Tag Archives: Cobra Club

The Chip

20 May

I met Matthew a couple months ago after I stopped at a local bar on my way home to get out of the freezing rain.   I was coming from a previous bar in the West Village where a drunken she-beast had stolen my coat and I was pretty upset.  Not long after I arrived, Matthew approached me and asked if he could buy me a drink to cheer me up.  He was cute and things could not have gotten much worse at that point, so I figured “why not?” and gave him my number.  The next morning I received a text from him asking if he could take me out for drinks that night.  Our “date” was fairly uneventful, but fun… we talked and drank beers in outdoor chair swings at a new bar in my neighborhood.  He had recently moved here from Los Angeles and expressed that he wants to meet new people so he can get involved in the club scene and rooftop party scenarios (to which I told him he’s got the wrong gal for that sort of business).  He was sweet, but slightly effeminate– perhaps just a little too perfectly preened for my liking.  Before parting ways, he gave me a brief kiss goodnight and I kind of felt like I was kissing a delicate lady.  Over the next few days he texted me a lot about going out to dinner.  I wasn’t sure if things had reached meal-level just yet, so I invited him to see my sister’s friend’s band play instead.

The night of the show, my sister and I chatted awkwardly with Matthew for an hour or so before the the band started playing.  He was virtually silent at first, but after two or three beers began talking non-stop about electrical wiring.  After my sister left, we moved to the bar for one more round and suddenly Matthew’s entire demeanor changed drastically.  Out of nowhere he started raising his voice about how everyone in Brooklyn is racist.  I was so shocked at this hostile turn of events, I just sat there with my mouth open.  “No one wants to talk to me when I go out!” he yelled, “why do I have to be the problem, why aren’t YOU PEOPLE the problem?!”  Oh dear.  I gently reminded him that I had gone out with him multiple times after meeting him in a bar, but he wasn’t listening.  He kept getting more and more worked up, to the point where he was sobbing and shouting “I never knew my father!  I was raised by a white woman, how am I supposed to know who I am!?”  I was torn between running out the door as fast as I could and staying to make sure he was okay because he was so upset.  “You are judging others more than they are judging you,” I told him, “people only care about whether or not you seem like a good person whom they would want to be around.”  In between sobs, he screamed “look around you!  Everyone in this bar is white!”  Clearly this conversation was going nowhere, so I suggested maybe he should leave if he didn’t like the bar.  “I’m not leaving!  You leave!  THIS IS MY BAR NOW!”  That’s it.  I told him I had already listened to his belligerent rant long enough and I was not going to entertain him any longer.  I turned to leave, but he aggressively grabbed my arm to stop me.  “Please don’t go, I’m sorry… Promise me that we can just pretend this didn’t happen and keep hanging out… I really need friends… Just tell me you’ll see me again.”  I looked around for the bartender I know in hopes that he would diffuse the situation, but he was no where in sight.  “To be honest?  No, I don’t want to see you again.  You obviously have a chip on your shoulder and need to work through some things for yourself.”  I pulled away from his grasp and ran out as quickly as possible, hiding around the corner from the bar and peering back to make sure he wasn’t following me.  What the hell just happened?!

The next day I received a text from Matthew that said  “I’m really sorry about last night and I’d really like to see you again.  Please know the chip on my shoulder isn’t me, it’s the chip.”  Uhhhh, what?  I told my coworkers the story about what had happened, to which one of them exclaimed “where on Earth do you FIND these people?!”  The bar…

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