You’re at this pub sitting on the high stool at the counter. The lighting is incandescent and there’s low music playing in the background almost indiscernible. It blends with the light chatter going on, from the men in dark suits and loosened ties talking about market statistics – each with a green bottle in front of them. You can tell they’ve had more than one, but as soon as they are done a waitress comes for the bottle, wipes the table and takes orders for the next round. In front of you is a glass, tonic water, you just like how it tastes.
The bar tender in his half-coat and rolled up crimson shirt passes you as he selects a bottle from the top shelf. His hands are experienced, he flips the bottle with ease as he throw it from one hand to the other, putting on a show. It must be part of the act, if he enjoys pouring your drink then you might just enjoy taking it. He winks on his way back and your gaze follows him. He stops right in front of this lady with wavy hair. It must be Peruvian or Brazilian, you don’t know the difference. She has a black sleeveless dress and a white scarf around her neck. She looks like she is in her twenties but the way she carries herself says she is in her mid-thirties. There is a subtle air of maturity with the way she places her red bag in front of her and asks for a serviette to lay her phone on. You can tell she has make-up on by the way the light falls on her face, effortlessly and her ear rings glimmer.
Her eyes do a quick sweep, scanning the room acknowledging the people around her. At some point your eyes meet. You nod and raise your glass she purses her lips, raises an eyebrow and smiles. You see her lipstick, it matches the bartender’s shirt. She’s fun to watch, she has an easiness about her. From the way she holds her glass up to her lips. It’s sensual. She takes small sips and purse her lips when she does. Lightly he picks up her phone looks at the time and puts it back down. Maybe it’s not the time. Maybe it’s a message. Maybe she’s ignoring someone. Maybe she’s had a lovers quarrel. Explains why she’s there alone. You watch as she picks up her phone again, this time she slides the screen up in an eloquent move with her right index finger. Her thumbs take over and gently tap on the screen and then she puts it back down taking another sip. You want to talk to her. So you muster the courage and make up an opener. It can’t be corny. It has to be witty, something that will make her want to pat on the chair next to her and slide the purse closer to herself. Closer not because you’ll steal it, after all you’re after her heart, but so that you’ll have room for your glass.
“Hey Eurobond, right?“
Ladies like her know they are pretty. They don’t have to announce it or keep flicking their hair throwing their heads back. Anything you might want to say, they’ve heard it before. You can’t be that guy. The guy that says ‘hey you look familiar, I saw you in my life’ or ‘you have pretty eyes’. You have to be different. You have to be the guy that walks up and says “Hey, Eurobond right?” You don’t even have to walk up you have to wait for their eyes to invite you in – eyes can do this. When she looks at you and blinks, smiles then looks away that’s her calling you or one of the guys behind you in dark suits talking markets. So you have to look behind and make sure it’s really you. It will save you awkward moments. You don’t want her to talk to the guy in a dark suit and point at you whispering that guy’s a creep. The guy in a dark suit will stare at you from the top of his glass. A glass full of cognac or something fancy neither of you can pronounce with some ridiculous year that saw Napoleon hit puberty. Do you want me to take care of it? He will ask the lady. In lady like fashion she will turn down the offer and insist he finishes his whisky and whisk her away while Ed Sheeran serenades your obscurity.
But see ladies like her are rarely alone. While you are busy trying to conjure something smart to say someone will walk in. A guy in a t-shirt – it’s always a guy in a t-shirt – and blue jeans and high top sneakers. He will have a fresh cut and reek of expensive cologne. The kind that caresses your nostrils from across the room. You want to walk up to him look at the lady say hi and turn your back on her and ask about the cologne. You want to offer him a drink and talk about whatever he is interested in, which might be something fancy like IT or HR consultancy. You watch as she gets up and gives him a warm hug. You think ‘ah that’s the brother’ but then she kisses him. Not a peck on the cheek, a friendly peck. No, she give him a deep sensual kiss. But people do that, it’s practically normal for a stranger to walk up to you and give you a deep kiss. Nothing to it. That could’ve been you. She’s practically dishing them out. Then they walk out, hand in hand. No. Actually his hand on her waist, a little lower. They leave and you ask for another tonic. The bartender comes over in his crimson shirt and smiles. Cute couple, he says. You nod. Got married last year, he adds. Party was right here, he drives the knife deeper into your heart.
Why am I writing this? Because, I have a bottle of whisky. Finely aged whisky, a gentleman’s drink they called it. I can’t touch it. I just look at it, waiting for the perfect moment. A moment that might never come. Besides, I’m on a sabbatical. Not a new year’s resolution – I just think I’ve danced long enough with the golden liquid. The dew that caresses the feet of the god when they get up to pee. So we’re taking a break. I miss her but I know she doesn’t miss me. I’ll watch as the next man comes along and kisses her, holds her slightly below the waist and take her home.