So this is where I am at so far:
So the bar was dark and quiet. It was Monday and raining. And it was the Monday after Halloween and really everyone must be partied out and staying home. Because there was only a hand full of folks in the bar. A few regulars, the Norms and Cliff Clavins. And her. And him. She wasn't really sure what brought her to the bar that night. Restlessness. Boredom. Loneliness. Dollar Coronas and Monday night football.
She was already there when he came in. He sat at the bar too. Just a few seats away. He was wet from the rain and crazy eyed from something else. He had probably been a good looking guy back when he still slept and ate. Before he had turned. And no, he was not a vampire. Another class of walking dead though. The meth head. The lifer. The tweaker. Probably a cook, for a faint chemical whiff came off him when he shrugged off his jacket. Looked like he was missing a few teeth too. And missing part of his soul. You could still see the traces of a once handsome man in him.
But he was hungry and thirsty so maybe he was out.
She recognized the look too easily. She shuddered with memories of the madness. She too had been withered and wild eyed. She knew exactly what it was like to be in the monster's clutches and willing to sell your soul for the vapor and the pipe. She had not been clean so long she did not remember. Forever was not long enough to forget.
She wondered what he had sold for the vapor, for the high, for the madness. How many people had he hurt or killed? She knew as certain as the cook's smell that clung to him that there was blood somewhere too. He either screwed someone over, got them addicted, sold them some bad shit or just freaked out. But there was death behind him too. Somehow she knew.
She had blood on her hands. It would never be washed away. No amount of years clean or mentoring newly sobers or repentance or any of that bullshit could wash it away. It ate away at her and what remained of her soul. She hated herself and she hated him.
So she was even surprised when she sat closer to him when she came back from the restroom. She asked to bum a cigarette and light. She had not smoked cigarettes in years either. What was she doing?
He obliged and even lit the Camel light for her. There was a remnant of a gentleman left in him it appeared. Soon she was making small talk and he once again obliged. They talked about the weather, Halloween, and Monday night football. He bought her another Corona and asked about her. She explained she was new in town. New student at the university. Grad school and graduate assistant teacher. She was from a town a couple of hours down the highway. What about him? He said he was a mechanic. Had been in sales for years and got tired of the bullshit. Said he was divorced. Grown kids and a couple of grandkids back in Colorado. He had moved back to his home town after the divorce and moved into his parents old place after they retired to nursing homes then the sweet respite of death.
Although she was certain she had pegged him correctly as a meth cook and devil's servant there was something soft and intriguing about him. Perhaps she was seeing some of the man that came before his descent into madness. There was more to the story she knew but he was not ready to share as she was holding back the bulk of her story too.
They chatted on about everything and nothing, watched Monday night football, and drank and smoked some more. She was getting a pretty good Corona/Camel buzz when the game ended. She knew she should get going. She had an afternoon class to prepare for the next day and a paper she was working on. But for some reason she could not make the break. But he could. It was after all very much past time for another fix for him. So he asked for the check and insisted on paying hers too. How gallant to pay a strange lady's bar tab with blood money. So when he asked for her number she knew it was insane but felt she had to give it to him. He said how very nice it was to meet her and how very nice it would be to see her again. Would it be alright if he called her and asked her out? Again, she knew it was crazy but could not say no. They walked out together and he shook her hand and bid her be careful saying he would call her soon. She didn't think he would.
She could not get him out of her head on the drive home. Was it him or the smell and promise of drugs that clung to him. No, it was not the drugs. She had been clean for five years and the thought of that poison made her want to puke. But what was it?
She drove home after perhaps a few too many but made it safely. There was however no way she was going to get any work done so she soaked in a bubble bath and thought the evening over. What had come over her?
She crawled in bed and turned on the television with the volume down low on the tail end of Letterman. Naked and clean against the fresh cool sheets she felt aroused like she had not been in years. Sex and those stirrings were something she left behind with the pipe. But damn it to hell if her body wasn't talking to her now. Soon her hand slid to her crotch and she masturbated to images of what he might have been before: handsome, caring, charming, successful, and sober. She had her first orgasm in five years and it felt good. She passed out as Craig Ferguson said his monologue.
The alarm sounded all too soon and she felt the tale tale thuds of a hangover as she slapped the alarm. She staggered to the shower and stood for a very long time with the hot water pouring over her. What in the world had gotten in to her? Talking to a strange man, giving him her number, masturbating herself asleep. She immediately felt dirty and guilty. And very alive and very sexy. This was dangerous and this was scary. Shame swept over her as she stepped out of the shower and she vowed not to answer his calls. And not to go back to the bar.