Saturday Serial is about Danny (me) where I use experiences in my own life to create a fictional on-going story. It is a bit of an experiment, but I've been enjoying it and I hope you do too. To start at the beginning read Morning Heartache, to read the previous Saturday Serial post read A Tenuous Step Forward. For a listing of all the Saturday Serial posts go here, All DauntlessD.
Since it has been a while since my last Saturday Serial post I think a re-cap is in order. Danny, a character loosely based on me, is a man struggling to find himself. He is married, a bit naive, has a typical mundane job and is finding himself sinking into a depression. Unhappiness driving him, he joins a locally based online community called Red Light Underground. Enjoying the different types of people he had met via the online forums and chat, Danny decides to attend an impromptu meet and greet at a local bar.
The man at the entrance of the bar looks expectantly at Danny as he fumbles for his wallet. He removes his ID and hands it to him. With a cursory glance the man hands the ID back waiving him inside. Danny walks forward and the noise from the band gets louder. The end of the hallway opens up to the bar. Danny scans the room, in the far corner a small stage is setup where the band is playing. Old movie theater stenciled lettering above the stage says, Playing Tonight: Hometown Hicks. The decor is a rustic light cowboy theme, but the people milling about are all types and ages.
Danny continues scanning the room. His friends from Red Light Underground were supposed to meet near the pool tables. Spotting the tables he continues forward, each step making him feel more anxious than the last. At a corner of one of the tables a man plainly, but neatly dressed in a t-shirt and jeans has a small group of people around him. Stepping around the pool table Danny finds that the man has long hair braided into a ponytail nearly reaching his belt; a woman tenuously reaches out to touch it. Upon nearing the man he overhears the conversation being held.
"Oh, so you are Loco Marty! It's so fun to finally meet you." a smiling blond woman says addressing the man with the braid.
Danny smiles, so this is Loco Marty, the administrator and owner of Red Light Underground. Well, I guess I've found who I'm looking for. Danny walks up to the small group and waits for a chance to introduce himself to Marty.
"Loco Marty, I'm Paos Yrovi, good to meet you", Danny says.
Marty shakes Danny's hand and laughs. "Wow man, you're nothing like I thought you'd look. Good to meet you too. Hey, meet some of the others", he nods toward the blond woman who had just met him. "This is Luscious, this guy over here is Stryder, and the lady next to you is Bunny. That guy shooting pool is Ice Man and the dude with him is Doc J."
Danny enjoys meeting everyone and with the ensuing chit-chat his anxiety begins to subside. He looks over at Doc J. Doc was one of the people he was very much looking forward to meeting, one of the people he had befriended, but hadn't met in person yet. Politely excusing himself he walks over to Doc J. "Doc J, how are you buddy!" Danny allows him to stare blankly at him a moment before continuing, "I'm Paos Yrovi."
"Wow man, it's great to meet you!" Doc J replies slapping Danny on the shoulder, "So have you met some of the others?"
"Yeah, I just met Loco Marty, Luscious, Stryder and Bunny."
"Luscious?" Doc questions eyebrows raising.
"Oh, you haven't seen her yet I take it." Danny chuckles, "Well, I don't think you'll be disappointed pal, she's cute." Doc's eyes look out to where Danny is pointing. "The blond over there next to Marty."
Doc's eyes widen. "Oooh, I definitely have to meet her, but I think I'll need a little more liquid courage first." Doc takes the last swallow from a beer he's holding, "Can I get you something? What'cha drinkin'?"
"What ever beer you're drinking is fine thanks," Danny replies.
Doc begins to head toward the bar then turns back suddenly with a sly grin. "Dude, Peechee is here! You going to introduce yourself?"
Danny's anxiety suddenly wells up. "Seriously? I thought she wasn't going to be able to make it because she couldn't figure out a way to sneak away from her husband."
"Well she's here man, if you're going to make sure I meet Luscious, then you're meeting Peechee buddy." Doc chuckles, turns and continues toward the bar.
"So did I hear that right, you're Paos Yrovi?"
Danny looks around and finds Ice Man addressing him. Ice Man is dressed in a preppy fashion, white tennis shoes, jeans and a collared pull-over shirt. He is thin and in good shape; he has the build of someone who cycles frequently.
Danny's mouth pulls into an amused half smile. "Yeah, that's me," he replies extending a hand.
