Sometimes there just isn’t much to say. At least not for me.
As I sit in my usual corner of the bar, people occasionally glance my way. But never for long. It seems as if they always have plenty to say, and that they’re saying it to whomever they’re with tonight. That’s another thing I notice. The people in this bar already have someone for the most part. They leave with the person they came in with. It’s not a bar with a crowd composed of lusty singles looking to hook up and not look back.
That’s part of why I like it. Even though I’m available and not bad-looking, the hook-up scene is not something I want to get into. Unlike most men, I’d rather not be treated like a plaything to be discarded after one use, and I’d rather not treat a woman that way either. It’s abnormal and perverse of me to think that way, I know. Even borderline pathological, perhaps. Sanity is the new insanity for my generation.
I just hope we wear it as well as the people for whom pink is the new black. Or is white the new black? If so, are we allowed to wear it after Labor Day? Screw it. I can’t keep track of the changes in the fashion conventions. It’s at this point that I pick up the conversation with my friend seated across the table from me, sharing my general ineptitude when it comes to fashion and how I had to get a few women I’m friends with to teach me how to shop. I have to admit, the women did a far better job than any man I know (gay or straight) in selecting clothing that suited my build and the work environment.
It took me only a short a while to learn the methodology the women I was with use when selecting clothing, and I was impressed by it. It’s a thought process that takes every factor into account and arrives at a sound conclusion, which I can appreciate. If only women used that sort of thinking when it comes to romantic relationships, maybe the hook-up scene wouldn’t exist. If only men did any sort of thinking at all beyond, “I’d rather like to put my cock in her,” it might help alleviate the problem too.
Our server is dressed in black, which happens to be the color all the staff at the bar are required to wear. Perhaps the management thought that wearing plain black clothing would help them have a sense of uniformity and still stand out in the crowd. If so, it works. But what really makes our server stand out initially is her looks, and both my friend and I acknowledge this amidst our strangely philosophical conversation. Through what is probably some fault of her own, she has an athletic build and pretty hair. Through no fault of her own, she has a natural sort of feminine beauty that her plain clothing only manages to make more obvious by contrast, a chiaroscuro effect far more interesting than that in any painting I’ve seen. God’s artistry far surpasses our human artistry, no matter how refined our technique or vast our creativity.
A part of me feels sorry for her. She has the gift of beauty, but works in a place where that gift is so often treated like a mere commodity. Her looks are probably often rewarded with a little higher percentage on the tip in this place. I’m sure she doesn’t mind the extra money, but I wonder if she ever feels a twinge of annoyance about why some people give it. She’s very professional and efficient, unlike some of the other severs, and not flirting with her customers as the other servers do. My guess is that, like me, she takes a certain amount of pride in doing her job extremely well. I compliment her on how efficient her service is, and she smiles and walks away. Apparently, she has nothing to say to a genuine compliment.
My conversation with my friend is petering out, and even though it’s only half past ten, I’m tired after a long day of working and running errands, so I ask for my check, which arrives just as efficiently as anything else I’ve asked for. When our server comes for the check, I hand over enough cash to cover 150% of the bill and tell her to keep the change to show that I meant the compliment. When she comes back from the register, she thanks me with a sincerity that cannot be feigned, a slight break from her usual cool professionalism.
I can tell from the questioning look in her eyes that she is wondering why I tipped so well. Maybe she thinks it’s because I found her attractive. Maybe she feels that it’s because I thought she did a great job. But I don’t explain myself before I leave, because I have nothing to say.