She let the cognac circling in the swivel. Just to look, while she was trying to think about what she had been aiming for when she came to this bar. How long had it been since she’d done this the last time? Just like shutting down the laptop because she suddenly felt the need to go out and experience something, because that was only there, out there. But what could that be?
Apparently she had not asked herself the question. It is easy to get out of the way by concentrating on others, pushing it forward. When at last she was satisfied with her appearance, she left the familiar, safe terrain of her apartment, and took the path straight to the bar, which she had once enjoyed so much. How long was that again? Four years? Or five? The closer she got to her goal, the slower she went until she finally stood at the door. She would have liked to turn around again to make her way. How did that look, a woman alone in a bar? Involuntarily, she thought of her mother, who had never agreed.
“That is what a decent woman does not do,” she said, or something like that. Then she realized how much she could still be influenced by her mother’s voice, even that from her memory.
“All right now,” she told herself, straightening her body and entering the bar, radiating as much self-assurance as she possibly could. For a moment, she glanced through the room.
“Not much going on,” she thought, before she remembered it was in the middle of the week. At last she could sit down on a barstool. Since then she had been sitting, watching the movement of the cognac in the swivel. What was she going to do? Outrage, pay and sneak home? To accept that this was a stupid idea? Because it was really a stupid idea to go out without thinking about anything. As if she had not already seen and experienced everything. At least enough to be sure that there are no surprises, no more adventures. In movies or novels maybe, but this was life, the authentic, real life. But would not it have failed to make a confession if she were going back? She did not want to fail, not before she tried everything. Whatever that meant. It all began with the fact that she let go of the glass, pulled back her smile and turned around with the bar stool, so that she could look around the room.
In one corner, she spotted a couple, closely entwined, as if the world around them did not exist. There were four women sitting next to each other, who chatted excitedly. Still, she was convinced that even those who had imagined the evening differently. Like the men’s party, which was not far from it. The piano player elicited sighing melodies from his instrument. Her eyes glanced over, but then, suddenly, it stopped.
“What a crunchy butt!” She thought involuntarily, “How does it feel without any fabric?” Frightened by her own thoughts or the fact that the man suddenly turned to her, she could not quite say exactly she caught his gaze. Radiant blue eyes looked at her unconcealed, as radiant as his smile. She realized that she replied this smile, and it was real. The thought slipped from her as if there was nothing left to think about. He reached for her. He radiated that self-assurance that a man who knows exactly what he wants to wear. And that was her.
Her hand in his, he went aimlessly to the dance floor, pulled her to him and put his arm around her. She let it happen. And as he led her skillfully, letting them wear the melody, she had finally found an answer to the question of why she was here. But there was no question.