“Waiter, can we have another round, please” Fran said, making a small circle over the three of our heads.
“on it’s way, miss”
“I‘m not even finished with this round” I chuckled, draining the last of my glass. “so, Jen, where’s Jon”?
“Home. I told him we were hanging out tonight” she answered.
“He could have came” Fran said.
“Yeah, it’s not like we don’t know him or anything. God, Jen you’ve only been with him for what, thirteen years. I think I might remember what he looks like. Tall, dark skin, and long, black hair, right”? I teased.
“eh…he’s thinning, but close” Jen laughed going through her oversized black leather Dior bag. “ I told him he was invited but he said he’s stay home with the kids. Uh…he’s such a good husband…where is it…ah ha finally” Jen took out, from the black hole that is the inside of her bag a Smuckers strawberry smoothie lip balm and applied it to her mouth. She laughed at mine and Frans looks. “what? It’s the best. I bought a pack of three for Lily but she accidentally lost one in my makeup bag“ she said making quotation marks around the word accidentally. The three of us laughed.
“ is the next book you write going to be about a mother bunny who stole her daughters grape flavored chap stick”? Fran teased. Jen smiled. “No…bunnies like carrot flavored chap stick. Duh. Besides, I don‘t want my first children‘s book being about a bunny stealing. That‘s something you write after you‘re successful“.
“Oh, I wasn’t aware that three books on Oprah’s list, a bunch of TV interviews, and an upcoming children’s book line wasn’t successful” I teased. “who knew”?
The waiter arrived at our table and handed each of us a new glass: Fran a class of red wine, Jen an apple martini, and me a Jack and coke.
“when did you start drinking real liquor”? Fran asked taking a sip of her wine
“When did you stop”? I asked.
“I’m a lady” Fran replied “I don’t drink such stuff” batting her eyelashes and taking another sip.
“So the whiskey is in the car” Jen chimed in
“was until about an hour ago” Fran laughed.
I took a sip of my drink. It was cold. Hard tasting, with a bit of a fizz. I remember when I hated this stuff. I spent my first five drinking years drinking nothing but Smirnoff’s, and wine coolers. It wasn’t until the stress of working 60 plus hours a week, living off of Chinese food, falling asleep in my office just to put together a new episode of the show did I start drinking like a real man. Ha I thought, you a real man.
I let out a giggle.
“What”? Jen asked.
“Nothing” I smiled. “Just, remember that time you were drunk for like forty-right hours straight”?
“in my parents basement” Fran added “do it, Andrew, do it” she laughed in between drinking wine and patting at me rapidly. I laughed, cleared my throat and got into character
“I looooooove Jon” I said throwing my head back in a drunkenly way “he fucks me good”. there was a chorus of laughter at the table which brought attention to us by other people at the restaurant.
“wait wait wait wait” I breathed. My side hurt from laughing “Andrew…what time is it”? I said. Jen snorted. “It’s noon, Jen” after a minute or so of silent giggles I said “you’re the best” and threw my hand to my side as if I were Jen drunk trying to pat me on my shoulder ten years ago.
“Oh my god” Fran laughed a deep, emphysema like laugh, wiping her eyes with her thumb “I haven’t heard that in such a long time”
“I haven’t heard that laugh in such a long time” I cried. “Andrew, turn up the oxygen” Fran and I busted into laughter again.
We finished our drinks and ordered another round. I could feel the alcohol starting to seep into my body. I knew if I stood up too quickly it would all rush to my legs and they would feel weak. So I decided to stay sitting and keep drinking. I remembered those days, ten years ago when we all sat in Frans basement and drank. Some more than others. Fran, Melany, and Jen having to deal with Brittany and I. I smiled. I haven’t talked to that girl in years. I wonder how she’s doing. Then Melany moved out or Frans house. Moved to North Carolina to live with her boyfriend Paul. Paul. I hated him the first day I met him. Obnoxious and loud. Then they got married and he went back to Iraq for almost a year.
“Do you remember Melany’s wedding party thing we went to”? I asked.
