The singers on the small raised stage near the front of the wine bar were that cute metro-couple type; the one with the gorgeous guy in his late twenties, lean build, sporting the stubble beard, straight smooth dark hair, worn blue jeans, button up shirt with the sleeves rolled up to the forearms, which itself is framed by an earthy, unbuttoned vest and the obnoxiously skinny girl in a simple cotton dress and irritatingly perfect skin. The youthful duet dressed the air with nostalgic, unplugged Nirvana, Candlebox and David Gray songs, which drew my mind back to high school and the agonies of adolescence.
This is stupid, I thought. Why did I let myself get talked into this foolishness? Am I so pathetic that the only date I can get is one where my companion is blind? Wait, came a sober voice, is he so pathetic that the only date he could get is a blind one? Whichever way it is, I am going to kill Kate for talking me into doing this.
The waiter arrived with my drink, placed down a deep forest green napkin and placed upon it the full burgundy glass of Menage Trois. “Thank you,” I said without looking up.
“You’re welcome,” he returned. “Waiting for someone?”
“My entire life,” I replied, as I wet the tip of my finger with the wine and then gently ran it across the rim of the glass, causing it to sing softly to the ache rising up inside me.
The ringtone of a text made harmony with the musical wine glass. I quickly lifted the screen, hoping to discover that my mystery date had arrived and was looking for me, but it was not him. It was Kate reporting, “Sorry Honey. He just texted me and told me that his son ran over their dog so he won’t be able to make it.”
I picked up the glass and quickly emptied it. The girl on the stage was singing Cohan’s “Hallelujah” and I signaled the waiter for another glass of self-loathing.
Nine years had passed since he had been on a date. As he pulled the razor across his face he stared into the grey-blue eyes in the mirror and noted how, like his spirit, time had pulled down his skin and thinned his hair. Thin, he thought, was a good way to describe how he felt.