We were on the other side of the canal, and we couldn’t see the band playing, but we could hear the music all right. We drank beer and smoked and laughed. Then the girls got up and walked to the public bathroom, leaving me all alone in the dark.
The second time they left, I finished my beer and fished in the bag for a replacement, when I looked up, a woman I did not know was standing in front of me.
“Hello,” I said, seeing as she stood right in front of me.
“Hi. How are you?”
I opened the beer, shaking the foam from my fingers.
“Fine?” she said, disappointment curling her mouth at the corners. “You should be more than fine. You should be fantastic.”
I lit a cigarette, exhaled to the side and said fine was just fine with me.
She pouted and stood there, digging her toe and twisting her leg.
“You look lonely,” she said.
“You’re here all by yourself, of course you look lonely.”
I looked around, nine or ten empty tallboys, three full and upright, crumpled cigarette packs, a few sweatshirts, and two half-open bags surrounding me.
“Oh,” I said. “They’ll be right back.”
I looked down to my right, trying to find my beer, and then realizing it was where I left it, standing in my shoe. When I looked back up the woman was gone and I could hear the music but barely see the band.