Identity

I walk into the bar , stale beer and that faint smell of throw up greets me at the doorway.  I sit at the familiar mahogany bar slab , its solidity is reassuring. I order a whisky and water, and then another. Few thoughts cross my mind at this initial oiling of the machine, but now I glance up and around at the aimless souls who share this dank cave with me. Lots of hardened faces and shifty eyes.  No  one looks at me direct and if they do , its with a vacant stare. I can tell that I don’t like these people.

A figure passes behind me , a sweet and musky smell of feminine perfume wafts over me , I turn in my seat to see her , but the door shuts behind her before I can catch her semblance.  I’m left with a feeling of wanting and of loss.  Aroused now , I leap off the chair and rush toward the door.  In a moment of hesitation , I pull back instead , and glance out the window towards her.  Her dress is flowing behind her , flowery and bright , too breezy of a covering for such a cool night.  She walks confidently around the corner of the neighboring store, and I lose her again ..only a quick glimpse of a high cheek bone as she turns, not enough to know what she looks like.

The parking lot is bright , my heart is racing slightly from my impulsive dash outside and sudden exposure to any who look my way.  She doesn’t turn around but is strolling past the gated and locked storefronts and heads into the parking lot.  I shove my hands in my pocket , and with as much of a nonchalant air as I can pose , I drift in her direction.  She is petite , with long brown hair , and a purposeful gait.  Shit !  …. there’s somebody looking over her shoulder at me …he’s leaning against a car and it looks like he may be waiting to greet her.  I panic …. shit!  … I reach into my pocket and pull out my phone , I whirl around and put it to my ear.  “yeah , oh hey .. what’s up …. really …uh huh ”  I carry on an imaginary conversation while pacing in circles towards a corner of a store building .
 I look up to see the couple , she is standing in front of him , one hand on her hip and the other waving about as she speaks to him.  It looks like she is dressing him down , his shoulders are sagged and his hands are in his pocket while his head is doing a lolling bob , like he is acknowledging his crime and accepting of his verbal lashing.  She now has both hands on her hips , at a slight angle to him.  I can only imagine that she possesses a beauty to match her confident stance. I’m aching to understand this woman , If I can only see her face.  All of ourselves shows itself in the face , our emotions , our thoughts , how we think and who we are ; Its all there, that is our identity.  Now that she is still , I can sort of make out her shape , she definitely has a nice figure , hour-glass like despite her small stature.  She holds herself with a slight arch in her back , pushing out her chest and her rear.  Her dress clings to her body in the sheer light of the lot lamps.

I pull the phone off my ear and I start playing with it , like I’m texting. I start walking along the sidewalk in their direction.  I don’t know why.  I’m not sure what I’m doing.  I just feel compelled to see her face.  It is the face that one connects with.  I have felt her presence and her aura in just fleeting episodes thusfar but it is enough to arouse my interest to get to know her. If I can make eye contact and see her , I will have made a step towards that goal.  I cease my act of texting and put the phone in my pocket and increase my stride along the walkway.  I’m almost parallel to them now , with my head at a slight downward angle I raise my eyes towards them. He is not looking at me any longer , in fact , he may not have been looking at me before.  He is looking down at her feet and saying nothing.  I continue walking and contemplate the best way to turn to see her fully as I pass.  Then there is sudden movement.   Forgetting my attempt at camouflage , I spin to see her turn and head back to the bar.  I boldly stare after her. I just miss her countenance , I barely got her profile , but not enough to know.   Damn! He sees me do this. I turn and hurriedly continue in my direction which unfortunately is the exact opposite direction that she is walking in.  I turn the corner and stop. I’m out of view of the parking lot. I lean back against the building , one foot up against the wall.   I’m gonna do the phone thing again.  I place it to my ear.  I hear a car start …a moment later he drives past and turns out of the parking lot without a sideways glance at me.  As soon as his car disappears , I let out a breath.  I immediately head back towards the bar.

I push the door open , and there she is.  Standing at the bar, in front of a stool , a glass of wine in her hand and staring up at the t.v above the bar.  She is swaying to the sound of the jukebox.  A smooth Jack Johnson tune is playing.  I head towards a stool a few paces to her right.  She smoothes back some hair behind her ear , at this angle I can see she has a small button nose.  Patiently , I hold my stare at the barkeep and sit , raising my hand for another drink.  I slowly turn towards her to see her face……………………………………….

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