I choose a glass of wine from the drink menu, house merlot. It's date night, a rarity these days, especially on a Tuesday. I bribed the babysitter with pizza. You look tired from work and I look tired from
. We settle on an upscale Mediterranean restaurant. I wear a low-cut burgundy dress and make sure my blonde hair is brushed into a mane. You compliment my dark rim of eye liner which can turn even my blue eyes into exotic gems. I tell you that you look slick in a black button down shirt and dark denim jeans, your green eyes alit. You smile and wink like you know how our date will end. I hope you're right and text the babysitter under the table to see if she can stay an extra half hour, should we take the long way home.
The waitress brings my wine, quick. I assume she realizes that I need it to wash away a week of worrying about everyone and everything. One glass is a good start. The house variety is satisfying, cheap and within budget, but will do the trick. You -rather judgmentally- watch me sip at my drink with a look of reverence.
You don't drink. Sometimes I wish you did.
"Would one glass really do you in?" I muse, as the buzz takes hold. It's been a while since I had anything to drink, even wine, so it's especially potent.
"No." you reassure, sarcastically, "One glass would be fine for about five minutes before I guzzled down the bottle and started drinking at work."
"Point taken." I think and say aloud. I watch the couple to the left of us cheers and kiss. Drinkers look so happy.
Now, I'm not completely naive. I'm glad I missed out on knowing alcoholic-you, but sober-you is awfully careful. He wants to skip night clubs and happy hours. He doesn't like it when I drink socially. He thinks my friends who enjoy a glass of wine at home have issues. There's no mutual inebriation as foreplay. When we make love, it's stone cold sober except for lust of mind and body. Thank goodness we both get hopped up on dopamine and serotonin when we kiss.
When I said you don't drink... I only meant alcohol. You drink in women's bodies, without reserve. You take a sip at the post office, a gulp at the gym, a teensy taste when we walk together. Tonight you even indulged as we were looking for a parking spot and passed some twenty-somethings, then followed up with an awkward slurp when the hostess in tight black shorts and bare legs walked ahead to seat us.
I ask for a second glass of wine, swirling the small drop left in my first glass. I think how glad I am that our waiter is male. You squeeze my knee and ask if a second glass won't be too much for the baby, two months old and still nursing. I hand you my phone where I bookmarked the page telling me to wait several hours and have no more than two.
A man to your left, who I assume is a millionaire by the beauty and youth of his female companion, is helping his lady (ahem, girl) out of her chair. She's dressed the way I used to, when I was single and went out dancing. She reaches down to pick up her purse and...
Yes, there it is.
I thought we might be lucky enough to avoid it, but the movement causes her spandex skirt to slide up her thigh and before I know it you're cataloging her skin tone and dimensions. You once told me, in a moment of candid disclosure, that you have a talent (I'd rename it a curse), for imagining everyone naked.
It's only 3 seconds, if that, but you've imagined her your lover. You've become that millionaire with his white hair and aging skin. Within three seconds, you've fantasy invited her into our bed and I know who your mind will make love to tonight.
I drink my second glass a little faster. I text the babysitter again, once more under the table, and tell her we might be home early... then I erase the word "might".