Her name was serendipity. She had long, platinum blonde hair and a little tattoo on her left hip. “Cole” it read.
She wrote me a letter the first night I met her. It was written in purple ink and it said, “I think you’re beautiful. I’d love to get to know you. Give me a call”. Her phone number was written in bubbly, violet letters.
I was tending bar when she slid the folded up notebook paper my way. I smiled when I read it.
“I’m a lesbian” she told me. “I have a kid but I’m only into women now.” She told stories of a bad breakup with a woman named “Nicole” hence the name on her hip. “It didn’t work out.” she’d say.
She was a sweet girl in the way that she always paid attention to those whom she had chosen as her friends. She always asked how I was doing, and remembered the little details I had told her about my life. One night, she handed me a lip-gloss kit and a palette of eye shadow, both brand new and in the package. “I picked this out just for you”.
It was a thoughtful gift. I turned over the package of lip-gloss. $18.99. The eye shadow cost a couple dollars more. “This is really sweet but it’s an expensive gift. I feel bad taking it.”
“Don’t worry about it. I want you to have it.” She assured me. I thanked her and took my place back behind the bar.
When I saw her in the dressing room later, selling more little packs of makeup from a big purple bag full of it, I knew it had to have been stolen goods.
Another night, Serendipity showed up for work with a piercing kit. It looked just like a first aid box but it was full of needles, alcohol swabs, cotton balls, and other piercing needs. I heard she’d gotten reprimanded for piercing her own cartilage while sitting on the countertop, looking into the mirror. “I’m trained to do this” she’d said. “I’m licensed, actually.”
“Put it away.” I overheard our manager say. “And don’t let me catch you with it out again.”
I was handing a customer a glass of wine when Serendipity was called onto the stage. “Britt” she called, as she made her way toward the stage. “Hurry!” I ran over to see what she needed. “Hold this for me, please”. She held out her fist. I opened my hand and she placed a handful of assorted pills into it.
“Are you serious?! What is this?” I asked. But she’d already walked onto the stage. So there I was, standing there with a handful of drugs and I didn’t even know what kind of drugs they were. I wanted to reciprocate this girl’s friendliness toward me but I was pretty sure that friends don’t put friends in such an awkward position.
The last thing I wanted to do was get caught with drugs that weren’t even mine, so I put the pills into a plastic cup and hid it under the cash register. When she got off stage, I handed her the cup and said, “I don’t wanna know. Just get it out of here.”
Now, I don’t remember for sure if it was the same night, but I remember walking into the dressing room to wash my hands and seeing Serendipity and Camille, an older dancer who was known for her sweet, polite demeanor, in the bathroom stall. What was happening was pretty self-explanatory but Camille told me anyway. “She pierced my pussy!” She opened her legs to flash a brand new, piece of jewelry in the folds of her flower. “Only thirty bucks, too!”
“Don’t tell on me” Serendipity reminded me.
One Friday night, a dancing night for me, I walked over to the door-less bathrooms stalls to check my makeup in the mirror before going out on the floor. “Shit! That motherfucker!” I heard Serendipity cursing.
“What’s the matter?” I asked.
She was sitting on the toilet holding a pair of blood soaked panties. “That motherfucker got me pregnant again and I had a miscarriage.”
“I’m so sorry” I said. “What motherfucker?”
“It was for the best.”
“You should be home resting. I don’t think it’s healthy to work right after.”
“I need to work.”
“What motherfucker?” I asked again.
“Cole. My daughter’s father. He’s an asshole.” She inserted a tampon and hid the string in the folds of her vagina.
“I thought you said Cole was short for Nicole, your ex lesbian lover?”
“That’s just what I tell everyone.” Serendipity stood up and threw the underwear in the trash. She flushed the toilet with the platform of her high heeled shoe, pulled her silver mini-dress back down over her bottom, and walked toward the sink. “Guess this will have to do.”
“What about your underwear?” I asked.
“I don’t have another pair with me. That was it.”
“I have an extra G-string I can give you. It’s clean.” I went to my locker and rummaged my work bag for a spare G-string.
“Thanks” she said, as I handed it to her. “You’re just the sweetest. That’s why I love you.”
About a week later, Serendipity tried to return the favor by offering me something from her locker full of treats. “I have everything” she whispered in my ear as I stepped into one of my six inch heels. “I’ll give it to you for half of what I charge everybody else.”
I didn’t know what to say, so I just thanked her and told her I didn’t want any. I could only imagine what she had stored in her locker and I did not want to be around when she got caught with it.
Long after Serendipity had eventually been fired for selling drugs on the premises, I looked up the meaning of her name. Serendipity means a “fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”. It is also defined as the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
Knowing Serendipity was perhaps a serendipity in itself. She was most certainly an interesting person to know. However, I quickly realized that Serendipity was the kind of friend that would likely bring more trouble than she was worth.
So, while I was happy that we had crossed paths, I was relieved when we no longer worked under the same roof. Maybe that was the more fortunate happenstance.