Joel’s Journal – 11/30/2015

I notch the volume louder, my headphones attempting to drown out the sounds of numerous conversations all trying to vie for my brain’s attention at once.

I’m sitting at the end of the bar, trying to find the words to write, but I’m distracted by the ease and practiced movements of the bartender as she mixes an order of drinks.

Lost in thought, watching her scoop the ice, snatch a beer from the fridge behind her then pour and mix the liquor.

It’s fascinating to watch if you’ve never done it before.

My mind is too foggy as I try to figure out what to write. My hair is falling down in front of my face and I swipe it away with the hand that’s not holding my beer.

The other patrons sitting belly up at the bar, a pair of guys and a couple who seem deep in some kind of serious conversation, a conversation probably better meant for the bedroom than the front row of a bar, occasionally shoot me odd glances as I stare into the hazy white glow from my laptop screen.

The head on the pint beside me eventually subsides, and I watch the bubbles appear in the bottom and rise to the top before disappearing.

She glances over and meets my eye. She grins, her hand on the tap as she pours yet another pint.

I can’t help but smile back, one of those full on grins  that seems to spread across your face on its own volition. Your muscles just instinctively reacting to her look.

Our eyes stay locked for a few seconds, our smiles matching, like were sharing some sort of inside joke. She turns to make another drink.

I sip my beer through my smile.

My fingers unconsciously twitch over the keys. From the corner of my eye I can see the couple leaning in closer.

From the way the man’s mouth is moving, long, drawn out movements, like he is speaking in slow motion, I can tell he’s probably had a few too many for 5 p.m. on a Sunday. His pint is nearly empty.

His partner stares into her own glass, sips it, then looks away.

A wave of the skunky odour of marijuana sneaks in through the front door as it opens briefly then swings shut against the cold.

My mind attempts to slip back into thinking about work. After just covering the Generals’ shootout loss across the street, I was trying to unwind and write something for the blog. I sipped my beer and thought.

The couple seem to want to take their conversation elsewhere.

Our male friend is on his cell phone as she brings the bill over. He doesn’t look up from the phone as his partner picks it up and reaches for her purse.

I turn my eyes back to the computer and the beer in front of me.

She’s tapping an order in on the bars touchscreen computer. Leaning against the edge with her hip and her elbow on the ledge, her wrist is folded beneath her chin, her fingers laying delicately against her chest.

When she moves in my direction and catches my eye I don’t look away and she smiles again.

I can’t help but do the same.

The beer in front of me is nearly gone as I continue to try and think of something to write about. Then I realize I’ve already written over 500 words.

I lean back, and she comes over to ask if I’d like another one.

I would.

Thanks for reading,

J.J.W.