Saturday, September 05, 2015

Chapter 2: Define Respectable

Never mix beer and painkillers, dear readers.  But it’s Friday and I’m in good company.  He and I are at our usual hangout, the Rusty Anchor on Smithfield Street, having our usual Friday bite to eat: a beer and a club sandwich.

We waxed poetic today, musing topics such as life and love, pondered work, and contemplated the fact that we aren’t a couple, that we don’t love each other, and that it’s probably a really good thing that I’m quitting when this project wraps up in a few weeks. 

The booze and the pills made me quite mellow, made it possible for me to lean back and study him openly, to stare at his bare arms and rolled-up sleeves and frankly enjoy the view.  Just muscular enough, just the right amount of hair.  His palms are rough, slightly calloused.  He likes to work with his hands on weekends, remodeling his house, doing yard work, fixing cars. 

It’s hard to keep your head on your shoulders when you want to be in those arms, to feel those hands.  Just to touch me cheek, his palm to my face.  A fantasy.  So far.

Today our two officemates raised their eyebrows.  Another dinner?  Just the two of you?  They exchanged a glance, one that said that they were on to us, on to me.  You see, respectable women don’t go to bars with men. 

Nor do they go to dusty old bookstores and read Chaucer to each other.

Or to a tapas bar on an out-of-the-way street on the far side of town. 

But I’ve never advertised myself as respectable.