About 14 years ago, a long forgotten screenplay I wrote won an award at some podunk film festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma, so I got a free trip to the Sooner State. Yee-fucking-ha.
I forget the name of the award even. Doesn’t really matter at this stage of the game, does it? What does matter is the story I’m about to tell you, the girl (and the game) this story is about.
The film festival itself was a sham…a goddamn joke, really. That’s how I wound up in a Pizza Hut, nursing a crippling hangover the day after I arrived. The night of my arrival in Tulsa, I drank myself into near oblivion while playing “Resident Evil: Code Veronica” in my hotel room because I realized (straight away at the opening “reception”) that attending this festival was going to be an utter waste of my time. But in this run-of-the-mill Tulsa Pizza Hut was where I met her: Oklahoma Lily.
I’ve had two “traditional” one-night-stands in my life. As I see it, there are four reasons for this:
1. It’s just not my bag. Call me kooky, but I honestly prefer relationships to random, sport sex.
2. I have no pick-up game and/or strategy when it comes to meeting ladies. My philosophy has always been: If it happens, it happens. I refuse to bother a woman with some bullshit line or whatever. That kind of approach always seemed annoying and idiotically obvious to me.
3. The women who typically dig me aren’t really the one-night-stand-type. They are the cute, smart ones who wear no makeup, trendy eyeglasses, and work at Barnes and Noble while getting their Master’s degree in 12thcentury literature written by roving bands of Germanic skull-fuckers.
4. I’m not very lucky, and luck seems to play a large part in the whole one-night-stand racket.
But…I was rather lucky on this day, to be sitting in this particular Pizza Hut that was tucked away in dusty corner of “T-Town” because Oklahoma Lily was there. Lily was a waitress, and to borrow a line from a really fantastic Prince song about a waitress: she was a dishwater blonde, tall and fine…she got a lot of tips.
|This song rules. Period.|
I don’t recall what I ate (I’ll go out on a limb and assume it was pizza of some sort), nor do I recall being particularly flirty or chatty with Lily as she took my order and served me. I was licking my wounds and cursing the gods on high for leading me to Tulsa in pursuit of my writing/filmmaking dreams, so I wasn’t really in the mood to play Prince Charming. What I do remember is when I went to the register to pay she asked me what I was doing in Tulsa. I told her that was a guest at a film festival that was being held at the community college, and I offhandedly added that she should stop by later if she was interested. I said this as more of a courtesy than anything else. Lily handed me my receipt while nodding in the affirmative.
“Maybe…maybe I will,” she said with a charming Southern drawl accenting her words.
With that, I beat a hasty retreat back to the community college to pretend like I was having something akin to a good time. I thought nothing more of Lily…until she appeared at the festival 45 minutes later looking absolutely adorable.
I’m still not sure how she did it. She must have been a long lost cousin of Superman or The Flash because they’re the only people I’ve even seen do a more thorough quick-change in a that short a time span. Yes, I know that Superman and The Flash aren’t real, but characters in comics and films count, goddamn it. Regardless, Lily went home, got a shower, threw on some make-up, changed into a flowery, form-fitting sundress, and drove back to the campus in approximately 45 minutes. It seems implausible, but she did it.
My eyes fell on her immediately as I was coming out of an inane interview I got roped into for a local TV station. She shyly waved to me in that awkward way that told me she really wasn’t sure what the hell she was doing here. As soon as I saw her do that, I knew it was GAME ON.
“Wow…don’t you clean up nice,” I idiotically uttered; almost cringing as the words tumbled out of my idiot mouth which should have been sewn shut at birth to avoid verbal atrocities such as these. Cassa-fucking-nova himself has nothing on my silky smooth moves, I tell ya.
To Lily’s credit she didn’t laugh, or run away in terror or anything like that. She just smiled back at me readily as if to say, “Yep. Have at it, big boy.” Game on indeed…
We decided to take in a couple of the films at the festival then she would show me around town. One of the films we watched, directed by a squirrely dude out of Vegas, was very good. The other, directed by a douchey stiff from Chicago, was a piece of shit. So it goes.
We tooled around Tulsa in Lily’s white Pontiac Grand Prix, talking all the while. Unabashedly, she had god-awful country music on the radio; a fact that I, unabashedly, ridiculed her for. She took my jibes in stride, asking where I was from. “The great, fighting city of Philadelphia,” I bellowed like the over-blown, mustachioed ring announcer I am in my mind. She just rolled her blue-grey eyes at me, and took to calling me “Philly” for the rest of the time we were together. I didn’t mind one little bit…this fascinating creature could call me whatever the hell she pleased.
|Should have been better...|
My first taste of true Southern BBQ was a bit of letdown, truth be told. Lily and I stopped at place called Mahylon’s for a bite to eat on our trek through the rather cool little burg. Mahylon’s was highly recommended to me by a woman I met on the flight down to Tulsa. She raved about the place, and I’m not sure why really; the food was OK, but nothing to rave about. I didn’t care all that much at the time because I was learning more about Lily. She was 24, going to school part-time, and was a divorcee. She was married at the tender age of 16 which blew my mind. I couldn’t fathom going to the fucking prom with your husband, or discussing asinine homework issues with your wife. Upon sharing my thoughts on her teenage marriage, Lily gave me an “aww shucks” shrug of her shoulders and said: “Yeah, it kinda sucked. The sex was fun for a while though.”
