I sigh to myself and whirl, grabbing the Sauza out of the well and going across the bar to fill up Obnoxious Guy's shot glass again. Obnoxious Guy with Less Obnoxious Buddy, like two thirds of the Budweiser Frogs and probably just as slimy. They've been there all night at seats six and seven, calling me Princess and asking for shots and now they're slowly beginning to stink of booze. I don't mind pouring for them (they're working up a nice little tab, anyway), but Christ, I hate being called Princess.
“Hey sweethearts,” I call to them over the pounding dubstep coming from the DJ with the iPad. “Do me a favor, okay? Anything but Princess.”
“Aw, c'mon,” Less Obnoxious Buddy wheedles me. “It's just you look like a princess, with all that glitter in ya hair,” and yeah, maybe I'm a touch sparkly tonight, but who said butches couldn't twinkle every so often? My coworker Evaline bought some Rainbow Dash hair gel on special and got me to tease it up into my hair. At least I'm toeing the party dress code with my mohawk and my red lumberjack flannel and Doc Maartens. Even the chains around my neck are silver and have padlocks and spikes, so I have basically no idea where they're getting the princess thing from.
“Yeah,” Obnoxious Guy chimes in, and I think, oh, please do the world a favor and shut your mouth right there before you say anything stupider, but no, on he goes, “and your skin is like fuckin' porcelain, didn't nobody ever tell you that? Hey!” he elbows his friend, “we should call her Marble instead of Princess, that's a good one!”
At this point I'd be happy if they called me Puppy.
“Marble it is,” I say. “Now how about some Modelos for you boys?”
As I'm uncapping their bottles, I notice a little heart-shaped face and a flash of choppy purple hair craning over the bar. “Hey, Addy!” I yell to her, valiantly ignoring my heart trying to leap up into my throat when I see her. “Come on, girl, what'll it be? I'm ready!” She likes to throw obscure drinks at me to see if I know how to make them, and she's cute enough that I let her get away with some pretty weird ones.
She taps her long fingers against the sticky wood of the bar, looks up at the dustier bottles contemplatively, then shakes her head. “Just a whiskey ginger for me tonight, Basil,” she says, and her voice is shaky.
I sidle up to her, looking at her closely. Her eyelids look bruised and her shoulders are in a slump, but if anybody could call anybody else in here princess, she would be it. “You okay?” I ask. “You don't look so perky.”
“Nah,” she says, and I fill her glass up with ice and Jack and Seagram's and a lemon before she continues, “My girlfriend broke up with me today.”
My insides are trying to do the macarena right now. I put a blue rubber coaster on the bar (her favorite color, I've figured out) and try to put a contrite look on my face. “I'm sorry,” I say. “Is there anything I can do?”
She takes a slurp of her drink and tilts her head at me. “Maybe,” she says. “But I think those guys are trying to get your attention.”
“Hey Marble!” Obnoxious Guy is calling. “Hey!” I shake my head and stomp over. Damn pussy jammers, they are.
“What's up, sweethearts?” I ask them. They're only a quarter of the way through their beers, they can't want another round yet.
“Tell that pretty little thing over there that we want to buy her drinks,” says the Buddy, pointing at Addy. Of all the women in the bar, they had to pick her? “She looks like she could use a good time.”
“Uh,” I say. “Not to put too fine a point on it, boys, but that lady ain't into what you're hawking.”
They stare at me, blank. Seriously? I roll my eyes and try again. “She's a fan of the velvet, you know.”
Still nothing. They're starting to really look like the Budweiser Frogs, too, all slack jawed and bug eyed. “She likes girls, okay?” I finally growl, exasperated.
“Oh-ho-ho,” says Obnoxious Guy, grinning like it's just become Christmas. “We'll show her a real good time later on then...” And his buddy laughs and belches right in the middle of his yuks and I don't think I've ever heard a series of noises less sexy in my whole life.
I step up closer, onto the little curb that surrounds the bar, look down on their hooch-sweaty pates half-covered with thinning hair, and I murmur to them, “I don't think so, sweethearts,” and they look at each other and scooch back their chairs ever so slightly. “That's what I thought,” I say, and I slam my fists on the bar just for emphasis, and I chuckle low in my throat when they jump. “Now if you'll excuse me.”
Addy beckons me over. “Did you just fight for my honor or something?”
“Would m'lady enjoy it if I did?” I reply, and we exchange a grin, and I can tell that something sweeter than a whiskey ginger is coming my way after my shift tonight.