Dana stumbled into Wallace's place feeling the need to puke and the absolute desire to repress it. Hungry and nauseous at the same fucking time. Did anyone else go through this shit? He rubbed his chin scruff and crawled into the nearest booth. He did not remove his sunglasses, for that would be impossible and suicidal. It was too Goddamn bright in here.
His corneas would melt.
Wallace's looked like one of those 50's theme diners with the red vinyl cushy seats in the booths and a mini-jukebox on the menu side of the formica table tops. It wasn't themed though. Nothing had changed since the mid 60's. Same old Sinatra, Bill Haley, and Frankie Valli records in the jukes, they just didn't work anymore. Duct tape abounded on the seats everywhere. Dog-eared menus that needed replacing were tucked haphazardly between the jukes and the antique sugar holders. Wallace was either lazy or a cheapskate, but damn, if the food wasn't good.
This was absolutely without a doubt the worse hangover he had ever experienced. The liquor was flowing a little too smoothly last night and without restraint, as it always did when he was nervous as social gatherings. As a direct result, Dana lost roughly the last two hours of the last evening's gala. No big deal, typically, but he was in the hopeful process of trying to restart something. A relationship he had kinda botched (kinda was a kind way of putting it) three years ago, and was unable to leave in the past. Racing, nah, nix that, careening toward 25, he felt it was time to get his love life in some semblance of an order.
So that brings him to Wallace's diner on an explosively bright Sunday morning.
Waiting for Perry.
Against his better judgment, he ordered a small stack of pancakes and some sausage and prayed for the best. Perry had just swung through the door and sat opposite Dana in the booth, who didn't see him, because Dana's face, glasses on, was buried in his palms. He looked up as the exhale of air from Perry's ass compressing the archaic cushion surface of the booth seat, defying the laws of physics, blew it's 50 years of smell history over the table top and straight into Dana's face.
Yeesh, Murphy's Law appears to apply ten fold when hung over. He gagged quietly.
Perry flashed Dana a blinding smile and wink as he gave him the "hold on a minute" index finger gesture and began flirting with the waitress that had just sidled up to the table upon Perry's entrance. Propositioning and ordering O.J. at the same time. Smooth as asshole yogurt. Dana sighed behind the shades. Put on hold by his best friend, only no muzak to listen to while boiling in the murk of impatience. He ran his hands from his forehead through his long brown bangs, and sighed again. Damn it.
Here in the early AM waiting to discuss what happened last night with Perry. Good old Perry, Dana's best friend since the third grade, when he stepped into a dispute with Sal Amato and beat his ass for Dana. He'll never forget the relentlessness Perry flashed in that fight some 13 years ago. It took Dana a full two minutes to pull him off of Amato's shocked and bloodied face. Dana's own shock was quickly turned to dismay when he saw the jacknife Amato had pulled laying next to him on the ground.
Dana never saw it come out, Perry did.
Ever since, inseparable.
Perry was good looking in a roguish way. The waitress he was speaking to was obviously appreciative of that. Right now he was wearing a black Pittsburgh Ben Roethlisberger jersey that made his medium length blonde locks blonder, and jeans. Somehow he made that simple shit work. Jerseys were complimentary on a 6'3 frame, and the smile always rounded out the look. The soft appearance and wry smile didn't associate well with the sometimes cocky and hardened soul contained within. Perry wasn't the best at matters of the heart.
Or heart on the sleeve, in Dana's case.
Finally, Perry's dick in check, and the waitress' phone number scrawled firmly on the back of the receipt, Perry winked at her, said his goodbyes , and turned his attention the hung over and near death Dana Felder.
"Doesn't look too good, does he? The weary drinker, beaten and nauseated comes to this loooooooooowly state." Perry said in his best Darrin McGavin from "A Christmas Story" voice. Dana couldn't believe this. Perry was enjoying this shit! Now he would continue. "He's a mere shell of himself, and one has to ask, the age old question, 'does he deserve to live?'"
"Fuck you, Smartass", snapped back Dana, with absolutely no life behind it.
"Witty repartee! A smidge bitchy today, aren't we? Surely a side-effect of the Screwdriver bath you took last night. Damn it, I forgot to order a Coke."
"Fuck You." Dana uttered, with a mild purring groan. The world was on fire.
"Now I'm concerned. Redundancy is a sure sign of it.", said Perry with mock overinterest. He was displaying cocked eyebrows, and "Person in Thought" goatee rubbing.
"Of what?" Dana said exhaustedly. "I hate fuckin' games.", he breathed, rubbing his temples.
"Repressed homosexuality brought out by binge drinking."
Dana stared at Perry for a long time before raising his sunglasses over the top of his head.
"Funny cocksucker, aren't you?" Dana scolded. "If you have nothing to bring to this table, I'm going to have to ask you to leave." Dana windedly sputtered between gasps of air. He was now performing the breathing technique you do when trying to avoid vomiting.
"Are you going to puke before or after you drag me out by my scruff?" asked Perry with a precocious grin.
Dana was winded and emotionally exasperated. "Come on, man, cut me some slack, I'm dying here." he muttered through his dried lips and flushed face. As he spoke his begging proclamation, sweat began to run into his eyes, causing them to burn, and in turn, tear up.
Perry stiffened up, scowled, and said, "Alright, I'm serious as a heart attack, man. What's the matter?"
TO BE RESUMED///