Setting the bar high

The walk of shame. Not the night after the party dazzle has worn off and you have to walk home from some nameless one night stand’s house with your highheels dangling by their straps from your hands, but when you have to return to the bar, meekly asking if they have a clothing lost and found. “How do you leave your shirt at the bar?” two men drinking an eleven-thirty a.m pint wonder. Well, darlin’, let me tell you. It goes something like this. A hundred dollars worth of Purple Helmets, a god-awful mixture of Coors and fruity vodka and a whiskey shot and maybe Pepsi, that only comes available in a pitcher. A hundred dollars worth of those, at twenty bucks a pop, tip included. Who starts it? A gravelly voiced, sun-bleached blond Quebecer with a wicked grin and the devil in her eyes? The one who’s always naked, planting, crew-bossing, on the bus, in camp? Me? I don’t know but at some point there are at least twenty topless bodies on the dance-floor and I’m being refused service until I put a top on. “No, no, no. We don’t do that here.” But apparently, we do. The strings of Christmas lights are vivid and kaleidoscopic as I dance around the bar with my pitcher and two straws, offering it up to all whose paths I cross. I wake up the next day in a button-up dress shirt stained from the block and have to find its owner, walking up and down the hotel halls hoarsely asking if anyone knows where it lives. The hotel we’ve almost been kicked out of, standing in the hallway shelling out twenties to the manager, non-verbal drunk, until he finally goes away. Somebody wakes up to go the washroom; another wakes up between the two parallel hotel beds and takes his place. In the alcove between the washroom and the hallway, Prince Pony and a lumberjack sleep facedown, arms to theirs sides on the floor. When we do laundry at the Husky, PP wears a pink towel wrapped around his hips to run errands, including retrieving my missing shirt, while his jeans spin with the communal laundry. The bar has been set.

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