As he sat down he knew he'd be doing something he had never done before. Sure, he drank before. His was a weird philosophy. He wasn't a social drinker at all. More than once the phrase was spoken " I don't drink unless I'm planning to get rip roaring drunk" and he pretty much lived his life that way. It wasn't that bad of a philosophy for him because he had good discipline. All through college he had limited his drunkenness to just twice a year, St Patty's Day and some other insignificant time. After graduation it was a less formal declaration, Maybe he wouldn't drink for years maybe he'd get drunk twice in a month. He'd been "on the wagon" for seven weeks straight. " On the wagon" being an appropriate term because he had set a goal of going all through April without drinking. Of course, here it was nearly the end of May and he hadn't had anything to drink since a binge in the third week of March. But that was the fourth such binge in March and although three weeks in January were alcohol free, April had to be a dry month.
It's funny how having an alcoholic in the family can affect your out look on drinking. He had probably not been drunk nine times during the past five months but to him it was a big concern. Yet he worked with people who went out drinking every weekend usually getting what he would considered plastered at least twice and often more during a month. And they would have a beer or two or more with dinner every night. They didn't even consider that to be unusual. But he had passed and casually almost doubled his test of sobriety so that was not the unusual part of this night of drinking that he was about to embrace. Neither was the place he chose. It was a bar all right. One that he frequented often but one where the bartender always drew a coke when he walked through the door. Coke was usually his drink of choice. He had gotten drunk in there before but he frequented the place so often for "the best Rueben in town" or his personal favorite the Chicken Deluxe, that the few times of inebriation slipped the wait staff's memory.
Tonight was going to be different. As he eased into the stool he looked down the shinny oak bar, Ruthie, on of the three regular bar maids was busy serving two waitress who stopped in for a quick one after a long days work. They were the only two women in the place but he couldn't help but notice the bar was considerably more full than usual. Of course, this made sense since he normally came in about three in the afternoon to indulge in an early supper. Since this was primarily a bar he often had the place to himself. It was after eleven now and looked like a bar should. He had hoped there would be more women there. Not that there was any chance he would "hooked up" or "get lucky" that takes a different kind of personality than the one he possess. But he still liked to fantasize. This wasn't going to be a good night for creative escapism though. Neither of the women could be considered striking, one was obviously married the other kind of dumpy looking. Then again this was not the place anyone would go if their purpose was to pick up on someone. It was pleasant enough. Light pine paneling over the bottom eight feet of the walls. New booths and bar stools, two small coin operated pool tables, a video basketball game, two dartboards as well as a huge triangular bar took up most of the floor space. The upper half of the walls were cinder block covered with baby blue paint and various sport pendants. Seven TV's, big screens in three of the four corners, were placed high enough on the walls so that each could be seen from anywhere in the bar. Outside there were three sand volleyball courts the best in all of Charleston. This was a great place to hang out, but a lousy pick up joint.
He was still looking the two women over, watching Ruthie finish serving them then moving to three men on the other side of the bar when he was somewhat startled by someone asking what he wanted to drink. "Rum and Coke" was the reply given and Chris who was the best cook in the bar went about to mix the drink. A tinge of disappointment swept through the patron's mind. Any of the three regular servers might have registered a look of surprise at this order and he had played that scenario through his mind on the ride over imagining what quip they might make concerning the change. This seemed the only appropriate way to start such an unusual binge. But he never holds onto a paradigm with much vigor and quickly embraced the appropriateness of the unique server. Now it seemed the desire for the drink over came any anxiety caused because of the uniqueness of the purpose of the drink. When he sat down he half expected to order the drink and leave it sitting on the bar untouched like he had done every other time he had entered a bar to drink for this purpose. But this decision was made well before he left his house and that expectation was fleeting and almost unnoticed. No, he was going to drink, he had to drink, this was desire, a passion, a need. Thirty-three years he had gone and always had the discipline to refrain from liquor except when he could be assured of a good drunk. Sometimes he came close to drinking for relief even ordering at times. But he could always find an excuse. " you can't do this - you know where the key is to the trigger guard", "what is you plan for getting home, are you going to drive drunk and kill someone". In the end the fear of emulating his father always had more power. Tonight it would be different. Tonight he was going to drown his sorrows. Maybe he wouldn't get drunk. He even toyed with the idea of just having one, but he had to have at least one. He paused just long enough to stir the ice before taking that first sip. His eyes focused so intently on the contents of the glass the only thing registering was the liquid and the ice, suspended from falling and somehow formed into a cylindrical shape but how could not be determined by the inputs he was now receiving. A sip was all it took to kill the lust that had engulfed his mind this last hour. Still with that same focus he sat the drink on the bar and began to ponder the significance of what just occurred. Obviously, the need to drink wasn't due to a physical dependence. The sip was much too small and was not even in the stomach before relief was achieved. He had always known it wasn't a physical desire. Although he wouldn't have been too surprised considering the intensity of the attack. But how could he have such a mental desire? No answer to this question was apparent.
