PART 1 | by Geoff Przekop | Chris woke up in a haze. Light poured in from the closed blinds and the hangover started. Last night came back to him in a handful of scattered recollections and his eyes pounded with pain. He tried to remember how the night had ended up. He remembered dancing with Trish, a chic little Mod girl from the north shore.
She had looked beautiful last night and her hair had always seemed to be flowing, as if an imaginary fan always blew on her. They had rode out to the Note, a hip Chicago club in Wicker Park on his Series One Lambretta, the red and gold paint contrasted to the different colors of the city. They met up with Rachel and her friend Christine along the way coming out of the Holiday club. They were both dressed to the nines and their patent leather shoes made them look like twins even though Rachel was a good deal taller and a bit heavier.
They had rode down together on their bikes, Rachel on her P200 and Christine on her newly painted Allstate. The city lights washed over them and patrons of different clubs turned to look at them down Milwaukee Avenue. Chris checked his watch. Shit! They were going to be late. There was nothing that pissed him off more than being late. He gunned it and shifted into fourth in the light Chicago traffic. The Note was just up ahead, but he was over an hour late and he was supposed to meet a couple of friends of his from New York. He adjusted his only usable mirror and checked to see if the girls were behind him. Rachel and Christine had fallen behind a bit, but were catching up. Chris pulled to a stop just outside the Note and parked his bike among the usual array of motorcycles and plastic Rivas. There was only one other scoot in the parking lot and he recognized it as Mikeis; a member of his club. It was a ratty, although functional P200 with faded and rusted silver paint. Mike was a bit of an interesting cat, being that he worked on American metal at a tuning shop out in the suburbs, but always rode out to the city. He had a great array of classics at his modest home including a sharp 1960is El Camino that he drove to rallies with the shitty P in the back but you never saw him driving one of his cars in the city.
As soon as he got off his bike, Mike came out to greet him, throwing his arms out and giving Chris a hug. The girls pulled up shortly thereafter and made space to park among the other bikes. Chris stepped back and lit a cigarette, offering one to Trish, even though he wasnit sure if she smoked. Would she be offended? She took one and lit it with her own lighter even though Chris held his out to her. He stared at her a bit puzzled and then she threw him a smile. She had a way of melting your heart with that smile. It was like pure poison and Chris imagined she could have been Cleopatra in a past life. Mike looked at Chris and having forgot, introduced the two. Before they were done shaking hands, hers held out like an empress waiting to have it kissed, she turned and said, “Letis get a drink.” With that, they all strode inside and stopped at the bar for a drink. The two girls, Rachel and Christine were already looking around to see if they saw anyone they knew, or more probably, a guy to dance with. This wasnit a typical night at the Note. They were having a great rockabilly band play and even though Chris hated that kind of music, he was talked into going very easily by Trish.
“So whatis the deal with that Series one? I thought the engine had seized,” asked Mike over his vodka tonic.
“It did, man. I pulled the engine out of the TV for the week while its being painted and wanted to get something on the road to take Trish out on. I threw the engine in the Series one frame and bolted the thing back together. It was either that or take her out on the Li125, but that thing is fucked,” said Chris.
Mike was now staring at Rachel as she scanned the crowd and talked back and forth with Christine. “So, are these girls single or what?”
“Yeah, man. Rachelis the tall one and the shorter one with the curls is Christine.”
“RachelOe” he mulled the name over for a few seconds and turned with a smile and went to try his luck. Chris smirked. Rachel was one hard girl to get along with and even harder to scam on, which were Mikeis plans if Chris knew him at all. He turned around to face Trish and found her chatting with some guy he didnit know. He kind of looked like a rock singer or a drug addict or both, all skinny and decked out in his worst leather. Chris stepped in between the two of them and said loudly to Trish, “I think I hear the dance floor calling, dear.” Trish smiled back and he felt his heart melting a little again. God, she was good at that! He turned to the rocker dick and smirked as if to say, enothing for you tonight, little mani. The rocker didnit say anything, but kind of smirked back with the same look.
The night went on with a good deal of dancing and drinking. The band wasnit half-bad and the singer was a very attractive girl with the typical Betty Page bangs, dyed a deep maroon and tattoos. The tattoos werenit overdone and she had a reserved elegance as if she was really above all of this, but still really enjoying it. A very attractive girl. Quite my type thought Chris. The band was called eKat and the Killjoysi. For now, he had Trish to worry about. Every time he went to go and get a drink, someone had slid in beside her and started in talking. She didnit try too hard to tell them off, as he had listened a couple of times, thinking that the people she was talking to might have been friends. Every time he had to break in with some sort of witty banter and win her back. It was if she was testing him. He was getting sick of it.
Chrisi friends from New York hadnit shown up and he figured that they were still over at Steveis place drinking and hanging out. Steve did quite a bit of drinking and Chris had always liked to hang out with him, even if he wasnit a scooterist. He had put up the two friends of his from New York and they had been getting along just fine from what Chris could tell.
