Bro and Jessica Do P.B. by Jessica Clarke

I had just moved to San Diego, and there was a 7-Eleven down the street from my new apartment. I decided, "What the hell, I'll get a job there while I'm looking for a real one -- small income is better than no income."

Not surprisingly, I was bombarded by weirdoes asking me on dates, and worse (this was a downtown 7-Eleven, after all). Whatever. I dealt with it. I had been working there maybe three weeks and was beginning to get accustomed to the conveyor belt of crackheads that made up my clientele. And then -- out of nowhere -- a normal guy! Crap, even a cute guy! He got a Naked Juice and a muffin and flashed some pearly whites. He flirted with me and harangued me for working at the Sevey. I agreed that the job sucked, and he offered to take me to dinner after my shift. I was wary, I'll admit, but he was so cute and he seemed so normal in contrast to the parade of junkies and sexual deviants that I was getting used to.

I accepted. I hurried home after work and got ready. He picked me up at 7:30. He was punctual! In the car, though, the conversation was immediately lacking. I thought, "Oh, shit, he's stupid...no, not just stupid, dumber than dirt. I can handle this for one night, though...just look at him and tune out his voice. Just have your own date in your head." We women are more accustomed to this practice than the average male might assume.

Things continued to go downhill. He took me to a bar (whose name I will not mention) in P.B. He knew everyone there and immediately proceeded to act like a seventh grader -- smacking the doorman on the ass, giggling and guffawing, snorting and talking about how "chesty" the bartenders are there.

I had agreed to go on a date with a "bro"! A bro is, in short, a loser. He is the guy who has a closet full of surf garb but doesn't surf. He is the lifted truck riding your ass on the freeway. He is the dip-spitting, Confederate-flag-boasting, camouflage-wearing idiot who voted for Bush... both times. What had I done?

We sat down, and he ordered us both a Bud Light. I don't drink Bud Light or anything like Bud Light. I don't even drink beer with dinner. So I politely told the server I'd prefer a glass of chardonnay and a water, please. Bro was not happy with this and said he was just trying to be polite by ordering for me. Polite, I told him, would have been to ask the lady what she would like to drink.

By then my mood had turned salty, and the date that was going on in my head was being drowned out by this heathen squawking in my ear. The date continued on like this, with Bro being oblivious to the fact that he had lost me several miles back. I thought there would be relief after the meal -- I thought he'd just say goodnight, but no. He had gotten sloshed from all the Bud Lights and thought it would be a good idea to keep the date alive. He wanted us to bar-hop down the strip. Undoubtedly he was hoping I would get drunk, too, and screw him.

I told him I didn't feel very well and that I was just going to grab a cab and go to bed. He was too drunk to care and went on without me -- to try to seduce the 'hood rats, I suspect. I paid the 30-dollar cab fare back to downtown and considered myself lucky to be free of him.

But the luckiest part was yet to come. Bro had told me that he was moving back to Texas in a few weeks and was giving up this killer job as a bartender at an upscale bar and grill downtown. The next day I went in and applied for the shift that he was giving up. I told them that Bro had sent me, and I got hired! Now I have a great job, and I don't have to worry about the weird people at the 7-Eleven. I go to the Liquor Market for my muffins now.

Tell us the story of your breakup and/or date from hell and we will publish it and pay you ($100 for 500-2000 words).

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San Diego, CA 92186

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