by Florian Elwood

Tommy’s Lounge is one of those suburban bars beside a TGI Friday’s; the kind of place where you never get laid. Tommy’s is a jewel of the old suburbs, the good suburbs, the dirty ‘burbs, a leafy haven where things are still made of wood and parking lots are still paved with gravel. Where white kids--look, come on, don’t take this the wrong way--white kids can bus tables and wash dishes, and still do.

So we’re hanging down at Tommy’s on a fall weeknight, no football on tv and no pussy in sight, and probably none for months, not until Christmas when girls get sentimental and surrender to losers sitting in bars on weeknights. This is back when Rolling Rock was still brewed and bottled in Latrobe and the label was still painted on. Billy and I can put them away like nothing. Emily tends the bar, and she’s five-foot-zero and eighty-seven pounds, a camo hat pulled down over her face and flannel shirt, dipping Skoal, cussing at you without mercy. It’s unbelievable that she fucks men. If I could go back and live my life over I would marry Emily.

As it is, I’m about to hit thirty-five and there’s no hope. The ceilings at Tommy’s hang low and the owner keeps it as dark inside as a cavern mouth. Emily brags about the truck she bought, and the cabin trip she’s about to take with her friends, where they will blaze all day and booze all night and go out at two in the morning and roll in the snow then warm by the fire until sunup. This trip is Emily’s conversational motif. It never happens. Between gulps of beer, Billy and I reimagine it as a sapphic carnival.

This is what we do. We’re pretty worthless and we don’t deserve shit, which is why the thing that happens next returns every night to stir my memory like Grendel stalking Heorot. Emily is waving her bony middle finger at Billy for saying “smoking kush and munching bush,” which has a couple of the other guys laughing. Then the girl comes in.

It’s after midnight, and it’s Tommy’s. Girls don’t just appear, especially not beautiful girls. She’s warm, confident, not too delicate and not too graceful. Loaded in the “titty” column. Think about rosy cheeks and subtle makeup. You want to wife her--oh god are you lonely and wanting to wife her.

She sidles up to Billy, which is half a miracle because at least I’m still in play, but also understandable because Billy is handsome, probably the handsomest guy at Tommy’s, certainly tonight and possibly ever. Billy at 24 was unmatched, but Billy at 30 isn’t bad. This girl flirts with him while I get a hard-on from sheer envy, then suddenly Billy tells her he needs to step outside and call his wife. Billy doesn’t have a wife, he’s never been married, and never will (he commits suicide a couple years later). But he can smell the dry spell on me, and he’s a good friend.

Now it’s me and beautiful alone, shoulder-to-shoulder and bellied up to the bar, and at this point I’m like Brett Favre having a late and modest renaissance with the Minnesota Vikings, because I’ve still got some magic. She wants to be a writer, which is cool because it just so happens I write blank verse and submit to literary magazines as a futile hobby, or perhaps as masochism. She thinks that’s funny, which is promising. She likes Jack Daniels and heavy metal. Let’s not get carried away, she tells me, consumption habits aren’t an identity. Then she leans in to whisper something in my ear but just nibbles the lobe instead, which at fourteen would have been enough to make me cum.

Billy is long gone now. Later he told me he hit Taco Bell on the way home, ate a Crunch Wrap Supreme, then beat off and fell asleep. Meanwhile, this beautiful girl leads me out to the patio at Tommy’s. The patio is enclosed in plastic so it’s warm enough. It’s separate from the rest of the bar, and should have been locked, so I don’t know how this girl gets us out here. But she sits on the floor and pulls me down across from her. She unrolls this laminated sheet of paper from her purse.

She spreads it on the floor, and I notice that it’s covered in gorgeous illustrations. The figures and symbols remind me of tarot cards, or maybe the icons of an ancient Christian sect. She’s spreading this out on the floor with her hands, fingers tracing the designs, focused like a witch.

Then she pulls out a chicken egg. She cracks it with one hand and rolls the yolk onto the paper. It rolls and slides but she’s careful to keep the yolk intact. She does the same with a second egg, then a third. I don’t know where she’s getting these eggs. Tommy’s doesn’t serve eggs, Tommy’s doesn’t even open until three in the afternoon. I don’t care. I’m mesmerized. I’m falling in love as she pushes yolks over the page, swimming and sloshing like yellow fish. A monk, a swordsman, a hangman, hexagrams and floral patterns, and above them all, the divining eggs.

After a while, she slides her panties off under her dress. While I’m still sitting in awe on the floor, she straddles me and guides my hand to the joyful fold of her cunt. It is full and moist and dappled with shaved pubic fuzz. I don’t know what other men like about sex; I find the first glance of fingertip-to-vulva unforgettable. Over the course of the night, in between that moment and the moment we got into our separate cars and drove away from each other’s lives forever, we managed to smear the eggs all over the floor.

You can follow Florian Elwood on Twitter at @ElwoodFlorian.