A novel by Karen Lockhart
Copyright© 2018 Karen Lockhart
After an uneventful drive to the Club, I changed my flats for heels and found my apron. Most bartenders don't wear one, but we do since it gives us a place for note pads, pens, and more importantly, our cell phones. The phones give us access to the online Bartender's Guide. Without the Guide, we'd be lost.
After an hour or so, Hiram showed up without Cathy. I quickly fixed a Cosmopolitan and presented it to him.
“Where's your friend?” I asked. “Did the prospect of dating me scare him that much?”
Hiram chuckled. “To be honest Ginny, you are a little intimidating to a shy guy, heck, to any guy.”
That got me laughing as I walked away to fill waitress's orders. When I looked at Hiram again, he was chatting with a nice looking blond haired guy that really looked out of place here.
As I walked down to ask what he was drinking, in a loud voice he asked for a draft Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. I stopped and peered more closely at him.
“Oh my gosh, Cathy or should I say Jack? You are very handsome indeed, I didn't recognize you without your heels.”
That got the two guys laughing. This got Bobbi and Chris's attention, and they walked over to us.
“Wow,” said Bobbi, “Do all cross dressing ball-players look this good in a men's suit?”
“No,” Chris said,”Only the ones that hang out with your grandfather.”
Now Jack was doing his red faced impression of me, so we teased him that Thanksgiving came first, then Santa and the sled.
Hiram looked at Chris and his granddaughter, “Don't you two have something to do?” gesturing towards the waitresses at the bar. “If so, I suggest you go and do it!”
“How about me boss, should I go away too?” I asked Hiram teasingly. “Jack, I found a cocktail just for you, let me make it, on me.”
“Sure why not, hey make two, one for grouchy over here also.”
I thumbed the screen on my phone to the recipe, “Okay, got it; in an ice filled cocktail shaker, add 2ozs of gin, ½ oz of a wine aperitif called Lillet, an a dash of bitters, strain it into a cocktail glass with a slice of orange.”
I made twice the amount for two drinks, then placed one in front of Hiram and Jack.
“Tell me what you think boys, and Hiram, save me a sip, it sounds great.”
As they tentatively tested the drink, I almost laughed as they smiled at the same time.
“Ginny, you haven't told us the drink's name, what is it?” Jack asked.
“It's for you Jack, it's called the 'GREAT SECRET'.”
On hearing the name, Hiram almost choked, “She's got you there Jack, oh here's your sip Ginny. Can you make us a second round?”
“Well that answers that question, I guess the cocktail is worth saving. Let me fill a couple of orders first, there are other customers you know.”
I walked off to fill the waitress's orders and got stuck as a flurry of orders came in. I looked at Bobbi who was leaning back and smirking at me.
“Hey Ginny, want to put on a show for these birds with a few liquor bottles?” she asked.
I just smiled and started tossing bottles back and forth like in the movie 'Cocktail' with Bryan Brown and Tom Cruise. This attracted quite a crowd and the applause increased until Bobbi and I called it quits.
I think Bobbi and I were much better looking then Tom and Byran too.
I made a couple more of the 'Great Secret' cocktails and placed them in front of Hiram and Jack.
Jack cleared his throat and looked at me, “Ginny, would you like to have dinner and see a movie with me on Thursday? I'll dress any way you want.”
Before I could answer, poor Hiram swallowed his drink wrong and destroyed the moment with both Jack and I rushing to him.
“I'm okay. It was the 'I'll dress any way you want' that made me choke,” Hiram said. “I had this image of two cute girls in skirts walking into a toney restaurant on a date, and the maître d' asking if their dates would be along shortly.”
“My turn now?” I asked, “I would love to see a movie and have dinner with you Jack B*****. What movie did you have in mind? ( I figured some guy flick like a 'Mission Impossible' or a 'James Bond' ). Jack surprised me!”
“I was thinking of the remake of the movie “Jumangi” with the Rock. It's a mild humor movie, with the Rock playing a skinny white computer geek who gets transformed into the Rock, and a chubby girl transformed into Jack Black.”
I smiled and asked “What time handsome?”
Jack laughed, “How does 7 PM sound, dinner first than the late movie?”
I thought for a moment before answering. “Instead, what do you think of movie first, then dinner? That way we won't be sitting for three hours on a full stomach.”
“Great! It's a date then. Now how about a Pabst draft for me and a Cosmo for my friend.”
I gave them an exaggerated hip wiggle as I walked away, hey if you got it, shake it.
On the ride home, I got pestered by Jean as if she was my mother. Finally, having enough, I asked, had she ever had a date before, and if so, how many people did she tell about the date before actually having it.
“Jean, you know who it is, you know we're to see a movie and have dinner afterwards, what more is there before the date itself?”
Jean laughed, “This is a first for me, a trans-woman friend dating a cross-dressing man. The question is will he or won't he wear a dress?”
I snorted, “Keep asking and you'll never find out about the date, maybe I'll wear jeans and he'll wear a dress, how would that tickle your curiosity?”
We parted ways, promising to talk tomorrow in the late morning. I quietly opened the door so not to wake the sleeping 'Miss Manners' in the living room.
As I tip-toed by, I heard a voice whisper, “So, did he ask you, did he?”
I must of jumped a foot in the air. “What are you doing still up?” I hissed, “You could have called me tomorrow and asked that question you know. Jeez, Ellen will kill us if we wake her up. Come into the kitchen, and keep your voice down.”
I poured her a glass of milk and placed a slice of apple pie in front of her while making a chicken salad sandwich for myself.
“Okay, ask away Wendy.”
She swallowed and started, “Did he ask you out, where are you going, can he sign a baseball, who will wear the dress him or you?”
I laughed, “Hey one question at a time kiddo, take a breath.”
“Alright, did Cathy ask you out?”
“Yes Jack asked me out Thursday night.”
“Jack huh, so where are you two going?”
“We're seeing a movie, then going for a late dinner, and I'm wearing a dress, I don't know about him. Satisfied now?”
Wendy did a bad impersonation of Peter Falk, “Just one more thing Ma'am, what movie?”
I answered while laughing, “The remake of 'Jumangi' with the Rock. It sounds funny but I wouldn't make him see a 'chick' flick, and a serious movie stinks for a first date.”
“'Jumangi'? The old Robin Williams movie? That's for kids Aunt Ginny.”
“Not this one as much the original, anyway, that's the movie we are watching. If you have any suggestions, please write them down, now, go back to bed, because I am. Now goodnight!”
In the morning, I found a note from Ellen with the same questions. Ha, let her ask Wendy for answers.
What's the big deal? I used to date Kevin until we sort of drifted apart, and who knows what Jack did. Oh crap! He may be married! I'll have to ask Hiram later.
I'm definitely not dating a married guy. Wait! With the amount of time he's at the Club, he can't be married.
Jean honked for me at around 2 PM. As I got into the SUV, I figured, here comes more questions. But Jean fooled me.
“Have you figured out what you're wearing?” she asked “If not, tonight you can look in my closet, I've got a million cute dresses.”
“I have this gray wool number I was saving for a special occasion, I guess if this isn't a special occasion, I don't what is.”
“BRACE YOURSELF” Jean shouted, as a car in front of us slammed into a tractor trailer.
To be continued.
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