My Sweetest Friend

See the bar.

Perhaps you can’t. That’s fair. I’ll try my best to describe it.

I’m taking you through the doors; heavy paned glass; dark wood finish. I believe they’re mahogany. Honestly, I haven’t had the opportunity to take a closer look.

The ceilings are high. The detailing is of the art-deco variety. This room could pass for mid-century Chicago. Perhaps we’re in Chicago, or maybe even Toronto or Boston. It’s hard to keep track. Rooms can be hard to read. Sometimes it all looks the same.

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(Pic via Wedding Elation)

But we’re through the door, and now I’m leading you through the room, through the crowd. Well-dressed men and women stand in circles. It’s a younger crowd than I’m used to. It must be a popular work night – Thursday probably. That seems to be a big one now.

The clothes have gotten tighter but their eyes are the same. They’re shooting the same glances to each other, hoping for the same connections. Some have pure enough thoughts; other’s do not. I’m judging them, but it makes little difference.

We’re finessing our way between the clusters now. Pockets of conversation come and go.

“I can’t believe you liked that movie,” cries the young man in the all-brown suit, his five o’clock shadow hugging his face just perfectly, just as its intended.

“Don’t let him talk to you that way,” proclaims another. This one is harder to see. Her face is buried behind her third vodka.

I’ve pulled some strings and found you a nice little spot by the bar. There’s a pillar to lean on and a clear lane to your server, a nice-looking dark-featured man of fourty years. In my experience he’s rolled with the punches well. He knows that to expect on nights like this, as patrons come crashing down upon him like waves. He feels their eyes on his back when attention is not met. He knows whose waiting next. He gets to them all in time.

Now just do me a favour. I hope it’s not too much to ask in return. Please look for me in this room. I may not be next to you but I’m here all the same.

I’m not in the cluster of bankers. That isn’t my style.

No, I’m not in that group of five politicos, each one bathed in that fine, hollow-light from a mobile phone.

Go back to the man of fourty years. His eyes are kind. I should have probably mentioned that earlier.

Now look passed him.

Higher, please.

No, a little more.

Almost. Just a touch to the right, if you’d kindly.

There.

It’s nice to see you again, old friend.

Part of me wishes you weren’t going to come back tonight. But here you are. And I am here.

I can be finished. I can be broken. I can be bought or stolen. But in the end you always know I’ll be here.

I was sorry to hear about your day. We should talk about it.

Let’s start with your usual, shall we? No, ask for a double.

We have this whole night to ourselves, and a lot of ground to cover.

I want to help you.

Please, let me help you.

About Alexander Brown

Alexander Brown is a business professional by day and a freelance writer by night. In his spare time he enjoys pretending that he could do this for a living, and he probably shouldn't have gotten that degree in Political Science. Politics is a tough racket. The rest of his portfolio can be found at alexanderbrownwrites.tumblr.com