She was sitting 4 stools down at the bar, chatting with a group of friends and drinking a Sam Adams' Winter Lager. She had on a maroon t-shirt, one with the V-shaped notch cut from the front collar right above her cleavage, and a pair of stonewashed jeans, lowcut and showing a slice of panty when she leaned forward to take a swallow of beer. She was purity and innocence sitting on a bar stool, and I fell in love immediately.

I was there with my usual group of friends, throwing darts and working on a hangover and accompanying heartburn. Hangovers had by this time began to be classified as "noon'ers", "one'ers" and etc... depending on when I'd feel capable of rolling out of bed the next morning. Tonight I was working on a two-to-three'er as I sat and watched her between tosses — the angle of her arm framing the curve of a breast and the dark feathering of hair across her cheek as she laughed at some joke or story.

I saw us waking up together, the gentle brush of that raven hair on my chest as she turned to burrow deeper into the sheets, away from the intruding sunlight. We groused about our hangovers, talked about why I hit on her and why she'd decided to come home with me, and found out that we both loved Pynchon. Later in the kitchen making pancakes, me in my boxers and her in panties and that t-shirt, we made love after she bent over to pick up a dropped spoon. The pancakes charred and we ate Cheerios instead. There was a sense of warmth and happiness which I'd not felt in a long time, and I was content to watch her move through sunlight so brilliant and diamond-hard that I knew it would cut me, deep and golden.

But I never approached her, and as we left the bar I did not look back.