“That.” Angie, the Apache, an old friend of ours, doesn’t approve of Native men dating white women, so when she showed up to the lounge that night, Andrew said, she quickly ordered a drink, banged her glass against his with a welcome-to-town, ignored Erica, used the bathroom, then boomed out the door. In an instant, I saw in Andrew’s black eyes that a heavy thought clicked somewhere in his skull. Often enough the chick’s already taken, and has been since, like, high school. Still, I don’t know how he came to town or on whose dime, and I sure as shit don’t know how he met Erica, but Andrew’s sudden arrival meant something seriously bad went down back home – something he needed to get far away from. “Ma & Pa can’t handle my opposition to Thanksgiving, (Abraham) Lincoln, blind American nationalism and all that jazz.” “Bullshit! I assumed he stayed with Erica or begged Angie to let him sleep it off on her couch. Word is he’s home now, fat & happy and probably with somebody new.
I just don’t know what her problem is.” “Yes, you do,” I said. “Back home, in Colorado, when you showed up at the March Pow Wow with what’s-her-face.” At this point, Erica, wiggy and rheumy-eyed, was having her own conversation with a couple standing directly behind her, vying for the attention of the bartender, leaving Andrew and I to chat on our own for a bit. Dating Native women is fine and all, but goddamn it’s incestuous! Some dude they like has already dated some friend or cousin of theirs, and they say, ‘That guy has, like, four kids,’ or something.” This lovesick bastard, I thought. His mind was still with her, whoever she is, the heartbreaker. “I’ve had bad experiences with their parents, mostly,” I said. I didn’t hear from Andrew that night, and still haven’t. And the point of this piece is: don’t judge your friend’s date or preference or pals – or find yourself stuck in a newsroom-turned-studio with Al Sharpton at 6 p.m. These are all crippling things that will invariably warp your mind and chap your ass.
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But he’s also the kind to crawl into town unannounced with hardly a dollar to his name and a heart so obviously broken that all he can talk about is how good things are for him lately. He cut short his didactic screed today to shamelessly pitch his latest book. Too much ugly news coming through the wire, and far too much Sharpton.
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