You notice him yawn and, when you look around, everyone else is gone, save for the lone bartender glaring at you, pointing at a “Last Call” sign.
You laugh and tell him the time. His eyes pop out and he says something like, “It’s that late?” You reply with a trite “Time flies when you’re having fun.” He laughs at your cliche.
You take a sip from the beer that’s been sitting there for an hour. It tastes horrible. You want to order ice but the bartender’s no longer your best friend. You look at his side of the table: he drank a couple more beers than you did, but that’s not saying a lot.
You pick up your cellphone and see at least six unread messages. You tell him that and he’ll reply that he has two. You eat some peanuts that’ve been served since you arrived.
You stretch your legs and ask him if he’s fine. He says he’s good. You ask him if he’s sleepy, he’ll say he’s good. You remind him he has class early tomorrow — then joke about how it’s actually today. He’ll laugh but he’ll still say he’s good.
You signal the bartender: “Last five minutes.” She grunts and continues wiping the bar. You laugh about it with him, and light up a final cigarette. You offer one to him but he says he’s had enough for the night.
He’ll ask if you plan to finish your beer, you’ll say, “I’ve had so much fun I forgot to finish it. It tastes bad now.” He’ll remind you that people are starving in Ethiopia. You’ll say that you’ll buy them all the beer they want for all the good it’ll do.
You’ll have a short awkward moment, as you’re flicking ashes into the ashtray, looking around the room for an object that will incite a conversation starter. You find none, but luckily he does, commenting on the incorrect grammar of the signs at the back. You correct his correction — the sign was actually right, in an obscure grammar way that only an English major would know.
He’ll say fuck you.
You’ll ask if now na.
You’ll both laugh, in a way that you don’t want to talk about it but it’s out there, but you’d both rather it wasn’t. The bartender comes and not-so-politely tells you that she has children she has to cook breakfast for in the morning. You apologize profusely and tip her largely. She forgives you, if only a bit.
You walk down the street together, occasionally bumping into bums and alcoholics. You offer him your jacket, he refuses.
In a few minutes, you are outside his apartment, and it’s always that awkward feeling. You don’t know if you should wait for an invitation or if you should be assertive, and you know that’s what he’s thinking too.
He walks to his door and jingles his keys. He turns around to you, smirks, and says, “Good morning.”
You follow him upstairs.
This is the 100 Songs Project, a 100-day writing challenge based on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs. Every day, I write a short poem, prose piece, or play based on, reacting to, rejecting, accepting, or doing something related to one of the songs in the top 100 list.
- Isn’t It Romantic? (deelaytful.com)
- Rainbow Connection (deelaytful.com)
- Up Where We Belong (deelaytful.com)