You want to tell them why you keep trying to escape but it gets too jumbled up in your mind to bother attempting to explain, so you fall silent more often than not which suits you just fine. You can drink, though, you’ll meet just about anybody for that. The bar at the corner of Main Street, which runs through a quaint little town that has forever been just on the verge of becoming more than it ever actually will, is dimly lit up by warm holiday twinkle lights hanging from each of the rafters in haphazard formation.
I always loved local taverns like this one. All rich but worn out wood and the aging bartenders who fill your glass to the very top with cheap white wine. It’s obscene and obscene always makes you smile. He meets me there one evening after work as the snow begins to fall soft and wispy, but steady enough to coat the sidewalks and make them just a bit too deceivingly hazardous. We trade stories about the triumphs and mistakes of our pasts, the triumphs being few and far between and mostly made up or severely embellished, and swear we care nothing about the future because not a single thing in this life is guaranteed. If anything, it’s a cruel joke or dumb luck at every turn.
As though we were some great philosophers of old, we pretend today is all that matters and I guess that’s true when you’re a few drinks in and all you can think about is flirting your way into the back seat of the fancy SUV he drives around like he’s got money to spend even though you meet at the scuffed up bar and like it there best. What’s money if you don’t spill it chasing your dreams, even if for the moment your only dream is a dark corner where the world cannot find you to tell you one way or another if you’re living your best life or killing it steadily off.
I tell him I know I talk in circles sometimes and it can seem like I’m not making sense but the thing is I make sense to me and I can’t manage to stop my thoughts from racing which becomes ever more apparent with each additional dive bar pour. He says he just likes to hear me talk. He likes the sound of my voice and I could read from the phone book and he’d still be enthralled, which is decidedly not at all the compliment he thinks it is. He listens like a child listens to a bedtime story waiting eagerly to find out if the good guy or the bad guy gets the girl in the end. He pays good attention until he doesn’t. Until he’d rather take me out the side door of that blurry blinking pub, tuck me into his leather heated seats and place his lips upon my neck. For a while we are two magnetic stars drawn together by their sad twinkling. We kiss until my tears begin to fall like tiny snowflake crystals into the vacancy of the wet, wet night.