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  • B. Nintzel

The Drink

Blaire always loved the idea of sitting alone at a bar; sipping a cocktail or a glass of wine. A cherry red stain on her lips, her hair sleek and shiny. Very grown up.

Reality isn’t quite as liberating as she thought it would be. Sitting alone at a bar with a thin sweater of ivory and gold, jeans with those weird rips in the knee, hair flowing and a nude lip on--it didn’t feel like she owned the place, confident in her order and poise. It felt... lonely.

Couples layered about the bowels of the bar, touching hands or lips; friends were immersed in conversation; solo, awkward men drank beer quietly as they kept their eyes glued on a television set or on their phones.

She felt like one of those awkward men. How often do you really see a woman sitting alone at a bar, drinking, not staring at her phone; not looking around expectantly. Just… there. Present. Or, maybe a bit less present and a lot more lost in thought.

Photo by Eric Tompkins on Unsplash

It’s a weird feeling when you don’t want to be lonely at home. So you get up and put clothes on and attempt to acquire human connection out in the world.

At least at home Blaire could be in sweatpants or dancing in her underwear. Though, she supposed with enough confidence she could do that in public, too.

She slowly sipped her wine, feeling the eyes of the bar people boring into her. Blaire tried to keep an air of “cool” (something she always felt she wasn’t) and found herself lost in thought. She knew what the perfect scenario in this dimly lit bar could be:

She sits alone, sipping her wine, looking beautiful and feeling confident. A handsome man enters—tall, dark hair, a slight bearded stubble lines his face. He comes straight to the bar, orders a drink, and sees her across from him. He smiles. She smiles back, coyly. He saunters over and introduces himself. He’s there alone, too. What a coincidence! He sits down on the empty bar stool next to her and they talk.

For hours.

They laugh together as he casually touches her arm and her, his leg. Time passes in an instant and the bar is closing. He asks if he may walk to her to her car and as he does, he stops, tilts her chin up to him and kisses her.

They start to date; Years passing in bliss with moments of the normal anger and frustration and arguing that happens in coupledom. They are only human, after all. Life passes in love; two people living independently dependent.

She snapped back into reality when she realized that the bartender had been asking her if she would like another glass of wine. She waved him off, a bit embarrassed.

Blaire acknowledged to herself that, yeah, she was at a bar way too early for nightlife to happen. Her “perfect scenario” was like a million chances to one. Fantasy is fun, but reality is grounded. It’s only 7:30PM; she likes to be in bed before 11PM and that’s when people her age are out and about and meeting each other and falling in lust and in love.

Looking around the room again, she comes face to face with people staring at her. She doesn’t rebuke them, but silently drills holes into their own eyes when she stares back at them. Daring them to bring. It. on. Why shouldn’t she be able to look nice, drinking wine at a bar, all by herself? Staring others into submission gave her a hint of confidence, the kind she felt had abandoned her.

Fuck it.

She signaled to the bartender to get her another glass of Malbec; truly the deepest of the reds made her heart flutter with joy. She didn’t want to be bothered by any man coming up to her, attempting a lame pick up line. Instead, she drink her glass of wine in silence, a smug upturn of the corners of her mouth whenever she happened to catch another person glancing her way, offering her pity.

She was confident; she was cool. She was free.

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