…I am one of them. I decide to hide out at a corner table, swallowed by the shadows around me. The other two grab the table next to the door, chatting, smiling. I order a whisky. Like liquid amber, it sits in my glass, waiting for me. For the tingling sensation, the smokey aftertaste and that burning sensation in my stomach. The other two strangers are talking. He seems uncomfortable. She doesn’t seem to notice.
Her facial expression drops. Her eyes are turning watery. He is apologizing furiously.
While I watch her misery unfold, I remember your words. I let them flow through me, through every vein, every artery, crawling under every squarecentimeter of skin. Every nerve, every cell is in alert mode. Your words are rushing by; my inner workings try hard to hold onto every piece of substance. Your words are bashing in walls: hearts, lungs, stomachs. Everything hurts.
She gets up, screaming. His face is blank. She storms out the door.
The amber is rushing down my throat. It feels nothing like relief. Your words seem to break down my body. Slowly, but steady, having been trying for years. The way you looked at me, full of pity and self-righteousness. More amber. More amber. My thoughts get blurry, like headlights in time exposure. Your words flow over my eyes, holy scriptures in a language I wouldn’t understand.
He gets up, pays, sighs and walks out into the night.
I wrap myself up in my coat. I suppose everybody needs to defend themselves somehow. I trace the wet tracks the amber has left on my table. Your words have become silent. Satisfied, I get up. I pay the bill for a short night’s peace, I turn up the collar of my coat, brace myself for the cold, harsh air outside, give the good old table by the door a tap, and leave.
For the third time this year I’m vowing to never walk into this bar again.