I’m at the bar sipping the cheapest red you have, is how I asked for wine after wandering in from the cold like a St. Bernard in need of brandy, for himself, not some skier slumped on a slope.
When Laurie, the barmaid, asks how I am, I say, “It’s barely noon, and I’m drinking, what does that tell you?”
She laughs merrily, then gives me peanuts.
I’m not the only one in need of steadying having a host of co-depressants chugging martinis like it’s New Years Eve. Not quite yet I’m afraid…we still have Christmas to get through.
The cast: a 40ish couple at the opposite end of the bar, the woman on her phone announcing to the world, what a fucking bore her husband is, while he makes love to his gin with more passion than I’m guessing he has for her.
Next we have a table for two where a couple of well-heeled, gay men sit, one older, one younger, toasting each other like they’ve won something. I can’t help smiling at the red tea roses winking from their lapels.
Across the room are three underage kids eating lunch they’re, I’m guessing, putting on their parent’s room tab, though a burger at Benelmans rivals breakfast for 8 at IHOP.
But the duo that have me captivated are Mutt and Jeff seated beside me looking like longshoremen in turtlenecks and caps, as if they just came from the docks in need of refreshment.
Burly, solid, faces blush from the chill…there was a time my girlish being would have quoted Scarlett O’Hara and said,”can I warm my hand in your pocket?”
Of course now that would take just too much effort, but there was a day a preference for a meat and potatoes man was boldly stated.
They keep looking my way since I’m the best chance they have…alone, intimating I’m on a budget. Hey, maybe if we ply her with enough vino she’ll come out to the truck with us.
Little do they know, at my worst moment I’m still from Connecticut, smoothing out those wrinkles along that gingham skirt as well as my funny, furrowed face…
and let’s hear it for good lighting
I nonetheless revel in the flirt, despite their obvious motive later learning, they weren’t longshoremen at all, but oil men from Texas.
I must remember, things are rarely what they seem, especially at a hotel where Marilyn Monroe slept with presidents, since after inviting me to lunch which I tightassly declined, discreetly paid my bill telling Laurie, if she’s ever in Houston, she should give us a call.
BUT I HEARD THEM EXCLAIM, ‘ERE THEY DROVE OUT OF SIGHT…
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL…
AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT.