Before the Night Sky

For DR… White Knight forever

Daniel was at the club. He sat at a table, drinking a beer with a few cups of water, each half-full, scattered around the table. He was in an old pair of jeans and sneakers, tugging at the navy shirt he wore, scowling at the lower-middle-class clothes he’d bought at Walmart. Staring across the club, the throbbing lights–pink, green, blue, red, purple, repeat–colored the scene differently every second. He tapped his foot in the air as he rapped his fingers across the tabletop. He swore he could hear the second hand on his watch tick-tick-ticking beneath the drone of some Top 40 hit blaring too loudly to discern its words…

The bartender wore yellow. In the mixing strobe lights his shirt appeared pink then periwinkle then white even, before shining some lime-colored hue and repeating all over again as he twirled bottles and prepared drinks with such flare, Daniel sucked on his lip with sweet longing as a bit of dribble slid down his chin. Someone walked past his line of vision and Daniel jolted upright and wiped his face on the back of his hand. He glanced around quickly and then sunk back into his seat until his brown hair barely poked up above the chair’s curling back.

The crowd that had occupied the bartender laughed and jeered at one another and then walked off to mingle beside the dance floor. Daniel sat up again and stared across at the empty bar, the bartender standing steady and unoccupied on the other side. He could be there in an instant, could order a drink and slip sweet things into the air until the bartender smiled down at him, moved his face closer, and Daniel completed the kiss. Or if not so far, he could introduce himself, shake hands, invite the guy to dance. Or if still not that far, merely slip his number across the lustrous black bartop and wink as he walked away.

Yes, it would be so simple, so easy, so quick! Daniel moved–but he paused to take a breath. He smiled in a long moment as he inhaled deeply, filled his lungs to the brim and then overflowing from his lips like the kiss he wished would flow forth upon him. And then. Then he sat back down and watched as another small cluster moved about the club, up to the bar, to the bartender, and stole him from under Daniel’s fingertips.

Daniel shook his head and let his breath fall between his clenched teeth as his body fell back upon his seat.

Originally posted in Opportunities Knocked

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