A tale of two Garths. Chapter 26. The F*^k Martini.
I’m getting my own apartment. I’m getting my own apartment. Hi, ho, the dairy oh. I’m getting my own apartment. I was so excited at the prospect of living on my own for the first time. I mean REALLY living on my own. No roommates or anything. There was only one small snag in my plan. I couldn’t afford it. Foiled again! But I didn’t see where I had much of a choice. My LA savings account had run dry. The well was empty. Barren. Depleted. Not good. So not only could I not afford to get my own new place. But I couldn’t afford to pay the rent in my current one. Bummer.
“I’m giving you guys my 30 day notice. I’m sorry ladies but I can’t afford to pay the rent,” I told Claire and Hung.
“Where are you going to live?” Claire asked.
“I have no idea,” I told her.
“Don’t go, we’ll figure it out,” Claire told me. But I just couldn’t do that to them. Neither one of them had any money either; to ask them to support me was out of the question. I was up heroine creek without a syringe. I am so fucked right now. I had no idea what I was going to do and I knew counting on Garth was out. He didn’t want to live together. So I was going to have to find a place to live, and come up with first and last month’s rent, plus a security and cat deposit in the next 30 days. But can it be done? Sure. Why not?
“I will take any and all shifts I can get. Even the crappy ones,” I told my manager Amy. She had gotten over the whole “I’m busy what do you want?” bullshit, and I was back in her good graces.
“I’ll see what I can do,” she assured me. So that was it. It was crunch time. Exactly how much money can a stoner/actress make in 30 days while keeping her clothes on? I had no idea but I was about to find out.
“Stacy, Eddie’s sick. Can you work his shift tonight?” Amy asked me as I was standing in the kitchen at Stanley’s waiting for my lunch crowd’s food to pop up in the window.
“Done,” I told her.
“Stacy, I’m going out of town with my boyfriend this weekend. Do you think you could cover my shifts?” Valerie asked me.
“Stacy, I know you’re not a hostess but I really need next Friday off. I’m going to…”
“Stacy, I have to go to the free clinic.”
“Stacy, I’m wanted by the law.”
“Stacy, my water just broke.”
“Done. Done. And done!” I was working so many shifts I didn’t even know what day it was anymore. One shift ran into another and before I knew it I had worked 17 days in a row of double shifts.
Table 14 needs 2 Ice Teas, 1 Chinese Chicken Salad, 1 Amy’s Salad, and a basket of bread. Table 21 needs 2 Long Island Ice Tea’s, 1 Kirk’s coffee, 1 Dinner Salad with Soy Rice dressing, Chicken Fingers, and Chicken Tacos. Table 11 needs their check. And it just went on like this. My brain was so full of drink and food orders I was in a daze of useless information. Table after table, customer after customer, they just kept coming.
“Hey guys. My name is Stacy. Can I start you off with something to drink?” I asked two men who had just sat down in Stanley’s coveted patio area.
“I’ll have a Hefeweizen,” the man to my left said. Yuuumm. A nice cold Hefeweizen sounds so good right now.
“And I’ll have a Fuck Martini,” said the man to my right.
“A Fuck Martini?” I asked trying not to laugh.
“Yes,” he said with a smile.
Okkkkaaaay. I wrote down the drink order and dropped it off at the bar. Table 15’s food is up. I need 1 Ice Tea, and 2 Arnold Palmer’s for table 7. And table 11 needs their change. I took care of the things that were currently taking up space in my head and went back to the bar for table 8’s drink order. I stood at the service station for a couple of minutes but my drink never appeared.
“Drew, dude did you get my order?’ I asked him.
“Um, yes I did. But what the fuck is a Fuck Martini?” he asked me laughing.
“I don’t know. You’re the bartender. You tell me.”
“Well can you at least tell me what’s in it?”
“I have no idea,” as I shrugged my shoulders.
“Hold on,” he told me as he poured a clear liquid into a shaker, added ice, swirled it around, and strained it into a martini glass. Then to add the Pièce de résistance he added a lemon twist to the “Fuck Martini” and then swirled it around the edge of the glass before dropping it into the liquor.
“There, my dear, is your Fuck martini. Good luck,” he told me.
Feeling fairly confident in Drew’s many years of bartending skills I took the ice cold Hefeweizen and the Fuck Martini out to table 8.
“One Hefeweizen for you and one Fuck Martini for you,” I said as I set them down in front to the two gentlemen.
“Are you two ready to order?’ I asked.
“Yes, I would like the Rotisserie Chicken, with extra vegetables,” the man drinking the Hefeweizen told me. Oh the old extra vegetable trick. I’m not going to fall for that one again buddy. But before I could tell him I knew what he was up to and that I had no intention of getting blackballed out of Hollywood because of broccoli, his friend piped up.
“Is this vodka?” he asked.
“Uuuhh, yeah,” I told him. I honestly had no idea if what he was currently drinking was vodka or broccoli infused water.
