The goddamn hi-def TV in the dark bar was hurting my eyes.
In fact, can I just say that do we really need hi-def? At what point is good enough, good enough? Anyway, some player was making some play for some team. I didn't care. It was the kind of day I was having.
I scoffed at the TV and the barkeep Ralphie saw me. "What'sa matter? You have a bet down?"
"Nah," I answered shaking my head and pointing to the newscaster. "There's nothing more annoying than mildly attractive women talking about sports."
Ralphie smiled. "You fuckin' gay? She's hot."
"She has a snout," I said.
Ralphie studied her face and bit his lip nodding. "She does have a snout. I think I like her more. Got that hot soccer mom thing goin' on."
"I dunno, man. She looks like a fuckin' monkey."
"Lemme tell you something," Ralphie said. He eased in towards me and pointed to the TV. "If that girl came in here at closing, sat next to you and did so much as even smile -- there's no way you're not letting her get a little stink on your down-low."
Ralphie knew me too well and I raised my eyebrows. "Yeah, so?"
"You're 34, right? When are you gonna get real?" he said.
I played with the ice in my drink that needed a refill and humored him. "Meaning?"
He got mildly irritated. "Meaning ... You and every other idiot in here think there's only two kinds of women that exist -- goddess or guttersnipe."
"What the fuck is a guttersnipe?" It sounded disgusting, but I guess that's the point he was trying to make. Ralphie walked away. "Seriously, Ralph, what's a frikkin' guttersnipe?"
Wiping the bar, He shook his head, made a tsk-tsk sound and headed over to the softball team who needed another Miller Light pitcher.
# # # #
I had a car on the lift the next day. It was a big job so I took my time and thought about what Ralphie said. I guess he had a point but I still couldn't get past how I felt. I liked who I liked. It was black or white.
The Old Man in the office broke my concentration and called us grease monkeys in to see him. All four of us threw down our tools and wandered into the office. We were down one guy for about a month so there wasn't exactly time to listen to his usual hemming and hawwing.
"I want you all to meet your new technician for Bay Number 5," he said. "Charlie..."
We didn't say anything. We just stared at our new mechanic, unsure of his decision.
"I'm super excited to come on board. This is a really well-respected shop," Charlie said, extending hand.
Did the Old Man lose his marbles? Was he serious? Did he actually want us to get any work done?
I shook her hand. It was smoothe and she smelled like a vacation. Ralphie's words kept repeating in my head. Goddess or guttersnipe...
The heavens were fucking with me. Here I had my goddess but did I want her in my workplace where I needed to be on my game?
Walking back to my bay, I kept asking myself, "Why couldn't she be medicore like the sportscaster chick on TV? The one with the snout..."