it called?”
“Concentric, you probably never heard of them.” Probably because I made that shit up.
Later I googled Concentric and found out there's a real company that goes by that name. Damn, I'm good.
“What is it, Concentric what?”
“Yes,” I say, not confidently.
Minutes pass. He tries to make a joke with the bartender, “I heard the next one's on you.”
The bartender's heard this one before, “That's just a rumor,” she says. “A vicious, vicious rumor.”
“Just playing,” he says. “I probably don't need another.” He pays his tab.
“Nice meeting you guys.”
He's not done trying to be my drug dealer and entertainment for the night.
“Let me know if you want to party with some strippers.”
“From where?” WHY DID I ASK HIM THAT?
“From [name of a popular, local strip club].”
“No, never been there!”
“What's your number?”
“I'm good, thanks buddy!”
“Cool.” He and his girlfriend go out into the night, trying to trick someone else into selling him coke.