"I drink alone, with nobody else" the lines of a George Thouragood song reverberated through his mind as the tunnel in his mind which was the liquor and ice expanded. First to show the glass, then the pine of the bar, other glasses, beer taps, a cash register, the TV's near the ceiling tuned to the NHL playoffs and a guy munching on chicken wings asking whether Detroit won earlier in the day. "you know when I drink alone, I prefer to be by myself".
"No", he replied, "Buffalo's out though, Quebec beat the Rangers. It looks bad for Pittsburgh. I don't remember Detroit though.
"Well it's not like they could lose the series. They were up three games to zero". The chubby guy said as he finished the twelfth of a double order of wings.
"Oh yea, I think they lost today then. Who'd they play?'
"There weren't any other teams up three to none were there? No there weren't". He said answering his own question. " Yea I'm sure they lost then. I can remember the commentator mentioning a team winning after being down three to none."
"Oh, well they'll win the series anyway. Probably on Tuesday". The man said while munching some celery.
They both looked up at the big screen in the near corner. There was five minutes left in the third and Boston was down by two. It didn't look good and Boston would be eliminated with this lose. Still there weren't any women to look at so the game was as good a way to kill time as any. A good shot and better deflection brought the deficit to one goal and now with four minutes left, the game became more interesting.
He sipped on his rum and coke merely because it was there. The crisis was well over. The hockey was good. The losing team was putting pressure on the winning team and it was close. Still his mind began to wander to the note his wife left him while he was on vacation the week before.
Though they had been separated for five months they still talked frequently, had lunch together occasionally, she still had a key the house and would come over to check on things during his frequent business trips. Communications had been less frequent lately because her new boyfriend was jealous of the relationship. Still the note took him by surprise.
"Welcome back to Charleston, I hope that you enjoyed your trip. I enjoyed going home to California to see my parents but the return trip was way to long (19) hours. Never fly American! I wanted to let you know that I have recently had my name changed. This was not because I didn't want to continue using yours or that I didn't like it, I changed it primarily for legal reasons. You see, thanks to modern medicine, my greatest desire will be fulfilled this fall with the arrival of my son. I have made legal arrangements for custody and guardianship of my child in the event that something happens to me and the child should survive. I am covered by your insurance as long as we are legally married but my son will not be covered and a private insurance will kick in for him 3 days after his birth. Although I personally do not anticipate getting re-married any time soon, I would understand if you wished to expedite the divorce. Although I would continue to need the financial support as agreed through October, the only other things I would need if we were to divorce early would be health coverage and car insurance through that time. These latter two things are the true benefits of still being legally tied. If divorced early, to continue the health insurance would cost $105.00 per month and car insurance could be obtained for about $75.00 a month as I have no points against my record. Financially I would be better off staying your dependent and that is fine with me. If not I have talked with a judge who is an acquaintance and have been advised of a way in which to make this divorce final quickly without having negative connotations. I would have liked to communicated with you and been closer than I have been lately but even the mention of your name causes great disharmony between Stanton and myself. I am sure if he new we are still friends he would leave me for sure. Other than this major drawback in his personality, he's a good person. I hope you understand, Best wishes"
Certainly over the past year other things have hurt more. It was a year ago, almost exactly to the day, three days into a month long business trip to Germany, when she called and told him she would be leaving to go to California to find a permanent place to stay there. She would be leaving two days before his scheduled return.
On Valentines Day although he hadn't dated since they split, he wasn't in that forlorn mood that characterized him so frequently the months before. She had been saying for a few days she needed to return some things she had of his. She said it in such a casual way. Actually it was with such an attitude as to imply "I've got some stuff of yours that you really want". He mistakenly thought it was some clothes left behind or an award she was to have framed for him or some other innocuous item. When he opened the box containing letters he had written during happier times, pictures snapped when they still enjoyed each others presence, the fragile but serene attitude so recently achieved seeped to the earth. First emptying his mind. Then draining down his throat and through his chest, his rib cage steady as his chest and back attempted to ooze through to his lungs and fill the vacuum caused by the departure of his soul.
