It is good to be a regular in some places. Church. The gym.
I have to come clean here and tell you I am a regular in a bar. If you call about two times a week regular…that is what I am. I feel like a regular. Everybody knows my name when I walk in. I know everyone’s name. The hostess doesn’t need to ask me if I want a table. She knows I take my place at the bar. Each Tuesday I walk in; make my way to my seat where I am promptly brought my first two for one martinis. I say “hello” to all of the other regs drinking their two-fers and survey the rest of the large oblong bar. It is shaped like a horseshoe.
And there is this guy….
But first I need to tell you a little back story. This is the place I met my guy. Not this guy. Another guy. My guy.
I walked into this bar two years ago, after three years of internet dating. I walked into this bar to meet up with a friend and laugh and lament about my latest date gone wrong…and swear off men for at least a year. I had been here before. It is friendly, and inviting, and a safe place for a single gal to walk in. It’s not like we sit around in a smoky fog, stirring our watered down drinks with a plastic stick and wonder where it all went wrong. This is a nice place with nice food and nice people. And on this particular night I saw this guy, this guy who would turn out to be my guy sitting across from me. We had seen each other before. We waived, we smiled, we ended up sitting next to each other and by the end of that evening he had asked me out on a date. It was a good date. Two years later we are now living together. And on Tuesday nights when the kids go out with dad we meet up at the bar for dinner. When I say we know everyone it is not an exaggeration. Ever heard of “Cheers”? There you go…
When there is someone new, someone unfamiliar taking up a spot on the highly coveted bar stools, you notice. In fact, on a busy Friday night (the other night I am usually there) when a regular can’t get a seat because a couple of newbie’s has shown up for date night; well let’s just say if looks could talk.
And there’s this guy…
I have seen him before. I would not call him a “regular” regular. But he is regular enough that I know who he is…and he intrigues me. Not in the “OMG he is very attractive and I wonder if he is married” kind of intrigue. In fact, he does not appeal to me at all looks wise. But he intrigues me all the same.
I am guessing he’s in his mid-forties, salt and pepper hair. His skin in pale, like he doesn’t get outside much. From the torso up, which is all I ever see, he always wears a dress shirt in beige, white, light blue. If he wears a tie during the day it is off by the time he gets to his place at the bar. He is not there to stand out. There are two official ends at this bar and he is always at one of them. Alone. One time we sat on the same side as him and because it wasn’t that busy I saw a motorcycle helmet on the seat next to him. His hair was just disheveled enough that the helmet had to be his. He rides a bike. And on the purse hook under the counter next to him hung several shirts in plastic from the dry cleaners.
He wears a wedding ring. He drinks beer. I have noticed he has put on weight. This is what at least 4 pints of beer at a sitting will do to you. I think I have seen him eat once or twice, but usually his date is a pint of beer…and his phone.
His phone! This is why I am intrigued. He never stops looking, texting, scrolling and occasionally talking to his phone. Not on his phone…AT his phone. He is more obsessed with his phone than my three children combined. Sometimes he has headphones on. He can sit there for hours…or at least for as long as I sit, and he does not waiver. He does not look around; he does not make eye contact with anyone. Sometimes he looks at one of the many TV’s around the bar. But I can tell he is not really watching. The bartenders re-fill the pint when it empties. It’s the un-spoken language of regulars at a bar.
Who is he talking to? What or who is so intriguing for him? I have tried to figure it out.
Work? Hmmm. Sure, it could be a work thing. He could be on a conference call with another continent. But how much negotiating is getting done after three pints of beer? And why can’t he do it at home? Like I said he wears a ring. Is the wife a bitch? She doesn’t pick up the dry cleaning. Are there babies running around? Then why not a coffee shop? Or his office?
It’s not work.
He’s a hired killer. He’s a spy. He logs in at the local pub…inconspicuous…and waits for his next assignment. What? Is he going to hop on his bike at a moment’s notice to go blow someone’s head off with the dry cleaning on the back? Probably not.
He’s a stalker! He has bugged his home. He is suspicious of the goings on when he is not there. When he was paying the bills he saw a charge for over $200 at Victoria’s Secret. His wife wears old tee shirts and boxer shorts to bed. Their own sex life is…eh. (Could be all the beer, mister) He sits and drinks and monitors his home waiting to spot the Fed Ex guy deliver more than office supplies.
Perhaps he is having his own affair of the heart. It is a long distance thing. His name is Bob but he tells her it’s Roberto. He has sent her a picture of himself…but it is not really him. It is a model that is standing casually by his yacht wearing white linen slacks, a yellow polo shirt with blue sweater tied around the shoulders and boat shoes. This guy came from a picture frame his wife bought last year.
His love is named Ruth, but she tells him it is Raquel. In his eyes she is 5’6, the perfect size 12, voluptuous lips, long auburn hair, and green eyes. She tells him she is a lingerie model in New York for full figured women. In reality she is 5’3 and size 16 and a part time receptionist in a dental office in Dayton, Ohio. She stole the picture of herself from one of the magazines that sit in the waiting room. Her husband works the night shift at the grocery store, leaving her several hours to chat with Roberto on their own “date nights.”
How did they find each other? Face book perhaps. Did they actually have the wherewithal to go on line and create fake identities for themselves? Well…he doesn’t look that savvy, but for the sake of argument…and my little tale…let’s say they did. They talk about meeting one day. They plan a discreet and romantic location. But he has this going on and she has that going on and they know they are never going to meet.
I have pointed this guy out to my guy. He knows I am intrigued and I think he is annoyed. He knows it’s not an “OMG he is very attractive and I wonder if he is married” kind of intrigue. But he is annoyed just the same. He’s annoyed that I find this stranger so interesting, and yet I can barely muster any interest for all of the other people we see at this bar. It is true…my interest has run its course with all of the other regulars. And I am sure their interest in me has dwindled down to nothing as well. So why keep going?
I keep going because my guy likes it. My guy needs a place where he can walk in, take a deep breath and let the stresses of the day drain away. He needs a place where he does not have to think, rescue, or solve anyone’s problems. He knows the next day he will have to think and rescue and solve all over again so a few nights a week he likes to be a regular guy at this bar. I want him to have this for all of the rescuing he has done for me.
And I? Well I am always looking for inspiration…and I do a pretty good job of finding it. I bet if I was a regular at a gym I could find plenty of inspiration amongst the muscles and sweat. I use to be a semi-regular at a church. Shame on me for even looking for inspiration there. I should have been looking for absolution.
So yes, I am a regular at a bar…and there’s this guy.
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