I’m posted up in my usual position by the bar, watching baseball highlights through the bottom of my wine glass. I’m surrounded by first dates, date nights, last dates, and packs of evil women out to vent about the men and offspring ruining their lives. I’ve left a vacant seat to my left in hopes that Aloha Taylor just happens to be in the neighborhood and parched. Two darlings come up behind me. One taps me gently.
“If you’re done with it, could you pass me the wine list?”
“Sure. Here you go.”
“Thank you. Do you mind if I ask which wine you’re drinking?”
“This, my dear, is a lovely grape-flavored varietal best known for its ability to stain my teeth purple and blur my vision.”
“Just kidding. It’s the house malbec.”
I rise from my stool and put on my gentleman’s cap. I also want to prove that I’m not a mini-man and I’d like a full-body perspective of the prospects.
“Here, please have a seat.”
“No, that’s OK.”
“I insist. There are two seats.”
“We’re fine. You don’t have to do that.”
“Yes, I do. You’re the finer sex and I’m obligated to vacate my seat and make you comfortable.”
I pull out the stool and bow.
“Have a seat.”
“Thank you, …”
“Thank you, Phil. That’s very nice of you.”
“And you are?”
“I’m Mindy and this is my friend, Alicia.”
“Nice meeting you both.”
At this point, I desperately seek ways to remember their names while they scan the menu.
Mindy. Hm. Rhymes with windy. It’s not windy here … ever. Oh, but her hair looks like it’s wind-blown. Got it. Mindy with windy hair. Now, Alicia. She’s not as attractive as Windy Mindy. Guess I can forget her name. No, I need to remain in good grace with … shit, what was her name? Lisa? Alice? No. Fuck. Alicia! That’s it. Alicia rhymes with … fucking nothing. Goddamn it. It’s like purple. Nothing rhymes with purple. I guess it rhymes with Felicia, but that’s another name and it will just confuse me. Let me think. A-lish … a-leesh … a leash. That’s it! I wish she were on a leash outside on the patio so I could make moves on her friend, um … what was her name? Fuck, I forgot the first girl’s name now. Shit.
“So, is this your first time here at this fine establishment?”
“I’ve been here before, but it’s Mindy’s first time.”
Thank God–a name reminder. Windy Mindy, Windy Mindy. Windy Mindy.
“Oh? You don’t get out much, Mindy?”
“No. I have two kids and they’re staying with their father tonight.”
She said, ‘Their father’ instead of ‘my husband.’ This bodes well for me.
“Ah. Girls’ night out. Cheers to that.”
Whispering to me, “Mindy’s getting divorced.”
“You don’t say.”
“She’s cute, huh?”
Alicia chimes back in.
“What are you telling him?”
“Oh, nothing. I was just saying how much I like his lace-less Converse.”
I show my appreciation.
“Thank you, I’ll-leash-ya.”
We continue the typical chitchat about where we live, where we’re from, and favorite TV shows. Then I move in for the kill.
“Have you eaten?”
“Yes, we had dinner across the street.”
“Perfect. Bartender, may I order the bread pudding dessert and three spoons?”
“What a nice guy!”