Friday, July 2, 2010

Mesmerizing Tattoos…

There was a lady sitting in the park tonight around midnight much to my surprise.  I wanted my solitude but would later be glad she was there.  She was listening to an iPod and drinking a bottle of Miller Lite – both of us ignoring the no alcohol sign at the entrance to the park. Another unopened bottle sat next to her on the bench sweating from the humidity of a Southern summer night.. I was mesmerized by her myriad of colorful tattoos adorning her scantily clad body in the shadows of the mercury vapor lights that shone pinkish overhead.  A wispy dragon ran down from her shoulder to her left arm revealed by the openness of her skimpy tank top.   A large colorful sunflower adorned her outer thigh revealed by her very slight blue jean shorts.  She watched me warily as I sat down on a nearby bench and put on my radio’s earphones.   She saw me light up a cigarette and soon walked over to ask me for one as well – cigarettes being the supreme icebreaker for smokers.  Especially smokers without a cigarette.  She seemed to be a worldly woman and I thought it strange a woman would be sitting in the park this late at night.  My immediate thoughts were that she was a prostitute or a crackhead lost in a moment of quiet contemplation over beers.

“I forgot my cigarettes at home,” she told me. “I left in a big hurry.”

“Ah menthol,” she then said after lighting up. “You must have some African American in you.  Black people always love menthols.  You always see them smoking Newports.”

I chuckled emphatically exclaiming my complete and utter whiteness. George would always say I was about the whitest guy he had ever befriended. 

“I love your tattoos,” I said trying to stir up small talk as she walked over to the bench in front of me and sat down facing me. “They are fascinating.  It must’ve have hurt to get all those.”

I shuddered at the thought of all the painful needle pricking that went into creating all that body art.

“The pain is worth it,” she said drawing on her cigarette and crossing her legs growing comfortable with me. “I love the art of it all.  Each tattoo has a meaning and significance about my life.  They all have a story to tell.”

“Do you come down here a lot?” I asked.

“I’ve been fighting with my boyfriend,” she told me revealing more than I had asked for as she got up and came over to sit down beside me.

I offered her my bottle of Thunderbird and she unscrewed the cap and took a dainty drink.

“We fight all the time,” she then said wiping her mouth following a weak and worried smile.  “I love him, though.  I just had to get out of house and walk down here to sit awhile to cool off. We had a big blow out tonight. I love this little park.It calms me. I come down here to read often early in the mornings before the heat hits.  I’ve been reading the Twilight Saga and love it.  I about can’t put the books down.  I live just across the mill’s parking lot.  Me and my boyfriend live in the apartment complex over there.”

She turned and pointed across the parking lot to the sprawling apartment complex hundreds of yards away nestled in-between houses of the mill village.

“Relationships are a funny thing,” I replied wistfully, drawing on my own cigarette and exhaling.  “My ex-wife and I fought all the time, but we loved each other deeply.”

“Do you come down here a lot as well?” she then asked reaching for another drink of wine. I eagerly obliged loving having a drinking partner.  I’ve been lonely for months ever since George went to jail.

“This is only my second night in weeks, but I plan on making it a usual occurrence,” I replied. “I enjoy this park as well.  I like to listen to my favorite radio show down here late at night.  It is better than just sitting at home.  I’ve felt this extreme need to get out of the house every night lately.”

“I shouldn’t be drinking,” she shyly told me.  I could almost see her blush. “We always fight when we drink. You know. Me and him.  My boyfriend.”

“I shouldn’t be drinking as well,” I replied as I sighed. “I call it my medicine these days. I have a lot of anxiety to quell.”

She chuckled and told me goodnight as she got up to leave. 

“He’s probably worried about me now,” she said as she turned to face me one last time. “It was really nice talking to you.  You’re a cool guy.  Can I have one more cigarette?”

I gave her another cigarette and said goodnight.  I wanted her to stay as I watched her walk across the parking lot towards the apartment complex.  It had been a long time since I had been so close to a woman and had such close social contact with one other than my mother.  They are fascinating creatures. I thought for a long time about what just happened.  For months, I’ve sat inside my house with little contact with others except for AA meetings.  The socialization was intoxicating.  I wanted to meet new people – to explore a social world.  My drinking has emboldened me and made me gregarious.  


This IS The Fun Part! said...

And so it begins.

The wine didn't do that. You just managed to run into a very nice stranger in the park.

If this is the beginning of the downward spiral, please look back and remember how bad this can be. Don't glamorize it and try to convince yourself that alcohol is the answer. YOU KNOW THAT IT'S NOT! That's already been tried and a huge, painful result is all you got.

You are just grasping at straws!

I do still love you - I wouldn't nag if I didn't care.


Summer said...

Your writing is excellent!

forsythia said...

You drew a great picture with your words. Some folks tell their story with tattoos, and some with blogs.

Sharon said...

I hate to nag you as well, but I'm really scared for you right now. I don't know if you're testing yourself, if you truly WANT to believe that the drinking will help your anxiety & social issues, or if you're trying to drive people away. I can't presume to guess. But I will say that you know what you need to do, and drink isn't it. Please, please, rethink what you're doing. We fear for your health and safety.

Hap Joy Free said...

alcohol is medicine?

Tee said...

Alcohol is not the answer! It is a dead end street. Get yourself back to AA TODAY!

Jules said...

I'm not going to bitch about the drinking. You'll be hearing enough of that. I just hate your remorse afterward. That's when you lose me.

Your writing has taken on the flavor of the old Andrew. The one I met years ago. You used to be so relaxed and could paint a picture with your words.

You're doing it again and it's incredibly enjoyable. Is that the alcohol talking? You are a good writer either way. Maybe you should focus more in that direction?

Be happy in life... that's all.

Beth said...

What Grannie said.

Are you really going to do this to Charlie while Dad's away?

You will crash, you know you will, and this time it could result in a hospital stay, leaving Maggie in a kennel or someone else.

And if you're just making this up to see what we all think, you're risking alienating a lot of people who have grown to care about you.

Or is that what you want?

I'm not liking what you're showing us about you.

becomingkate said...

Andrew...I'm a little worried too. BUT I love your writing and always have. You should try submitting some of it.

please take good care!

PipeTobacco said...


An excellently crafted bit of writing! Bravo! Beautiful, descriptive, tells a complete story... excellent! You have a gift for writing indeed.

Regardless of which path you select during the next several days, please keep in mind the idea of MODERATION in life allowing you to keep an even keel of things... and that alone can be enough to give you the happiness you and everyone craves.

I feel so glad to see you feeling creative in your writing!


Anonymous said...

Pitiful screed with no insight whatsoever. Description is limited to his besotted fixation with her tattoos and beer cans.

Anonymous said...

Lets number to the Valley Pharmacy: (334) 756-2037

I'm sure they can contact his father in an emergency.

I also live in VA and can track down your brother.

Hope you make the right choice. I'm off work all weekend....I have the time to invest.

Yeah I'm a bitch...but I still care.


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Blogger said...

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