Sitting at the bar while I waited for my friends was rather boring until the bartender handed me a glass of wine courtesy of another patron. Three of us surrounded the bartender; me on the west end, the man who had just bought me a drink and a woman with curly blonde hair who was laughing with her friends. While few blondes I see have a natural looking tan she was a woman who wore summer well. I couldn't help noticing that the man responsible for my free drink threw glances her way when he thought she wasn't looking. One of the friends I had been waiting for sent me a text message, I finished reading that before waving at the man who was watching the blonde.
It occurred to me that the blonde across from me must know the man she was ignoring. Good wine is meant to be savored however he was drinking it too quickly to let the swirl of flavors mingle in his mouth. Had someone asked me to describe him in two words or less I would have written 'intense' beneath his picture. Music flows through people who can channel it. Interestingly and perhaps coincidentally the blonde swayed to the beat much like the man who was now avoiding her tapped the ends of his fingers against his wine glass. Together they made their separate ways to the dance floor while I wondered how the night would end.
Simple perfect use of the human body fascinates me. People who execute dance steps in good technical form are less interesting to watch than those who meld atmosphere and an audience into a fluid, seamless continuum. I doubt anyone expected the man to partner with a lithe Latino youth but something strange happened as the crowd drew away from them. The dancers occupying the floor had turned it into something more than bodies and music. Maybe it was the wine but I fancied myself in the middle of an artistic interpretive dance. In my mind I could hear a voice saying - "This is what happens when love breaks a man. This is how music helps you survive after your lover says good bye."
Sweat swam through the air as the music engulfed inebriated onlookers. Abruptly the music changed, several years ago swing music had been played in bars across the city. Tonight was a throw back night I thought to myself as I heard songs I hadn't listened to in almost a decade. Together the blonde and the man she had been avoiding moved in time. Their faces were serious, their steps crisp, now they were performing where before they had been dancing just because. As the song drew to a frenzied end the man dipped his girl down, I thought he would kiss her but he held her suspended over the dance floor before bringing her back to her feet.
Quickly the blonde fled to the Ladies' Room. Anger or maybe frustrated rage settled across the man's face. At the bar he ordered another drink and announced that he would buy a round of drinks for everyone. A text message from another friend of mine let me know that she would be arriving shortly. Knowing her the way I did that could mean anything from three minutes to thirty. In the bathroom I saw the blonde dabbing at her eyes. A friend of hers was patting her on the back and I could hardly believe the diamonds on the crying woman's left hand.
Tastefully worn diamonds are almost as rare as the ones that are perfectly cut. In my opinion there are women who wear diamonds while others bring fiery life to one of the hardest natural substances known to man. The hand in front of me was elegant, her rings were unique and must have set the buyer back quite a bit. The man she had danced with had been wearing diamonds as well. Tacky bling is a disease that affects millions. His diamond earrings had dazzled however they hadn't overpowered the man who had held another man's hand on the dance floor.
Back at the bar I saw my friend near the doorway. Winding through the crowd I could hear her complaining about the smoke, the crush of people, the lack of seating and how humid it was. The bar was so crowded I couldn't keep track of the blonde and the man who hadn't kissed her. I'm sure whatever my friend was whining about was conversation I should have been paying attention to but I was distracted by a two thousand dollar handbag and a tiny pair of feet wearing shoes I had seen earlier. Panic set in when I couldn't find the man who had bought me a drink. I wasn't sure why it was so important that I talk to him but the urgency was acute.
Seconds later I saw him come out of the Men's Room. Men who move a certain way have a hypnotic appeal. His face changed when he smiled however that smile never reached his enigmatic eyes. Distractedly he wrote on a piece of paper that someone had handed him. Around me I could hear people whispering his name. Now that I knew who he was I understood that he could easily afford to buy all of us any drink the bar had to offer. Earlier I had wanted to talk to him. Now I drew back, afraid that he would think I was another autograph seeking fan. The next time I saw him he was walking outside, moving just as economically outside as he had on the dance floor.
For me the bar scene is comprised of women who are made up and dressed up trying to hook up with men who are interested in snatching a quick piece. The smells are the same, perfume mixed with cologne and the inevitable micro-brewery smell. From time to time I think about the blonde and the man she danced with. Working at the mall gives me an opportunity to observe shoppers that pass. The next time I saw her she was wearing a long winter coat. The baby she was holding had eyes that mirrored his mother's. Around the baby's flaming blue iris was an irritated red cornea. Gently his mother wiped his nose before handing him back to the woman she was with.
Celebrity gossip travels fast on this God forsaken planet I inhabit. News of a swimsuit model divorcing her ball playing husband was of interest to me primarily because I felt bad for the guy who had bought me a drink.
That night I thought I recognized a powerful attraction between two would be lovers. Initially they were dancing with other people, showing off so the other person would see how much fun they could have by themselves. Watching them dance was probably a once in a lifetime opportunity. I wondered what was going to happen to the guy, the woman he had danced with and the baby born into the breach.
On days when life seems complicated I try to focus on things that make sense. Creating scenarios for fictional characters make the life I have seem better in ways that matter to me. Now that I have a new job I can see how the right people in the right place at the right time can make a difference. The night I met the blonde woman at Starbucks I was frustrated by people that no longer have any power over me. Bitter wintry weather freezes me on a physical level however that night I threw off the things that had tried to break me and stepped into the soundless world of snowflakes.