Me. Sitting with my legs crossed -just so- in a stunning pair of black velvet pants and a v neck wrap top. Hair in an up-do and the most fabulous leopard slingbacks (very pointed toe) on my tootsies.
Sitting at the bar and casually sipping on my dirty martini. Sipping, sipping, sipping.
The snowflakes flutter by the window as the streetlamps twinkle outside. An old Karen Carpenter Christmas song plays on the background and I sit, staring empty at the tv showing some NBA game I could care less about. I'm just about to dive into one of the olives left on the tooth pick (Stuffed with blue cheese. Score!) when he pulls out the stool two seats away, sliding into the spot at a nondescript, casual speed.
Being that I'm the only other person at the bar, he looks my way and gives me a Hey with one of those little chin lift/nod things that guys do to be cool. I say hello back without much thought and do a double -no- triple take, then quickly bow my head down like in church, just so he doesn't notice that I noticed.
"Can we put it on ESPN? The Bearcats are playing right now," he asks as he sips the Miller Lite the bartender brought him without even asking. I guess he's a regular I start thinking. Why in this neighborhood? Well. I guess people wouldn't care here, would they.
He looks around the place to see if he didn't notice anybody else sitting in a corner or in one of those booths with the high backs.
"You a Bearcats fan?"
I tell him I'm more of a Kentucky kind of girl but I'm always happy to support the hometown team. He nods and concedes he's had a lot going on lately and he hasn't really paid attention to UK's squad.
A lot going on. I'd say.
I don't know what to do. Do I ask him if he's liking California? Do I ask him if he's moving back to town? Do I ask him if it's true what they're saying in the rags?
What I really want to know is how Jessica lost all that weight for the movie, but I know better than to bring up her name. I mean, this is his personal time, in a tiny little corner of the world I happen to be inhabiting, too.
"Last call, guys." We order another round.
He asks me what I do for a living and I make something up because I don't want him to know I'm in the media. It's not like I'm going to run to the bathroom and write everything down on a notepad so I can relay it to People, but still, his finding out I'm in television would be a bad thing.
He tells me his mom lives in Connecticut when I mention I'm from there, and so we start talking about the East Coast versus Cincinnati. He likes home because it has all his old haunts and some of his good friends are still here (even the former boy band singer who ran for mayor).
"But I had a good time in New York too when I was doing some press stuff for The Show."
The Show. Ouch. Glad I wasn't the one to bring it up. He says he really loved Jessica and he was hoping their differences would make them a well rounded couple. I don't tell him that I knew the countdown was on when I saw him cleaning up the pool and fighting the hornet's nest when she was out shopping.
"Time to go guys, pack it up."
I put my coat on and he takes a last swig out of the bottle. We head for the door and for just one brief second we look at each other and I know I am not lonely at all. There's at least one other soul searching for his spot in this crazy world, working to make sure he doesn't mess up.
We walk to our cars and I see that big black Escalade drive away, wondering about what could have been.