I noticed her immediately. She was beautiful – not in a perfect cut-glass sort of way, but with an air of anarchic enjoy-every-minute-ness. She was sitting at the other end of the bar, with an overweight anorak who was busy explaining something that obviously didn’t interest her at all – maybe how he’d fixed his motorbike….
He got a pen out and started drawing a diagram on a beer mat. I watched fascinated as she quietly picked up a Tabasco bottle, deftly undid the top single-handed, and put several good dashes into his Guinness. As she put the bottle back in its place, she looked up, and her eyes met mine. There was laughter in them. She knew that I knew, and I knew that she knew that I knew – the connection was electric.
In that fleeting glance was condensed a lifetime of potential. We could do so much, have so much fun together, you and I. Together, we could do anything, live for the moment, see so many things, experience so much, forget our cares, gain so much from each other. If only….
“Ugh! Hey barman, this Guinness is off!” We shared a second glance, her eyes shining, body shaking with silent laughter, he too angry to notice. It was though the distance between the two of us had disappeared completely.
I sat with my beer and enjoyed the thought – I was co-conspirator with her, without ever sharing a word.
I ordered another beer. When I’d finished paying for it, I looked along the bar again, but both she and the anorak had gone. Only the glass of Guinness was left.
Chris Moller, 6th December, 2008.