These things hurt.
Still none of the years past events had caused him to desire to forsake his distrust of the power of alcohol. Nor relinquish his will to conquer the power that has virtually destroyed a man he respected and a women who, with kindness and love, has stood by to watch the degeneration. Why should this letter be any different?
There was just a minute left in the game now and the dominance the losing team had shown for the few minutes after the near tying goal had been waning over the last minute. The goalie was attempting to leave the ice in favor of an extra skater but the action kept him near his net the past thirty seconds. Forty seconds left now and the goalie had skated half way to the bench twice already only to turn around and skate fervently back to the crease to prevent the backbreaking goal. He now stood ten feet out of the net anxiously waiting to see if this rush would carry his team into the other end of the ice. The good part about hockey is that forty seconds, although filled with many opportunities for both teams to score, takes less than one minute and forty seconds to play. Not like basketball where forty seconds can take a half an hour. The goalies anguish therefore did not last long and his team was eliminated and could concentrate on arranging tee times.
"Good game" he said to the man who had finished his dinner and piled a dozen napkins over the scrap yard. 'One napkin for every two wings.', he couldn't help but thinking, 'someone should teach him how to lick his fingers'. "I wonder if there will be a West Coast game on now".
But nobody requested the bartender to look for a game and a documentary about cougars followed the playoff game. The big screen on the other side had a baseball game and the man who had mentioned he was a trucker remarked " I hear attendance is still down thirty percent"
"Not surprising. There are enough other sports that get air time now that people found out are fun to watch"
"The players are spoiled money hungry assholes. I wouldn't mind if nobody ever went to see them".
"Actually, I think people just think it's refreshing they can go to an indoor soccer or lacrosse game for next to nothing and still see the same teams on ESPN 2."
"Yea, who wants to go to a ball game and pay thirty bucks a ticket to watch some overpaid drug addict." The trucker remarked.
This was the kind of conversation that seemed to alienate him from most people because he almost never refrained from expressing his pro-union views. It was especially surprising he abstained from the normal discussion considering how much better off all truckers are because of the work of the teamsters. But he had just spent a week at home and had just had a conversation with his father that started in a very similar way. Not that he minded arguing. He loves to argue. He had always loved to debate with his father mostly because his father always won. Lately though the insights he used to gain as a child have been few and far between. Now it seemed like he always won the debate yet his father wasn't smart enough any longer to comprehend. The thing is he was winning using the same arguments his father used on him just years before. Of course everyone knows nobody is worth three or four million to play baseball. But that money is out there. The fans are generating that kind of income. Somehow the manager has convinced the fan that high-ticket prices are due to high salaries. When really high-ticket prices are due to a high number of fans willing to pay high ticket prices. It wasn't to long ago everyone used to complain when a garage charged twenty dollars an hour labor cost. Although most of the cost was overhead and profit, people would equate the rate charged with the rate the worker would receive. In the past few years salaries have remained reasonably stable largely because of the anti-worker sentiment but the hourly rate can be higher than sixty dollars an hour. Would this rate be any higher if the mechanic were getting paid better? No, because the market determines how much can be charged. So we as a society have chosen not reward those who are willing to produce so as to fill the tills of those with the cash register.
"Another drink?" Ruthie asked as he pondered his contentions from the week before. He hadn't even notice he was finished with his first. Starring now at the empty glass he quickly changed the quandary to the question at hand. Not so quickly as it turned out since she had to repeat the question. "Do you want another drink?"
"Sure" came the reply.
She determined from the original glass he wasn't drinking his usual coke and was forced to ask, "what is it?"
"Rum and Coke". There was the look of surprise he had anticipated on the ride to this place. No quip though. When she brought the drink back he paid with cash again. Another unusual move since he always ran a tab and paid with the gold MasterCard. This company had the unique ability to download the monthly statement directly into his computer. He liked that.
"Don't normally see you out hear this late", she said as she returned his change.
"I'm feeling a strong desire to get wasted" he said placing a second dollar over the one meant to be a tip from the first round.
"Well, not if you're from my family"
"I know what you mean. My mother asks me every time I talk to her 'your not drinking to much are you'".
