Wednesday, June 25, 2008
THE GUY WHO WOULDN'T STOP TALKING ABOUT NOTHING
Steven didn't know when to shut up. He wasn't a bad guy or anything, he was just drunk. He may have even had a speech impediment, but the bartender at Angry Wades didn't think so. He thought the dude was just plain shit-faced. It's my second time sitting next to the guy, a 40-something fella wearing a button down shirt, loose tie and dress pants. He drinks Miller lite and best we could tell he had been drinking them at a pretty fast clip for about 9-hours already.
When drunk, some people become happy. Others like to fight. Some just talk a lot and do it very loudly. This guy was soft spoken, but had absolutely no train of thought, which might be explained off by his lack of sobriety. But, not really. It's almost like he has Tourettes Syndrome, when a brain malfunction makes you twitch and belt out words and phrases that make no sense.
When I first sat down, he turned to me and said "LLC." (That's a limited liability company) I said, "Excuse me?" His response, "College football." I told him I'm not a big college football fan and he said, "Southern Lebanon." I thought this might be some college I was unfamiliar with, until he blurted out, "Gaza." Okay, I get it, like in the strip, the Palestinian territory in Israel. "Yeah," I said, "It's a mess." "Chinatown!" Now, what the fuck does Chinatown have to do with Gaza or even college football.
This goes on. At this point, I decide to jot down all of his wandering words and thoughts so later I could see if it was some sort of CIA code he was trying to pass along. His train of thought wanders from Parks, to the Sopranos, to Hillary Clinton to (ready, there's actually some sort of thread to follow) Senators and political corruption. I tried to engage him a few times to see if he had any depth of knowledge to any of these utterings, but no. There was no topic, just words and thoughts.
And there was more. "Staten Island," "Bears in New Jersey," and "FBI." I couldn't keep up. Four beers later, he's still going on. "You know what the place looks like,?" he asks. I shake my head, "No!" Go ahead, just try to guess what his answer to this question is. Try. Here's a clue. Nary a single word connects to anything. Okay, his response: "Timothy McVeigh."
Now, I'm really curious. So after a very, very short conversation about what I do. I ask him, "What do you do for a living?" Ready.
He's a Real Estate Construction Lawyer. I'm not quite sure what that is, but I suppose it has something to do with helping developers steer clear of legal hurdles when putting up a building. So, I asked, "What's Real Estate Construction law?" He answers, "Donald Trump." I said, "Oh, so you consult Trump." He goes, "No, I'm a lawyer." Back to square one. He's having a difficult time explaining what he does, if indeed, he really is a Real Estate Construction Lawyer. I persist, but get nowhere.
I decide to try reverse psychology. I begin to blurt out words and phrases that have no train of thought. "Tulips in a Pear tree," I say. "Huh?," he asks. "That's right, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." "Who's that," he asks. "Bacon!," I tell him.
"Goes good with eggs," he says. "Yeah, like a Mack truck on a lonely country highway," I say. "You have a Mack truck," he wonders. "Nope," I say, "Donald Trump." "Really," he continues. Then, he blurts out, "Real Estate Construction Law." And so we came full circle and I left in frustration trying to make heads or tails of his bizarre barroom code. You don't even want to know what I was dreaming that night.