Ice Man accepts the hand shake, then scans the various people around the bar. "I'm better looking than most of these guys", he grumbles, "why is it none of the girls seem interested in me..."
After chatting for a couple of minutes Danny finds himself disliking Ice Man; he just seems to exude the vibe of an arrogant prick. Thankfully Doc is back pushing a beer into his hand.
"Thanks for the beer Doc", Danny says, "hey, you wanna shoot some pool?"
"You bet!" Doc replies stuffing quarters into the pool table.
Four beers and two games of pool later Danny and Doc are enjoying their camaraderie and tolerating Ice Man. Abruptly Doc stands tall. "Alright, I'm ready. It's time," he declares, "time to meet Luscious."
"Well, she's right over there." Danny points to the edge of the small dance floor in front of the band. Doc winks and walks toward her. Danny watches as they begin to chat. He sees Doc motion toward him and then he has her in tow returning to the pool tables.
"Hey guys," Doc says, "Luscious is going to shoot pool with us. Luscious, that's Paos Yrovi, but I guess you already met him, and that's Ice Man"
They start another game of eight-ball. Danny smiles as Doc and Luscious seem to be hitting it off. Ice Man lamely tries to flirt with Luscious a few times. At first she is polite, then she begins to simply ignore him. Finally Ice Man leaves the bar in a frustrated huff. "I'm better looking, what the hell is wrong with these women!" he grumbles as he stomps off. Danny and Doc look at each other and burst into laughter.
"Alright pal, it's your turn. You need to go meet Peechee" Doc says with a grin.
Danny's nerves flair anew, but clearly their dulled by the alcohol. "Okay, lets do it," he replies.
Doc leads them over to where some people are shooting darts, "Peechee!" he calls. A woman looks up, her face framed with dark shoulder length hair. Doc waves her over, she's followed by another woman of similar height with short blond hair. Doc clears his throat. "Peechee, meet Paos Yrovi." Danny watches as Peechee's face turns toward him, her eyes meeting his. She smiles warmly and suddenly Danny finds himself feeling awkward and tongue tied.
"I'm SO glad to have a chance to meet you Paos!" Peechee gushes.
Doc looks over at Danny grinning evilly enjoying watching him struggle for words, then he comes to the rescue. "Hey Peechee, why don't you come shoot some pool with us."
"I'd love to! Hey guys this is my sister Julie," she says indicating the blond woman next to her with short hair, "Do you want to come Julie?"
"No, I'm going to hang out with my friends over here and shoot darts," Julie replies, "but it was nice meeting you all." She then makes a point of catching Danny's eye and smiles. Danny smiles in return but finds it curious.
Back at the pool table Danny finally begins loosening up. Peechee is attractive and a joy to be with. Even though this is the first time he had seen her, he had already grown to like her from chatting and emailing on Red Light Underground. He watches her take her next shot and is enjoying the view when the band starts another set. Suddenly Peechee looking up at him tugging on his hand.
Peechee exclaims, "Oh I love this song! Let's go dance!"
"Oh... I... uhh," Danny stutters.
"Oh just come on!" Peechee interupts and Danny allows himself to be pulled to the dance floor.
Danny initially feels embarrassed and clumsy, but quickly is smiling and having fun with Peechee. They dance through two songs and a slow song begins. Danny is surprised when she quickly cozies herself into his arms swaying to the music. They look into each others eyes with mirrored longing, holding each other.
The song ends and Peechee leads Danny to a quiet corner. Danny loops his arms around her in an embrace. "Danny," Peechee begins looking up into his face, then she stops and smiles "-- it's so nice to have your real name, I'm glad you shared that with me last week. -- anyhow, I just wanted you to know that I have really grown to like you. Our chats and emails have been so much fun. Then when I saw you... wow... but I have to go. I want to stay, but I can't. You know I'm married... If I was single..." She looks away guiltily then looks back but never finishes.
"I know," Danny replies. "I had a great time meeting you tonight. I can't remember the last time I had this much fun." He pulls her close leaning in for a kiss. Their lips meet and linger. Their mouths open and the kiss continues. Passion swells and the kiss deepens as they hungrily hold each other tight. With difficulty they separate and say their good-byes.
Danny stands where she left him reflecting on the nights events. His wife, Rachel, pops in his head and for a moment he feels a flicker of guilt, but then realizes he's smiling and it's forgotten. He hasn't feel this good, this alive, in a long, long time. Yes, he thinks to himself, I want to be at the next Red Light Underground get together.