Monday, February 11, 2013

Close Encounters of the Weird Kind

After splitting with my wife of 35 years, I was suddenly living alone.  My first impulse was to go out, see my friends and pound down some drinks. Since I’m not inclined to dwell on negative thoughts, my new pastime had great appeal.  Indeed, I had no responsibilities outside of work and I was living in a downtown hotel within walking distance of a variety of bars and restaurants. At some moments, my newly found freedom was exhilarating.

To be sure, I felt awful about the demise of my marriage.  Every night, I had to face my empty room and the unwelcome thoughts about what had happened to our relationship. The endless mental playback of my marriage was overwhelming and the uncertainty about my future was scary.

Although I was not actively “looking”, the bar scene provided some interesting encounters. One night, I was sitting at a bar reading a newspaper, hardly a tactic to attract women.  I felt someone rubbing my shoulders and turned around to see a good looking woman who looked to be around 35.  It was startling, to say the least, to be massaged by a woman with whom I had never made eye contact. 

After exchanging hellos and the basic information, I learned that Sylvia was with a group of women who were going to a Huey Lewis concert. Despite her questionable taste in music, I enjoyed the attention. But, when she got up to leave for the concert, she asked if I would pick up her and her friends’ bar tab. Not being a total rookie, I suggested, instead, that I would buy her (and her friends) a drink the next evening.  Her response was ego deflating, “Hey guy, you’re looking for love in all the wrong places.”

While I felt the sting of her rebuke, I was also a little amused and puzzled, since I really wasn’t “looking for love” while reading the newspaper and I wasn’t the one who was rubbing a stranger’s shoulders.           

© Lumdog2013
________

I am submitting this for the Week 64 Trifecta Writing Challenge where we are to write between 33-333 words, using the word “dwell” in the context of keeping one’s attention directed on someone or something.

This is part of a larger piece that I adapted for the prompt.
 
Your comments are appreciated.
 

50 comments:

  1. Interesting take on the prompt & I specially liked the way you played out that last bit-it is unexpected yet satisfying in the sense that the "hussy" who thought she was smart & leading the narrator on,got trolled in the end:-)Her response was more like,"grapes are sour" & as a reader one feels pleased that she did not fool the narrator,who definitely knew the ropes:-)Loved it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. This actually happened to me! I didn't even have to exaggerate. Thanks Atreyee.

      Delete
  2. "I learned that Sylvia was with a group of women who were going to a Huey Lewis concert."

    That's when I'd start backing away slowly... *shudders*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, her choice was music was a real turn off. Thanks for your comment.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. For sure. The whole thing was surreal. Thanks Joe.

      Delete
  4. Aaaaah! Huey Lewis! For awhile, he was one of the brightest stars in the music firmament, wasn't he? Look at him now. Does he even play anymore? If so, dinner theatre? Anyway, I am happily married and don't miss the dating scene for a minute. Your story helped reinforce the notion I hold that I have made the correct life choice, for sure!!! Glad you are back and aren't "jammed up" anymore!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tom. I always appreciate your comments. If your happily married, that's the best. FYI, I did do better in future encounters! :)

      Delete
  5. I hope they ended up paying for their own drinks too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This actually happened? Great story! I think her music was more than questionable. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I tried doing crossword puzzles... never got laid either. Nor any shoulder rubs... had to change tactics...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I changed tactics too! The bar thing is not very cool I later learned. Thanks Ted.

      Delete
    2. Afterthought: Maybe we both should have been reading War and Peace! :)

      Delete
  8. There's a ring of truth about this story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strange as it seems, this actually happened. Thanks Viv.

      Delete
  9. LOL at ted's comment. idk but if i were a guy and someone starts rubbing my shoulder's while i'm reading the paper, i'd be a little turned off. it's good that he was smart enough not to pick up that tab haha very entertaining ^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I wasn't annoyed because the woman was very attractive and I enjoyed the attention. I wasn't even pissed when I realized her motives. Just chalked it up to experience.

      Delete
  10. Love this piece - Looking for love in all the wrong places. And taste in music. Hilarious.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's sad, but I can totally believe that this happened. Creepy! And the gall of it can hardly be topped.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Annabelle. I'm actually a little amazed when I think of it.

      Delete
  12. Sylvia should've taken a cue from Huey Lewis and tried "Workin' for a Livin'" instead - or maybe that was her line of work?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jody, thanks for your comments. I don't think she was a "working girl", otherwise she would have used other tactics to "hook" me! ;)

      Delete
  13. I can't believe she touched you unbidden. Talk about brazen! And I agree with Joe, the cheek on her!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer. Definiately brazen, though I'm not sure guys are too offended by these things.

      Delete
  14. I think he should've left THEM with his drink bill! I can't believe the nerve :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I should've tried that! Thanks Janna.

      Delete
  15. This lady sounds like a real creeper. I think you handled her in a very gentlemanly way (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Draug. I guess I was gentlemanly, but I wouldn't have objected if she showed up for a drink the next night! ;)

      Delete
  16. Geez. There you were just minding your own business. Wonderfully written. I was caught up from the very beginning. And I applaud you for that great ending. Good for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for those kind words Jayne. I liked your piece a lot too.

      Delete
  17. What a story. That woman had some balls... her loss for turning you down for the next night. Well-written and well told.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Steph. I always appreciate your kind words.

      Delete
  18. Replies
    1. All the better that it's true. I actually have several more "encounters" like this, which is why this is part of a larger piece. Thanks Bo.

      Delete
  19. Hmmmm...that trick would have probably worked if she were in her twenties. But then she would have probably been taking her mom to see Huey. I enjoyed this 'slice' of life piece!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe so. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks Tina.

      Delete
  20. Wow, this is great! Can't believe she actually tried that. Some women are truly amazing. But yeah, I'd say you dodged a bullet, especially given her choice in music. Fun read - thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Suzanne. I agree. That would not have been a good relationship or hook up or anything else! Glad you liked it.

      Delete
  21. How horrible is it to confess that I felt a vicarious little thrill of oh, it's like that for them, too? It's always hard to meet people, and you got that across, clear as a bell!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, the whole dating thing is difficult and painful. Thanks kymm.

      Delete
  22. Oh boy Lumdog. This piece was excellent. it flowed so well and I wondered where it was going to lead? Interesting story that I won't soon forget.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I did actually think you were writing about yourself. Finding happiness is difficult, frustrating and soul destroying. Keep reading the newspaper and one day you may have the perfect woman find you buried deep within your words.

    ReplyDelete