Modern times

I had been sitting there for ten minutes, feeling inadequate as the gazes of other customers paused on my figure and the empty seat besides mine. I ordered a glass of water and kept ripping small pieces of the napkin on top of which the bartender left the sweaty glass.

I felt a slight tap on my shoulder, turned around and there she was, wide big blue eyes and pink cheeks, as if she had been running, cheered by the clapping of her heels on the pavement to get there. I was pleased to see she looked far better than the portrait her pictures had painted of her.

The following two hours went on as expected. We exchanged brief accounts of the wheres and whens of our lives, just as the other two or three couples that had just met were doing in other sections of the bar. We looked at each other’s eyes, touched each other’s forearms a couple of times, downed two glasses of wine and said goodbye with a hearty hug in front of diverging platforms of the subway station.

One day I got to see the two purple sofas in her apartment’s living room, and smell the peach scent of her hand soap, and even to “take the stairs, because the elevator is broken” in the morning.

The rest was mostly uneventful, what followed was a story that perhaps lasted three weeks until our lives disentangled without any words but with a lot of understanding. She did have some amusing quirks, and I could have conceivably imagined a life with her, but I never did. I couldn’t. And she either noticed, or she couldn’t imagine one either. One day the phone stopped ringing and I assumed it would continue doing that, spitting silence. I can only imagine she thought the same, because I never saw her again.

I’ve been thinking how to land this story with either a metaphor or a complaint, but I can’t seem to find any. I guess this short text is just what it is, a tale of the tangling and untangling of lives, of arms, of sweaty bodies, and hungry mouths and ending in a flat silence, one with no moral qualities, just like the tiny white moment that follows an orgasm.

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