A Tale Of Two Garth’s. Chapter Four. “I Had Sex With Groove Last Night!”
With Garth safely tucked away in the city of lies, I continued on with my life and kept my relationship in denial. I would drive down to see Garth but it always seemed that I was the one going to San Diego to see him. I was the one making all the effort. And he just sat back and sure enough I would come. When I went we would always have a great time together but there was just something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Something felt wrong. Maybe it was the fact that he didn’t answer his phone the whole weekend I was there, or check his answering machine once. Did that bother me? Yes, it did. But did I follow this instinct? No. Why? Because I was in love, silly. Love will make you do some really stupid things. So of course I stayed with him because he would never lie to me. Right? RIGHT?
Before long I was getting really sick of trying to scrape by at Jerry’s and needed a job with more shifts. I had saved quite a bit of money for my move to LA but it was starting to run out and I needed to make some more and soon. That’s when Hung suggested I apply at the TGI Fridays in Woodland Hills.
“They’re always slammed over there. You could probably make a lot of money.” So I did. I was hired on the spot. Now I don’t know if any of you have ever worked at a TGIF but the training is pretty similar to that of Medical School. It goes on for like FOREVER!!! They make you watch videos and take classes and tests. It was seriously ridiculous. I had been working in the food service industry under the table since I was 12 years old. If I hadn’t figured it out by then, well then there was just no help for me. Weeks went by and I studied and studied. I better make a lot of cash after all this shit. I knew what was in every dish. I knew exactly how every item on the menu was cooked. I knew the square root of 598628877415899632. I was pretty sure I was ready.
When I finally got on the floor I was excited and pumped. I was ready to rake in the dough, the cash, and the big green. The $15 bucks after a 6-hour shift. What? That’s right – you heard me – $15 dollars. I didn’t make shit. It cost me that much in time and gas just to get to the stupid restaurant. Then I had to sit through shift meetings and uniform inspections. I was officially starting to hate my new job.
“Don’t quit,” the bartender said to me one day when I went to pick up my drinks. He must have seen the frustration on my face.
“Don’t quit,” he repeated himself.
“This job sucks. Full hands in full hands out.” I said repeating the TGIF motto.
“Look, the reason you’re not making any money is because the head servers pick the stations and the head servers are all women. You have to kiss their ass if you want to make money here.” I really didn’t like this news. Ass kissing wasn’t really my strong suit.
“Okay, I’ll give it a try. Thanks.”
“My name is Groove,” he said.
“You’re kidding right?”
“No seriously.” And he pulled out his wallet and showed me his ID and sure enough his first name was Groove.
“Stacy. Nice to meet you.”
Groove was right about the head servers. I noticed that all the cute guys got the best stations and a lot of us girls got the crap. Damn it! So I was going to have to kiss some serious server ass. As I kissed ass and save up my money $15 at a time, Groove and I became friends. He became my closest friend at TGI Fridays and I really grew to enjoy his friendship and was excited about introducing him to my roommates.
“He’s gay right?” was the first thing out of Hung’s mouth as Groove walked out the door of our apartment. It was the first time he had ever come over to meet the girls and I was happy to have all four of my friends together in the same room.
“I don’t think so. Do you think so?”
“Oh yeah, totally gay,” Claire added. “Look at his jeans. Only a gay man would wear jeans like that.” But that was even better. Now I not only had a new best friend but a new GAY best friend. That meant he could tell me when I looked fat in my clothes and when my make up was tacky. It was perfect!
So I worked and worked and tried to make ends meet and drove down to Diego whenever I got a chance to see Garth. Having him so far away for another year was hard but once he graduated I was sure he would be on his way to LA like we talked about.
One night after work a group of us decided we were all going to go out. It was supposed to be Groove, myself, the other bartender Tony, Tony’s sister Donna, and some guy named Carl who I had never met. But while I was still on shift Claire and Hung came in to hang out at the bar. Before I knew it Claire was begging to go to.
“No,” I told her.
“Pleeeease,” she said with her puppy dog eyes.
“I promise I will be really, really good and won’t get into any trouble.” This was like giving a pyromaniac a box of matches and asking him not to light a fire. Claire and alcohol together spelled trouble with a capital DUI.
“Come on Stace, she promised me she would be a good girl,” Hung added.
“Okay, but I’m watching you,” I told Claire. If she embarrasses me I will tape her to her bed and shave off her eyebrows. So we all waited for each other to finish our shifts, changed our clothes and went out to the first bar. I can’t exactly remember the name but it had the word Cotton in it. We all walked into the bar and I told Groove and Claire I was going to use the bathroom and I would be right back.
“What do you want to drink?” Groove asked me.
“I’ll have a margarita on the rocks with salt,” I told him. I went into the woman’s restroom just long enough to pee, wash my hands and check my lipstick. So let’s say 5-7 minutes tops. By the time I got back out we had already been kicked out of the bar. I am going to kill Claire!” But it wasn’t Claire this time; it was Tony.
