Waiting for his friend, Garret, Joseph sips water through a straw and reads “I Love You, I Hate You”:
Die Ye Basterd
You told me you’d always love me no matter what happens and we said we were free to live our lives and be in the moment and then one little thing happens last week between me and hot bartender four leaf clover tattoo guy and you think it’s ok to make a move on my best friend. I hope your brother buries you in the sand again and this time leaves you to die but if you’re still alive to lose my number, do it.
Whoever stole my Canon PowerShot SD850, when I find you, ‘sblood. Try to sell it on ebay or craigs list and I’ll snoop the post and you’ll beg me to just call the cops. Take a picture anywhere in Philly and I’ll recognize the sound of the click from around the corner and I’ll be there to. . . .
“Joe, whasup bro?”
Garret, long and lanky with a pale, pointy face, bright orange hair buzzed around the sides with a couple of bushy, unbrushed inches on top, sits beside Joseph at a table in Silk City’s beer garden and looks around frantically for a waitress, craving a Bloody Mary and feeling entitled to instant gratification. He’s twenty minutes later than he said he’d be but pissed at Joseph for asking him to brunch at 12:30, the stroller crowd typically still lingering around that time, most hungover folks, like Garret, barely out of bed.
“Where the hell’s the waitress?”
“How’s your day going?”
Joseph scrunches his face and shakes his head from side to side, indicating that not much has happened in his day thus far. Garret starts telling him what he did the previous night and Joseph drifts into his own thoughts, considering a stop at the bookstore down on Frankford off Girard later that day, perhaps a movie at the Ritz that night. He wonders about what’s playing and who he might ask to join him. . . .
“Joe, did you hear what I just said?”
“Sorry Garret, what?”
“She was there last night, that girl you were so buddy buddy with Monday night. She said you haven’t called her.”
Joseph now in the moment, he tells Garret, “Man, I don’t think I got her number.”
“She said she wrote it down on a napkin for you.”
“She did? Shit, I don’t know.”
“Figure it out man, she’s hot. Oh good, here comes a waitress. Hey, excuse me, Miss? Can I get a Bloody, and can we get some menus?”
As the waitress tells them all about the day’s specials, Joseph thinks of nothing but a napkin he may or may not have in the pocket of the jeans he wore Monday night.
(Check out Philly's real "I Love You, I Hate You" reader write-in column from City Paper here)