we’re sitting in a draught. a table near the door is like having a threesome with a snowman. you’re trying to enjoy yourself, but something cold and unpleasant keeps interrupting.
he’s gone to the bathroom. normally, in this situation, i would get out my phone and pretend to be busy, texting a friend or tapping out an email. i laugh to myself; it is funny how so many smart phone games have you touch the screen in a way that mimics the action of texting so remarkably. perhaps the creators knew how it felt to be unemployed, lonely, and on a bad date.
this time, i resist the urge to level up and look around at my fellow diners. it is quiet tonight, the gentle hum of conversation mingles softly with the light jazz wheezing out of the overheads. it’s mostly couples, plus several larger groups. business meetings, i imagine, or parties, though nobody seems to be in much of a party spirit.
one group did clink their glasses a while ago, which gave us something to look at. i felt a surge of relief, which faded like a camera flash.
near the back wall, by the kitchen, a woman sits alone. she has hung her coat over her chair. she has long, dark hair and wears big round earrings, that nestle in her hair like goose eggs. she holds a wine glass in one hand, and a book in the other, open. she looks like hamlet with his skull.
a slight frown adorns her forehead, dark brows drawn studiously together as her eyes flicker over the pages. i wonder what writer has managed to string words together into such a combination that she prefers their company to that of a man. or a woman.
perhaps she’s married, i think. married to an older man, who tells her he is doing business abroad yet spends his months on sunny boats with girls and drinks and chest hair. maybe she knows. maybe she doesn’t care.