canal scene #6
There was always one of us who had to stay out with Jackie. That girl, I swear, could drink anybody under the table, and she never ever wanted to go home. We'd always decide who was on Jackie duty, and that night was mine. Everyone else had gone home, and it had to be 3 in the morning and I was tired, and suddenly having an adverse reaction to alcohol...the two drinks I'd had had turned my stomach into the fiery inferno of hell.
So I dragged Jackie out of the bar and said I had to sit down. She followed me onto the street, and we sat at the edge of a canal. The water was low enough that it wouldn't touch our feet, so we dangled them over the side.
Jackie lit a cigarette, and I stared up at the sky. It was clear, and I could see millions of stars. She was talking about something, but I wasn't listening. I was tired, and my stomach ached, and I was plotting ways to convince her that she didn't want to stay out anymore.
Just then, "Oh, shit, not him!" I looked up. This Sicilian guy we'd met earlier in the week was approaching us. "I said I'd meet him to get him to leave me alone, and I never went."
"Ciao, belle," he said, sitting on the ground next to us. He told us he was going back to Sicily the next day, and wanted to know if we'd have lunch with him and his brother before they left.
"Sure," Jackie said, standing up. She looked at her watch, and I knew she couldn't read it... but she said, "Man. It's late. Gotta go." She started to walk away.
Thanks Giovanni, I thought, following her. I didn't have to do anything to get her to go. We walked quickly toward Jackie's apartment, stopping on a bridge for a minute. A group of five guys stopped too. We exchanged "ciaos" and they asked where we were going.
"Home," I said, starting to walk again.
"Wait," Jackie told me, looking back at the guys.
"Oh, God." I was never going to bed. We talked for a minute, then they asked if we wanted to go back to the bar we had just come from.
Jackie said yes. I wanted to kill her.
"No," I said, grabbing her hand and dragging her a few steps closer to home.
"Come on," she said, pulling her hand loose.
I really wanted to kill her. I thought about leaving her alone with the five random guys, but then decided that would be a terrible idea. As pissed as I was, I wouldn't let her go. "Jackie, my stomach. I feel like I'm going to die."
She stared at me for a minute. Pulled a pen from her bag and wrote her phone number (which really wasn't her phone number, but she says she thought it was at the time) on the hand of one of the guys. We got to her apartment and I passed out on her couch. And I didn't get Jackie duty again for another month.