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.

He leaves.

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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  1. Paul · · Reply

    What, no cathartic monkeyism?!?! Just because you’re on a mission (A-Z) doesn’t mean you can ignore the monkeyisms. C’mon now! Ha! Just kidding!

    But GG, you have hurt that poor barfly’s feelings. What about his psyche? Ha! I say anyone who engages mouth before brain should be banned from bars – of course most would be empty then, but whatever. I think Persian women are awesome. Their history is fascinating and very powerful. It astounds me that Farsi has changed so little that (according to Wiki) Farsi speakers today can quite easily read writings from over 1,000 years ago. That’s not so for most languages. The Persians introduced so much to civilization over the millenia that they rivaled or bettered the Romans for adding to humanity. Naomi and I live in countries that count our histories in hundreds of years – Persians are a whole order of magnitude above that: thousands of years. I would say that the top 3 influential civilizations that impacted the current structure of the world were Persian, Roman and Greek. You, m’lady are from one impressive tribe. I find Persian women most attractive (as a group). There are beautiful individual women from every culture but as a group Persians are more so (again to me, and beauty is definitley personal).

    Anyway, just practicing my pick up lines – How am I doing? Great post GG, light and fun.

    Oh, by the way, I don’t think I’ve congratulated you yet on geing Freshly Pressed. You Rock! I wasn’t paying much attention and my first clue was that I suddenly started getting reams of additional messages about comments on your post. I went and looked and, sure enough – there you were in the Public Eye! You certainly deserve it and then some (I personally think all your posts are as good or better than most FP’ed work)

    1. Thanks, Paul, that’s quite a compliment. Appearing on Freshly Pressed was a very good moment for GG.

      Yes, the Persian culture and history is rich and intricate.

      The Cathartic Monkey is on a vacation with Simon the spider. Although even in writing about “willing” an unpleasant person to vacate my environment, I can probably derive some Cathartic Monkeyism. Let’s just say, in that situation, I was the alpha…

      I took on the A to Z to ease my load, as contrary as that sounds. I figured I could take all the anecdotes floating in my brain and find a home for them, without having to incorporate them into the “bigger picture” that my usual posts tend to be. But then, like you’ve pointed out, everything is a fractal of something bigger.

  2. lrconsiderer · · Reply

    You know what’s good for getting rid of jackass barflies?



    (also kind of love how you use your heritage as a weapon (and if not a weapon, at least as some kind of proving))

    1. Yes, people provide you with interesting options to write them off without guilt!

  3. I loved how you used race as a sudden one two punch! Fascinating that we didn’t really know much about the guy physically, just through his actions. Cheers.

    1. To be honest, I only remember his oily quality. I could’ve filled in the blanks, but it didn’t seem necessary for the sake of this particular narrative.

  4. Alpha male wannabe

    1. Alpha wannabe wannabe. I could out-alpha ten like him put together.

  5. I think we all have our own labels we use from time to time to ward off unwanted attention. When asked what I do and I don’t feel like going into it, I say “I do communications for a nonprofit.” It stops most dead in their tracks because 90% of the population doesn’t know a thing about how nonprofits work. They just simply nod their heads and smile.

    Another great piece. Thanks for contributing!

    1. Thank you! And yes, these labels and our awareness of their effect are fascinating.

  6. magicjetgroup · · Reply

    Hahaha love it!!!

  7. “My back’s strong posture angled toward him might have been an intimidating purgatory,” That’s a great line. I like it. I hope I never give unwanted attention but sometimes us blokes get bewitched and we can’t help ourselves. I have a couple of female Iranian students. Lovely ladies.

    1. I bet you don’t go around telling them to kiss each other, though. I enjoy engaging with interesting, polite people. He was neither.

  8. maurnas · · Reply

    I think one of the best things about my height and build is that I can come right out and say what I want. Very few men want to get into once I stand up and loom over them. Body language be damned! And I have gone there several times with men that thought they were going to physically intimidate me after I flat out told them to go away.

    1. I try to loom over people even though I’m not at all tall. Puff out my chest and all. It works with some people, the ones that don’t like confrontation.

  9. Barfly was an ass.

    I love the description of your body language. It says so much more than any words ever could. Spectacular!


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