Deadlines are tough, especially when you have the “oh shiny! syndrome”. I am sure that isn’t its real name, but I am too preoccupied to look up the real name right now. My grandma called it scatterbrained, everyone that knows me, just calls it “Being Peter”. It isn’t so bad, I get to pick up a ton of useless information, that makes trivia night a blast for me. That is, when I don’t get distracted by something on Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, ok ok you get the idea. I don’t think I have ever focused on anything for long. I walk in the room with my average five foot eight inch height, my average length brown hair, my average smile, that never quite shows my average teeth. I don’t do well in social situations and avoid parties like the plague. People always want to carry the most boring sports, celebrity, or “reality” tv conversations into the ground.
I didn’t want to go, but my best friend, Reggie, made me with a threat of not helping with this months internet bill. I spent the entire party hanging out with Reggie, he was the only person used to my conversational whiplash. Most people made a polite exit after the fifth random topic to come out of my mouth. I say came out of my mouth because I am pretty sure I handed the steering wheel over the second I opened it. Reggie was good looking and much taller than me. Six foot two and always styled blondish-brown hair, girls loved his smile, his eyes, and his gym fit body. They usually weren’t too shy about reminding him of these attributes on first meeting him. I told him be careful being a human blowup doll. All these ego boosts he was so used to getting, wouldn’t insulate him from the claws of someone vicious enough.
Where was I, oh yeah, the party. We hung out with quite a few different ladies throughout the night. I am pretty sure I messed it up for him more than once with my great conversation skills. I am pretty sure at one time, my mouth decided that the barely out of teens girl wearing an entire Kardashian outfit, would be curious to know how the particle accelerator at CERN was going to change the world. I don’t think I even had time to actually catch her name before she found an early exit. Reggie looked at me with his “”REALLY????” look, but didn’t actually say anything. That is when we stopped for a drink at the minibar the host had set up. Complete with a real bartender, I ordered a “Beam Me Up Scotty” which made Reggie laugh. The bartender didn’t even bat an eye, She made it without the usual “What’s in that?” I always got. “Did they ever slow light down with that Bose-Einstein thing?” the bartender asked me. Reggie’s eyebrows shot up as he looked from me to the bartender. She was maybe five foot two, with purple and pink hair, and soft brown eyes. I didn’t think I knew her, but it sounded like something I would have talked about before. I turned my chair from sitting facing Reggie to completely face the bartender. Now that I looked at her better, I vaguely remembered one of the bartenders from trivia night, but she had brown hair the same as mine. “Oh yeah, they slowed it down quite a bit and now think they can almost stop it.” I said. See what I mean, real smooth. “You’re Peter, right?” she asked still looking at me rather intensely. My first instinct was to turn my head, or break eye contact with some other distraction. I couldn’t do it though, My mouth kept talking while I kept looking right at her. I’m not sure what time Reggie left me there alone, she would go get people drinks and come back. We talked about science, Geek & Sundry from YouTube, a particularly annoying troll on Reddit, and the chance of seeing Harry Potter invisibility cloaks in our lifetime. She mentioned her name about twelve times, Mary, Something I am sure is a habit of being a bartender. I can imagine all the guys asking her name over and over the more they drank. The next thing I knew Reggie was tapping me on the shoulder. Almost everyone was gone, I hadn’t even noticed Mary packing stuff up as we talked. There was some blonde hanging on Reggie like he was a stripper pole. I actually tried to calculate his chances of catching something from her if he wasn’t careful. We drove back home, I was in the back seat of course.
I went home and to my room claiming I was tired, I wasn’t really, but we had kind of the reverse of a sock on the doorknob policy. When Reggie would bring a girl home, I would go to my room and give them the freedom of movement throughout the rest of the apartment. It was quieter for me anyway, I could put on my headphones and play a game or surf the internet. I got out my headphones, Astro A50’s just in case I decided to play League of Legends, or something else to need use of the microphone. Plus they were comfortable, in case I forgot to take them off and fell asleep. I turned on my screen, fifty-two tabs open from before I was drug off to the party. There were five I am pretty sure had been open for a week. I meant to read them but never got that far before finding something else to read or watch. Did I ever mention how perfect most YouTube videos are, short enough to get to the point but not to the point of boring me. My cat, Mr. Happy, came over to get a back rub, then went back to playing with a hair tie he stole from one of Reggie’s dates. I did mention I was on Reddit didn’t I? of course I have a cat.