“Now what can I get you to eat?”
“I’ll have the Annie’s Chicken with mashed potatoes,” he said.
“Good choice,” I said as I practically ran from the table. Vodka. Vodka. V O D ka. Fadka. Fudka, Fucka. Fuuuuuuck. He didn’t want a Fuck Martini, he wanted a Vodka Martini. Fan freakin tastic!! Oh I’ll be signing Amy’s write up this time.
Once I got back inside the restaurant I immediately went up to the bar.
“Drew, please tell me that martini had vodka in it.”
“No Gin. Why?” I just stood at the service bar shaking my head back and forth mumbling, ‘No, no, no, no, no,” to myself.
“Stacy, are you okay?” Drew asked me.
“Drew, he wanted a Vodka Martini. Not a Fuck Martini. And then he drank some of it and asked me if it was vodka and I told him yes and it turns out it was actually gin. And then to top it all off I said fuck to him three separate times. I’m going to get fired for sure. I didn’t mean to do it. I just think I’m like really, really tired.”
“Maybe he didn’t notice,” Drew said as he leaned over laughing with tears in his eyes.
“It’s not funny,” I told him
“Oh yes it is,” he said barely able to get the words out between gasps for air.
‘I hate you.” I told him as I walked back into the kitchen looking for food. Table 12 needs bread, table 15 needs their check, and table 8 is going to get me fired. I am so screwed. What’s next? Here’s your asshole Rotisserie Chicken, and your go fuck yourself Chinese Chicken Salad. Oh and have you tried our cum guzzling whore cookie pie? It’s not to be missed.
I walked back out to the patio to drop off the check for table 15 and passed by table 8.
“Excuse me miss,” the martini guy said to me. Let me guess. You would like to see my manager.
“Yes sir,” I said hoping the sir would get me off.
“Can I get another?” he asked as he pointed at he empty martini glass.
“Sure,” I said as I took his empty glass.
I walked back up to the bar and set the empty glass down on the service station.
“Excuse me, um Drew. I would like to order another Fuck Martini. Just like the last one.”
“You’re kidding me?”
“You’re so lucky your pretty. If you were a guy you would have been fired by now.” I just smiled at him as I flipped my long red ponytail and shook my ass all the way back to table 8.
Table 8 ate their lunches with smiles and left me a really nice tip to boot. I love being a girl, I thought as I counted my tips later that night after my second shift. I had made it. I had enough money to get my own apartment and still had some left over for food. I was pretty proud of myself at this point. Now I just needed to find the place.
I took two much needed days off of work and Garth and I looked at countless apartments until I found just the right one. We walked up the stairs to the open apartment and I looked through the window of the front door and fell in love. It was a one-bedroom apartment with wall-to-wall hardwood floors. Just beyond the living room was an open patio that was enclosed by a white lattice fence. It looked like this but white. http://www.mastergardenproducts.com/estatetrellis3.jpg
Inside the large patio was a huge oak tree that grew up through the floor of the patio and up to the heavens. I stood there picturing the white Christmas lights I would string on that fence, and pictured myself sitting out on my patio drinking wine with my cat free to roam around while she and I sat back and started at the stars. The kitchen of my soon to be new apartment was retro. It was all white with a black and white checkered tile floor and I already had the red metal table I was going to put in there in my mind’s eye. It was PERFECT.
“I want it!” I told Garth. “This place is meant to be mine.”
Luckily for me the 1994 Northridge earthquake had made the cost of rent in the area low enough for me to afford a place like this. After the earthquake many non-Cali natives ran for more stable ground, leaving many un-rented apartments in their wake. I was a native, born and bred in Cali and a little shaking wasn’t going to stop me from scooping up a great deal when I saw one.
“I’m calling the owner when I get home,” I informed Garth. We got back to my place and I made the call. I told the landlord I had the first and last month’s rent and deposit. I was motivated and wasn’t going to take no for an answer.
“Let’s meet tomorrow at 10 am for the background check,” he told me. “If everything checks out, it’s yours.” I was so excited. I was about to embark on a new chapter of my life.
Garth and I went to Stanley’s to celebrate. As we sat at the bar eating our Sunday brunch of French toast and Bloody Marys, Garth looked at me and said something that would make romance novelists envious.
“I have some of your CD’s at my house.”
“I have some of yours too,” I told him.
“What if we put our CD’s together?”
“I’m asking you if you want to live together?” Oh be still my beating heart.
“Yeah! Totally! I would love to live with you!” I told him. And it was true. I did want to live with him.
“But I don’t want to live in the checkered apartment.” What? “Ryan has an apartment open up right next door to him in his building. I want us to live there.” And like an ass I said yes. Just so you know, to this day I still think about that black and white checkered apartment with the hardwood floors. But I thought I was about to embark on the greatest adventure of my life. And I was about to embark on an adventure. But it would end up costing me my car, my money, my dignity, and my mind.
To be continued…
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