Something unusual happened to me this weekend. On Saturday night, after winning at poker, I decided that I would go out. That is pretty usual. Normally, I would hang out in Dinkytown, but that night, I had an urge to go to the CC Club in Uptown. I hadn’t been there in a long time, but I felt the need to be around some youngsters, occupy a barstool, and observe my surroundings while enjoying a few ales. It took awhile for a stool to open up, but when it did, I ordered my drink and decided to watch.
I occupied a nice piece of real estate. I was at the corner, where I could watch people enter and exit, but also at this corner I could pay attention to the other people inside. My corner was on a main thoroughfare, yet it was isolated from the common bar service. I had a nice slice of peace to ponder my future and to briefly look at who these other people were.
I seldom people watch. I think it is a bit of a creepy activity, but on Saturday night, I was in a particularly open minded. I also felt rather passive. Usually, I would try harder to meet new people, like try to strike up a conversation, but I was in a learning mood; a reading mood. This is probably because, when I went to poker, I was expecting to lose all my money. Instead, I ended up tripling my money by winning a small tournament.
What I’m trying to say is that I ended up taking a girl home. Now, before you start saying, “Hubba-hubba” or doing the audience “Oooo” when people kissed on a ‘90s sitcom, just know that we didn’t go there. I thought about it, I probably would if the opportunity presents itself to us again, but like I said, I didn’t feel like participating in my life at the time.
She was a beautiful Jewish woman with black hair and green eyes. I’ll call her Asher. Asher came up to me, sat next to me and started talking. Asher was about my height and had dreadlocks and was about 25 years old. The problem was that she was pretty strung out on drugs or drunk or something. Maybe both; maybe everything. She was struggling to hold on to coherent thoughts and talking was a challenge for her, but I was patient, letting her try to speak.
Asher’s mind was filled with regret over a friendship she ended last summer. She was struggling to reconnect with her childhood friend, despite having had a huge fight at the beach. They haven’t talked since, but she felt ready to reach out again. Tragically, her friend was also her dealer and her dealer had descended into a dark path which she was unwilling to follow. Her friend was also sort of trying to convert her into being a Christian.
I could tell that Asher just needed someone to listen. Being a friend of drunks, I realize that they tend to repeat themselves once they are near memory blackout. This was how it was for Asher, but her words and thoughts were like scattered puzzle pieces and I had to deduce the picture from what was revealed. I have to admit, I enjoyed working on the puzzle. She was very pretty and I wanted to help.
While at the bar, several other guys noticed her and one or two of them really started to creep and leer on her pretty hard. One guy pretended to be her boyfriend. He wanted to know what my business was and I told the truth, “My roommates have their girlfriends over and I see no need to be at the house while that is going on.” He stopped being defensive after that and went away.
1:15 rolled around and AlcoDroid warned me not to have another drink. I told Asher that I was going to go home, but then the bombshell was dropped, “Can you take me with you?” I could not refuse.
Crossing the threshold of my house with Asher, I felt as if I had brought a stray dog home with me from school and I was waiting for my mother to take it to the pound. But instead of a stray dog, this was a human being; a human stray. But she was cute and I liked having her around, despite the fact that she was keeping one of my roommates awake. We went downstairs to piece together a conversation. Asher seemed to really like me. I must’ve looked really appealing with those drugs she was on. We had a few more beers and around 4:30, I set her up with a blanket on the couch. I also left the door of my room open in case she needed me, but she didn’t.
My roommate had to work at 10am. Asher and I were both awake by 8:30. I invited her out to breakfast, but she wanted to shower. Unfortunately, her shower went long. Like, an hour long, and my roommate was pretty pissed. He had to go to work without cleaning up. Later, I apologized and did his share of the housework to make up for it.
That morning, Asher seemed to still be under the influence of drugs. Under her breath she would say things like, “Wow” and “Jesus.” She was confused, but also had a lot of love in her heart. She confessed that she was tired of being on drugs and wanted to be sober again. She asked if I could be her sober sponsor and I said that I would. She would be going into treatment.
I took Asher to stay with her aunt. She had a couple of bags of stuff with her. We never had breakfast, but we did stop for coffee at a coffee shop in St. Paul. Her aunt lives in St. Paul and I got lost. A good part of my morning was spent following the driving directions of a person high on drugs, which sounds pretty glamourous after having typed it all out here.
Okay. I’ve written it out – my experience with a stray human. Somehow, I’m reminded of a quote from Edward of Cowboy Bebop, “If you see a mysterious stranger, follow him!”
*In Other News* – My grandfather also has a thing for drug addicts. He married one as his second wife and it still angers my father to this day.