Asking for a Friend

15 Oct

A “friend” was telling me about an unusual altercation she recently had at a karaoke bar in Midtown.  She was attending a going away party for someone from college she hadn’t even known was living in New York.  The bar was full of people she hadn’t seen since graduation day six years prior… which is stressful enough.  What was even more stressful is that a guy she used to be involved with was there with his girlfriend.  She eventually abandoned her mozzarella sticks to go greet the guy and meet his significantly younger girlfriend.  When my friend first moved to New York, she hung out with this guy a few times until his girlfriend sent her a sexual text pretending to be him.  She assumed that things would be awkward when they finally met, but the girlfriend was friendly enough.  In fact, she even took it upon herself to select a single man at the bar to be my friend’s “project” for the evening.  The person she selected was a dark-haired late-twenties guy in town from Los Angeles for reasons unknown.  My friend had been nervously downing beers like there’s no tomorrow and figured why not?– so she struck up a conversation with the stranger, choosing to ignore his stale personality.

All of the people she knew there began to depart, but my friend stuck around despite her original intent to only stay for one beer.  Feeling impulsive, she got up to sing karaoke– something she wouldn’t normally do because she hates karaoke almost as much as she hates Midtown and small armies of thespians.  After her song, “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, she sat back down next to the stranger and he leaned in close, whispering “you have a wonderful voice.”  She smiled and excused herself downstairs to the bathroom.  While washing her hands she heard a noise and looked up to see the stranger burst through the door and lock it behind him.  He lunged towards her, forcefully kissing her and grabbing her chest.  She lurched backwards and slapped him across the face– her still-damp hand generating a crisp sound against his cheek that echoed through the bathroom.  She then ran upstairs and out of the bar.

Enduring the discomfort of a moderate hangover the next day, she was able to laugh about the events of the previous evening.  A sad, ironic laugh… the kind that if wine is involved may produce a tear or two.  I should know, I was there.

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