The Angel of San Diego

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Chapter 9 - Night Out

9 - Night Out

Robin found a bar a few streets away from the halfway house. He didn’t mind the fact that it was a trans-gender nightclub. He had no prejudices. He was well aware that it isn’t your color or sexual orientation that makes you a weirdo or a jerk – it’s your attitude.

Besides, a drink is a drink no matter where you get it.

He sat at the bar. The bar tender approached, placed a coaster in front of him, and said, “Can I get you something, Sir?”

“Sure. I’d like a large glass of Port, please… Make that a double.”

The bar tender didn’t move. He just looked Robin over as if studying him.

“Is something wrong?” Robin asked.

“No, sir, you just look like someone who needs something a bit stronger than Port. You’re white as a sheet.”

“You should have seen me a few weeks ago,” Robin replied with a touch of irony. The bartender didn’t react to that so he said, “Private joke. Anyway, I don’t usually drink anything other than Port. I can’t stand beer and I never acquired a taste for hard liquor.”

“Ever have a Pineapple Freeze?”

“Never heard of it… What is it?”

“It’s kind of like a pineapple slushy only with a kick.”

“What’s in it?”

“Fresh pineapple slices, ice, and rum all whipped together in a blender.”

“I don’t know. I….”

“Tell you what: I’ll make you one on me, and if you don’t like it, I’ll buy you a glass of my finest Portuguese Port. Okay?”

At this point Robin was more interested in the anesthetic qualities of the alcohol to care so he said, “Sure.” His head was full of buzzing bees and he needed to silence them before he went screaming through the streets like a mad man.

He watched the bartender take the metal blender cup and add ingredients. Pineapple slices, ice cubes, 151 rum, and then some other liquids.

“What are those?” Robin asked.

“Pineapple flavoring, coconut juice, and sugar water for sweeteners. They take away the acid taste and make the rum taste better.”

The blender ran for about fifteen seconds. The bartender poured the concoction into a large, tall glass, dropped in a pineapple slice, and added a paper umbrella. He put the glass on the coaster. “Here you go,” he produced two straws and laid them over his left forearm for Robin to take.

Robin sniffed the drink, “It smells pretty good.”

“Go ahead, try it.”

“Robin took the straws from him, put them in the glass, and took a sip. The bar tender looked at his guest inquiringly.

“This is really good. Thanks,” Robin said, pausing after a few sips. He then began taking longer drinks of the concoction.

“I knew you would like it, sir. Enjoy.”

“Call me Robin. Everyone does. What’s yours?”

“I’m Sammy.”

“Nice to meet you Sammy,” Robin offered him his hand. Sammy shook it and said, “My pleasure,” and went to the other end of the bar to serve another customer. Robin took another sip of his drink.

He looked around the place and noticed guys in drag serving the patrons and kidding around with them. One or two were a bit muscular, but others looked better than real women. A couple of them looked so much like women that Robin had to watch them closely before he noticed the prominent Adams Apple that gave their true gender away.

The floor show started up. Miss Daisy came out dressed like Barbara Streisand. His makeup was so well done that it took a minute or so before he fully realized that Miss Daisy was only imitating the star by dressing up and lip-synching to a record.

This Streisand does a better Streisand than the real one.

A girl came out as Michael Jackson and brought down the house. She even had the skull-like makeup down so well it looked like she had undergone the same plastic surgery as he had.

Three Divas and two freezes later the bees were somewhat cowed and Robin was feeling much better. He finished the last of the one in front of him and the bartender came over.

“Want another one, Robin?”

“No, thanks, two were enough. I need to get home to bed.”

Now that’s a first: Robin, the drunk stopping at two drinks. Being dead seems to have cured that craving.

When he received the change from paying the bar tab he got off the stool and put a five-dollar bill on the bar. “Thanks again for the freezes, Sammy. I wish I could tip you more, but I’m in a bit of a bind at the moment. I will be back, though.”

“Don’t sweat it, Robin. I’m always glad to introduce people to new things. See you next time.”

Robin walked out into the warm night air. The Santa Ana was doing its job keeping the cold ocean air from coming in from the bay. He knew it wouldn’t last because they were expecting temperatures to drop in the wee hours down to the fifties, but right now he was fine just wearing Dr. Noah’s suit coat.

There’s nothing like San Diego on a warm autumn night.

He wasn’t drunk, but he was feeling happy. The bees had been quieted a bit and his headache was dulled. He walked the two blocks to the half-way home in a good mood.

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