The Girl At The Bar
I know what you’re thinking from the title, but no. It wasn’t a case of her saying an overly loud hello or me hovering my arm over her shoulders or our fingers tentatively slipping down each other’s spines. There was no hint of a hand caressing a leg under a greasy table. We weren’t forced to awkwardly dance too close to the other’s face because the bar had decided to let four or five hundred people in over capacity.
What I mean by this is neither of us were trying to take the other home that night. And if we were, we were choosing just about the worst way to try to do so.
That said, I did have an incredibly strong urge to kiss her.
In my memory there is no before and no after; there is just this chunk of memory that sits, that exists and I’m not sure how I got to this point in time or how I stopped being in that moment. But I can recall that flash of memory with precision —like a lightning bolt through a muggy grey raincloud of an evening. Or like the promise of white Calvin Kleins through a pair of ripped Primark trackies — yeah, that’s more fitting.
I had been drinking from the end of work straight up until this point — maybe 11.30pm — when I had decided to stop because I was tired, grumpy, distant— all the ideal attributes for an evening’s companion.
But then I was face to face with this girl, as in 3 or 4 or 5 inches away and I can’t remember whether we sitting or standing. Here’s the first wave of memory for you:
Her: Why not? You could talk to any girl in this bar? You’re gorgeous!
Note — I have no idea what I had said to her at this point. I’m not often called gorgeous, or good looking. This might be the first compliment I’ve ever received that I didn’t feel was loaded or ironic, but then I am woefully self-pitying.
She pointed at some girls, went over to them, then came back and I was sat there in my leather jacket and jeans without having moved an inch. She was pointing wildly at the girls — girls who then looked over at the two of us, and I can’t recall whether they were amused, bemused, confused… you get the idea. Here is the second snippet of our conversation:
Me: Maybe you don’t know me.
Me: May you don’t know what I like.
In this scenario, she was trying to get me to talk. I was giving her excuses in semi-philosophical though entirely meaningless rhetorical phrases.
After that I have vague memories of her yelling at me, and I that’s the point when I really wanted to kiss her. Her yelling mainly involved the word ‘why’ complete with frustrated hand gestures. Right up in my face.
It felt good.