I thankfully heard nothing at all, except my videos, interspersed with chat from my online friends. Of course I fell asleep in my chair, no I didn’t get the project finished on time. I woke up wondering why I even had a bed. I never used it. I had a mini fridge in my room next to my desk, and only got up to use my personal bathroom. Yeah don’t lecture me about it being unhealthy to sit too long. I read that weeks ago. I looked at my email, and sent in my estimated time to finish the webpage. I probably rushed through it but it had to look good, I would be fixing little things for a week on this one. I finally finished it and looked at my phone, it was Tuesday, trivia Tuesday. Lost a day somewhere in all of this.
Zipties, was a trendy spot on the weekends but quieted down to a manageable level on the early weekdays. I Had to defend my five week winning streak, if Craig beat me he wouldn’t let me live it down. He believed he was smarter than everyone he ever met. I didn’t see him anywhere, so I went to get my touchscreen for the game from the bar and ordered a martini since I wasn’t driving. they used the jalapeno stuffed olives here if you asked. I always did. It took me a second to recognize Mary working the floor instead of bar tending. She had changed her hair to blue and shocking red. I noticed when she saw me that she had the cutest dimple on one side when she really smiled. It wasn’t the “Welcome to Denny’s” smile most people got from the staff.
We talked during her breaks, She was still in college about to graduate. Of course, my mouth jumped out with “Where are you looking at working? My job lets me work from anywhere.” I know my face turned red in ways that had nothing to do with the martini I was still nursing. She laughed and went to help a customer forget his problems for a while with another drink. I know that doesn’t work, but that is the same thing half the people seem to say in a bar. I thought that was the last I would see of her but less than ten minutes later she came back with another martini, though I hadn’t ordered it. She sat across from me and took a sip, like she was testing it for me. I noticed she was missing the black apron she had been wearing. “Somewhere warmer than here, I am thinking Florida or California.” she answered as if there hadn’t been a break in our conversation. “How did you end up this far north then, if you liked the warmth so much?” I once again checked with my mouth and for once it hadn’t embarrassed me. That is an appropriate question, right? “Oh, I am from Indiana, but I was able to get a scholarship here and I had some family nearby so I could save on dorm fees. Do you want to get something to eat to ease the pain of finally not winning?” she asked. I looked at the pad in my hand, the game was over and some guy I have never heard of won. Well shit.
We shared a cab to a small all night diner. We talked about so many things, I realized she could be as random as I was. “You know you shouldn’t feel bad about losing, most of the questions tonight were history, the guy that won, was my History professor.” She said between mouthfuls of a club sandwich. I looked down and realized I hadn’t eaten a bite of my burger, extra bacon of course. I did mention I was on Reddit a lot right? By the time I finished my burger the sun was coming up. I looked at the time, It was seven, people were on their way to work, school, drop the rug-rats at daycare. We stepped out into the bright light reflecting off the snow piled beside the street and on some of the sidewalks who didn’t bother paying to have them shoveled. The cab showed up, and we got in and kept talking. We pulled up to my apartment, that was smart, she didn’t know me yet. Was this a first date? I’m not sure what counted and what didn’t. I paid the cabbie and got out. I looked to say bye to her as she left, wishing I had kissed her. I still wasn’t sure it was a date though or just someone being nice to me. She got out of the cab too. Guess she decided it was a date and I owed her a kiss. Then the cab pulled off. My mouth and brain decided to work together. I remember us talking about my gaming rig, and her saying how much she loved League of Legends, she just called it LOL but I knew what she meant. Did I really invite her back to my apartment. To look at my computers?
We talked for another three hours. Oh and we kissed not just once but twice. The next thing I know Reggie was standing in my door looking in. “Don’t you answer your phone?” I looked, it was dead. Then he flicked his eyes at Mary and gave me the “oops, sorry” look as he closed the door slow so he didn’t make anymore noise. That was one of the best nights of my life. That is until tonight. We sat around the table, her family and mine. Thanksgiving was always better at our house. We got to do the family thing, and still had room for people to move. I looked up and said “Well?’ oh wait before that, I said “You are the only person that has ever made time stop for me, made me not so spastic. You help see the person I really am, and be totally ok with that. Will you marry me?” Mary just sat in shock, thus my “well?” question. She said, “I just, I just, I just…” and threw her arms around me. Guess her mouth forgot to check in with the rest of her. After she finally cried a yes and put on the ring, the whole family on both sides clapped, patted me on the back, etc. Of course all the females of both families went to look at the ring. I got handed a glass of champagne as I looked at Mary’s beaming face. “Congratulations, Want to play Trivial Pursuit Brother-in-Law to be?” Craig said with a bit of a smirk.