watching...

The night was cold; colder still than the vacant gaze that held them strangely together. Perhaps it was the warmth of their bodies meeting in unspoken understanding like the light between two candles; a glorious golden wash floating to greet the shadows that threaten it. Confused, but cohesive. But it was each other’s blood that kept them warm. He did a splendid job of keeping hers at a petulant simmer. She did a fine job of not spilling her wine on his manicured suit, ostentatiously heavy in its fabric– thick as the hypocrisy it adorned. She sipped on the wine slowly, measuring every regretful drop that danced its way down her throat... Drops that could have explored every ugly crevice of his clean shaven face had she so fancied. Which she did; but she didn’t. She needed the drink more than she needed the satisfaction, I’d imagine. I was there. Watching. She played with the wine as it bathed her tongue and she waited as it washed down her dry throat, fighting to the bottom every honest word that tried to surface in its wake. Her tongue glimmered in the candlelight when she did speak; he watched in hatred as the crimson serpent weaved its voodoo veneer  and spit its venomous vengeance with a force so subtle that it vanished in vapor over the dry lakebed of what once was a delectable platter of vegetable vol-au-vents. She liked pastry. It was all that was right with the world. He listened with intent, but could hear nothing. She continued to flirt with her wine and he continued to pay for it. His head was a flurry of words he didn't understand. It reminded him of the unintelligible chatter of the bar. But the bar had a quality he envied. At the heart of the distinctly indistinct clamor was a voice. And it wasn’t his. He regretted it, but accepted it. He looked at her and wondered in silence as she sat there watching herself in the translucent glass walls that surrounded them. She hated mirrors. She couldn’t stand to see herself for who she really was. She knew it but it’s always different when you’re told something you already know. The mirror does. She fancied the translucence of the glass though. In the dishonest reflection of the glass walls were her dreams. Everything she aspired to. Everything she could have been. She looked in envy at the faces that stared back at her through the glass wall. The faces stared at her in envy for having a seat at the fancy establishment. They stared in envy at the gentleman in the fine suit. Envy pervaded the air like a virus. He knew it. He regarded everything with command, but he did it with disdain. He wondered why she sat there as she did. She was as wholly voluptuous as her hatred for him. She did not even wear enough fabric to conceal it. He wondered if her self-esteem was as low as her dress. He'd gotten to a point in his observation where his distractions had gotten the better of his judgement. So he blinked twice and returned to his drink. He felt his own lips move but he paid no attention to the sounds it made. They were merely sounds, he thought. He knew she hated him. He could feel her dislike precipitate in the air around him. Warm, moist hate, pasty against his oily skin. She knew he hated her. She could smell it through the thick of her perfume. Poison, they called it. The perfume, that is. She loved how it made her smell. He loved it too. It was the only thing about her that he did like. It sold for fifty dollars at the neighborhood Walgreens. About the cost of the wine and the food. He paid for it, and they left.