Monday, November 23, 2009

Jealousy 18

We are standing, waiting for the “L”. Men are looking at me appreciatively and I realize it has been a really long time since I put any real effort into my appearance. For all of the pleasure I take from my appearance, I certainly haven’t done anything to help others see the possibilities. I have been wasting my time waiting for John to notice me. Why would he the way I use to look. But now, I can see real possibilities in gaining his attention. The thought makes me warm and giddy. Desi finally asks about my behavior. “So, you are awful giddy for the Green Mill. You do know you have to sit quietly and politely right? No real conversation. Why did you really pick this location as a coming out party, hmmmm?”

“I don’t know. I guess I am not completely ready to through myself into the world. Baby steps. I have a look that I can try out without the commitment of actually having to talk to anybody. Plus, the music is always great. And tonight, the company will be even better.” I smirk. It’s our usual flirtation with each other. We call it Diva treatment. We compliment the other in absolutely ridiculous ways, all of which have some element of truth to them. I do think Desi is great company.

“I’m not sure I am buying it,” she says.

“But you are great company!” I say too loudly, hoping to distract her from the more material conversation. “And don’t let anyone tell you differently.”

She is amused and loving the few people who are staring at us. “Damn it! You’re right. I am fabulous and I need to start expecting other people to see it.” I laugh at her, grateful she has decided to follow the more playful conversation.

“Damn right!” The train arrives, unloading its passengers and accepting the new ones. We walk through the doors, still giggling at our silliness. It’s a night out and most people have reached their first destination. Its 10:50 and seats are open. We sit down around the half wall barricade by the door. Lawrence is only 2 stops away. In 10 minutes, we will be standing just inside the doors of the club.

My heart beats a little bit faster at the thought. I am anxious. “How are things going with the career?” I ask Desi so she will talk and I can just sit quietly and breathe. I feel like Champaign bubbles are floating around in my stomach, bouncing off the deep red lining.

“Its good. Really good as a matter of fact. I had to tell mark I couldn’t work Thursday nights for the next few months because I have a couple of standing gigs.” Her brown eyes are wide and deep laugh lines have formed at the ends of her lips. Her whole body has become animated as she starts to talk about the places she will be performing. I half listen so I can give the perfunctory reactions.

My head is swimming in just the possibility that I could see him tonight. I imagine his messy dark hair pulled back with a thick black band. The black jacket pulls together in the middle of his chest. The silver of the zipper teeth are easily visible on the black T he is wearing underneath. The jacket itself ends at his hips. He wears royal blue carpenter pants. They look soft and comfortable, falling to the tops of his black and white tennis shoes. The overall statement his outfit makes is comfort. I saw him wearing this outfit, unshaven, coming out of Nobu in Malibu a year ago. Sitting on the train, I see myself snuggling up with him on a couch watching football during a cold Chicago winter.

Desi grabs my hand and starts to stand up. We have reached Lawrence, the stop closest to the Green Mill. Suddenly, I am incredibly nervous that I might actually see him and stop walking. Desi takes two steps forward, stopping only when she feels yanked by my unmoving force. “Come on” she says. “You look great! Baby steps remember? Don’t waste the effort you put into the night already.”

“Yeah.” My response is muttered. I am filled with what ifs. What if John really is in there? What if he does notice me? What if he wants to talk? What if he doesn’t notice me? What if he sees me and laughs? What if attached to a million possibilities ricocheted in my brain. I feel nauseous as my feet stumble a few steps closer to the building. My eyes are glued to the blinking lights and message board. “Desi.”

“No. We are not having this conversation. We aren’t going to have any conversation. We are going to walk through those front doors, pay our cover, find a seat, and listen to music. I’m not asking you to do anything else. Let’s go.” I am taken aback and the ferocity of her tone. I don’t dare argue with her and slowly follow her across the street. My hands start sweating. All I can hear is the heavy pulsing of blood in my ears. My chest hearts from the hard thumping of my heart ready to explode.

We walk through the doors and the place is packed, as expected. The bouncer asks us to wait until someone leaves as they are at capacity. Desi flashes her deviant smile that makes all men melt. He tells her for the inconvenience, he will let us both in for free. The sweet deep tone of the singer washes over me. The trumpet is shrill, hitting exceptionally high notes. The drum is deep and daring. The sax holds the middle ground, making all the extremes work.

I look around and can’t see much of anything. I hear the bouncer tell Desi a couple of people are about to leave. He summons another bouncer over and tells him to seat “these two beautiful ladies” in a booth that is about to be vacated. We are carefully paraded between the multitudes of people and given a seat in one of the large booths lining the wall. I sit down, holding my breath. “Thank you. You are so sweet.” I hear Desi crooning to the bouncer.

I scan faces, backs of heads, arms, and profiles. Nothing looks like John. I breathe an audible sigh of relief, knowing none of the ‘what ifs’ matter since he isn’t here. I listen to the music. The tension in my body drains to the slow waltzing sound of the music. A drink is put in front of me and I take a couple of sips without asking what it is or where it came from. I start to enjoy myself.

1 comment:

  1. I was hoping for a great color description of the inside of the Green Mill. Especially after the description of John in her head and the dark red of her stomach.

    I can see so many possibilities here that I can't wait to see what is next.