Over the weekend I was digging through some boxes of pictures and I ran across an old pocket phone book I used in the late 90s and early 00s. It’s likely that no one under 25 has ever kept all of their phone numbers in a book like it. Phones do it all now.
In the old days, if you lost your notebook full of phone numbers, you were fucked. Hopefully you could remember the most important ones, like your mom or that young lady with the liberated ideas about sex you met at the after hours club. Casual acquaintances would be completely wiped out.
It was nostalgic to see the familiar names of old friends in that book. I can still remember where I was at when I wrote some their numbers down for the first time. Sometimes there’d be a little note next to the name like, “met at Kaldi’s” or “possible bass player.”Many of the names have no faces attached in my memory. Who was Claire? Was Julian the guy I used to play chess with at the old Rue De La Course in the Lower Garden District?
Because of terrible financial discipline, I lived through most of 1999 to 2001 without a phone. I had a pager and that notebook. Most of Mrs. Lott’s friends tried to use that against me in the early days of our relationship. Apparently I was the only one in California that didn’t see the need to be easy to reach. All those cockblocking spinsters and friend zoners would’ve never guessed we’d still be together still, and happy.
It’s funny how memory works. I currently only remember about four phone numbers, but I can remember details about people I hadn’t thought about in years just by seeing their name in my little book. I had completely forgotten this bad date I had gone on with this really nice girl named Ruth. My motorcycle broke down in a really gnarly area of New Orleans. She walked with me while I pushed it home. She was a trooper, but was definitely nervous when we passed by some projects. I told her not to worry, I had a pistol on me. She was not pleased.
Oddly enough, I ran into her a couple of years later at a strip club (she was a patron) in Los Angeles on 9/12/2001. Mrs. Lott and some of our friends had planned a weekend in LA before the Twin Towers fell, and still went, sort of in a daze the whole time. I was still drinking back then and doing a great job staying numb to the world.
LA was quiet, but we were out for adventure. We ended up at a joint called Jumbo’s Clown Room. This strip club had a roster of mutant dancers that looked like what I imagine a bunch of women who worked in a Hollywood whore house designed by a severely autistic outsider artist would. All the dancers were either alarmingly skinny or surprisingly plump. Each demonstrated their own unique brand of depravity.
Mrs. Lott doesn’t drink, but she was a good sport back in those days and drove us there. My buddy Chris B and I were hammered and well on our way to drooling on ourselves because of some Vicodin I had from recent dental work. After a very awkward and short conversation with Ruth, Chris and I stumbled over to the stage and sat down right at the front.
We were there for two dances before a very heavy set hispanic woman lurched out on stage. She lit up a Kool and walked up and down the tiny stage blowing smoke into the audience member’s faces. When she came over near us, Chris B, who at the time looked like a member of a Mexican Ramones cover band, said something dirty to her in Spanish. She dropped down on her clear heels into a squat right in front of him.
They exchanged a few words I couldn’t understand because I was dumb and took French in high school. Then she started rubbing her tits, getting her nipples close to Chris’ face. He made sucking motions with his lips. Then the greatest thing I’ve ever seen happened.
She pushed and pulled on her nipples and blasted him in the face with about a gallon of breast milk. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a man look as pleased with himself and I definitely have never laughed harder. It was all over Chris and all over my right arm. When I turned back to look at Mrs. Lott’s face, it was filled with horror.
The dancer went right back to her lazy routine on the stage as if she hadn’t just pulled off the single greatest stripper move in history. Chris and I had laughed ourselves into a coughing fit and I started to choke and almost threw up. I can still remember every single drop of sweet cream on Chris’ face, but I can’t recall anything else that happened on that trip.
The moral of the story? Memory is weird, man.