The bar at the Montana Ale Works is a rectangular version of King Arthur’s round table. The beeristers and beeristas scurry about inside the beerena, flashing smiles to the regs when they can afford the time. Kristin is one of those in the middle. She remembers my name, she remembers my beer. But by now, that’s not a surprise. I have achieved accelerated regularization with the help of John.
One the other side of the elongated rectangle is a pair of brown eyes. Dark eyebrows arch. Long hair cascades over bare brown shoulders. Between the expressive eyes and the spaghetti straps crossing the graceful shoulders is a giant horizontal stainless steel pipe, punctuated with taps. The space between her graceful neck and her intriguing eyes is a mystery.
In front of her is a drink of tantalizing color. The simple amber of whiskey. She dangles a finger into the hooch with languid nonchalance, swirls it around, then lifts her graceful digit, pregnant with suggestion, to her lips. At least I assume that’s where it ended up. We can only imagine what that was like when her finger reached her lips. It was slow. It was beautiful. It was all in my head.
Still, sitting where I was, I was finally privileged to see her smile. Toothy. Confident. Happy. I bought her another scotch. Anonymously. I made extra-double-sure that Jen would not rat me out. Why, why would I buy a woman a drink and work so hard to make sure I gain nothing from it, not a thank you or even a glance in my direction? (There certainly were no glances my direction, either before or after the drink arrived in front of her.) Why? Because I’m stupid. Or maybe I’m just chicken. I’d never sent a drink over to a stranger before, so maybe I just need practice.
No, it was just stupid. I’m just not a buy-a-drink-for-a-stranger kind of guy. Buying a woman a drink is step one to picking her up, and that’s something I’m hopeless at. My style is more the wear-her-down-over-the-course-of-weeks kind of style. It doesn’t work very well, I can tell you that.