She dashes around the corner and a few seconds later I hear a gaggle high pitched voices all commenting on how many ages its been. Five, apparently.
I step up to the bar for another large espresso martini and return to the table.
“So, what’s going on there sailor,” Mike asks, just beginning to show the first cracks of drinking and with it conversation.
“Nothing. Just a little harmless fraternizing.”
“Don’t know if she feels that way. The fish is on the line, just gotta gaffe her and get her in the boat.”
“Is it even possible for a girl to spool you,” I ask, wondering for a moment about the power of metaphor. I have a tidy swig and wonder if sports, fishing and business are the only ones life so easily fits or do we simply make ourselves fit? I take another sip and decide to let the world answer.
“So what’s her story?”
“Aussie chick, 2 year UK work visa, world tour, ends up in Laudie, friends on boats, day work, junior stew. You know. The I’m just doing this while I’m working on my whatever it is this year…”
“You really do you enjoy reducing peoples lives to 140 characters, don’t you?”
“Is that 140? No. Do I enjoy meeting people who so easily fit into 140 characters? Nice girl though.”
“Yeah, she’s got the right balance. Just cute enough but not too, no paranoia. And that ass. The proper thickness my friend. The proper thickness.”
“I hadn’t noticed.”
“You’ve got to cut that shit out. Fucking get in there. You’re mopey ass needs a woman.”
Maybe he is right? Despite being an Engineer, a breed unto themselves, Mike has the air of a Captain, that universal command people might never notice but always follow. I light a cigarette and lean back with a supreme content to hold the option and as I take another sip enjoy some twisted notion of letting the market decide, any number of former surf wear models and other 6 packers milling about before I notice Steve creeping into frame.
“Steve-O! How are we this evening,” I divert to the new arrival.
“Chillin. Chillin. Brother. Hey, I’m going to get a drink. Anybody need anything,” he asks?
There are drinkers, there are yachties and there is Steve Wilcox, celebrity chef. Yes. There is a man who will walk the fine line until close, sleep for 4 hours, churn out breakfast, lunch and if the guests are going ashore for dinner sneak out for a quick sally about town without care or consequence. Of course he never reaches prime before midnight, long after the social networking fades into slurry camaraderie and with it zero hour and the choice that hovers over every evening, whether to take up the charge of greatness or slink back to the boat for leftovers and a bottle of water.
What happens? Something like this.