"My mom's kind of the same way"
"It's actually a lot better now. It used to be we could never drink around her. Now at least we can have a beer or so at family gatherings."
"How she handle your being a bartender?"
"She never says anything about it. She's a lot better than she use to be. We're out of Zema". Ruthie says looking out over his shoulder then turning and walking to exit the confines of the large triangular bar. His eyes follow her perplexed at the sudden end to the conversation. Quickly she walks out the break between the otherwise solid wedge of oak. He followed her until his head was almost turned behind him to the left when she smiled that I know you and like you smile and repeated "we're out of Zema".
Turning his head to the right as far as it had been to the left just seconds before he saw two more waitresses sitting down at a table just behind him. One was a pretty blonde, well shaped, with a fair complexion. She was facing him from across the table and their eyes met before his head got turned completely into position. The glaze lasted as she glided into her chair and what should have been an inquisitive glance turned into an ogle. Their eyes separated for a second and when they met again it was apparent that she disapproved of the assessment that was now formulating in short term memory as it was transferring from sensory storage. But they were attractive breasts. The ogle now became a stare and disapproval quickly became a scowl. He glanced briefly at the other women as he turned his head back to the bar and at the rum and coke he now took a sip of.
Even though she was sitting with her back to him, he only needed a peek to recognize the other waitress. Partly because she always came straight from work and the white blouse and black pants were familiar. The shirt always seemed to be hanging out a little to far in the back. That is if it wasn't completely untucked as it was tonight. Her hair was brown, very straight, cut at the shoulder and pulled behind her ear. It was neither flattering nor unflattering. No one was likely to copy the style so the cut was very distinctive. The hair very much characterized the whole package. Overall this women was neither bland nor striking. It was wrong to say her face was all right and equally wrong to say it was pretty. Her shoulders were slender, on the verge of being sexy, but not sexy. Her height was average and build small. Her legs seemed to be in good proportion to her torso. She did have a little bit bigger butt than the rest of the package may have suggested. This was the main feature he concentrated on as he peered over his shoulder to get a second look. Again the gaze was a little to long and blondie's eyes peered with the intensity that conveyed her displeasure.
"Not very social", he thought to himself as he turned back to his glass. But then the last time they were in the bar together it wasn't especially social either. She had come in with a crowd from work. Which was pretty standard. Sat down two chairs away at the bar, a girlfriend between them. He didn't notice at first since he was engrossed in his sandwich. Although an attempt to locate an opportunity for a casual hello was sought, no overt gesture was made. So after he finished his meal, the bill was settled and departure made. This was totally inappropriate since twice before they had spent a couple of hours throwing darts and socializing. Once they even closed the bar. The staff had already cleaned up and was on their way out before they made their individual ways to home. That might have been the problem. Not so much that they went home separately but he never even made an attempt get a phone number or arrange a meeting or any of the things a man with any normal personality might attempt. But he reasoned, "she never really seemed interested. Yes they spent a couple of hours together but she seemed not to want to discuss anything about herself. Nor did she inquire anything about him. She seemed annoyed when he inquired about her work and where she lived. Didn't volunteer whether she was married, divorced, boyfriend, or had kids. Although he suspected she had a kid. That was a birthing butt she was carrying. He did get her name, Tracey. But they had to put something on the scoreboard. Cricket was her game of choice and somehow it slipped out that she was twenty-five. Still that's not much communication for four hours of conversation.
Staring at his drink with a long gaze, mesmerized by the mistakes he always makes when attempting to flirt and deeply pondering the course of action that would finally allow him to prove that he really does have a personality, he contemplates what it would take to make tonight different from than their last meeting.
Getting up from his chair he turned and went directly over to their table. "Hi Tracey, what's going on". Good start anyway. At least he didn't fumble over the words. The question now is will she remember his name? She did and gave a quiet smile to go along with a cordial greeting.
"How was work"
"Busy" which was the expected reply since it was Mother's day "We worked two shifts today. I'm beat"
"Well, should have made good money though, we always liked Mother's Day and Easter cause you could always count on them being Hundred dollar days." This didn't seem like a bad response. It implied they had a common bond.
"I missed out then because I didn't even come close".
Of course he had worked in an upscale get all guffied up place and she worked in a nice but suburban Italian Restaurant. Could he say anything more offensive?
"They had to many waitresses on today".
