Contributor: Joe Dinnen

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It plunged deeper and deeper until it lightly settled among the uneven surface. It hit rock bottom. Leaving a trail of tiny bubbles to the surface. From the outside it looked graceful – the round object plummeting down through the semi-toxic liquid, distorted by the transparent encasing.

Whatever, Ron thought as he eagerly gulped the remaining gin from the glass.

His plump fingers reached down to grasp the green olive he so intently watched. One finger in particular, marked by drastic tan-line, drove Ron to polish off the three martinis he consumed that night. His late father’s voice echoed in his head…

“Martinis are like tits – three are too many, one isn’t enough…”

At this point, Ron had no desire to deal with, think about, look at, touch, caress…tits. Nope.

Drinking alone in the lobby of a Residence Inn is the last place Ron figured he’d be thinking about tits, let alone his late father’s words regarding them. Banal walls surrounding cheaply tufted chairs that could collapse under Ron’s potbelly at any moment.

Was this martini glass even that? Indeed glass? Nope – it was plastic.

Staring at his jarring tan-line along his ring finger, Ron’s phone buzzed. Slowly he diverted his gaze to the email on the screen. It was his lawyer – papers were signed and it was official.

“Shit man. Shit.” Ron muttered to himself through his gin and olive breath.

“So uncouth…” A sultry voice added.

“Excuse me?” Ron said, slowly looking up out of contained rage.

He was pleasantly surprised. While he found her words among the last that he could stand in his current state, he was met with the seductive eyes of another middle-age lone rider.

Trade in the martini glass for a champagne flute and the dick for a – well, she was a female – and Ron felt he may have found someone equally pathetic and in equally dire straits.

He needed a rebound.

“I said, ‘So uncouth.’ Did I stutter?” she replied.

At this point, the booze sloshed in Ron’s belly and memories and thoughts sloshed in Ron’s brain. Anyone who has experienced this sensation can only attest to the struggle.

“Name?” Ron managed to articulate.

“My my, sounds like someone has had one too many?” She said with a wink. “You can call me Cheryl.”

Ron thought long and hard about his next move. Aside from the fact that his motor skills were nearly depleted, Cheryl was his wife’s name. Well, now ex-wife’s name. To move forward or to call it a night, Ron struggled.

“Staying here…Cheryl?” Ron stammered with a snarl.

“Checked in tonight. I’m not familiar with the area…” Cheryl replied.

“Okay. I do. I’ll show you.” Ron slurred, stumbling to his feet.

“Well, it’s rather late tonight…don’t you think?”

Ron could barely decipher his credit card from his ID, let alone whether Cheryl was willing to be his rebound. What do I have to lose?

“You’re right.” He complied.

“I think…I’ll stay in.” Cheryl whispered, slowly walking by Ron and leaving her room key slyly in front of him.

As she sauntered into the distance of the hotel’s banal décor, Ron dug his hand into his pocket, almost frantically searching for his card to pay for the drinks he guzzled.

Standing up, he wiggled his pudgy hands into his pocket to grab his wallet. Slamming both his ID and credit card on the counter, he figured he’d cut his losses on which is which – he surely did not know.

And at that moment he realized that three cards now sat in front of him – his ID, his credit card and Cheryl’s room key. And at that moment he also realized that if his drunken perception could not tell between his ID and credit card – it certainly would not be able to distinguish a room key in the group.

Feeling defeated, Ron sat down on the cheaply tufted chair he had spent the entire night on. Wobbling beneath his mass, it collapsed to the ground.

Now, he had hit rock bottom.

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