What rotten luck I got, the man had thought on his daily walk to the pub. Valentines day and no broad for me. Always alone.
He saw a young couple pass him on the sidewalk holding hands and he cringed. Why couldn't he, Boon Cadwell, enjoy a piece of the pie every now and again? He was an outstanding citizen. Two tours in Iraq. And back home here in America working a fifty-hour workweek; construction.
The damn grenade was to blame. The one that had killed everybody in the SUV but Boon. He knew it.
Because of it his face had been rendered cosmetically unlovable.
"Roofies! Get your roofies!" A fresh-fashed street pusher was proclaiming on the sidewalk. "Roofies. Rohypnol. Mexican Valium, folks. Get laid--tonight!"
The last sentence had caught Boon's attention.
"How's this stuff gonna get me lucky?" Boon asked the street pusher.
The pusher had grabbed Boon's hand, as if they were old high school buddies. "My man. All you do is go into a bar. Any bar. Buy the pretty little thing of your choosing a drink, drop these little capsules in her drink when she ain't looking, or when she's in the bathroom and, walla: there you got her."
Boon had thought, Illegal. I could go to prison for this. But wasn't sexless single life pretty much the same thing?
"What you say, my man?"
"Twenty dollars. But since I sympathize with your ugliness I'm gonna give you The Valentine Day's Special. Two pills, ten dollars."
* * *
In the bar now. The place was really packed tonight. Valentines. Save for the seat next to Boon. Couples were nibbling on anothers' ears all throughout the barroom. Boon, made tense by the spectacle all around him, was about to leave, but before he could get up a pretty young thing approached him.
"Is this seat taken?"
"No. Be my guest." Boon smiled.
She sat down next to Boon. Boon looked at her.
"Say. Mind if I buy you a drink?"
"Sure. But just one," she wrinkled her pretty eyebrows at Boon.
"Hey, Dave. A beer for me and a martini for the lady."
"Got it," the barkeep said, extending two fingers from his balled fist to signify the orders.
The barkeep returned shortly thereafter, both drinks held deftly between his fingers.
She sipped hers as he gulped his. "Would you excuse me a second?" she said, getting up. "Sure." He could see her walk to the ladies room and, as the "little girls" door had closed behind her, he discreetly dropped two of the yellow-and-white capsules into her drink; the drink then started to fizz abnormally.
Hells bells, Boon thought. That fizzing better stop before she gets back. Or else I'm in serious trouble.
Minutes later, the bathroom door re-opened and she came out. As she walked out she screamed, "Jerry!" and ran to the other side of the bar.
Boon sagged miserably. "Goddamn it!" He pounded his fist on the bartop. "Will there ever be any love for me?"
Just then, he felt a ginger tap on his shoulder, and then an affable male Irish voice. "This seat taken, Boon?"
Boon turned his head and saw it was none other than Father McKinely.
"No Father. Please, sit."
Father McKinely had known Boon since Boon's infancy. He was an essentially moral person that liked to wet his whistle once a week or so.
Boon had seen him in the bar many times, and he confided in him often.
"One martini, Dave, dry."
"Sure thing, Father," The barkeep said.
"So how's your lovelife going, son?" Father McKinely had placed his long warm hand on Boon's wide cold shoulder.
"Lousy, Father. As you can see: Valentines day and still no woman."
"Oh, well, buck up, young man!" he said, play-punching Boon. "Sooner or later, there'll be a good lady in your life. I guarantee it. Here. Let's make a toast to it."
Father McKinely grabbed the wrong martini from the bartop. The barkeep returned with the real one but McKlinely protested. "You already gave it to me, Dave."
"Sorry, Father," Dave said. "It's been a busy night."
It was then and there that Boon realized there had been a terrible mixup.
Should I tell him? Boon contemplated. Then he realized there was no way to explain it.
("Hey Father. You shouldn't have drank that. That has roofies in it."
"What are roofies, my son?")
A few minutes later McKlinely had told Boon: "Oh, lad. Do me a favor. Walk me home. I feel a wee bit tired and nauseated."
Just then, the jukebox had come alive with Boon's favorite Rolling Stones' song.
"I saw you, at the reception..."
And it was the first time he had really noticed Father McKlinely. Pretty, well-defined arms. Proportionate nose. Freckled-face--he really didn't like freckles, but he could learn to love them on a night as lonesome as tonight.
"Sure," he told Father McKinely. An unusual smile permeating Boon's grossly disfigured face.
"...but if ya try sometimes, ya just might find: you get what you need."
Ain't that the truth? Boon thought, as he walked an about-to-pass-out Father McKinely home.
Copyright: © 2011 Jack Bristow
Jack Bristow, an all-out weirdo from New Mexico, has written for several online magazines and even one print one. Follow him: @Jackbristo