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So we're in Vegas. Sweating and drunk from the sidewalk mojitos we're pounding to fight the mid-July heat and the awkwardness that arose when his family members began asking about any potential wedding plans we were making (remember: three-month relationship). We push our way to the air-conditioned bar in our hotel when one of my kids calls me. Mr. Anger Issues tells me how much he likes her and how much he wants kids of his own.
"Yeah, I'm not having any more kids," I remind him.
"We're really going to fucking talk about this right now? Right fucking here, goddammit?"
I look at the pitcher of margaritas in front of us, take a huge, brain-freezing gulp and quietly ask him for the hotel key.
"If you leave me alone in this bar right now I will fucking hate you forever," he scowls.
I drink more, start a conversation with the drunk Scottish construction worker who has taken his place next to me at the bar and eventually return to the room with Mr. Anger Issues, who stays up all night watching recaps of the Tour de France on TV.
He doesn't speak to me the next morning and, nervous about our flight home, I search for the Xanax in my bag. As we pull into the airport, I begin sweating and run to the restroom vomiting, realizing too late that I have accidentally taken his pain medication. Turns out I'm allergic to Vicodin.
Two hours of crying and dry-heaving later, I emerge from the restroom. He glares at me and offers this:
"Well, I don't want kids with you anyway. Look at yourself, you're like a crackhead prostitute."
A CLASSY JOINT
By Peter Danovich
San Francisco, 1976. Smoking marijuana in the street was in vogue, and transplanted females declared their independent, feminine, we-are-women voices. San Francisco was a sexual cookie jar with ready and willing beautiful women. Within five minutes of conversation, it was the norm that the f-bomb would flower as a noun, pronoun and adjective while offering a joint. Their modus operandi was "why wait!" Wining and dining was not necessary. You were their hook-up selection for the night. Why wait, indeed.
I left a $70,000-a-year job in Chicago, came to San Francisco without a job, let my hair grow out to a naturally curly afro and added a mustache. Quite a new look. I can best summarize my initial San Francisco beginnings as someone always offering me a drink, marijuana, hashish, taking their clothes off, or my looking for a parking place.
My Swedish friend and hair stylist, Anita, worked at I. Magnin and cut my hair every two months. My "worst date" had its origin at the I. Magnin boutique. Anita's co-worker, an absolutely gorgeous, tall brunette from Ohio named Denise, shared an immediate attraction with me, leading to our one and only date.
Denise lived in the Pacific Heights area. After parking my car, I stepped in dog shit. Nice beginning.
Denise looked ravishing and greeted me with a welcoming kiss. Off to dinner at my favorite restaurant, Vintner's on Union Street. We smoked a joint before going in. Normally, smoking a joint leads to enhanced appetites and a loosening of inhibitions with free-flowing conversation. Interspersed, I constantly visualized Denise naked in my bed. I couldn't wait.
I was a "happy stoner," the type whose gaps in conversation retention were quite frequent, accompanied by that dopey stoned look. Denise was the opposite. The joint didn't affect her in the least as she talked on and on in all seriousness. My brain cells couldn't keep up. Being so stoned led her to verbally dress me down multiple times during dinner.
"Peter, do you understand what I'm talking about?"
"Denise, your conversation is deep and wordy, and by the time you finish, I've only retained the last part of what you just said. I'm sorry."
There was a deep, cold chill in the air after that. Conversation was at a standstill. Maybe she'd forget the dinner and share my thoughts of saving the date by having sex at my apartment.
Not a chance. She walked alone to her apartment without a "Good night." It was my worst date. If Denise was writing her story, it would mirror mine—her worst date ever.
I've completely forgotten Denise's looks, our dinner and conversation, but, for some reason, I've never forgotten that smell of dog shit on the sole of my shoe.