I (sometimes) call myself Mr. Pondersome. I'm a rather wordy, weirdy person. I say hullo a lot. I write a lot more. While you're here, why not give some of it a read?

Friday, 17 September 2010

"8:15 at the Goodwill Bar" (a.k.a. my attempt at contemporary realism in fiction)


It's been a while but I'm back again! I have found a story to keep me busy and it certainly is quite a big one for me. This is the first official time that I have (fully) written a text set within the parameters of the real world (I know, I know...what took you so long? :P).
Anyway it's called "8:15 at the Goodwill Bar" and, without giving too much away, it's essentially a short tale of love and attraction, comparing the courtship days of old to the modern dating scene. Take it how you will, it's only a short three-page yarn still in its intermediate drafting stage.


8:15 at the Goodwill Bar, he told me. And here I am, perched on the second bar stool from the end, as instructed, working my way through a handful of warm peanuts. My pint's ready at last and frothing like mad at the rim. I wrap my fingers around the glass; cold and sticky. I hate it when they're sticky round the sides. I groan and sip it anyway.
            This is stupid. Greg's notorious for getting this sort of thing wrong on several occasions in the past - I mean, what does he know about picking up women? When we were out last Wednesday, down at The Curve, he got shot down by at least four girls. There may have been more but I had to go to the toilet at sometime. Still, he 'highly recommended' that I come here. I've never been here before and, as far as I can remember, neither had Greg, but he swears by the place. I believe what he said was 'It's amazing! There's this guy there who always comes in at bang on quarter past eight and he's the best you've ever seen! I'm serious! He's the best wing-man ever!' Well who am I to criticise? He did get off with some red-head girl on the evening. I remember distinctly because when I saw him at work the following day he was late and had that giggle. Greg always has this slight giggle for hours after he's gotten lucky, it tags on to the end of everything he says. Also, as you'd imagine, he just wouldn't shut up about it. By the end of the day everyone in the office knew she was 'a natural red-head' and 'busting out of her top'. Maybe this 'best wing-man' did help.
            It just seems weird to me though that this guy, being a total stranger, is willing to coach you through picking up girls. I mean, there's got to be a cost, hasn't there? He sure isn't doing it 'in the name of love and happiness'. Unless he gets off on it. Urgh, that'd be twisted. I wonder what his game is?
            It's 8:20 now and there's no sign of him. Could Greg have just made him up? Maybe he thought he was being helped, but in fact it was all him. That doesn't seem too likely. Still, if old Greggy boy can get some here I'm sure I can. Out of the pair of us I'm the one with the looks, and that's saying something.
            Hang about! Looks like we've got a taker for the far bench! Doesn't look like much, mind. A typical bar fly, I'd say. He's even got the ruddy stubble-chin face and the overdeveloped beer belly. What is he? Sixty? Nah, he's fifty; he just looks old for his age. Sad. Well I don't think he's the guy, poor fella. He looks a bit weepy, probably has an even shittier life than me. I think he's mumbling. I can barely hear it but he's definitely mumbling to himself. Something about 'Katy love'? I really shouldn't be listening to it anyway, isn't my place.
            Christ, there doesn't look to be much talent here tonight. Just old biddies and skinny girls probably too young to be out this late, let alone getting pissed. I knew it was stupid to come here looking for a chance; it's just not one of those bars. Maybe if I finish this beer-like swill quickly I can get out of here and down to The Curve in time. It's ladies' night there and it's about now that the remaining girls are sufficiently boozed-up and lowering their expectations. This place is dead.
            I drain the glass and then realise who's stood across from me. A slightly tall leggy Asian babe. She just glanced at me. It may be the booze but I think I recognise that look. Maybe this place isn't so bad after all.
            Now how should I go about this? She's moved into a better light and she's a lot more attractive than I first realised. Oh shit, this is ridiculous. I'm literally empty-headed. Come on, there's got to be something you could say! Come on, you bell-end!
            "Your eyes." It's the drunk, I think. His voice is so gravelly, it's untrue. "Your eyes are so, so glorious. F-from this light. I just cannot, cannot believe-"
            Come on! Her drinks almost ready!
            She turns. She's smiling, she's definitely smiling.
            "Hi there."
            What now? I need something quick and effective. But I can't think that fucking quickly!
            "Your eyes," Shit, where am I going with this? "are so glorious from this light. I just can't believe it." I laugh nervously. "I, erm, I can't believe I actually said that. Sorry." Well, that's blown it...
            "Thanks." She's still smiling. I could still be in here. But what now?
            "My name's Rich, by the way."
            "So, Aneesa, what're you drinking?"
"Just a spritzer." Her eyes are really actually quite stunning. Plus I love the way she's playing with her fingers. "Why? Are you offering to pay?"
            "Sure." I fumble for my wallet. She's actually going to let me buy it. This is going well. I buy another pint for me as well.
            "So, what else do you like about me?" She laughs at me but it's a good kind of laugh.
            The old drunk's muttering again. "-lips. So l-luscious, and warm."
            "Your lips!" That works. "Oh, I'd have to say you're lips. They're so luscious and warm. Um, I mean they look warm. I can't say for sure. But I'd like to find out." I half-expect a slap, but I look to be doing well enough. I swear she's moved a little closer to me. Is that alcohol on her breath?
            "Oh? Well that's really my choice, isn't it?" I think she's already a bit drunk. This couldn't be easier. "So, you're a sweet-talker. What else do I need to know about you?"
            "B-but I don't need to say anything." It's the bar fly again. "Not with you, nope, no..."
            "Well there isn't much to say really." I'm getting the hang of this. "I'm more interested in you." Bullseye.
            "And I'm more interested in tonight." Her hand rests on my lap. I like where the fingers are creeping to. "Are you free tonight?"
            "Definitely." I smile. "Let me just finish my drink."
            "Good. And I'll just freshen up." She walks ungracefully towards the Ladies. She's drunk, there's no doubt about it. I'll let it slide.
            I down my pint in one and grab my coat. As I launch myself off the stool towards the door I catch sight of the old drunk again. He's staring into his pint of stout, like he's looking for something in there but not too closely. It's almost like he's...what's the word? Bemused. He looks up and nods at me. I can't quite believe how bloodshot his eyes are. I nod back.
            "S-she's a keeper," He says, but not to me, or anyone in particular, "My cuddly Katy. M-my angel dear. You'll-you'll never know, never, how wonderful, how s-sweet..."
            Aneesa returns, grabs my shirt and beams. "Ready to go, handsome Rich! Your place."
            I gaze at her. "Sure." She's wobbling a bit to the side. Best get her away before she starts sobering up.
            I push open the doors. As they swing back I hear the dying bar rabble for the last time.
            "-an angel! B-be good-"
            The doors close and we're gone.

Thanks for reading,

Mr. Pondersome

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