1. You were not dressed in all black. Well, actually you were, but this is New York, so that’s not a very good barometer for who is and is not trouble.
2. FOX News was not purposely ignoring a story about you in order to instead cover a factitious report they made up.
3. You were not petting a white cat. You were not riding a black horse. It’s 2013, why don’t we have more different colored animals hanging around in bars so people can identify trouble? What are most monochrome animals even doing right now? Fucking nothing. I have a bone to pick with animals in general and it’s called getting off your ass and helping other people in the world.
4. You were not wearing a nametag, and that nametag was not strategically placed on your chest in order to cover up the embroidered label “I am trouble.”
5. When I asked to see your driver’s license, the bouncer said, “Go inside, and don’t stand next to me anymore.”
6. You introduced yourself as “Ms. Not Trouble.”
7. You were very pretty. As everyone knows, attractive people are rarely ever trouble. Just look at any celebrity marriage, reality show, or celebrity marriage reality show.
8. I was distracted by a loud noise that later I would come to learn was the trouble alarm.
9. I specifically told the bartender that what I wanted was a plain beer and what I did not want was any trouble.
10. You did not have a handlebar moustache. You did not attempt to tie me, or anyone else, to railroad tracks. There were zero intertitles describing the narrative action between us. We were not sepia-toned.
11. You were wearing a mask, but I just thought it was to hide your emotions and vulnerability. Really, who ISN’T less vulnerable underneath a balaclava?
12. Clint Eastwood did not have any you with the curve.
13. You were not a game from the 1980s that I always wanted, but never got for Christmas, because my parents were not dumb enough to buy their kids a game with a “pop-o-matic” die roller that would be loud as hell when they just wanted us to play quietly for a few fucking minutes, so they could watch thirtysomething or read about the Civil War.
14. When you happened to walk in, it’s not that I was drunk. It’s just that my brain was on alcohol.
15. Can we ever REALLY know anything?
16. You were not very big, nor were we in Little China.
17. My mind just didn’t automatically connect ending up on the cold hard ground with you being trouble. There are a million reasons that I could end up lying on the cold hard ground. These include: I was cold-cocked; I was cold-cut-cocked (ate too many deli meats and fell asleep); I accidentally slipped on a banana; I deliberately slipped on a banana; I was forced by circumstance to stay in one of those horrible wifi-free hotels with crappy amenities known as “a campsite”; someone tricked me into doing yoga, again; I got sucker-punched by a donkey; I got donkey-punched by a sucker; I lost a “Who can kick higher?” contest; or—and I hope this will never be true—despite my daily, tireless efforts to avoid it, I somehow ended up at Bonaroo.
18. Nick Nolte does not love you.
19. I did not find you in the “cauldron ingredients” section of Whole Foods.
20. You never actually walked in. You just stood outside smoking a cigarette and brooding. Then you oddly announced and explained all the intricate details of a plan to take over the—you know what? Yeah, I probably should have known you were trouble. That one’s on me.
21. I am not as insightful as, nor will I ever have the penetrating foresight of, Taylor Swift.