“What’s going on?” I asked as Groove grabbed me and shuffled me out the door.
“Stacy we have to go,” he said. While he ushered me out I could see my untouched margarita sitting right there on one of the tables calling out to me.
“Nooooooooo…” I said as I reached out to it. But just like that, it was gone.
Next thing I knew I was in Groove’s two- seater. Claire was riding in Carl’s jeep along with Tony and Donna and now we were headed back to Tony’s house so he could change because he was covered in blood.
“What the hell happened?” I asked Groove now that we were alone and out of Tony’s earshot.
“I’m not really sure. I think the bouncer told Tony he couldn’t take his drink on the dance floor and then Tony took a swing at him and missed, and then next thing I knew Tony was on the floor with a bloody nose.”
“Well okay then. Now what?”
“You and I my dear are going to Tony’s house to see what is going on. But I don’t really care if they want to go out anymore; you and I are going drinking.”
“Sounds good to me.” So after Tony changed and cleaned himself up it was on to bar number two.
Bar number two was much bigger than bar number one so hopefully with all the people there it would make it more difficult for us to call any attention to ourselves. Groove and I sat down while everyone else went out dancing. I could tell Carl was digging on my roommate Claire and, honestly, how could he not? He was only human after all. Groove and I ordered our first round of drinks for the evening considering we were really the only two in the group who were sober and just sat back and talked. I think I made it through half of my drink before I saw Carl and Claire being grabbed by bouncers and bring thrown out of the bar.
“On no, not again.”
“Come on,” Groove said while grabbing my hand. He took us to a table into the darkest part of the bar. Next thing we heard was Tony, screaming obscenities, and then he was gone too.
“Don’t you think we should go find out what happened?” I asked Groove.
“Fuck them. They’ve gotten us kicked out of two bars in a little over an hour. All I want to do is have a drink with a friend. Can’t I just have that?” He had a hell of a point. So he and I ordered another round and continued to drink. About 10 minutes later we noticed a guy wandering around the bar calling out “Stacy! Stacy!”
“Don’t answer,” Groove said as we both started laughing and did our best to try and huddle down further in our seats. By the time we were on drink number three I had been busted.
“Are you Stacy?” Some huge man asked me.
“No. Okay, yes. Why?”
‘Because there is this tall blond girl outside drunk off her ass refusing to go home without her friend.” Damn it Claire.
“She promised,” I said to Groove as we begrudgingly got up from our dark oasis and made our way out the front door. And sure enough there was a wasted Claire.
“Oh my God! I was so worried about you! I’m so glad I found you!”
“Yeah, me too,” I told her. She was lit.
Carl, Tony and Donna had all gone home but Claire stayed behind because she loved me so much. Groove just looked at her and then back at me and then at his tiny vintage two- seater.
“ I have no idea how we are going to pull this off,” he said. We are just going to have to try and fit her in the trunk.
“What?” Claire wasn’t so drunk that she didn’t realize what we had planned for her.
As we did our best to squeeze all 5’10 of her into a space made for the tiniest amount of luggage at best. Groove was just begging her “Please, please, please, what ever you do, don’t throw up in my car. I love this car.”
We decided to go to Groove’s house because it was right down the street. There was no way Claire was going to make it back to our house or even TGIF for that matter tucked in his trunk like that. We walked in the door and Groove set up the pull out couch in his bedroom for Clair and I to sleep on. After I helped Clair get dressed in clothes that Groove had lent us, Groove and I watched her raid his kitchen leaving trails of chips in her wake. After she finally passed out Groove and I got stoned and hung out for while before he went to bed and I crawled into the pull out next to Claire.
The next morning I was awoken to a frantic Claire.
“Stacy! Wake up!” she said in a very scared whisper while shaking me awake.
“What? What’s wrong?” I asked her, still half asleep.
“Come here,” she told me while crawling over me and heading towards the bathroom. I followed her in and she shut the door looking mortified.
“I had sex with Groove last night.” she said.
“What? How do you know?” I was totally baffled.
“Because I’m wearing his clothes!” she said to me pointing at the pair of boxers and t-shirt she was wearing.
“So am I. Claire, you didn’t have sex with Groove, I dressed you in those clothes last night.”
“Oh thank God!” she said so relieved. That was one thing you could always count on with Claire, there was never a dull moment.
After we had all gotten dressed in our own clothes and Groove made us coffee we got a phone call from Carl. Claire had left her purse in Carl’s jeep the night before. No matter what happened it was never going to be easy. Carl and I set up a time later that day to meet up at TGI Fridays so he could give me the purse. I was a little irritated that I was going to have to be the one to retrieve the purse but excited at the same time. I would finally get to find out what caused them all to get kicked out of the bar the night before. Because according to Claire, she didn’t do anything. But then again, if Garth would have driven up to see me maybe just once I wouldn’t have found myself in these sort of situations.
To be continued…
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