Written by -M. Taggart
No Thanks, Lady
Yesterday evening I went to the pub to have a beer, relax, and read Hemingway. Kim, the bartender, asked how Megan and Gavin were doing. I told her they are good and happy. After she brought the beer I dove into my book.
I needed a moment to clear my head.
A woman zeroed in on me. She sat on the stool next to me. She put her hand on my back and called me baby. I tried to ignore her.
Kim saw that I was annoyed. She came over and asked what I was reading. I told her which short story and that it was Hemingway. I told her that his sentence structure and delivery of words seems to calm me.
The woman sitting next to me told me I was a man of depth. She put her hand on my left arm, near the bend in my elbow and squeezed while leaning closer to me. She told me she would know because she’s a therapist.
Kim looked concerned for me and again asked how Megan and Gavin were doing. I quickly replied they were doing good while flashing my ring in the woman’s face. I told Kim that the building of our house was in full motion.
My thoughts raced. I wanted to scream at this disgusting being. I wanted to tell her to get her fucking hands off of me. I’m not a piece of meat. I would never do this to another person. But I didn’t. I had fought enough earlier in the day. I didn’t want to again.
I had purposefully chosen the bar stool closest to the wall. Hell, I had waited for it to open while standing in the corner. I wanted to be alone, with my book, around people without being touched. I dislike being touched. But I calmed myself and listened to her tell me about addiction. About how bad the town was suffering. She told me about all of this while licking her lips constantly. She even removed her glasses and tried her best attempt to show me her younger self.
She droned on and on and said, “I don’t fucking know, there’s the f word, I never say fuck, I don’t fucking know how to fix these addicts. I don’t know what to do.” All while finding any possible avenue to touch my shoulder, arm, back, and even reaching for my hand, the one with the wedding ring. “Do you know what I’m saying, baby, don’t you feel their pain. I pulled away, pushing myself into the wall the best I could. Then she made the mistake of calling me brilliant. She doesn’t know me. I’ve hardly spoken and now I’m brilliant? More like now I’m the therapist. This is nothing new to me. People latch on to me and vomit. I sit and I listen and I smile and I think. This person is a dime a dozen and when I was done listening to what I could gather for writing material I told her ever so nicely, “It’s time for me to read my book.” And I let her fade away into realizing how little I cared for her attempt at knowing me.
I ignored her when she tried to engage me again. She paid, quickly finished her drink, and left the pub.
I did want to ask her a few questions. Such as, “What are you views on sexism?” But I didn’t. I did tell her that I was a writer. She didn’t listen. But I did. I learned she isn’t capable enough to help her addicted clients to the level she wishes and she wasn’t aware enough to know I was going to use her possible sex addiction in a short story. That’s what happens when people talk too much and don’t listen.