The leather bar was crowded. There must be some kind of event in town. He just wanted to be out and have a cold beer, smoke a cigar perhaps. He got his drink at the bar and found a good people-watching spot on the ledge a step above the rest of the patio.
He had already spotted a few lapdogs. The boys who cruise the crowd face to face, bulge to bulge so fast it looks like they are on an exercise program, like Midwestern housewife mall walkers. He’d spotted the chosen: the men that held leather celebrity that people would fawn after and a group of men with them where status in the ranks was important. He’d spent his twenties in that group, polishing his leather, wearing sashes, producing events. Everything had its place in the world, but that wasn’t for him now. Now his leather was part of him and not a social status symbol. The leather he wore smelled of him, and rarely got polished by anything but sweat and spit.
He waited for the man that would walk by him, stopping a few feet away and glance back. He’d watch this man as he went back to a group of friends, occasionally looking up and catching glances. He’d look away for a few minutes and the man would find his way back to him. He’d introduce himself. They would stand closer than usual because the bar was crowded.
The man would lean in and say, “This is going to sound ridiculous and weird, but the reason I came back to talk to you is that you smell really good.” And he’d tell the man, a warm smile spreading across his face, that in fact, no, that it didn’t sound weird at all.
This post is an excerpt from my book “Brief Moments: a collection of short stories” available on Amazon.com in paperback & Kindle eBook.