"Dude, I need The Closer," Aloha pleaded as he rushed up to the table. I quickly shook my head no.
"What's The Closer?" asked Irish Paddy, a new entrant to our little Thursday Night drinking binges.
"It's Ben's stupid little story he gives girls to get him into their pants," my roommate, Karla, yelled over the din.
"It woulda worked on you," I charged.
"No, I know. It works on everybody. Plus, I'm just your type. Tall, dark, handsome. Big wiener."
I'd been coming to Byrd's for years along with this rotating band of Merry Men and Women. It's a comfortable neighborhood bar, ostensibly in Hollywood, but miles away from the plastic culture of Sunset Blvd. It's a little more real. A place where some vulnerability is saluted, unlike Hollywood proper where everything and everybody has to be perfect. It's got a well-appointed jukebox throbbing at perfect volume, a spacious patio for the smoking o' the cigs and enough hot-ass ladies to keep any red-blooded American male plenty occupied.
"Come on, man!" Aloha was back. "I need it! Look at that chick!"
"Aloha, every time I let you use The Closer, you fuck it up. You don't tell it right. Because it didn't happen to you. You don't get the nuance, the underlying pathos in the tale. And if you keep using it on every girl you meet, by the time I get around to trying to fuck somebody, they will have all heard the story already."
"Well, what am I supposed to do?"
"Get your own story!" we all shouted, almost in unison. Even Brick joined in the fun, temporarily shaken from his funk. Brick's been down because he wrote this kick-ass screenplay that's been getting rejected all over the place. It's a really smart script. A lot of satire about politics, Hollywood, relationships. It's brilliant. Really. It's about an out-of-work actor who gets this crazy idea to run for Governor of California. He pretty much figured he was fucked when Arnold got elected.
"Dude," Brick looked at me, his eyes bright for the first time in weeks. "You should let me use The Closer in a screenplay."
"You guys are killin' me," I said. "That's my A material. If it shows up in a movie..."
"It's my story!"
"Do you have it copyrighted?"
"What is this fucking story?" Irish Paddy was getting frustrated.
Before I could answer, a Byrd's regular walked up to the table. Her name is Carrie, but we all called her "Salty," after the way she once described the taste of cum. She's a seriously hot number, think Winona Ryder in "Heathers," and I have tried, unsuccessfuly, to see her naked from the day I met her.
"Salty!" we all shouted, standing to greet her with hugs. She smiled and blushed, mildly embarrassed, and took a seat at the table.
"Do you hate that we call you that?" I asked.
"No. It's no big deal. I've said, and done, things I'm more ashamed of than that."
She looked down at the table and laughed. "When I was a freshman in high school," she began. "I was really skinny, hadn't developed like the other girls."
"You stuffed!" Karla laughed.
"No, no." Carrie continued. "I...I had no ass. I was really self-conscious about it. All the other girls had these skin-tight Jordache and Dittos and I couldn't find a pair that would fit snugly. They were always baggy. I thought it was the reason why boys didn't like me. So...I..."
She paused, her eyes lifted and fixed me with a self-effacing gaze.
"...I used to wear pajamas under my jeans to make my butt look bigger."
The table, the whole bar, the universe, went silent.
"Carrie. That is the fucking cutest thing I've ever heard," I said evenly, my voice not betraying the backflips going on inside of me. "You wanna go somewhere and grab a bite to eat?"
"Sure." And off we went.
"What the fuck just happened?" asked Irish Paddy.
Aloha just shook his head, "That...was The Closer."