“Dude, she pissed my bed. Twice!”
These were the first words I heard this morning. Travis, my oldest friend, was calling me in a rage after dropping off the bedwetter at her dad’s place. It seems with each year I return to Austin for Christmas, such calls have become more frequent. It’s hard to say exactly what changed. Our sexual escapades used to start out so innocent—“Dude, that smoking hot girl at the bar just brushed her ass against me. She totally wants me.” Now, the tales of our sexual adventures usually begin something like the story of Travis’s bedwetter: “When I first met her, I thought she was a prostitute...”
The previous night I was drinking with my friend Michelle at a Tex-Mex bar called Trudy’s when Travis came in and began briefing us on the situation with his date. On the phone he had described her as hot, but that was before he knew I would be meeting her. Although his updated description wasn’t flattering, I was still excited for him. He had recently been dumped and needed an ego boost. He even looked like he had showered for the occasion, donned a hiply ironic shirt featuring Jesus, squeezed into some slim jeans that made a bulge out of his coin purse, and groomed his wispy facial hair like a stylish pedophile.
He'd met the bedwetter a few weeks before. I can’t recall her name, but I’m not entirely sure Travis even knew. The name she gave sounded like a stage name, something like Sparkle or Bubbles. We’ll call her “Nineteen,” as this is how she introduced herself to me. So Travis was out drinking on a Monday night, at a place that was hosting “Porn-i-oke” (karaoke words running over distracting porn videos). Normally women don’t appreciate Travis’s socially oblivious style, except when he is on stage. Years of playing in a band has given him a stage personality that sometimes even makes me consider sleeping with him. The performance is equally entertaining when transferred to karaoke. He picks a funky song, inevitably something by a black man (in this case “Billie Jean”). If he doesn’t know the words, he makes them up and mixes in his own like, “Damn girl,” or “Give me some of your sandwich, lady.” He jumps off stage, gets the table of frat guys to sing backup, grinds on the karaoke host, and swings the mic like a rodeo cowboy’s lasso. Such performances could grant him access to a slew of women who wouldn’t otherwise give him a second glance, but he always gets blindsided by girls like “Nineteen.” Within seconds of finishing his song she was sitting on his lap and sipping his drink. The only reason nothing happened between the two the night they met was because “Nineteen” had to leave with an older gentleman she called her boss, in order to do some “work.”
“Nineteen” walked into the bar looking like the dirty girl in junior high who always claimed she spent her nights hanging out with 26-year-olds — the kind of girl who claimed to be a lesbian because none of the boys knew what to do with her. I could deal with her pigtails and grungy hoody, but I couldn’t ignore her ADD giggle and her insistence on verbalizing her every thought.
“OMG, did you see that tree. That tree was awesome. Oh my god, I want to climb it. Do you want to climb it? Let’s go climb it...”
We moved across town to a dive of a karaoke bar called The Canary Roost. Travis knows all the spots where underage girls can drink without getting carded. Michelle and I convinced Travis to get on the mic in hopes that he would be claimed by someone who didn’t look like the decoy on To Catch a Predator. The gorilla of a 40-something mom covered in bad tattoos did come close, pulling Travis’s in close each time he leapt off stage singing Rick James. One girl even gave him her number, but “Nineteen” wasn’t going away. After all, she needed him for a ride. Was she even old enough to have a driver’s license?
Travis quickly ran out of money. He wasn’t used to paying for girls’ drinks and “Nineteen” already blew her weekly allowance at the skating rink. He asked if I could buy them a drink, but I had misgivings about being an accomplice to a felony.
Before leaving, I tried to encourage Travis to abort his mission, but he was desperate and determined.
“I didn’t buy her fucking tacos because I like hanging out with her. If I buy a girl Mexican food, I’m getting laid.”
The next time I heard from Travis, his attitude had altered.
“She pissed on my fucking mattress. What do you do with that? I woke up and went to the bathroom to piss like a fucking civilized human being, and when I came back the sheets were soaked.”
“Maybe she’s one of those girls who gets her jollies by peeing on dudes.”
“This isn’t funny? How am I supposed to explain to my mom that some girl pissed on my great grandmother’s handmade quilt?”
“Tell her you were babysitting.”
“This is serious. She didn’t even offer to pay to have it cleaned. Then when I dropped her off, she said she really wanted to see me again. Stop laughing.”
I couldn’t help it. I was staying at my parents' house, lying in bed in my childhood room — the same room where Travis and I used to stay up nights sipping virgin daiquiris and constructing elaborate sex scenes with our G.I. Joes. When Travis and I were younger, I doubt even our sex-starved imaginations could have dreamed up such a scenario. A wave of nostalgia overwhelmed me. I longed for the days of trying to see boobs on the fuzzy cable channels — a time before we ever had to worry if you could contract an STD from sleeping in a puddle of urine.
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