Southern Sun - Table Mesa
The dark-haired woman next to me says to her lover: "I feel like my heart's going to explode and spray paint all over your face," and laughs. What a line. I am a hair away from laughter. A pelt away from love. "Fair enough," the happily dressed woman says. I wonder if I'm still funny. I wonder if I'm still smart. I wonder. I wish I were wooing. I wish I were -- in that sappy love song sense. The woman next to me is bright. The man is entranced. She's doing well. She is not beautiful. She's overweight and charming. I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm an Illusion Dweller, a peak near Anapurna. I am a follicle away from love. And, maybe, miles.
This place goes from Celtic music to jazz. There's no one here even vaguely interesting. I wonder if I'm still interesting. I wonder if I'll ever be interesting to someone else. This pale ale tastes metallic and hoppy (just drank one, glad for the settled stomach.) The woman next to me has dramatic cleavage and her curly hair up. She's doing well.
My friends say I'm the "Queen of Positive Thinking." I like that. Least I'm the Queen of something. The blond woman on the other side of me with the Jessica Simpson figure is drunk. She apologizes often for being a drama queen. She slurs her words often. They hardy speak. The man next to me with the entrancing date raises a toast to her future. He has to go to the bathroom to blow his nose from the too spicy burrito. My food is getting cold, and the hoppy beer is getting drunk. And this gets written, my day in Boulder, my next to last evening being married.
"Well, you can make good money doing what you love to do," says the guy next to me. Indeed. I'm doing what I love to do, and not making good money. The guy next to me tries to pay with a credit card, "I'll cover it," he says. "Nah, put it away." I like her. She pays her own. The waiter says, "No credit cards. We go by the hippy green." The dark-haired woman says, "That's okay, I've got it." The guy has only eight dollars and some change. "Gee, I went from paying for it all to having you pay for me." "No problem." She invites him back to her apartment. "Unless it's all too much for you, what with the hippy food and the redneck booze." I like her. In another life I would have been her. I wouldn't have married. I wouldn't have a reputation for choosing the wrong men. Or, something.
I'm ready to go home now, the one without the quotation marks. And scrub myself from the walls, wrap my dishes in dish towels and brightly colored napkins. Succumb to the division of property. While the couple next to me holds hands for the first time. I hand my waiter the check and my book-earned bills. And, leave. Next stop, next life, Berkeley, California, lost land of the Illusion Dwellers. I drain my glass and think I'm celebrating something, my not wanting to live anymore with a cheat and a liar. Salud!