hungry. poor. abstracted. discouraged.
He wrote this on a bar napkin with a black gel pen and then placed his drink down upon it. He stared into the bottom of his glass and watched the words get bigger, warble out into misshapen blobs.
"You don't say much huh?" she was chewing gum and so had to talk louder than usual to be understood. She usually talks pretty loud. Now she was talking loader."
"No I guess not, he said, " not until I’m really comfortable with someone or pretty drunk." he twisted the glass and watched the black calligraphy morph into dark grey rings. He pulled the glass across the napkins and turned the circles into a short cylinder of pitch. Moments passed in silence. They were both having a hard time paying attention to the performance. He never really liked Sylvia Plath's poetry but it seemed that all of the poets tonight were inspired solely by her.
"Lets see if one of the two happens tonight." he emitted a laughed that was more just a plosive rush of air than anything else.
"You know, if I get comfortable or drunk, one of the two, from what I saying before," he hurried, "I'm sorry." he said it as a reflex. He was always saying sorry. He couldn't help it anymore, only now he was constantly and acutely aware of it. He sayings sorry because he is helpless to say it and as soon as the words escape his lips there is a stinging noise in his ears like they were boxed in and he realizes that he sounds like a loser. He realizes that he is constantly sounding like a born loser because he is constantly saying sorry. He could wear the nicest clothing, smell like jasmine and gold bullion, drive a Mercedes and still the ladies will feel degraded when they date him. They will feel degraded for having gone out, after clearing their very important schedules, with a loser. They picked out nice clothing, put on fancy undergarments, messed with their hair and face for over an hour all in preparation to see a born loser, who calls attention to his schlemazelhood constantly by constantly reminding everyone of how sorry he really is.
The pain on his face was palpable now. It was clear for her to see and she was uncomfortable. Everyone who looked his way received a thrill of discomfit. He had an infectious discomfiture. No one likes to feel uncomfortable. People are constantly fighting their own nervosity, and for him to hamper them is clearly rude. If he can't go out without ruining everybody's evening then he shouldn't go out at all. That is why I don't go out, he thought, that is why I shouldn't go out until I have my head together. I need some self-help. I hate self-help but I need it. I can't go out anymore. I have to get out of this place.
"This isn't working out,” he said.
There is no way she couldn't have heard him.
"You wanna get out of here?” he said.
"Well, yes, I guess."
"I’m sorry it's just, I don't like Sylvia Plath, and it seems to be a Plath convention in here." He smiled.
He finished his drink, took the blackened napkin, whipped the side of the glass with it and threw it away. Then he helped her with her coat and could smell her hair--like mangos--again. When they got outside, the air and the quiet was nice.