He has an aura about him, as if he were famous. The kind of person who orders vaguely off the menu, but his drink is specific- Dark and Stormy. I fiercely ignored him.
“The best rum in town is in your glass.”
I shifted my shoulders.
“What are you, a Sommelier?”
I turned my head away, but stopped. His eyes teased me.
His crow’s feet told me he was older. When he looked at me he studied me- watched my lips move and eyes flutter at a joke. His breezy hair hinted at the grays I’d eventually tickle on his chest.
“I go by Sunshine. I used to live with models who coined the nickname.”
“I go by Lily. My parents wrote it on my birth certificate.”
He was polite and hungry- we chatted kindly about our meals.
He just recovered from a motorcycle accident, but there isn’t a scar on him. He’s the kind of person who would ask what day it is, then reference my offhand comment from hours earlier. He told me he loved my lips.
“So Lily, wanna get another drink?”
I didn’t say yes, but I didn’t run away, either. He’s the kind of guy who must walk on the curbside.
We walked into a bar that looked too upscale to actually function as a bar. I used to work in a bar. The smell of them always gives me this exhausted, broke feeling. I could gauge the time of night by the tip jar. 8PM- empty. 10PM- mostly empty. 12AM- still seeing the bottom. Maybe I was just a shitty bartender.
Anyway, it gave me a taste for good beer. I scanned the taps.
“Really? Natty Boh?” I scoffed a little too loudly.
I settled on more liquor.
Instead, the bartender slammed down a glass of his cheapest beer, overflowing with passivity. Well, fuck it. I promptly gulped it down, watching Sunshine stare, stunned.
Something about sitting on the other side of the bar got me feisty. I didn’t like being in bars if I wasn’t earning spare change and tip jar lint. So I talked shit.
He laughed a half measure too long at my off-color comments. His eyes lingered on me, flinching at every curse word I uttered.
But I was Teflon. Every chide comment rolled off my back, slick like a seal’s. My glances were choreographed. I rationed my laughter and swore excessively. This is not the Lily I know. And we’re pretty tight.
“So what do you think your odds are with me tonight?”
I don’t even remember the words leaving my brain and sliding out of my mouth.
We stumbled, fumbled, and snickered home. His eyes were glued to mine. There wasn’t another sound that could creak his neck half an inch. He had fascinating half sleeves- I studied them as he gazed over me.
The next morning, I expected him to slip out. We got breakfast instead. He’s the kind of person who asked to use my comb.
Over eggs, he told me crazy stories. He’s the kind of person who hits on girls with rappers and smokes up celebrities.
Sunshine kissed me on the street corner and headed home on his motorcycle, taking my fearless alter ego along with him.
“Last night you asked me a question. 95.”