No bouncer at the door and a newly drawn sign “Welcoming Lost Souls To Oblivion…and $9 Cocktails. For Madmen Only.” I made my way in.
“I told you we had a true one, Anna,” Said Sam, his gunmetal gray eyes the first I met as I walked in. Like he were waiting for it.
Anna, with her back half turned and a song see-sawing her her waist and shoulders, “He must have a sixth sense for a good time,” Said Anna.
Everything inside could have been crafted by their hands. Dim lights, swirvy armchairs, the smooth smell of leather and wood in the air. Hems of polka dot skirts bobbing along the sparse room singing and laughing with freshly decked men that had their ties loose and top buttons undone. All singing and laughing to the melody of congruence. Even the bartenders chiseled and serious chin lowered and smiled, like he was in on it. Whatever “it” was, or is.
“Lucky guess,” I said, taking my place in the only space between them. “Next time don’t brag, and give me an address I can Google.”
I smiled, or tried to, but Sam looked away. Displeased and annoyed, like he’d been given a poem for a place to meet up but nobody showed, I thought I was being casual, but when I turned to Anna even she had hid her face,
“How did you find us?” Anna asked. Boredly. A question with about as much significance as How-Was-Your-Weekend on Monday morning.
I sat between them and stared at my bubbling pint for the courage and words. They wouldn’t come, but, I wouldn’t drink until I found them either.
“I tried to think like you,” I said. Forcing myself. How difficult it was, knowing honesty was in a glass within my hand I couldn’t take. But there was a thing they wanted and a thing that needed to be said. A confession or rite of passage. A three legged beast and club I was on the verge to become a part of. But if I were drunk, well then, yes we would be friends but not really.
So I did it with the comfort of knowing what I was confessing was something hard to label in the aftermath that doesn’t come off as stupid. “A certain taste in the air, the way people on Bleeker moved when I was smoking. I got a scent, and I followed and…fuck. I don’t know! I tried to…I did, see thing, as you’d see them. Then I got feelings, hunches on which way to go.”
“I went. Something told me you were here. Like a fucking voice or something, I don’t know. It wouldn’t tell me where to go but it would tell me where I shouldn’t. So I got here and, I don’t know.
By then I took a drink. “I just got the feeling that you would like this sort of place- out of the way, but still in the thick of it. Dark but light, quiet and loud.” I looked around unsure. “And it is nice, and you. This place is very you. But like I said, I got lucky.”
Sam and Anna laughed, together and alone, separately but cherused. They bought me a drink and kissed me with their smiles, as they had a tendency to.