Letter B is for a barfly, a nuisance all its own.
A to Z entries: My post for each letter of the alphabet will be anecdotes or musings based on an element from the previous letter’s post. Names always changed, events always real.
~ Letter A was for The Alpha Male and took place in a bar, and so now…barfly. ~
“Take our picture!” Naomi says to the stranger I would’ve preferred not to notice.
He’s seated next to me at the bar. He’s wearing reading glasses and holding the cocktail menu. His hair has gone one extra day without a wash. Naomi is on my other side and passes her phone to him.
She moves in closer to me, and we put our arms around each other. He takes a few a pictures.
Then he says, “Now kiss.”
And he clicks. In the middle of my outrage.
The resulting image is a hilarious contrast. I’m looking dead straight at him with a not-soft, not-subtle expression. My mouth is slightly open because I’m saying,
“All right, thank you. I’ll take the phone back now.” I know that by now kiss, he insolently means each other.
Naomi on the other hand, has her eyes closed, her chin lifted and her lips puckered in an innocent kiss toward the camera.
The hunching barfly looks like he’s about to take more pictures.
“Seriously, give me the phone,” I say.
I take the phone and hand it to Naomi. I turn my back toward the barfly and block his view of Naomi with my head. He definitely meant each other and not on the cheek. His eyes wouldn’t have gone all smarmy otherwise.
But I begin to feel bad because I sense his discomfort.
Just then, he apologizes and says he was kidding. Both Naomi and I give him somewhat friendly nods, and I open my shoulder toward him. We have no intention of including him in our conversation, but we don’t want him feeling like a leper either.
Somehow he takes this as a cue.
“Where are you two from?”
I face him.
“She’s from Australia,” I say. “And I’m from Iran.” I am from Iran, but I say it knowing it’s an effective conversation stopper with certain types. Still, I’m polite enough to give him the benefit of the doubt. I nod and smile in the way you do when you wait for someone’s response.
“Ahhh,” he says as if finding a twenty-dollar bill. “That must be why you’re so uptight!”
“Yes,” I say tonelessly. “That must be it.” I turn away from the greasy man and leave just enough of my shoulder jutting in his direction to both invade his space and exclude him.
Naomi and I resume our conversation. She indicates the barfly with a nudge of her chin and mutters asshole, and not in the purring mama-cat way she did five minutes ago when she described a different kind of man.
My back’s strong posture angled toward him might have been an intimidating purgatory, but it’s only in retrospect that I realize what I subconsciously meant to and succeeded in doing.
It takes no more than two minutes for the wall of ice emanating from my shoulder to freeze out the barfly.
I don’t even know if he finishes his drink.
~ Part of the A to Z Challenge ~
A post a day except Sunday for the month of April to cover topics beginning with each letter of the alphabet.
Cathartic Monkeyism returns in May.
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