According to local legend, the original owner ordered the hook's construction to allow him to observe activities of untrustworthy bartenders behind the bar while also keeping an eye on equally untrustworthy patrons. Hell, she flirted with everyone: Men, women, and even the bartender's mangy tomcat. I pitied the lucky guy who won Darlene's attention.
The voyeur and hermit in me loved the spot, and I had it all to myself for several months until the day Darlene arrived. At first, I was annoyed at the invasion of my secret space. Like commuters sharing an across town bus, we got used to each other's presence on the installment plan. While I enjoyed the sometimes risqué banter, I never considered Darlene as potential girlfriend material. I amused myself trying to sneak a peek down her blouse or up her skirt when I thought she wouldn't notice. She had the uncanny ability to read people like a book and play them like a deck of cards.
" If you learn where someone lives, you can start to make good guesses as to their culture. The closer to the road, the more connected they were to conventional reality.
"Honey, they don't have an address, and they're not on a road," Darlene moved to the living room sofa, and I followed. I had visited many communes in my younger days, and everyone had a personality ranging from boring to batshit crazy. "Fifty miles give or take," she leaned into me as she sat next to me. We were friends back in college." "What kind of friends?
Our financial camel lay mortally wounded, it's back Wroke beyond repair.
We needed a new place to live, and we needed it fast.
Our bartender presented her with another complimentary White Russian as his sacrifice to the Gods of Wishful Thinking. A few moments later, our generous drink master returned with three tall White Russians. Still waters run deep, and it didn't end well. " "A twofer is the first and last time something happens. Why the fuck would I want to be named after a stagnant pond? Everyone needs a hobby and sex was her diversion from work.
"One is for you and the other two are honor guards for the dead soldiers," he pointed to the two empty glasses. "Okay Dennis, that was a twofer," the book she was reading sailed across the room, missing my head by less than an inch. " Her smile was a weird combo of mischief and annoyance. She collected orgasms like some folks collected postage stamps.
We sat across from each other at the kitchen table as, like an unwanted house guest, a shroud of gloom settled over the room. "Damn, can't believe I forgot 'em," she slapped the palm of her hand on the table and let out a laugh. Darlene's exotic view of life trended toward the spiritual rather than the religious. My friends from college are living in an off the grid cabin in the Rockies.
I braced myself for her answer, "What kind of Hippy Village are we talking about? They owe me some money, maybe we can stay with them." "What's their address?
Familiarity grew comfortable and gave way to conversation as we observed the ebb and flow of tavern life. One Friday night the stars governing our relationship aligned like the bars on a slot machine. One of these stud-muffins is going home with me," she chuckled with a little shiver and scanned the bar for targets of opportunity. What a curious blend of emotions for a virtual stranger. Most of the men in the tavern looked like drop-outs from Blubber Buddies or some such weight-watching group. "Compliments of the house," Our curious barkeep did a visual inventory of his own as he set a beautifully mixed and handcrafted White Russian in front of Darlene.