A Kir Royal

“So, do you want ice cream?” Shirtless asked. We were sitting in a bar, it was late at night, and almost everyone had gone home. The bartender was wiping down tables, collecting broken glasses off the floor and wounded soldiers from chairs and toilet seats. Who takes a drink to the bathroom? The man sitting next to me was shirtless and I may have been too drunk to decently say, but I thought he looked damn good like that. I would have asked him to come home with me but “home” was lacking a definition at the moment. In my hand was a Bloody Mary, half finished. The other half was sitting in my stomach, giving me the buzz I needed to chase away my thoughts until morning. I’m sorry, let me correct myself. It wasn’t a buzz. It was a horde of angry wasps. I didn’t want those thoughts to come back. Ever. I had walked into that bar with every intent to drink until I passed out and choked on my own vomit. And I was well on my way too, until some dumbass took my purse with every last remaining cent to my name. After that I just stared at the empty shot of tequila in my hand, willing the glass to refill itself so I could continue my suicide plan. The bartender offered to call the cops but what good would that do? There was only fifty bucks left anyway. Not even enough for a taxi fare to my parent’s house, not that I would want to go. The bartender gave me a Bloody Mary on the house. I could have laughed but I worried it would have turned into crying. So I just sat there for the rest of the night, waiting for the sun to rise, waiting for my life to end, waiting for something to change. Then, shirtless dude showed up – and yes, he came through the door already shirtless. Shoeless too. I half expected the bartender to tell him to leave, but instead he threw the man a pair of flip-flops and told him to go wait at the bar. He sidled up to me, black hair, black skin, a six-pack of meat on his stomach. We eyed each other for a while, unsure of what to say, unsure if there was anything that needed to be said. His hair was covered in flowers, tiny blue forget-me-nots that trickled to the floor every time he moved. He looked young, in his early twenties at most. I wondered if he had been at some flower festival. I could almost see him dancing in a circle of people, making flower chains and friendship bracelets. The bartender came over and took his order, a Kir Royal. I was about to take another sip of my Bloody Mary when he turned to me and asked, “So, do you want ice cream?”


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