Pride Month — The object of broken desire

I had a room at a friend’s house in the Tower District, a sprawling two-story Craftsman built in the 1920s on Van Ness Avenue one block north of Olive Avenue — right in the very heart of the Tower District. My friend’s son, my son and I were enjoying a late night on the front porch passing the old guitar around when we heard my friend grumbling out loud to himself as he stumbled around the corner.

“How’s it goin’?” someone asked my obviously inebriated friend as he made his way up the steps.

He paused for a moment swaying before the front door and announced he had only two choices left in life — move out of town or remarry his ex-wife.

“What are you talking about?”

“These Tower District women are killing me!” he exclaimed with a stomp.

“What in the world are you talking about?”

Then my friend shared his bitter tale of Tower District woe.

He had gone to the Blue (The Wild Blue Yonder, a Tower District nightclub) to have a couple of beers after dinner. As he sat at the bar, a beautiful young woman strolled in by herself and sat at the opposite end of the bar. They were the only two customers. Always the player, he tried to make eye contact with her, but she ignored him.

He said all that changed after she had a couple of drinks. She started smiling at him, twirling her swizzle stick and playing with the fruit in her drink. My friend thought he saw an opening and jumped at the opportunity. He walked over and introduced himself.

He said this woman hit all his fantasy buttons — long blonde hair, piercing blue eyes, legs up to here, a delightfully curvaceous shape — all that in a miniskirt and black leather boots. He thought he had fallen in love.

The minutes turned to hours as the two drank and talked and talked and drank. My friend thought things were going so well between them and they were making such a strong connection he could easily move past simply exchanging phone numbers. He even started to entertain the thought of boldly asking her to stroll with him back to his house around the corner.

Just as he was about to pop that question, his dream shattered — the woman’s girlfriend with a butch buzz hairdo on one side that swooped into a whoosh on the other side waltzed up and planted a big, wet, passionate kiss right on the lips of this woman who had so recently become the object of his desire.

“So, who’s this?” the girlfriend asked.

“A new friend,” the woman said. “We just met.”

“Nice to meet you,” the girlfriend said, shaking his hand.

“Come on now, we’ve gotta go, we’re gonna be late,” the girlfriend said to the woman at the bar, and just like that two of them walked hand in hand right out his life forever.

“I spent like $100 on mai tais,” my friend lamented.

My son had the guitar on his lap, and he announced upon hearing my friend’s story that on the spot he had written a new verse to that old blues song “Bad Luck and Trouble” in his honor.

He sang out, “Well, I gotta be leavin’ Fresno, before I go and remarry my old ex-wife. I said, I gotta be leaving Fresno, before I go and remarry my funky old ex-wife. These Tower District women, Lord, they’re sure makin’ a mess outta my precious life.”

We all busted out laughing as my friend drug himself upstairs to bed.