By David Rolland
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"You suck!" Bill called out.
"Asshole," Kilmo shot back with a grin, the band broke into mellow blues, bringing the joint to life and sending Bill dancing past our table.
Shots: When J.P. Soars and the Red Hots took a cigarette/booze break, Kilmo saw me scrawling in my notebook and wandered over. He had dark hair that curled out from under his Toronto Blue Jays cap, kind of resembling a cross between pirate and stoner.
"Are you drawing portraits?" he asked.
"I couldn't draw a portrait to save my life," I confessed. He motioned for the pad, which I surrendered. He peered closely at me for a few seconds before putting the pen to paper, drawing a few quick lines, and presenting his masterpiece. He'd drawn a stick version of me, complete with long flowing stick-hair.
"I wish I was that skinny," I said. "So, you're no artist. Bass and bar aside, what you got goin' for you?"
"I like sports," he said thoughtfully. "Like kayaking and man-versus-nature stuff."
"No football? What kind of real man are you?" I teased.
"Straight," he said. "Sports where athletes get paid big bucks and slow down our economy even more, that's not my thing. Guys watch that to escape reality and to let out their homoeroticism."
"That seems both true and borderline offensive," I observed.
"Eventually I offend everyone," he shrugged.
"I'm not offended," I offered.
"Yet," he said. He paused, digging deep for that special vein of Kilmo obstreperousness. "I tried to be gay," he offered. "I figured it would double my chances of getting laid." His face turned sour, as if he had bitten into a piece of unripened fruit. "I thought maybe I just didn't like all the hair, but a friend told me she knew some hairless guys. I realized, no, that wasn't it. I just don't like the cock and balls."
I gave Kilmo high marks on the tell-'em-things-they-don't-want-to-know scale, veering subtly toward shit-kickin' offensive. He scurried off to prepare us some ice-cold lime-drop shots. We toasted to "creative endeavors," and, true, the shots went down delicious and smooth. Blues? How can anyone have the blues when there are shots to be had?
Now Kilmo was back onto team sports.
"The only team I'm loyal to is the New York Yankees, since I'm originally from New York," Kilmo continued. It wasn't lost on me that this pure Floridian hot spot was owned by a Northerner.
"Then why are you wearing a Blue Jays cap?" I asked.
"It matches my outfit," he said, gesturing to the blue hues of his clothes. "Where's your pen? You're not even taking notes."
"That's what my brain is for," I said.
"That's how women are; they change stuff," he said. "Men are logical, but women are so emotional, always changing their minds."
"Now I'm offended," I announced.
Kilmo and the blues boys played long into the night, and as I swayed out of the bar, I felt blues-leavened love for not just local programming but for pretty much any asshole I stumbled upon ("I love you, man!"). With a stomach full of booze and a heart full of alcohol-induced affection for Florida and everything else, I suggested a late-night trip to the beach. I knew I'd be back to being a nit-picking bitch in the morning. Might as well enjoy this shitty-day-turned-good while it lasted.