Have you ever looked at someone, and for a few minutes, you imagined your entire life with them? Have you ever done that with someone you’ve never met?
After work, I drove down the boulevard as the city lights began stretching into beams of color inside my blind-spot. The night, unraveling itself like a vine, was growing immense. I could feel it. Something was going down tonight and I could feel it. Arrogant of the voices in my head, I strolled into a nearby bar.
My hand nudged the door handle which flung open and for a split second, everyone looked at me: the bartender, the three or four gentlemen at the bar, the various dark figures siting on the tables near the stage, and the lady near the jukebox. For that split second I felt as if time had stopped and I was on stage. But after that long split second, time commenced and everyone continued drinking vodka, talking about nothing, and listening to the singer on stage.
I slouched into a stool by the bar.
Bartender: *nods his head upward*
Me: Martini with a twist of lemon
Bartender: sure thing boss.
I began tapping my fingers in a rhythmic motion on the bar top as I waited impatiently for my drink. The bartender flipped a square napkin in front of me and placed the frosted beverage before my jittery fingers – “here you go boss“. I could tell he was being sarcastic. Apparently, anyone who walks into a shitty bar like this, dressed in a suit, is asking for trouble. Like I give a damn…
And just as my lips grazed the tip of the drink, close enough to breathe in the cold air from the beverage, I heard a noise. Distant at first, I turned around to see what this beautiful sound was. It came from the stage, but unfortunately, the shadowy figures were blocking the source. I ignored it and loomed my lips closer – which was again, interrupted by a voice. By now, I was irritated so I stood up to see what this creature was who was disrupting my religious moment.
As I walked closer to the stage the outline of a woman was visible. Slender hands placed up and down the neck of a cheap acoustic guitar, and shiny black hair – but I still couldn’t see her face, which was obscured by some giant person in the front row. And in a moment of sheer magic, which seemed very Obi Wan Kenobe, he got up and went to the bathroom, as if I communicated with him through ESP and told him to “get out of the way”.
She was rather beautiful – until she began singing, which made her even more attractive. It was raspy, yet smooth; gentle, yet aggressive; innocent, yet completely sexy. Norah Jones meets Marilyn Monroe. I stood there, blocking three or four people, gazing at this woman – not to mention, I was letting my drink sit out, begging for it to be tampered with by the bartender. But I didn’t care.
Singer: “…for you.” Thank you all for being such a good audience. Catch me next Wednesday at the Rossa Lounge. Goodnight, and drive safe.
A modest applause filled the room which was followed by the sound of more talking, more drinking, and the rustle and bustle of the singer packing her guitar. I walked briskly towards the bar, grabbed my drink, picked out the lemon peel, threw it onto the napkin, and swigged the entire thing in one gulp. My eye squinted in pain as I set the glass back onto the table. The bartender stared at me. But I didn’t care – I needed it if I was going to talk to that woman. Fumbling through my pocket I found some bills and placed a $20 on the bar and said “Thanks, boss.”
At the corner of my eye I saw the front door wide open, then I saw the stage empty, and I walked outside. The scent of cold air filled my nostrils and woke me up inside. Where did she go? She was carrying her guitar in the case so she couldn’t have gone too far. And just then, I inhaled a whiff of cigarette smoke from behind me – I turned to look.
Me: Didn’t you learn in school that smoking is bad?
Her: Didn’t anyone tell you that speaking that way to strangers is rude?
Me: Nope. My momma didn’t tell me
Me: I saw that act up on stage. I must admit, I was quite impre-
Her: Oh yea? Let me guess: you thought I sounded amazing and now you want my number, right?
Me: Well don’t get ahead of yourself just yet – but yea, something like that.
Her: Sorry, I don’t date suits.
Me: I’m not a suit, it’s my cover up. I’m actually a VICIOUS and CRUEL writer!
Her: *choke* haha…you’re funny.
Me: It’s my job. I’m in the advertising business, I have to be witty and funny.
Her: I thought your job was to lie to people and make them buy shit they don’t want?
Me: Whaat?! Nonsense! I don’t make people buy shit they don’t want, that’s a Salesman’s job.
Her: What’s your name?
Her: Like the Prince?
Me: Haha yes. Or if you’re like all the other people in the world “Ranier? Like the beer?”
Her: Really?! That didn’t even come to mind.
Me: And yourself?
Me: Very 50’s. I like it. So Sally, can I interest you in a bite to eat?
Her: At 12:30am? What are you crazy?
Me: Nah, just hungry.
Her: But everything is closed by now.
Me: You must not be from around here huh?
Her: New Jersey. But I was born in Barcelona
Me: Well, people in Barcelona eat late at night, right? Come on, it’s a nice walk
She threw the cigarette butt onto the damp street and crushed the burning ember with her burgundy heels. We walked through narrow streets, talking about what else? Music. Apparently, she moved to New Jersey because of an ex-boyfriend who wanted to start a band with her. Back in Barcelona, she had little money and the trip to the states was her only way out. So she took it.
As our heels clicked down the sidewalks I took a good look at her. She was fit, but not too skinny. Medium sized with sexy hips and a nicely shaped thighs (yea, I’m a thigh man.) Jet black hair that perfectly framed her face, and dark yet soulful eyes. She is, by a long shot, the most beautiful woman I’ve ever taken out (on a late night dinner after 12:30am.)
We walked into Broken Record and ate duck confit sandwiches whilst talking about me lying on my job, and her singing songs about ex-boyfriends, family problems, and politics. We grew weary, tired, and sleepy. “..hu..huh? What did you say?” she mumbled, with crumbs on her lips. I shouted into her ear, trying to talk over the music “I said I’ll take you home! Come on, let’s go!”
A bit drunk and a bit sleepy, she got up, and almost tripped on her own foot – luckily I caught her, right before her face hit the edge of the table. “Woowww! Easy now!” I said. “You okay?” “Can..can you get my guitar?” she whispered in my ear.
So there I was, walking up narrow streets, carrying a cheap acoustic guitar in its cheap case, with Sally piggy back riding on me. *Beep-beep!* The trunk of my Audi A8 popped open as I placed her belongings inside, then placed her gently onto a warm and cozy leather passenger seat. She drooled on my shoulder. But I didn’t care.
Me: Where do you live?
Me: *softly grazing the side of my fingers onto her cheek* Sally?…Sally?…
By the time I carried her to to my apartment she was fast asleep. Holding her warm body in my arms I tucked her into my bed, put the guitar next to my nightstand, and crashed on the couch. God…hopefully she doesn’t wake up and steal my shit….Oh well. I better get some rest so I can wake up and see how she’s doing in the morning. I knocked out the instant I hit the pillow…
“I..I hear something…I hear a sound…It’s…It’s familiar.” The sound was quiet, but not so distant. Morning light was prying through my virgin eyes as I looked up and saw Sally, rumbling through my fridge and taking my food. Unfortunately I was too damn tired to get up and investigate. So I just stood there like a blob, watching her make food while singing with that gorgeous voice of hers.
I saw her walking towards me so I quickly closed my eyes and pretended I was asleep. I wanted to see if she would do anything sketchy like steal my Banksy painting, or maybe rummage through more of my shit. But instead, she walked over, placed a tray with Jelly-on-toast, scrambled eggs, Coffee, fresh fruit, and orange juice, onto the coffee table beside me.
My heart melted as I opened my eyes slowly – to make it seem as if I just woke up – and looked up at her. She leaned in, kissed me on my eyes and said “Good morning, Prince Ranier.”
And that’s how I met Sally.