When I finally left the restaurant it was late. She didn't call or show up. After watching the sparkling wine fade, I lifted one finger and pushed the glass over. The spill stained the table cloth and spread rapidly. Its smell was tart and tangy. Still I sat and watched the room empty of feelings and abandoned in presences.
She had promised so much given so little and changed in the space of a heartbeat her often expressed needs and desires. By phone, by Internet she communicated herself well and captured my attention with willingness.
I'm surprised and hurt that she didn't show. It seemed such a good idea to me. Just a glass of wine, no commitment ... you know. Such was not then nor now my intention.
The stain has darkened the cloth. The wine has stopped dripping to the floor now. The pungent smell causes me to almost sicken, but I realize its tension that I feel. I'm gripping the edge of the table with one hand. The knuckles are white with strain. I feel nothing however and it takes a certain amount of concentration to let go.
My suit has slightly wrinkled in the chair. I've not eaten despite the late hour. I can hear my stomach grumbling at my stupidity and passing a queasy wave at my poor judgement.
The waiter has long stopped coming. Three hours now I've sat and patently waited. I would sit the rest of the night if needed, if demanded, if it would only conclude otherwise.
But it won't.
I rise and walk towards the door. Stopping at the last step to glance back. The spilled wine reflects against the overhead lights and reflects my wasted time.
Without a word I drop a hundred on the counter as I leave. Not even glancing at the proferred bill.
In the rain, I walk to my car. Parked in the lot, alone. Like me. In the rain I stand solitary in my thoughts and wondering at how mistaken I could be. Now, I find myself soaked through and removed the steamed glasses from my nose.
I'm not sure if I dropped them or not. I took off my tie and dropped it. I removed my coat and let it fall. I pulled off my shirt and it soon joined the coat. Then bare chested in the rain, I let my gaze fall.
I kicked off my shoes and undid my pants. Then the trousers followed. I kicked them away in the dark and stood in my underwear.
I wanted no part of the evenings plans, now displayed in the soaked garments. I could tolerate them no more.
Without a backward glance I unlocked the car and then opened the door. But, as I was leaning to enter it... I heard approaching footsteps.
I stood in quiet acceptance of my unknown fate. It could easily be a cop instead of my date. The steps stopped next to me.
She softly said my name. Almost a whisper in the rain. I closed my eyes in mental pain. She told me ...she felt she had nothing to gain....
...and was hoping I had already departed.
It was then I realized.....
I already have....
Written November 4th, 2004