Friday, June 16, 2006

The Night We Met (Part III)

Conclusion. See Part I and Part II:

I picked the perfect spot to watch the door. Unfortunately, it was very close to a group of older men that were staring at me like a pork shop in a pack of wild dogs. Still early in my career, I hadn't yet traveled enough to learn the art of drinking alone at a bar. I had yet to develop the confident air that said that I was just here to relax, or to emit the false aura of a hard day at work. Mostly, I reeked of nervousness and impatience, which always brings the wolves in droves.

After nearly two hours, I began to lose hope and started the sort of self-talk that kept me from playing the lottery or praying to a God I wasn't sure was there. They popped in my head one after the other: "I'm such a moron for doing this." "Who the hell goes out to a bar two nights in a row in the middle of the week?" "He probably had to work late tonight." "Maybe the guy with the eye patch isn't so bad after all." "Does this shirt make me look fat?" Luck had never exactly run through my blood. In fact, on this night, it seemed to be running down my leg.

And then the skies parted and the sun came blazing through. Steven, with two friends, was now standing in line with his ID ready. My heart began to race like a rat on crack. Almost immediately, we locked eyes and he came directly over to me.

"What are you doing here, mister?" he asked with a knee-buckling smile.

"Honestly? I came back hoping to see you," I replied. "Something akin to returning to the crime scene." He laughed and put his arm around me and gave me a gentle kiss hello.

"What a coincidence. I'm here for exactly the same reason," he admitted. "But I didn't think you'd be here in a million years. I mean,
who the hell goes out to a bar two nights in a row in the middle of the week?" We laughed knowingly. Clearly, we both had covered the multiple reasons why attempting to recreate Fate was a stupid idea. But as we stood there together, finally reunited after a tortuous 24 hours, we were happy to have been wrong. Very happy.

Fast forward five years...

"Babe, what was the name of the club where we met," I asked as we sat feet to feet on the couch drinking coffee, our Sunday morning ritual. I worked the crossword, he read the Style section of the Dallas Morning News.

Steven lowered the paper in a disappointing crumple and says "Why?"

"Because the clue for 14-Down is Chance Encounter, and it made me think of when we met," I explained, trying to make up for my inability to remember important facts and details about the event.

"It was the Wild Club," he said scoldingly.
"And as punishment for the fact that you forgot, you will fold all the laundry today." His toes tickled mine as a salve for his harsh tone.

As I struggled to figure out the clue, I reenacted the night that our paths crossed and how fortunate I was to still be sitting here with him, toes entangled. Somehow that night luck had blessed me. And at that very moment, the seven letter word that ended in a "y" seemed so abundantly clear:



At 8:11 AM, Blogger KipEsquire said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 3:14 PM, Blogger Sorted Lives said...

Love it! Can't wait to read what happened.. I wrote something very similar back in January when it was my ex's 40th birthday. It was theraputic to put it in words.

At 7:30 AM, Anonymous ThatGuy said...

Perfectly constructed and beautifully told - a great story.

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

Wow. Gives us schmoes (or is that 'mos) hope.


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