Monday, January 31, 2011

Across the Floor

He had lost control of his feet. This didn't usually happened but when he saw the way the dark haired girl ran her hand through her hair, he found that his feet had chosen for him. He walked up to the group angled towards the dark haired girl.

“Can I get your opinion?” he said over the roar of the barroom. He connected eyes briefly with the raven haired girl before quickly directing his attention towards the other girls in the group who were turning around to face him. “I'm doing a test. Tell me which one you like better, okay?” He took out two trial-sized colognes and applied them to each of his wrists. The he held out his hands palm up towards the center of the group. When the girl with the dark hair leaned in for the first sniff, Spin said, “She's very pushy, isn't she?” A few of the other girls giggled at his remark.

She clearly wasn't used to being talked to like that. Her manicured eyebrows furrowed and she pursed her full lips. Despite the remark, she still smelled the colognes first. “This one,” she said indicating the Pacific Ice on his left wrist.

Spin made small tally marks on each wrist as each girl in turn stated her preference. In the end the results were 3 to 2 Pacific Ice. “Thanks for participating in this informal survey,” he said and then immediately changed the topic of conversation. “I come to this bar a lot, I like the atmosphere and the pool tables.”

As the conversation naturally shifted to introductions and small talk about work and interests, Spin took the chance to lean his shoulders against a column near the bar. The girls moved in a little closer. When Spin said something funny, he would reach and playfully touch the girl he was talking to on the arm, but he kept his attention off of the dark haired girl who, by now he discovered, was named Rachel.

The blonde girl, Kelsey, who stood closest to Spin really liked his stories and would laugh animatedly at their climax or exaggerate a frown if the topic was more serious. Now Kelsey was pulling her hand through her hair and collecting it in a bundle and releasing it onto her opposite shoulder.

When Rachel who for the most part was being ignored started to look around the bar for other people to talk to, Spin said, “If you girls don't mind, I want to talk more with Rachel because she hasn't gotten much floor time.”

“Sure, if it's okay with her,” most of the girls said nodding and looking at each other.

Spin guided Rachel by her finger tips to a dimmer corner of the room; he noticed that she didn't recoil from his touch but actually held firm. Spin leaned back into the floral wall-paper and Rachel came up to his left side. He smiled at her and she showed her teeth too.

“You know, I bet you think you can get any man in this place,” Spin started to say. “But you'd be wrong. You see, you can only get a man who chooses you. Look around, there might be other men in her who you would like to meet, but they are all surrounded by girls. I'm sure there are girls in here who would like to meet me but they won't get the chance because I'm perfectly happy talking to you. So appreciate your time with me.”

She was clearly bewildered by his speech, but not unconvinced. The silence between them was growing. “So,” Rachel offered, “what do you do for fun?” Spin started to tell her about his friends and the exciting traveling he had recently done. That and other activities he mentioned really resonated with Rachel who wanted to spend time in Paris for at least a summer before she was going to settle down.

Throughout their conversation, their bodies were moving closer together and Spin would periodically emphasize a point he was making by resting his hand on Rachel's bare shoulder or on her forearm. After much teeth showing, Spin suggested they take a seat in a booth to continue the conversation. This time when he squeezed her hand, she squeezed it back.

The booth was vinyl red and lavishly padded with deep inlaid black buttons. Both of them were happy to rest their feet after standing for more than fifteen minutes.

Now, the pleasant gaps in their conversation began to widen as the mood shifted. They played with each other's hands and Spin put his fingers through Rachel's dark hair. They gazed into one another's eyes for several seconds and Spin leaned in for a kiss. His lips met hers and he gently sucked on her ring piercing at the center of her bottom lip.


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