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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

Comix Revolution, Evanston

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A.B. Drea

Originally from Connecticut, Drea lives in Chicago and publishes The Banana King, edits for Venus Zine, writes for UR Chicago, and freelances for others. She recently completed her MFA in fiction writing at Columbia College Chicago. GIRL'S NIGHT OUT is part of her thesis, a story collection for which she is currently seeking a publisher. Ahem.

5PM.: Mother-daughter mani-pedis at the local salon. Wince at the annoying cackles of the fat-ass bleach-blonde receptionist. Enjoy rose white wine while a Mexican laborer spends her tenth hour of the workday attacking your feet.

6: Dinner at the only sushi place within twenty miles of your mother's house. Order the "Miami" roll and wonder why anyone thinks putting lettuce in maki is a good idea. Suggest to your mother that she should try eating some actual raw fish next time.

8: Return home for showers and primping.

9: Wait on couch while mother "puts on" her face.

9:30: Tell mother that she looks great in her sequined halter-top, spandex bell-bottoms, and strappy platform sandals. Feel severely inferior to her firm, muscular, Pilatified body. Make mental note to work on abs and lose that belly.

9:45: Usher mother away from mirror and into her SUV.

10: Get behind the wheel and remind mother to keep her Raspberry Smirnoff Twisted out of sight.

10:05: Blast Gwen Stefani while cruising down the highway.

11: Arrive at South Beach with all its neon, palm trees, and booty bass. Become nostalgic for the days you used to live there.

11:15: Find questionably legal parking on 16th Street.

11:17: Call your friend Mario and get disappointed when he says he's too tired to come out even though his boyfriend is out of town and the next day is Christmas Eve. Allow him to make it up to you by inviting you to his apartment for drinks.

11:25: Secure a large nugget of bud from him while mother is in the bathroom.

11:30: Sit on couch with the edge of one ass cheek in an effort to remain free of dog hair.

11:45: After sucking down your mudslides, swiftly depart at the urging of your anxious mother.

11:55: Go to new club called Lounge 16, and wonder if the number stands for average age of patrons. Feel another wave of nostalgia upon hearing the frenetic beats of drum'n'bass.

11:58: Take two whiskey cokes to the empty, closet-sized dance floor and attempt to bust a move. Wish you hadn't worn slip-on high heels.

12AM: Watch mother exhibit an eclectic combo of disco, hip-hop, and modern dance moves complete with raver-style arm swirls.

12:03: Drain cocktail as you catch your breath.

12:10: Start to dance again, this time at half the pace. Give mother enough room to work her squats, kicks, and spins.

12:20: Unintentionally invade mother's personal space and accidentally get backhanded in the eye. See nothing but flashes of white light as you stumble to the bathroom.

12:22: Wipe tear-induced mascara rivulets off face with wet toilet paper.

12:25: Make way to the bar and have a seat until the pain subsides. Explain plight to bartender and receive a sympathetic shot of Jäger.

12:30: Accept mother's apology when she finally arrives to see if you're okay. Buy two more whiskey cokes.

12:32: Return to dance floor, which has filled with obviously underage children wearing baseball caps, tank tops, cargo shorts, baggy jeans, and sneakers. Stand with back against wall and clutch drink for dear life as a dance battle ensues. Cheer mother on as she gets down with the kids.

12:40: Attempt to break up the circle so there will be more room for everyone to dance and get some dirty looks from the competition.

12:41: Shake a booty.

12:45: Laugh to self as mother dances provocatively with a college boy.

12:46: Run to the bathroom again, this time to spew vomit all over the toilet, the floor, and your open-toed shoes.

12:48: Rinse off feet and shoes and get the hell out of there, grabbing mother on the way to the door.

12:50: Hold mother up as she drunkenly swaggers down Washington with her whiskey coke still in hand. Realize you are now completely sober.

12:51: Endure the leering stares and catcalls aimed at mother from guys in passing vehicles.

12:55: Take two flyers from a street promoter for a club called Mansion, which is where Prince's bar used to be.

12:59: Arrive at velvet ropes and get a once over by the GQ-style doorman, who informs you that the passes were not comps, but half-off admission.

1: Try to talk mother out of going in because it's not worth $10.

1:02: Give in to mother's pleas of "But I never get to go out!" after she offers to pay for you.

1:04: Enter the extravagantly designed lobby with super high ceilings and gigantic Christmas tree in the center. Skip the crowded bar and head to the main room.

1:05: Order two waters and a vodka cranberry for mother at the bar.

1:07: Squeeze into the circular dance floor surrounded by VIP couches and packed with the usual tall, tanned, dyed, heavily made-up, and surgically enhanced South Beach-types.

1:08: Stare at models wearing white fur-trimmed, red Santa-themed lingerie who are dancing enticingly on risers. Force self to dance to the horrible house music while mother is accosted by men.

1:15: Notice mother bumping and grinding with a good-looking black guy. Decide it's safe to go get more water and have a cigarette out of sight.

1:18: Sit in the lobby, bored and exhausted from throwing up and getting punched in the eye.

1:20: Chat with the young man sitting next to you.

1:25: Find out he's a 22-year-old professional gambler supposedly from New York named Leon who earns six grand a week at poker tournaments all over the country. Listen to his story of stealing coke from a dealer, getting busted by the dealer's cop father, and spending a year in jail where he learned how to play poker.

