Tuesday, January 26, 2010

vignette- After Hours

“Does it ever get any easier?” the stranger sighed, staking claim beside me at the bar.

“It’s been a long day," she said. "A long, tiring day."
Letting her bags fall to the floor she kicked off her heels, reaching to rub ankles sore from hours of boutique therapy. But Jimmy and Louis couldn’t take the place of the one who left, his toothbrush still by the sink, few shirts left behind with cologne forever lingering. Pillow empty.

She flagged down the bartender and ordered her favourite Chardonnay, following the ritual of thousands who had come before. “Not much point” she thought, knowing she had drunk too much of this man to ever wash him from her veins.

Swirling the elixir in her glass, mesmerized by its dance she pensively tilted her head towards me, sweeping away a strand of hair covering one eye.

“So what’s your story?”
“It’s all good,” I feigned.
“It’s never all good” she prodded, breaking into a knowing grin.
“Not much to tell,” I answered evasively. “I just came here to unwind.”
After all, why give her even more to think about?

No names given throughout our conversation, none needed- I knew her all too well. The disillusioned heart, the restless mind. Second-guessing everything said or left unsaid. All forever regretted.
Downing the rest she glanced at her watch.
“Well this is me,” she announced and seemingly in one swift movement slipped on her shoes, collected her bags and with a smile was gone.

I silently wished her well, knowing that when my glass was empty and I’d left this place, our seats wouldn’t be still for long. Same scene, same stage.
Different players.

Intellectual property copyright Barry O'Shea. All rights reserved.
Do not reproduce without permission.

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