Maybe he didn't screw it up to bad. Tracey's acceptance allowed Blondie to cast of her initial impression that the man they were now talking to was some drooling pervert waiting for an opportunity to grab their breasts and pinch some butt. She piped in "To many waitresses and to many tables. I've never seen a place so full."
He thought about saying something about a fire martial but didn't and the girls bantered about the day. Something about being stiffed more often then usual and something about how the manager set up a free buffet for the staff and how nice that was. He wasn't paying real close attention when he noticed she was drinking a screw diver in place of the Zema and Grenadine mixture she normally enjoys.
Grenadine, a sorority girl favorite. Much better than whipped cream. The thick oozy syrup affixed to the surface for a much longer time. With any luck there would still be a tinge of sugar left in the mouth before the introduction of that warm salty solution. It's funny how sophisticated you become once you've been married to a California girl. Before he met his wife he'd never even heard of Grenadine.
"No Zema tonight"
"I was in the mood for a little orange juice tonight. Are you actually drinking that rum and coke tonight or just milking it like usual" this caught him by surprise but leave it to a woman to remember more. Yes, the last the last time he definitely ordered a rum and coke. Not to drink but because he felt any woman in a bar approach by someone not drinking alcohol judges that person as someone on the make. So in order to mask the truth, the prop was ordered but not consumed. Did this happen on any other occasion she might remember? He just couldn't recall.
"Did I leave a drink un-consumed? That sounds like alcohol abuse". He thought this was a pretty slick response but there was no acknowledgement of humor. "The two of you like to play some cut-throat"? Somehow women can look at each other and know what the other is thinking. Tracey looked at the blonde and immediately answered in the negative. "Maybe in a bit then". He didn't expect or receive any kind of feedback from this remark and didn't.
Highlights of the hockey game now showed on Sportscenter. Not all that interesting but somehow it captured his attention for the next few minutes. A quick scan of the patrons, nothing interesting there, except this one knock-out but this hope faded as she obviously was with her husband. Noticing the second drink no longer resided in the glass he caught Ruthie's attention and ordered up a third. "You are drinking tonight". The blonde girl had left to visit a friend and Tracey now sat alone. "Let's play some darts".
"Sure, Ruthie put a screwdriver on my tab too" he said without even asking. "Cricket?"
"Of course", as they both began to move toward the alley.
The bar maid delivered the drinks to the two over where they now engaged in playing a sport not necessarily related to the steel tip projectiles hurling through the smoke filled air. But typically for both of them the conversation was light. He began to notice the shirt was a little thin at the shoulders and the color of her skin registered in his mind as apparent as the white of the material. Was this real or was his mind filling in the blanks? They certainly looked soft and tender now. Three drinks and the perfectly acceptable now became exceptionally desirable.
"Do I look tense"? Again he had stared to long, but he didn't quite get the connection.
"My neck is killing me".
"Nothing a good massage won't cure".
"Do your thing". He smiled and dutifully moved behind her. "You've got a calling", she said after a short period.
"It'd be a lot more effective if we weren't in public"
"This is all I need"
"Are you sure? I could really free up you back".
"Not to mention my bra and shorts I'm sure".
"Not if you don't want".
"Sounds like a guy, says the gentlemanly thing in public but once you're alone with them, something else".
"Make me promise and I assure you your honor will be protected. But I'll warn you I have great self-control. Don't make me promise something you don't want me to keep".
She just ignored this, picked up her darts and marked the score. His turn lead to hers and eventually this game ended and he had won the best out of seven series. It was close though. "Do you have anything to drink at your house", she asked, "I'd love that massage if you promise not to try and have sex".
"I've got some beer and wine. D' you want to go now"?
"Sure I promise you'll be safe with me". She was already headed toward the door and he didn't hesitate to follow. It was only a short drive to his house. They both went in his car.
"This is a pretty nice house", she said after a brief survey. "How bout that beer".
"I've got a pretty good Chardonnay. Would you like to try that? I think I may even have some grenadine".
"Yea,Ok. Where's your bathroom?
"Just inside that door there." He replied as he went to work pulling the cork from the bottle. He worried the process took to long but discovered she still resided in the bathroom and the noise of the shower running whispered in the room. He sat there in the living room wanting to turn on the TV but decided to click on the CD player and sip his wine while he waited. When she appeared from inside the bathroom there was no sign of either the thinning white shirt or the black knit pants she had worn before the shower. Coincidentally, pleasure and disappointment shot through his mind. She looked good but she could have been naked. Right when he began to worry which expression he actually displayed she asked, "where's the bed? Let's get that massage going" and his worries were relieved.
