I never have been what you might call a ladies man.

For years I cursed the guys my age who seemed to get laid regularly despite being as thick as two short planks.

Why didn’t women appreciate strong silent types like me who were deep not macho? 

This short piece was written in a slough of despond yet offers a glimmer of hope that my fortunes were about to change.

TRACEY’S BACARDI

It started with a chat up line I’d memorised from a ‘how to pull’ tabloid article.
‘”Can I buy you several drinks?”
The girl at the bar looked bored and gave me a vacant stare that could be interpreted as ‘yeah’, ‘nah’ or ‘fuck off’.
“Maybe” she conceded.
“Please yerself” I said.
Act casual. Plenty more fish.
“Ok then, just one though”
“What’ll it be?”
“Bacardi and coke”
“One Bacardi and coke and a pint of best” I barked at the barman like I knew him from Adam.
“Ta” she said when the drink arrived. “Don’t mention it”
“Ok, I won’t””What’s your name?”
Begin with the basics.
“Tracey”
“I’m Mick”
She nodded. Visibly unimpressed.Just keep talking.
“I haven’t seen you in here before”
“I haven’t been in here before”
“That would explain it”
A silence
A half smile.
She sips her drink.
Bright red lipstick smears the glass.
I wish I’d bought a packet of crisps as an icebreaker.
Do I need to piss? No. Just relax. Breathe.
“Is it hot in here in here or is it just me?”. I enquire lamely
“’tis a bit”, she agrees.
“Shall we sit down?”
One table is free. It’s piled high with empty and half empty glasses.
“If you like”
She totters on her high heels to the table. Tight skirt. Pantie line visible. My cock stirs. Stay calm.
The barman catches my eye and winks. I DO need to piss.
“This is nice”, says Tracey.
Is she being ironic?
“Be better if they cleared the tables once in a while. I’ll get rid, shall I”
I picture myself gallantly taking the empties to the bar and casually stopping for a slash on the way back.
“Leave ’em. There’s space for ours. You’ll only be doin’ someone out of a job”.
“Yeah, right” I say, crossing my legs.
We sit and study our drinks.
“So are you with anyone?”, I gush.
I should have asked this before. If her boyfriend turns out to be some knuckle-headed bouncer I was in deep shit.
“No. Well, yes. I was with my friend Jane but she had to go”
“Where?” I ask.
What the fuck did I care where her friend I’d never met had gone.
“To her boyfriend’s”, she said glancing around nervously as if taking a moment to locate the nearest exit.
“So you ain’t got a boyfriend, then?” I ask with all the elegance of a mob.
“Not at the moment”, she said like an unemployed actor might say she was ‘resting’.
“Me neither …er….I mean….not a girlfriend…..I’m between……”
Tracey scans my sweatly brow in what looks like mild panic.
“I will take these”, gesturing towards the empty glasses heaped between us.
“If they’re bothering you”
I stand with as much dignity as I can muster, pile the glasses onto a tray and make for the bar.
In the toilet I scoop cold water onto my face staring a myself in the mirror as if staring at a stranger. Are you looking at me? A graffiti laden condom machine mocks me from the corner. Performer. Exciter. Classic. I take a deep breath. Chances were she’d seized the chance offered by my comfort break and done a runner.
I returned to the fray.
She wasn’t at the table. I curse inwardly but feel relieved too. A learning experience.
When I sit down to nurse my pint I see her coming out from the ladies.
She smiles at me nervously.
There’s still some bacardi in her glass.

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