Friday, June 18, 2010

[Fiction] Friday - June 18, 2010

[Fiction] Friday: A signal is misinterpreted…….

“Martini please and the special.” I politely asked the bartender which was hard to do after the lousy day that I’ve had.

I hate these sales trips. Once the working part is done there is nothing to do except sit at this bar. I have to admit though it is a beautiful, classy bar. The well kept stained wood, the brass bar, comfortable stools and a good bartender who makes it all worth the slightly inflated prices.

The place was busy as it should be around dinnertime. The bartender brought me the special and asked if I needed anything else. I told him no and began to organize myself to enjoy the meal in front of me.

“Enjoy your meal sir.”

“Thank you.” I replied.

Sir…I like that. You don’t get talked to like that where I come from. It’s usually here or nothing at all. I guess when your only clientele is traveling sales people you have to treat them with respect.

Frank Sinatra was gracing the audio system and the lighting was pleasant. I placed the cloth napkin on my lap and took a sip of my martini before I started.

As I placed my martini back down on the bar next to my plate I noticed a stunning woman at the far end of the bar looking my way. I looked down at my meal and then back up to see if she was still looking at me. She was.

I gave her a smile in which she returned it back to me. Hmm, beautiful woman smiling and staring at me, martini half gone, this may turn out to be a good day after all, I thought.

She called the bartender over and as she conversed with him he looked over in my direction as if she were asking about me.

I decided to play it cool and continued to enjoy my meal until the bartender had a free moment. I called him over and asked him to bring the beautiful lady a drink, compliments of me.

“Are you sure sir?”

“Yeah, well yeah. I saw you looking this way when she was talking to you and she returned a smile my way earlier. Is there a reason why I shouldn’t?” I asked the young man.

“Well, sir, she wasn’t asking about you. She was asking me to make sure I treat the party behind you very well and to make sure no one gets thirsty. She owns the place and she’s married. Sorry sir.” He explained.

“Well don’t I feel silly. It pays to be a good bartender. Here you go young man.”

I handed him the bill with payment, a nice fat tip and I quietly exited the establishment.


Anonymous said...

The life of a travelling salesman appears to have so many down sides. This was a good twist on the prompt where that little touch of vainglory is all brought undone by a little bit of truth.

Laura Rachel Fox said...

Great snapshot of a life. The feeling of embarrassment is easy to relate to. The polite bartender was a nice touch.

Eileen Andrews said...

Oh boy, who hasn't been there before...

Shelli said...

You do a great job giving us a feel for the drudgery and loneliness in the job of a traveling salesman. That was kind of where my mind went with the prompt, too. So glad the bartender saved him from more embarrassment.

Jodi Cleghorn said...

I used to work in a place which was frequented by travelling salesman and you paint both the establishment and the MC well. It is an incredibly lonely existence and they salesmen were always up for some kind of social nicety. They especially liked it when you remembered their name and their regulars (there was one guy who always had a bowl of rockmelon for breafast, black coffee.. and I forgot now his hot food order - but he loved not having to order -just walk in and be seen!)

My only suggestion would be to end it with the bartenders explanation. It would carry far more punch then.

Anonymous said...

After mine and now yours, I'm going to be very careful next time someone smiles at me!
An enjoyable read.

John Pender said...

Are you sure you didn't take a peek into the pages of my life when you wrote this?

Post a Comment