1:40: Remember you have weed and ask Leon if he has anything to smoke it in. Agree to his suggestion of picking up a cigar and rolling a blunt.

1:42: Wonder if mother would be down with smoking pot since you heard from your uncle that she does every once in a while. Tell Leon you need to find your "sister," which is what you and your mother often call each other.

1:45: Look for mother on dance floor. Ask the black guy she was dancing with if he knows where she went, which he doesn't because she was gone when he came back from getting drinks.

1:47: Find mother in the bathroom and listen as she informs you of her fondness for black men and laments the fact that she can't go home with her dancing partner because she's a married mother of two small children.

1:50: Invite her to smoke pot with you and Leon, who thinks that she's your sister rather than your mother, a lie you formed so he wouldn't feel awkward. Block out the traumatizing image that comes into your head when she agrees to get high so she'll be horny for her husband later.

1:53: Meet up with Leon and his poker cohort Jason. Make introductions.

1:54: Exit Mansion and walk down the street to Leon's car, which is a brand new silver Mercedes convertible with digital control panels. Allow mother to get in the back with Jason while you sit shotgun.

1:56: Brace yourself as Leon speeds down road blasting terrible rap music by MC Korrupt with a K.

2:01: Stop at a gas station for the cigar.

2:03: Attempt to direct Leon to an area of the beach that's less frequented by cops, but get lost because it's been so long since you've lived there.

2:05: End up on a narrow, windy street in a rich residential neighborhood.

2:06: Watch the speedometer increase to 50, 60, 70 and pray to God you don't get in an accident. Look back at mother whose face is frozen in fear.

2:10: See a traffic light up ahead and tell Leon to take a right. Feel relieved that you finally found Collins, until Leon guns the gas again and accelerates as fast as the car will go.

2:11: Keep your eyes peeled for police and panic when Jason yells, "5-0, man! Slow down!" which only causes Leon to freak out and drive even faster, screaming, "Where's the cop? Is he behind me? Did we lose him? Oh shit!" Hold on for dear life as Leon swerves along the nearly empty street.

2:15: Tell Leon to turn into the parking lot at the Fountain Bleu Hotel, but see a police car and decide it's too risky.

2:16: Hear mother say, "Sorry ociffer, we didn't know we were speeding," and turn around to reprimand her for trying to be funny. Address her as "mother," then follow it by "fucker" to cover your mistake. Say, "Linda, if we get pulled over, please keep your mouth shut."

2:20: Pull into the 23rd Street Beach lot, which is more populated than the other one, and park near the boardwalk.

2:22: Break up the bud and remove the seeds while Leon cuts open the cigar with the edge of his driver's license.

2:30: Get out of the car with completed blunt and ask Leon if he wants the top back up, to which he responds, "Nah, it's fine."

2:31: Wait with mother while Leon and Jason take a piss in the bushes. Agree that you both should hold your own need to urinate so as not to make it easier for them to rape you, but assure mother that they are nice kids and probably wouldn't do that.

2:33: Remove shoes and walk across the beach toward the ocean. Ignore the fact that mother is wearing a shirt of Jason's to keep warm and his arm is around her.

2:38: Find a spot on the sand just out of the waves' reach. Spark up the blunt and pass it around a few times.

2:44: Breathe in the moist, salty air and stare at the cloudless sky and the illuminated buildings.

2:47: Pretend you didn't just see Jason lean over to kiss your mother on the mouth. Light a cigarette.

2:49: Notice a single orange light in the sky that seems to be flying directly towards the beach. Point it out to everyone, causing them to speculate about what it is. Hear mother say, "That's not the way an airplane normally flies. Maybe it's a police helicopter and they're coming to arrest us."

2:51: Change subject to avoid paranoia setting in and say, "Did you know Linda's an alligator wrestler?" to which the dynamic duo responds "No, shit" and "What do you mean?"

2:52: Listen to mother tell about her volunteer work at a wild animal outpost where they control the alligators by using their bodies against them. Watch as she pantomimes straddling an alligator's back and grabbing its snout, explaining that the jaw muscles only work to open the alligator's mouth, but not close it.

3:01: Hear Leon say, "I shot an alligator once" which causes mother to angrily say, "I hate guns. I'd rather use my mind to get out of a dangerous situation." Laugh to self since she more often uses her fists.

3:03: See Jason kiss mother again and decide it's time to leave. Ask mother if she's ready to go home, remembering to address her as "Linda."

3:07: Get back in the car and ask Leon to please drive slowly.

3:08: Hope you make it the six blocks to 16th Street during which Leon abruptly accelerates, slams on the brake at a red light, doesn't realize when it turns green, then burns rubber to the next intersection where he stops again even though it's already green, over and over again.

3:15: Arrive at 16th Street and tell Leon to pull over half way down the block so they won't know exactly which vehicle is yours.

3:16: Jump out of the car and ask mother for the keys, not caring if they hear you say "Mom." Say "Thanks, nice meeting you" and hurry over to the SUV.

3:19: Drive down Collins, taking in all the hotels and restaurants and apartments and stores you used to see every day back in your wild youth.

3:30: Cruise along the highway, listening as mother recounts the night's events and says, "I thought I was going to die in the back seat of that car." Respond that you probably shouldn't have gone with them in the first place. "The important thing is we get ourselves out of those situations. We always survive." Wonder how you ever survived having her for a mother.

3:31: Realize you are exactly like her.