Turns out that Cambodia has drastically better frozen margaritas than you might expect. And part of me, I admit, just wanted to sip my mango margarita (salted) and stare into space -- but how often do I get the chance to hear from a 17 year old from Texas? He started talking to me from the next table over as he downed strawberry banana smoothies one right after another, as if there was liquor in them. The trouble with Texas, he said, was that there was a lot of Discrimination, but personally he didn’t have any problem with The Gays.
His problem nowadays was with girls. He explained to me that girls nowadays were so well-developed there was no telling how old they were. You might see some voluptuous woman and think she was in college: she’d turn out to be in seventh grade. This had been a major problem for him, but he said he was off romance for now. Got my heart broke too many times, he said, and ordered himself another smoothie.
His cordial world weariness was so obviously borrowed that, when his handsome pickled father showed up an hour later, it didn’t seem like the conversation had gained another person, but simply switched to stereo. Within two minutes of shaking my hand, the father told me that lots of people in Texas were prejudiced against Homosexuals, but personally he didn’t have any problem with them.
I always think people don’t figure me out right away because I’m so masculine and unassuming. Evidently this is just another of my over-numerous fantasies.
Daddy was an oil man and traveled all the time, though, to tell the truth, he was terrified to be in the air since the time his helicopter went sideways two years before. He drank as fast as he smoked, one right after another. He’d obviously been at it for a long time and was starting to look kind of dissolute. Craggy and heavy-faced. Rough around the edges. I noticed that dissolute was no longer such a negative word for me. I kind of liked dissolute. Dissolute was maybe my type. And I wondered if this was the sign of a problem.
The son began to complain again about girls who turned out to be way under age. Evidently this was his chosen theme. This is just how kids are nowadays, he told me. Same as him. He was six foot at age 13. He’d been buying his own cigarettes for years.
He said, One time me and my friends saw a girl skinny-dipping. She was a really hot girl. She had a lot of everything, both up here and down there. I admit I was getting kinda excited so I asked her, How old are you? And she said to me, Twelve.” I said to my friends, We Gotta Get Out of Here NOW and we did.
The son continued, Nowadays I try to meet the father first. That’s my policy. Disarms ‘em. Those Dads think, He wants to meet ME? Makes ‘em more agreeable. But I’m sick and tired of getting my heart broken. I’m not interested in a Relationship anymore. During my youth I just want to Have Fun. Later I’ll get serious. Later when it’s time to Make Money.
The father looked at him fondly. This was their first trip together outside the USA, except for Mexico which doesn’t count because you can drive there. “We’re more like best friends than father and son,” said one or the other. Then the Dad hauled himself out of his chair and went off to buy smokes. The waitress came by and picked up his empty beer glass. “Want another?” the waitress asked and the son said, “Sure he does.”