Ziggy’s Bar

ziggysbar1280Ziggy’s bar was just down the street from the mobile home that Aaron lived in for almost two decades. The owner displayed his collection of autographs of movie stars. He had worked on it his whole life. These weren’t 8×10’s or movie posters with the autograph printed on them, they were all originals. Most of them were made out to the owner of Ziggy’s. It was fascinating that he had collected the autograph of almost every major film star prior to the seventies, that you could think of.

There was a circular drive in the trailer park, and the bar was only a hundred yards from Aaron’s home. It was classified as a mobile home, because it was seventy feet long and twelve feet wide, but it had permanent glassed in Florida room and porch attached as well as a covered car port. It wasn’t one of those little silver trailers that people pull behind their cars, and which are often portrayed on TV as the primary domicile in trailer parks. Still, Aaron felt sort of like “trailer trash”. He was a little overweight. His teeth were a little crooked. He was a college dropout. He had his own business, and was actually a pretty smart fellow, but it was more famine than feast with his business.

He was down at Ziggy’s, drinking on his tab just a few days before his 32nd birthday on a balmy September afternoon in 1987. Although he went there alone, it was sort of like the show “Cheers” where everybody knew your name. Donna was bartending, and that always brought a smile to Aaron’s face. She was around nineteen or twenty and almost drop dead gorgeous. She did do some modeling, but modeling in Daytona Beach was small potatoes, and seldom lead to careers in the business. She had one of those bubbly personalities that is just fun to be around. Although she knew she was very pretty, she was still really down to earth. If you had to define it, probably a bit ditzy. She always went along with the blonde jokes with a chuckle, and often shared ones that she had heard elsewhere.

When Aaron told Donna to get the lady another beer on him, she put her hands on her hips and smiled at him knowingly. She whispered, “Are you bottom trolling tonight?” The girl across the bar had obviously had enough to drink. One eye kept drifting to half mast, and she had stopped making the effort to pull up the straps of her shirt, that kept falling over her shoulders. When Donna delivered a fresh cold draft to her, she smiled and thanked Aaron from across the bar. Trisha got up and moved over to the seat beside Aaron and introduced herself. She leaned in to whisper something to Aaron, and her short, but buxom body kept rubbing against him as she asked if he wanted to go back to his place with her. While he had visions of “hanky panky”, she just wanted to lay down and sleep a while. As Aaron and Trisha left the bar, Donna smiled and waved knowingly, while inviting Aaron to “beer wars” when she got off work.

The only time that Donna flirted with Aaron, who was around twelve years older than her, was when he was with another woman. Aaron had noticed that pattern, but doubted that Donna even knew herself well enough to have spotted it. The beer wars she referred to, was when one patron of the bar bought a round for another person and then that person would buy a round for the original giver. This would escalate until both people had so many beers around them it was impossible to drink them all. The two originators of the “beer war” would then invite the rest of the bar to help them drink all these beers. It almost always made for an instant party there at Ziggy’s.

Although Aaron often drove his car the hundred yards to Ziggy’s, this afternoon he had not. So he helped the tipsy Trisha navigate the walk to his home. As they both sat on the couch, she quickly expressed her intentions and asked, “Do you mind if I lie down here for a while and take a nap?” Although that wasn’t what Aaron had in mind, he was enough of a gentleman that he acquiesced to her request.

As she slept, he looked at her in the light of his living room, which was brighter than in the bar. Aaron had thought Trisha was almost as pretty as Donna, but he noticed the make-up was too much, the fingernails painted, but chipped and her clothes were ripped in a place or two. He wondered if she was a prostitute? The thought put him off entirely.

When she woke up about an hour and a half later, Aaron suggested they go back up to Ziggy’s. He was still concerned that Trisha might be a prostitute, and that wasn’t his forte. When they arrived back at the bar, Donna had finished her shift at six and proceeded to make good on her promise of a beer war with Aaron. As usual it led to a party the whole bar was involved in.

Trisha continued to sit with Aaron, and actually was pretty good company. As the beer flowed, she started to take on her “pretty glow” in Aaron’s eyes again. When they left later in the evening, the night went more as Aaron had originally imagined. There was never a word of money, and she stayed for several days. Aaron had already asked an old girlfriend to be his date to his birthday party, and was loathe to break his word. He explained the situation to Trisha, who seemed to be understanding and sent him packing off to his birthday party at Ziggy’s. When Aaron’s old girlfriend left early, he went back to the trailer to bring Trisha to the party. She came to the party, but something was different in her behavior. An hour or two later, Trisha called her old boyfriend to come pick her up.

Over the next dozen years, Trisha would make a “booty call”.   Sometimes it was months between visits and other times just weeks or days. She would arrive at Aaron’s home unannounced or pop in on him up at Ziggy’s and stay a day to a week each time. She found it inconvenient when Aaron found a steady girlfriend, but took it in stride and left after visiting a few minutes. There was never ever a mention of money, but Aaron might notice some small thing missing. There was never a romantic relationship between the two of them, even though they found comfort in each others arms and bodies when she visited.

One day a decade or so later, Aaron woke up and saw that she was gone. This time, Trisha had taken too much for him to ignore.