The next stop on the Magical Mystery Tour of Tulsa was, unsurprisingly, a pool hall. It wasn’t something out of the movie “Roadhouse,” but it wasn’t all that far from that beer-and-blood stained cliché either. As we were entering the establishment the bouncer at the door checked our ID’s. I stole a quick glance at her Oklahoma driver’s license as she handed it to the behemoth guarding the entryway to this billiards palace, noticing that lovely Lily lied to me about her age. She was 19…and only just; about nine years my junior.
While we played, this new knowledge of Lily being a little too close to jailbait age for my comfort weighed heavily on my mind. Nothing untoward had happened yet. We drove around, shared a meal, and had a few laughs. It could certainly end there if I wanted it to. But did I want it to end? I was pretty damn sure that she didn’t. The story about her teenage marriage during dinner made more sense to me now. I surmised that she was freshly divorced from the high school husband, and this whole evening with me was her cutting loose and letting her freak flag fly a bit. Who was I to rain on that parade?
As that though crossed my addled mind, Lily leaned over directly in front of me to line up a long, across-the-table shot. Her already criminally short sundress rode up a bit, revealing the cutest ass I had ever seen…which was only held in check by a silky, red thong. One of the quasi-redneck guys playing on the table next to us noticed this sexy, little maneuver as well. He nodded then gave me a robust thumbs up.
No, this night was definitely not ending here.
Later, back in my shitbox of a hotel room, I sat on the edge of the bed, sipping a beer that I didn’t manage to consume in my perturbed state the night before. Lily was standing in front of the TV, kind of playfully swaying back and forth. She pointed at the Sega Dreamcast that made the trip with me to Tusla because that’s how I roll, mofo.
“What’s that,” Lily queried.
“It’s a Dreamcast. It’s a video game system.”
“Why does it have that squiggle on it?”
“Because some guy was paid lots of money to come up with it and put it there,” I replied matter-of-factly.
“Maybe a woman came up with it? It looks like something a woman would come up with,” she insightfully remarked as she ran her index finger over the Dreamcast’s iconic red “squiggle.”
“Maybe…I’m not really sure…”
“Can we play something on it?”
“Sure,” I quickly said as I stood up, now directly in front of her, I partook of her honeyed aroma. The scent was glorious…I wanted more. I wanted anything and everything this girl had to offer.
I placed my beer on top of the TV. I asked if I could kiss her. She responded without any words; her reply was to place her delicate lips over mine. The saccharine taste of those lips bested her scent by the power of ten.
Our kiss lingered and our tongues danced for a few, blistering moments before she coyly pulled away, nodding toward the Dreamcast.
“Let’s play for a bit,” she cooed.
“Sure thing,” I whispered while hitting the POWER button the Dreamcast. It fired up, and quickly loaded the “Resident Evil” game I was playing the night before.
“Oooh, what’s this about?”
“Killing asshole zombies mostly.”
“Sounds pretty cool.”
“It is,” I said while handing her a controller.
So we played for next couple hours, taking turns controlling S.T.A.R.S. agents Claire and Chris Redfield, killing asshole zombies, laughing, talking, and playfully touching the whole while. We called it quits after the Leonardo DiCaprio wannabe, Steve Burnside, becomes a crazy, ax-wielding lizard man after getting injected with the T-virus. The gaming portion of our evening had officially ended. The making out portion had re-commenced with a frenzied, full-bodied passion…and that was damn good.
|Hi...my name is Steve. I like long walks on the beach and ingesting small rodents.|
It is in no way my style to kiss-and-tell. I’m not getting into the garish details of who did what to whom and all that. Quite frankly, there’s not that much to tell in that department. The sex was just OK. It was two people (and one, from what I can surmise, was relatively inexperienced) who really knew little about each other and each other’s bodies. There was an awkward eagerness to that whole affair that was white-fucking-hot, but yeah, as far as the mechanics went it could have been better. We both get an “A” for effort, but a “C” for execution. Maybe a “D” from that shitty, Russian judge.
The next day at the festival went much better. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a massive waste of my time, but my mood was much improved. Go figure. As she was leaving in the morning, Lily said she would swing by after work that day. Obviously, I looked forward to seeing her again…but the festival ended and she never showed. So it goes.
As I ambled back to my hotel room which was across the road from the community college, I was startled by a shrill car horn from what sounded like right behind me. Pivoting quickly, I saw Lily’s Grand Prix gliding across the vast parking lot. She stopped next me, beaming as she rolled down her window.
“Didn’t think I was coming, didja,” she playfully asked.
“I must admit, I did not.”
“Well, here I am…”
Indeed. Here she was. And now that she was here, I wasn’t sure what to do with her. I had grand plans of another spirited romp through Orgasms-R-Us, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Was ours a love that was more than love, I and my Oklahoma Lily? Or were we just two people who offered each other a friendly port in the rather boring storm that is life in Tulsa, and wound up playing video games and boning a couple times in a run-down motel room? It sure seemed more like the latter now that she was here with me again, so I stalled and made small talk for few, dragging minutes.
Finally, Lily leaned out of her driver’s side window. We shared a brief kiss, and she muttered as I was pulling away: “What was the name of that game again?”
“Resident Evil: Code Veronica,” I answered, wondering where this was heading.
“I think I’m gonna hafta pick that up sometime. Can’t let that damn T-virus spread any further, ya know.”
“No, you can’t,” I laughed.
“See you around sometime, Philly.”
She hit the gas, driving off into the burnt orange, red, and yellow kaleidoscope that illuminated the Oklahoma sky on that late March evening.
I never saw Lily again.
But I’ve thought of her.