Her skirt was stuck to her butt, again. The polyester of her short red dress suffocated the natural flow of air, it being 95 degrees didn’t help much either. She shifted in her chair to try to unstick the rough fabric from her skin and beneath her the chair groaned in old wood words. It was hot and humid. The sounds of the city buzzed all around, cars raced past on the street behind. The mixture of people on the deck was interesting and varied. Two younger asian women were sitting a few tables down chatting about a co-worker. Both dressed in shorts and tennis shoes their conversation grew more animated the further into the story they went. The hushed chatter of two conspirators talking shit about another girl. She rolled her eyes and decided she wouldn’t pay them any more mind.
Just in front of the them and to her immediate left sat two, what only one could assume were, male regulars. Both mid-fifties in jean shorts and band t-shirts, they had the swollen bellies and puffed eyes of those that spend too much time behind a bar and not enough time walking there. The man facing her direction wore a black beret and sandals that had velcro straps. Interesting combination, she thought. His feet were swollen and on his right foot his big toenail was severely overgrown, so much so that his toe skin had all but swallowed his toenail. It disgusted her to look at it but she couldn’t help catching it out of the corner of her eye each time she looked his way. His fingernails were dirty too. He had the look of a disheveled professor, one that’s wife left years ago and he couldn’t be bothered about hygiene any more. Long ago he’d given up on any notion of romance.
She looked away not wanting to stare but made a mental note to write about him later.
There’s an understanding amongst the natives in the Pacific Northwest, you don’t complain about the heat in summer because you will most assuredly be longing for it come January. In the state of perpetual grey, we soak up the summer sun hoping to store it’s warmth and glow for solace during the dreary cold. Like a bear gorges on fatty fish and nuts, we store the orange in sun pockets in our brain hoping to tap into the memory for strength when the sadness creeps in. She was sweating, storing and silently chuckling to herself as the locals chatted on. She really loved the city. She really loved this city.
When he walked through the backdoor to join her sweat beaded on his brow. It was 10 degrees hotter in the pub and he’d just spent a good 15 minutes inside refreshing their empty glasses. As he sat in front of her she flashed him a smile. Behind it her thoughts were racing and she wondered if he could sense her attraction. It bubbled up and over her edges like the froth on the beer in front of her. She wanted another kiss. Like the kiss she’d had just a few hours before. The unexpected in so many ways kiss. It had been too long since she had been kissed like that and now she couldn’t get the thought out of her head.
She was happy. It had nothing to do with the beer buzz and everything to do with how alive she felt when he looked at her. Side glances that meant he wanted to touch her but wasn’t sure if he could, kept her heart at a pitter patter pace off and on all day. It was wonderful torture, knowing that he wanted her closeness as much as she wanted his. She took pleasure in coyly smiling now and again to let him know she knew and she knew that he knew too. The dance’s tempo building as the day wore on they decided to move on to the next watering hole. She had no idea what the night had in store for her.