Mike didnit have too much luck with Rachel, but that one disappointment didnit stop him. He went right for Christine and they did quite a bit of dancing. Christine was a soft, reserved girl, but by no means innocent. She was thirty-two and had seen a lot of pick-up lines, as well as a few bedrooms. Chris had known her for a long time, but had never had a spin with her. She wasnit really his type, he thought. Chris liked his women like he liked his coffee; dark and murky.
Rachel had moved off of the dance floor after having a few brief spins and went over to the bar to have a couple of drinks and field compliments. She was a very attractive woman and had probably looked so since she was sixteen. She had a timeless beauty, really classic lines. She was a little large in the hips, but that weight was evenly distributed in other places also. Unlike Christine, Chris had had a relationship with Rachel. It had lasted a few weeks, but to no avail. She was one very opinionated girl. They had spent most of their time arguing and when they werenit arguing, they were getting ready to. He had to constantly be on his guard, watching what he said because at any moment she might have a problem with some meaningless comment. He had guessed she was frigid, because when they did sleep together, it was the most plastic love he had ever made. She always looked as if she wanted to do anything but.
Their first night together wasnit anything like that though. They had both broken up with their mates and had gone drinking. It was the first time she had ever called him and he was elated. He had been sulking around like a dead weight for two weeks and this was what he needed. They went out and drank and complained about their recent relationships. He noticed that she was being very friendly and he returned the favor. They touched a few times inside the bar a little friendlier than he expected, but he felt good. They left at last call, which came at three-thirty in the morning and went back to her place. They rode home on separate bikes, he was on his beat TV and she was on her P200. As soon as they got in her front door it was a whirlwind of kissing and undressing.
Her body was incredible. They spent four hours in bed and it seemed to pass-by very quickly. Too quickly. After that night, they tried to work out a relationship but they had no luck. They had both needed that first night and that was the extent of what they should have had. He knew that and he thought she did too. It came as no surprise that she had given up early this particular night. He hadnit seen her go home with anyone after the first hour in quite some time.
Christine and Mike were doing well by contrast. After every few dances, Chris seemed to run into Mike at the bar and Mike was always talking about Christine. “She is wonderful, man. How come you didnit ever hook up? I could fall in love with this girl, let me tell you. Wow, go to go.” And off he would go. She would greet him with a big smile just as the next song was kicking in.
Things with Trish were getting worse by the moment. All Chris could do was keep her dancing and try and be his normal jovial and effervescent self, but it wasnit capturing her attention. She seemed to be getting distant and tired all at the same time. He kept cracking jokes at the rest of the crowd, which at three oiclock, looked quite drunk on average and their behavior now was as interesting to watch as any bar at three in the morning. Drunk guys were furiously looking for girls to take home and drunk girls were trying to find the people they came in with to avoid having to go home with one of the drunk guys. The guys desperation was so noticeable that most of the girls had shrunk back into the dark recesses of the club to avoid being found by them. Chris was quite drunk himself and Trish, if she was drunk, was just about out of steam. She didnit laugh at any of his jokes. Chris figured that this was about it, now or never. He leaned in for the kiss and she pulled away. She stood back a step and shook her head like she was trying to get her bearings, but saying no none the less.
He put his arm around her shoulders and went to tell her that itis ok and she hit him, hard. Right across the nose. He began to bleed and held his nose stunned at what was happening. Her eyes burned and her hands looked ready to throw another if necessary. “What the fuck is with you? I just wanted to have a cool evening and youire like the most distant person I have ever met! I just wasted sixty dollars in drinks on you and you fucking hit me!”
Trishis stare was unwavering. “Maybe I didnit feel like kissing you, you disgusting fool! Maybe I donit want to sleep with you! Can you believe that? Probably not! Iim sure you want me even right now!” Their words were getting loud and some of the club patrons (the less drunk ones) had stopped what they were doing (or trying to do) to get a look. He stared at her incredulously and she stared right back. “I was just leaning in to tell you that its cool if you donit want to kiss me! Iim not that fucking stupid that I canit take a hint! Good luck getting back to the north shore you rich bitch!”
At that last comment, her eyes lit up and whatever energy she didnit have ten minutes ago had come back like lightening. She lunged in with another punch and fell off balance, right into Chrisis arms. He caught her and almost immediately, they were pulled apart, roughly. The rocker guy from earlier was holding Trish back and it looked like he was copping a feel to boot. Whoever had grabbed Chris had gotten a good hold and pulled him back, off balance. He tried to regain his footing and heard in his ear:” Relax loverboy. Sheis no good for you.” A womanis voice! He turned around, startled and there she was, deep maroon hair, cut bangs and tattoos. “Hello,” smiled Chris. “Hello, darling,” smiled Kat. Now he remembered how everything had ended up!
From over his shoulder he heard a stirring underneath the sheets. “Good morning, loverboy,” said Kat. She smiled as she draped over his shoulder. Her hair brushed his cheek and the hangover seemed less potent. “Good morning, Kat,” said Chris. With the morning sun pouring in, they kept on smiling as they broke into a kiss.