The Absinthe Drinker

The Absinthe Drinker
Victor Oliva, "The Absinthe Drinker"

ESP

Asian with black hair, Hispanic with black hair highlighted with vibrant magenta. They're bent forward across their table, fingers clasped, whispering. There are nods and small laughs of understanding. It's their first date, they're college students, they're lesbians, and they're relieved. That they're both nice, both pretty, both enthusiastic and very charming. Their happiness shines like warm light across the room. I'd marry them both right now, except for you know.

Also college age, medium height, yoga-toned, very pretty, holding a small girl's hand while we wait on our orders. I doubt the child is hers. She's probably a nanny, and it's probably just one of the many ways she struggles to pay for school and still eat food. From time to time she casts little secret glimpses my way, while her body language struggles to be cool. I can never interpret WTF that's about. Perhaps I need stronger deodorant. Perhaps she thinks I'm interesting somehow. Maybe she knows me from a dating site. Maybe her mom's my ex. Whatevs. I feel she's tense because of me, so I move to the back of the room to give her space while waiting for my name to be called.

Dudes. Hispanic guys from the auto parts store, mid twenties, tats, cool. We've said hello many times. They're not talking now. Their eyes are glued to the yoga-toned nanny, or perhaps more specifically to her yoga-toned ass. They're not being overt, I'm not sure many would notice who aren't going out of their way to observe. But, she has their rapt attention, and she can feel it. She looks around, searching for the eyes that have discovered her. When her order's up she's quickly gone, small girl's hand in tow. The whole mise-en-scene has made her anxious.

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Source: www.markphillips.com