"You should not have said that. I mean it. You have no idea what you're getting yourself into. None," I said to the volleyball team at the end of the bar. It is uncharacteristic of me to voluntarily talk to total strangers, but in this case my sense of duty outweighed my social phobias. A cute, young, apparently volleyball-playing girl had come in with the rest of her team and announced, to no one in particular, that she wanted to hear some gross out stories. She said this within earshot of the bartender. I have known the bartender for over six years at this point and we have been roommates for more than four of those years, so I know better than anyone: between working at Tai's, his prior work experience at the notorious Manhole, the cast of characters he hangs around with and his normal every day activities, the bartender has accumulated more gross stories than any human should be able to collect in a life time, and there is nothing he enjoys more than relaying those stories to unsuspecting newbies.
I knew what was coming. The Poo Bottle, Public Fisting Incident, Pool Table Porno, Drilldo + Midget Stripper, Turd of Frightening Diameter, Cocaine Toilet Seat, Sausage Fingers, Suspected Incest...I'd heard them all, but one story always stands out above the rest of them, and as the bartender turned to me grinning and asked me "Should I tell it first or save it for the end?" I knew he could only be talking about one story: Condom Holly.
Holly is a peripheral friend of the bartender and me, and by that I mean we know a lot of the same people and she tends to show up in places the bartender and I are known to frequent (rather than that she is somehow actually our friend). She is also a fucking train wreck. I mean it. If you look up "train wreck" in the dictionary, there is a photo of Holly and a note that reads "See also: Shit show, Hot mess." Holly lives off an apparently infinite supply of money from a settlement she was awarded after an accident many years ago. Her entire life consists of going to concerts and consuming as much drugs and alcohol as her smallish frame can handle (and usually more). Her commitment to complete self-annihilation is staggering to the point of almost being impressive: she has managed to age herself to a point where she looks fully 25 years older than she actually is and she makes the comic look like a tee totalling choir-boy.
Holly has an on again/off again boyfriend who is nearly as gross as she is. They fight and make up constantly and she always takes him back despite the fact that in the course of these fights he regularly beats the shit out of her. It was the aftermath of one of these fights that lead to the now infamous "Condom Holly" story. I will warn you now just as I warned the volleyball team on Thursday night: this story is not for everyone. As a matter of fact, this story really shouldn't be for anyone, but it takes all kinds and since I've already pretty much started it, it would be unfair of me not to go the whole nine. Just remember, I warned you to stop reading now and will not be held responsible for any retching or nightmares you may experience should you choose to keep reading. You are hereby informed.
One day, Holly showed up at a divey punk bar on Clark Street with bruises on her arms and a black eye. This sort of thing had happened before, and the owner of the bar did his best to talk some sense into her. "You have to get rid of this guy," he told her. "He's a fucking loser. I mean, you're no prize, Holly, but you deserve better than that piece of shit."
"You don't get it," she replied. "He LOVES me."
"Holly, he FUCKING HITS YOU. Kick his ass to the curb already!"
"No, he loves me. And I can prove it," she said with absolute conviction.
She then proceeded to cite an example that she felt "proved" that he loved her: Several months earlier they had got into yet another fight that degraded into a screaming match and possibly some fisticuffs. Eventually he stormed out of the apartment. She stormed out as well and headed directly to the nearest bar where she proceeded to get completely shit-faced. In due course, she managed to attract the attention of some random ne'er-do-well who was clearly too drunk to notice or care that she has the face of a bog monster suffering from smallpox (not to mention the breath of a coke addict - I should know, she's breathed on me in the past) and per the rules of white-trash culture, she took him home with her for a one night stand.
Some time the next afternoon, the loser boyfriend returned home all apologies and contrition and Holly of course took him back, as she always does. What followed was the inevitable make up sex. Holly had apparently not bothered to have a good wash after her activities of the night before. This was made evident when the boyfriend started going down on her and...and...(excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth a little)...and wound up sucking the used condom from the other guy that was still in her from the night before into his mouth.
"...and he STAYED with me," she finished to her horrified audience. "because he LOVES me." I can't necessarily argue with her logic on that. What frightens me most though was not even that this ACTUALLY HAPPENED but that she felt this was a story that was acceptable to tell other people and that it has now become so infamous that the bartender and now I also have come to think it's acceptable to tell other people.
There you go: the Condom Holly story. I informed you thusly.