Jordan had balls. He used to come right up to me and ask me out, not even falter or flinch when I politely turned him down.
"I’m just not looking for a relationship right now," I’d honestly reply. "I’m too busy. And I’m leaving in a few months."
"That’s cool," he’d shrug it off. "Let’s hang out anyway."
Jordan was a bar tender at Kaminsky’s, the dessert bar attached to and owned by the restaurant I worked at. I was a hostess, and every so often I was recruited to cut cakes or jot down names on a wait list next door. Jordan and I became fast friends. We joked around a lot between shifts, and even tried to start a rap posse. He was cool, laid back and clever. He made for a good, honest friend in a place where people wore fake-plastic smiles.
I started going to Kaminsky’s after my shifts, to relax and give Jordan something to do on slow nights. He was really good at creating new recipes for drinks and coffees. I became his guinea pig, and gladly.
"Give me something to make," he’d ask, leaning up against the bar back. He flipped silver milkshake tumblers like a juggler.
"Um," I thought about what I was in the mood for. "Can you make a key lime milkshake?"
He became pensive, then got to work. Creams and syrups mixed together, ice cream was scooped and swirled. He handed me a paper cup and a straw.
"How does it taste?"
I took a sip. “Like heaven.” It absolutely was perfect.
"I put a shot of vodka in there too," he winked.
Jordan always hooked me up with alcohol; it was a blessing to have him as a friend in a town where you got carded for glancing at a glass of wine. Whatever I wanted, he gave me - shots, beer, martinis, pina coladas - all in those paper cups and always with a straw. We’d both get fired if someone ever caught us, so we kept things on the sly. It was usually always free too.
"What do I owe you?" he never ran up a tab, but I always asked.
He’d shake his head. “Go home. Come back tomorrow.”
I’d leave him a ten dollar tip.
The best time was when I brought my friend Lindsey with me. We ordered cakes, and cocktails. Jordan poured us shots of Van Gogh. Ronald, a bus boy who usually worked there was well, was another friend of ours.
"Whatever you want, I’ll get you," he told me. "Don’t worry about it."
All of our cakes were cut double the size of a usual portion. The restaurant had started serving dessert shots - little cups of puddings, custards, creams and chocolate - and Ronald was delivering a set while we ate.
He came back with another set and put it in front of us at the bar.
"This one had a ‘mistake,’" he told us.
We gladly indulged.
So we shot the shit with Jordan and Ronald. But cake and alcohol can only last so long. At the end of the night, we asked for our bill.
Jordan gave me his same old sleaze. “Go home. Come back tomorrow.”
"Uh, no dude," I had to refuse. "This is like fifty dollars worth of shit."
Again, “Go home. Come back tomorrow.”
So we left him fifty dollars.