The hotel bar was empty for the most part. The bartender cleaned glasses and a man in a yellow suit sat drinking a beer while watching the news; the sound was down low.
Some nuts were poured into a bowl next to the customer. He’d take handfuls and toss em back with a swig of beer. His eyes were fixated on the pretty blonde news anchor; she had green eyes.
She’s really something, he said to the bartender. Local gal?, the bartender nodded his head.
Maureen comes in here every night after she does the ten o’clock news.
You don’t say.
Yeah. Has a gin and tonic then goes home. Think she lives ’round here. Downtown. I think she lives downtown.
Well thanks for the tip. She sure is pretty, the salesman said. I’ll be back.
He went back to his room and called his wife. Asked how her day went. See if the kids were alright. Decided he’d take a shower, put on some cologne, and some casual clothes; wore a knit shirt with an alligator on the chest. Had brass bracelets with his initials on em. He slicked his black hair back with pomade. It’d be another couple of hours ‘ fore she showed up. Might as well have another drink.
As he walked into the lobby, he could see that everyone was dressed the same. All these men with stitched shirts and jewelry of some kind. They all wore deck shoes. Soft leather deck shoes with the small string of leather tied at the top. This realization that they all looked the same quickly wore off. Normal, he said to himself. We all look normal.
And they all sat at the bar watching Maureen read the late news. Manhattans were poured, beer flowed, some shots were downed. He was getting nervous. Maureen would be there soon.
Green eyes, the salesman said. She’s got those green eyes, he mumbled to the bartender. I’ll have another, he told the bar- keep. Make it a double if you could, he flashed him a ten.
Sir, I’m sorry, but, I’m going to have to make that last round your last one.
I’m staying here at the hotel.
You’re not driving?
Nope. ‘Sides, I’ve gotta see Maureen.
The news lady with the green eyes.
Sir. I don’t know her.
You said earlier that she came in here every night after the news. Were you lying to me?
Sir. I think you’ve had enough.
Get a man all worked up and then nothing. You here to see Maureen?, he pulled on the guy next to him.
Sir. It’s time for you to go.
The salesman looked at the bartender and smiled. OK, he said. Joke’s on me. He walked down the hallway and went back to his room. Dialed the phone and she answered. Just wanted to tell you I love you.