We stood in the back of the crowded bar. We mused at how this kind of bar – a sort of faux-speakeasy, overflowing with attitude, and with a drinks menu featuring absinthe and autumn fruits and all sorts of other things, and with taps from which flow sweet vermouth – simply didn’t exist when we were the age of every other patron in the bar.
“They’re here,” T whispered to me. I kissed her once, hard, and turned to make my way toward them. I called his name. He didn’t reply. I called it again. He still didn’t reply. I hadn’t expected to know his real name, but I imagined he would, at least, respond to the fake name he had given me. I tapped him on the shoulder. “I’m N.,” I said.
“OH!” he said, and shook my hand.
I pecked his wife on the cheek, introducing myself again. She was anxious: “This place is too crowded, we have a reservation at another place, let’s go,” she said, by way of introduction to me.
“Well, T. and I are nursing drinks. Let us just finish these, and then we can go.”
“O.k.,” they agreed, and we all headed back to T.
Brief introductions – we established where they live, where we live, what they do, what we do. We paid the check, and squeezed through the 20-something hipster obstacle course that led to the door.
Once on the street, we started making our way to the second bar – it was a 5-7-minute walk. T and I were a few paces behind them. Wordlessly, we shared a slightly mortified reaction to them, and, mostly, to her outfit: she was precariously perched on five-inch heels and in a miniskirt with no stockings. And it was cold outside.
We continued walking, both T and I staring at her just-a-little-too-meaty-for-the-outfit calves as she took tiny, wobbly steps.
All of the sudden, she was on her face. She rolled over quickly, moaning. “My glasses!” she said. “I broke my glasses!”
Her husband asked, “Are you all right?”
“No!” she said. “I broke my glasses.”
A nearby pedestrian ran up – a doctor, probably – and ascertained that she was lucid. Then he went on with his evening.
She was rattled. She was hurt – bleeding from her knuckles and her knee, bruised on the eye. And she was mortified.
She didn’t recover smoothly. I picked up her two bags, she stood on her bare feet and carried her shoes, and we resumed our course toward the second bar. She berated herself, apologized; apologized, berated herself. We all reassured her, but she was too lost in her own self-recriminations to be mollified.
At the bar, we were seated quickly. The waiter brought a bag of ice for her eye, and drinks for all.
“So, how long have you been shenanigan-izing?” she asked.
We learned of their adventures – with neighbors, in a hotel filled by a convention of kinky geeks (or was it geeky kinksters?), in leather, etc. They make us look downright staid.
The bar is filled with hotness, but we contribute precious little. First, we’re twenty years older than the median age of people here. Second, we didn’t get the memo: fur, apparently, was required for this evening. Virtually everyone in the bar has at least one item of fur on. Some stoles, some hats, some vests, some coats. I feel almost out of place, in my jeans and shirt.
And then, at the table to my left, I notice a bevy of 20-something hotties. All women, all dressed for a Saturday night out. I blink, and there’s a different bevy at the same table. A third blink, a third bevy. At the far end of the table, the third bevy features a brunette with a five-inch gold pendant on her necklace. Is that a cougar? She’s 22. A cougar?
“I think she killed her mom and had her made into a necklace,” I say.
“I think her mom is younger than we are,” says T.
While we continued our talk – about Japanese rope bondage, grad school, Burning Man – we all are stealing glances at cougar-girl. Cougar-girl notices, sneers. She doesn’t like the attention. Which makes me wonder? Why’s she wearing a fucking five-inch cougar on her bared decolletage if she doesn’t want people to look there?
I’m not feeling it with our dates. They’re lovely – smart, funny, cute – but I’m just not feeling it. I sense that T isn’t either. Was the evening queered by the spill? Maybe. Or maybe by their nonchalant recounting of a descent so much further into kink, and swinging, than we’ve made.
Or maybe they were just fortuitous reminders of how hot we are for each other.
T wands herself as I write.
I’ll read her this.
And we’ll fuck.