“Yeah” Fran said. “How could we not”? I let out a small chuckle. Melany’s wedding party. Oh Melany. I honestly didn’t think they would last. They rushed it. Marrying at 19. I remember the day she told me; that day, on her wedding day she called me and left me a voice mail while I was at work. I was working at H&M at the time. I called her back on my break and found out that she was getting married that day. I was shocked. Then there was the big wedding party thing they had a year later, once Paul was back from Iraq, again. We all drank. We were all having fun, when the fight happened. Oh god. One of Melany’s friends from north Carolina’s dates knew another person’s date, and not in a good “hey, how ya doin”? kind of way. In a “Hey, why the fuck are you here? I told you to never speak to me again” kind of way. It turns out that someone slept with someone else’s boyfriend and then someone told someone else, and then there was this huge fight. Even though there was super crazy drama, and that fight, we still managed to have a good night. I thought that that was a sign that this marriage wasn’t going to last. Silly me. Yeah, there were some issues between Melany and Paul, but after his accident, everything surprisingly got much better.
“I wonder how they’re doing”? Jen asked.
“They’re good” Fran said. “Justin got really big last time I saw him, and Diana is gorgeous”
“Yeah, last time I went to visit them she was learning how to walk. Regardless that was like two years ago, but whatever” I said.
“aw, I remember when Adam first learned how to walk.“ Jen said. “Poor guy was blessed with his mothers ability to be accident prone. Fell right into the coffee table. He had his first step and first set of stitches that night”
“Thank god he has his fathers good looks” I joked. Jen pouted. “Aww, I’m only kidding”
“Jon is perfect, and I’m adorable, so naturally our kids would be gorgeous” Jen said, stirring her martini with the toothpick it was served with
“Baby” Fran mocked. “Baby is perfect. Baby has pretty eyes. Me and baby make cute babies”
“we do” Jen said.
“God, I love shopping for your kids” I said, my eyes glowing with happiness. “Lily looks adorable in that Betsy dress”
“I know, and Jack loves that vest you got him. I don’t know why, but my kids love getting clothes from you. When I buy them new clothes they throw fits” Jen shrugged.
“that’s because I got style” I joked, snapping a Z motion with my hand.
I stumbled a little in my seat. I was definitely feeling the booze now. We all were. Now that I looked, I could tell that Jen was bright red in the face, and giggly, Fran was…Fran. She was probably drunk before noon, and I was ready for bed all of a sudden. Luckily my apartment was only a few blocks away, so I could just take a taxi.
“I just got so tired” I said looking at my watch. “It’s half past…I could never read these non digital watches” I said.
“Then why do you have one”? giggled Jen
“Because It looks good” I laughed grabbing Frans wrist and checking her watch “It’s half past one”
Fran rolled her eyes. “The dogs are probably busting at the seams” she said. “Last time I was out this late Arthur peed all over my bed. I bet on purpose, to teach me a lesson”
“What”? I asked “not to go drinking without them”?
We laughed. I waved over the waiter and asked for the check.
“I got it” said Fran and Jen together.
“No” I said sternly. “I got it. I think I’m pretty sure I still owe you two money from back when I was eighteen. Now that I am never negative in my account I can buy you ladies fancy things”
“Baby” Fran joked. Jen hit her arm.
I paid the waiter and the three of us walked out of the restaurant and onto forty third street. The lights hit my eyes and started to make my head hurt. The three of us each hailed a taxi.
“Have a good night guys” Jen said giving Fran and I a hug. “I’ll see you guys later”
“Night Jenny” Fran said squeezing her back. “Get home safe. Say hi to Jon and the kids for me”
“Yeah, me too” I said closing the cab door after she stepped in. “cute shoes by the way”
Jen rolled down the window. “Thanks. Prada. Got them at a sample sale on thirty second last week” she said before telling the cab driver to take her to Penn.
“Night, Fran” I said holding out my hand for a handshake
“Who are you”? she asked? “I don’t talk to strangers”
“Oh, I’m Joe. Nice to meet you” I said in a British Accent
“Oh hi” Fran said in a Minnesotan accent. “Nice to meet you, Joe. I’m Bernadette, I just moved here, ya know” extending her hand for the handshake. We shook hands.
“Okay, night Fran” I said, and hugged her before getting into my cab and telling him my cross streets.
“Night” Fran said, and I watched to make sure she got into her cab safe Like anyone would want to take her I thought and smiled to myself.
“Say hi to Ryan for me” I yelled out the window before my cab passed hers. She waved and the yellow taxi pulled away from the street.