"Just down the hall. You look really good". And he didn't have to lie about this. The clothes she wore were white and they both fit skin tight over parts of the body with just enough fat to allow movement but plenty of tone to keep in place. And he notice the movement as she turned to go down the hall and followed far enough behind to observe the tremors prior to her disappearing into the dark room. When he reach the room she lay prone on the bed face down. Her arms propped her head up enough to lift all but the ends of her breast. This seemed to accentuate the area just above the back of the thigh. His fingers could literally feel the sensation of massaging this portion of her body even before he fully entered the room. It took two motions but only one second to kick off his shoes. "I'll be more comfortable myself if I wash up a little". And before he got any reaction he slipped off his shirt and slid into the master bathroom. He waited just long enough for luke warm water and hastily washed some of the smoke smell from his upper torso.
He entered at the foot of the bed and reached for her feet, which were fully extended with her arch facing the ceiling. Starting just above the toes he applied a light pressure precisely in the middle of the foot. Then he released the pressure repositioned his thumbs one quarter inch toward her heel and gently re-applied pressure. All the while looking three feet higher up her body eagerly anticipating the sensations imagined entering the room. But he fought the urge to attack immediately. Ohhh but he didn't have to attack the sensation was as strong as if he already completed the calves and the thighs.
Her legs quivered slightly as the pressure from his thumbs worked the soreness from the center of the arch. "My feet just kill me after a day of work", she said, finally laying her head against the pillow. "That really does feel good, don't rush it ok".
"No problem, I'm good all night". And he meant it. He really did enjoy giving massages, especially if the tension was obvious and he could feel her muscles relaxing. This was the case tonight. Her left calf thin and smooth started tight as a golf ball. His thumbs slowly worked up the back of her legs ten seconds of pressure then quarter inch higher ten more. First up and then down. Then starting at the base of the calf he slid the pressure all the way up to the top. Now the muscle soft and lose jiggled left and right with just a hint of pressure and it was time to explore the right calf. As he gained some altitude he couldn't help but notice the sleek shape of her lower body. And these thighs felt as good as they looked.
Finally, he worked his way up to the area he had been fantasizing about for the last twenty minutes. His thumbs pressed a muscle but it wasn't the thigh. Both hands still wrapped around the left thigh, one on the outside, one that could feel a temperature just a little bit warm than any other in the room. Now he started to wonder just how much warmth she would let he experience. His thumbs got higher but his hands just barely moved; a little more warmth but no direct contact. Now it was time for the right side. The left hand now experienced the warmth, was there also some moister close by? He thought there might be. But it was too early for a conformation. He promised a full massage and she would still benefit from some time spent working out her back. Besides the previous sensations felt in his fingers moved to a different part of his body and he began to imagine that portion of his body repositioned over that same portion of space. He tried to make a good effort on her back but there wasn't much incentive now. When he got to the bra he worked that area a little longer wondering. But he didn't need to, when it happened she didn't protest. When he got to her neck the rest of his body settled into the position he desired for the last five minutes. Even through the clothes he could tell it was a natural fit. "You feeling any better?" he asked as he applied the last bit of pressure just at the top of her neck.
"Great", was the reply as she turned over onto her back. She had to reach underneath her back. The straps of her bra caused discomfort so she threw it onto the floor. Now she lay directly underneath him. Lowering his own head just enough to gently kiss her neck he whispered "I guess it's time to get you back".
She turned her head slightly kissing him and whispered "you're not going to send me home now are you".
"If I let you stay then I'll break my promise"
"What promise is that"
"Not to take advantage of you"
She turned her head enough now so their lips met and pressed. He slid his hand from her hips along her side and caressed her cheek as he kissed her in return. "You've got to go", he said as he climb away from her and out the bed.
"I guess I am"
With this she sat up reached down for her bra and started to put it on. "This isn't right"
"Sorry, once I promised I was committed. Wish I could change it but I can't"
She finished dressing and he as he walked with her to the front door the walls seemed to fade while collapsing in, changing colors and then expand. The serenity of the house faded and an awareness of rock music and a crowd of people confused him for just a second. But as he walked forward to grab the darts from the board he wonders what kind of loser doesn't even get lucky in his fantasies.
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