Freeze Frame.

These are the moments that burn themselves on our mind's eye.

She was brunette. Slim. Maybe early 30s. A kind smile. He was greying at the temples. Late 30s, perhaps. Vaguely professional but country enough to know not to be pretentious. The kind of man you respect and would work hard if he were your supervisor.

They came for dinner. Walked in around 7:30 while the bar was still pretty quiet. Before the band had even arrived. They sat on the side nearest the stage.

She had the pan-seared grouper with crab-cream sauce. He had the blackened catfish filet.

They stayed and listened to the duet for a long time. Two hours perhaps of listening to covers of Oasis and The Wallflowers and Fleetwood Mac.

They were both drinking slowly, but you could tell they were there for the music, and each other. They weren't overt, or undignified. They didn't canoodle, or snuggle, or in fact make any real public displays that were tacky at all. She never hung on him, and he never leaned on her. At times they seemed almost completely physically seperate, and yet you could tell they weren't, not really.

When the time came and they asked to cash out, it was just as things were getting into the thick of it. The bar was full and almost all the tables on the floor had filled as well. The band was doing another mellow cover of an old favorite to which more than half of us could sing along. I printed a cheque and laid it in front of them, in the midst of a dozen other tasks that were calling for my attention, I turned away and handled a couple, and as I turned back I saw that they had laid a credit card on top of the receipt. I reached out over the bar to pick up the card so that I could run it, and at that moment I glanced up, and they had leaned towards each other, and kissed.

It was a subtle thing. A single moment between two people in a crowded bar where no-one was watching except me, and that only by coincidence.

But in that moment it seemed to me that everything around them disappeared, and that they were completely and totally isolated. I don't remember the music or the environment around them. I can't even see anything in my memory that should have been in my peripheral vision, like the people sitting to their right or left, or the wall behind them.

Just their connection, and completeness, and love.

It was as if, for that one instant in time, the entire bar--all its sights and sounds--served only as a backdrop to the perfection that they had, at that moment, captured in a kiss.

It is a split second memory that supersedes everything else about my last Saturday at work.

I looked away. It isn't polite to stare.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Post a Comment

<< Home