I met you at 6pm on the corner of the road, the lights from the supermarket was flickering and a homeless man was playing a jazz song through his radio. It was a Thursday night and it just happened to be our first date.
We walked to this bar that I promised you would be great. You weren’t from around here and you wanted to see everything. I wasn’t the girl you thought you would be seeing these things with but you thought you could leave me nicely if the night turned out badly. We walked across some streets and we waited for some lights and I couldn’t stop talking because you didn’t say much, so I had to say a lot. I wondered what we would have to say to each other in the next few hours, assuming there would be hours.
On this street, there are hidden bars. This bar just happens to look like a barber shop and it actually is a barber shop, but if you walk through the barber shop and up the stairs, behind the sliding metal doors, there are green leather seats and a live band playing. It’s Thursday night and Thursday nights just happen to be the new Saturday nights. I hoped there would be a seat for us somewhere so I could get a vodka dry and pretend it wasn’t just vodka and ginger ale.
I was nervous when I saw that it was full. What do I do now? This is going to be a disaster. I needed a moment so I asked you to go find a seat, knowing there were no seats, and I tried to breathe and order a vodka dry at the same time. But what did you like to drink? Beer? Whisky? Spirits? Wine? I don’t even know you. I don’t know. Forget the vodka dry, we’ll find a seat first, and then we’ll sit and I’ll ask you what kind of drink a guy like you likes.
I found a table!
You didn’t say it because it was too loud, but you were sitting there, and you were waving me over and I guess if that could be put into words the words would be “I found a table”. We sat there awkwardly opposite each other. Hands on the table. Hands off the table. The bartender comes over and you order a beer. What beer? Any beer, just a beer.
I get my vodka dry and I knock it over. It spills all over the table and you keep talking like it never happened. When it starts to drip on your pants, you ask for a napkin, but you tell me it’s okay and you order me another one. You're calm and you're fine but my hands are swirling and I feel like a mess next to you.
It’s midnight and the bar is about to close. We’re one of the last and it’s nearly just us two now. Thursday nights are the new Saturday nights but Friday mornings will never be. The band has left, and the bar is quiet, there is the odd clink from glasses touching and the sound of chairs being lifted onto tables. The bartender circles round to tell us it’s time to leave.
We walked back to the corner of the street and the lights weren’t flickering anymore. No jazz was playing. Now there was really no one but just us two. We wondered how two people who had nothing in common could meet on a Thursday night and say goodbye on a Friday morning.
And we wondered how we were going to say goodnight.
A kiss was too forward. A hug was not enough. A smile and nod, too cold.
We settled on “I’ll see you next time”.
Next time, on another Thursday night, on another Friday morning.