A Whole Other World

We stood outside with ours arms against the bar’s front deck smoking camel menthol’s while observing downtown Auburn at night. Methamphetamine played on the waitress’ iPhone as she stood outside lifting her skirt by a few inches, ready for the Friday night call in a few hours. Cole and I listened to the song. It was strange to hear the song so early in the evening, or at a bar, but we didn’t recognize the tune until one of the bouncer’s mentioned the band to his buddy and said “I like ‘em.” Cole and I listened for a while but we were quickly distracted. It was difficult not to be.
We were surrounded by uniforms and standards for two months. We were assimilated into a culture, so distant and unfamiliar before us but now we suddenly found ourselves in a part of America that couldn’t have appeared more foreign. Not home. Leather boots, khaki shorts, university visor caps, button downs, country music, and the fat of youth. Everywhere we looked we saw nothing but the images of the good and bad of our nation’s youth wrapped up and ready for anything.
The waitress turned to us and asked if we wanted another beer. She was a sorority girl for sure. Hazelnut skin and bleached blonde hair with a questionable chest. Cole was smitten, as he was with almost every girl, but in his experience and skill he pretended to play down his ambitions and spoke for us “No, no, that’s all right mam,” and down here it’s what everyone said to any girl and it was alright. She smiled at him and walked away leaving the two us without a sound in our vicinity but the footsteps of fraternity boys passing by and the car’s coming up and down the slow street.

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