night owl

I was in a chair. There was a computer. I wasn't in front of the computer. I was doing something else. I looked at the computer to see about emails. I saw a new email. It said something about YouTube that made me think the words 'spam' and 'porn'. I looked at the computer some more and couldn't decide about the email. The email made me feel nervous. I felt nervous about 'archiving' emails. It wasn't like 'deleting' and it wasn't like 'saving' the email. I left it in the inbox. I got out of the chair.

The girl I lived with was in the kitchen. She was drinking red wine in a glass. I poured a glass of wine. I looked at the bottle. The glass was really a plastic cup.

'What's it say?' she said.

She was talking about the wine bottle.

'It says,' I said.

I didn't know what she meant.

'It's good,' I said.

She looked at me. I put my jacket on and said something about being back and something else about not knowing something.

'Where are you going?' she said.

'I'm going to a party,' I said.

I told her about a person from one of my classes. I felt like I was making it up; I wasn't. She seemed uninterested. I walked out of the building. I walked through a park that was just blocks of concrete. Some people were sitting on one of the blocks. I wanted to ask them what time it was. I knew it was like 11 P.M.

I saw someone I knew outside the bar I was going to. He was the person I knew from class. He waved at me. He was smoking with some other people I didn't know. We went inside. I gave a lady $3. She said something about 'the insecure stamp' to the girl standing behind her. I was confused. I paused. There was someone behind me. Someone asked me to move. I wasn't sure about a stamp. I wanted to be able to buy alcohol at the bar. I didn't want there to be confusion. I went to the bar.

There was a woman behind the bar. I asked for a kind of beer they didn't have. I asked for another kind of beer and then another. I paid $3 for the beer. I put $1 in the tip jar. There was a girl who was maybe a waitress standing next to me.

I didn't know if I had more cash in my wallet.

I sat down somewhere. There were a lot of chairs and tables. The waitress girl walked around and made the chairs and the tables go together so it was even and organized-looking. There weren't a lot of people in the bar. There were maybe ten people.

I saw the person I knew setting things up on the stage. He put together a drumset. He looked at another person who was tuning something. It was like a guitar but I couldn't tell what it was. There was a person crouching beneath a keyboard.

I finished my beer.

I walked to the door.

'Do I need a stamp to get back in?' I said.

The lady there was looking at me but had her hands below a counter-thing. She was doing something with her hands. I started to say 'Can I get back in?' but the lady pushed something soft on my hand. It left a smudge and I walked out.

I walked a couple of blocks. I was downtown. There were some people around. There weren't very many people. They were in little groups and made loud but small noises that were either yells or laughs. I passed one of the groups.

There was a Jimmy John's. Merle's Hotdogs was across the street. I went into the Jimmy John's.

I ordered a vegetarian sandwich.

I gave the person money. I ate the sandwich sitting at a table by the window. I thought I was the only customer. I wasn't sure. I looked at Merle's Hotdogs and couldn't tell if anyone was inside.

I walked back to the bar. I sat down in the same place. A band was playing but it wasn't the band with the person I knew. There were more people than there were when I left.

The waitress girl came by. 'What can I get for you?' she said.

I saw people drinking the kind of beer I had first tried to order. I was nervous. I ordered the same beer again. She left. I was confused about the bottles the other people had. The waitress girl brought my drink back and I gave her money. I still didn't know if I had more money in my wallet. I was confused about why I didn't look inside. I imagined laying out all the bills on the table very evenly and counting all of them.

The waitress girl stood around and listened to the band. I looked at her and listened to the band too. I wanted to say 'Hi'. I didn't say anything.

She was gone for a while. She came back and I noticed there were more bottles on the table in front of me than I remembered. She stood around again and listened. When the band quit she left and did things. I drank my beer. She came back. She sat down near me. She was across the table. She said things and I tried to say things back.

I thought, 'This is unsuccessful.' I wanted to tell her I knew she was busy and it was okay. She could go do things. She sat for a while longer then left. Then I didn't see her anymore. The lady who stamped my hand was walking around straightening the chairs and taking people's orders.

I thought, 'I want to leave.'

I walked home. I walked into a gas station. There was a clerk. I wanted to beat the clerk up. I wanted to tell the clerk not to be so suspicious.

'You look like you've had enough,' he said.

'I'm walking,' I said. I had two tall cans of beer on the counter between us. I paid. He put them in a bag. I was confused about the bag. 'It will be okay to take this bag,' I thought.

I woke up and saw the bag on the floor. The cans were on the floor. They were warm and unopened. I moved them around but got confused. I was on the couch. I took off my clothes and went into the bathroom. I remembered dreaming about the waitress girl. I dreamed she put on her jacket and stood just inside the entrance to the bar. She was looking at the stage. The band with the person I knew was playing. I didn't know if this really happened or if I dreamed it. I knew I forgot to stay long enough to hear his band play. He was going to feel bad. I knew I was going to have to 'let him down easy.'