Sitting alone at a small club downtown, I sipped my water and swayed to the awful music playing. I stared ahead watching the clock move slowly. My date should have been here an hour ago. I should just give up. I'm a failure. In love and in life. I should have known that my date would not want anything to do with me. I shouldn't have even showed up. I'm just some average guy. Nobody wants an average man. Extraordinary is what's "in".
A man tapped me on the shoulder and then sat next to me. I thought to myself, why did he tap me? He was just going to sit next to me anyway. He looked over at me and asked the bartender to give him what I was drinking. I was only sipping on water with lime, if he was looking to get hammered, what I was drinking wasn't going to do the trick.
"What's going on?" he asked. I looked at him. I hate people like this. People who think you're best friends just because you're both alone. I'm better than him. I've got to be. I'm not going to say anything. He's here because he has nothing better to do. I'm different. I DID have better things to do, but I was stood up, that makes me better than him.
"What's going on?" he had the nerve to ask again. This time so I didn't look like a hateful little shit I decided to dignify his question with a small head nod. He gave a response to my head nod. He made a clicking noise with his teeth as if he was about to say something but decided not to. That's a smart move on his part. Then he looked at me again.
"My wife had her 40th birthday the other day."
I didn't know what to say to that. Should I say "Cool"? That wouldn't be the right response, so I decided not to say anything.
"She told me that on the morning of her birthday she wanted something that goes from zero to two-hundred in a second."
Okay, wow, interesting. What does he want me to say? I don't care.
"The next morning she went outside, and to her surprise, in the driveway there was a package."
Hm, a package?
"She opened the package and inside was a scale!"
It took me a minute to process it, but the man was telling a joke. Then when it all processed I laughed. I couldn't help it. It was funny. It was actually funny. I couldn't stop laughing. The man started laughing with me.
"John Mickelson." He put his hand out to shake mine.
He made me laugh. So I decided he was worth a handshake.
He went on, he started talking again. I decided I would engage in this little conversation/
"I'm getting pretty old myself." he said. "I'm getting sick of my life ya' know? Always working. I remember in school all I wanted to do was work instead. That way my days would be paid. Now all I want to do is be in school. Young, free. Not just trying to get by. That's all life is for some people. Sometimes all it ever is, is just getting by."
The man made sense. We talked for hours. Hours on end. Soon the man announced that he was tired and wanted to get home. We exchanged information. I wanted to keep talking to such a smart inciteful person. He walked away.
"I'm sorry that girl didn't show." he said.
I looked at him, how did he know I was going to meet someone here. Was it that obvious?