Sunday, April 24, 2005

From the Archives

September 2004

I sit at a bar in Downtown Disney. It’s the magic hour. My reflection peeks out between bottles of rum. Sweat bubbles up through the foundation I wear. It trickles down, leaving beige tracks that stain the collar of my red blouse. The party hasn’t started and my hair is flat.

The bartender brings me a beer. It is the color of flax; I’ve never seen flax. The glass is cold. A lemon wedge is stuck on its lip. Bartenders usually give me lemon. I only keep it when the beer is cheap. I remove the lemon and set it on the counter. I take a long, deep drink. The bartender brings me another.

My shoes pinch my toes together. The skin puckers and oozes against the thin black straps. I hook my shoe over edge of the stool on which I’m perched. It helps.

Two men take seats beside me. Like me, one carries a large gift bag. He sets it on the ground. They look over the menu, talking, laughing. I look at my watch. I try not to make eye contact. I try to look helpless and small. I pretend I have super powers. I pretend I’m a celebrity. I wait for someone to recognize my face and give me the validation of popularity. It is nice here, I think. I should go.

I pay the tab. It requires folding a twenty dollar bill and positioning it around the check in a lowball glass. I ease off the stool, smooth out the creases in my skirt, and grab the gift bag. The bartender smiles and does a half wave. He got a good tip.

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