Lured by the prospect of a free drink (thanks, Bobby) and a friend’s second birthday party of the week (also Bobby) I ventured out to Third street. Dad woke me up an hour and a half before rudely insisting I drop him off downtown. Though I was in no way obligated, I would rather have not dealt with his pissy attitude. He continued to insult me as I drove (“Your brakes will need replacing soon if you keep riding them and not letting up on the gas pedal.” “Your signal is going out AND your dials don’t work?”). I seriously contemplated pulling onto the shoulder and not moving until he stepped out of Camille. I could see myself telling my progeny twenty years down the road, Ted Mosby style, “Kids, just because someone is your blood relation, you are not required to go out of your way for them, especially if they are treating you like trash.”

I did not do the thing. Instead I drove along as he berated me about my supposed shortcomings, as he actively ignored my progress as of late. Apparently being someone’s parent doesn’t require you encourage your adult children, even if they deserve it.

Once I was back, I got ready; donning my orange cut out shirt and teal sweater, I headed back downtown. The first person I saw, sitting on a picnic table with her dark curly hair in braids, was Amber. Her DUI was dismissed since the stupid pig did not acquire her consent before administering it, so she was charge and fancy free. Matty sat on my right as we discussed post apocalyptic plans with Mandy until a guy inquiring about getting his dreads updated came to sit by me.

We talked and joked until after dark when he decided it was a good plan to touch my leg without permission. When I jerked back he played it off as if he was petting one of the dogs roaming around…the dogs at least ten feet from us at the time. I joked about being not quite as hairy and headed inside to take my turn at an imaginary pool game. Staring at my phone in the back, I decided to go home: Johnny was obviously not coming and I didn’t want to share airspace with a personal space invading stranger.

Then I felt someone tap on my shoulder. Kristina stood in a light brown and pink dress that she was so proud to fit into again. We sat with Tab and some asshole guy who’s name isn’t worth remembering. He went on and on about his “real job”. This did nothing except inspire my Facebook post (yes, I’m back in that rat race, sometimes rat king) about how pretentious people sound when they refer to only certain lines of work providing “real” jobs. What a douche canoe. Tabitha is so Fiona Apple adorable in a butchy, earthier way. She’s playing at the Richmond Beer House next Thursday; I’ll probably hang on the stage’s edge and get my groupie on while I’m still young.

We played teams in pool, Kristina on mine, and unsolicited contact guy Brian lingered in the doorway, trying to strike up a conversation. I shot Kristina severe, wide-eyed looks to convey my lack of calm and approval with the situation. We won the game by default when douche real-job-having guy scratched on the eight and we sat back into our earlier booth. For a terrifying moment I thought someone had stolen my wallet and keys. Kristina found them by the pool table. I left disappointed: being stood up isn’t heartbreaking, but it sure did make me feel unwanted: isn’t that worse?

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