I twist a thin strand of my long, golden blonde hair between my gnarled index finger and calloused thumb. I am sun-bleached and hauntingly beautiful. The filthy mirror above the bar’s liquor license casually reflects my truly ghost-like pallor, but I don’t see it. My hazel eyes crinkle at the corners, a starfish of lines radiating out from the center, with heavy saddle bags underneath. It give me character, I tell others, but I know better. My sallow skin glows faintly in the blacklight shining from under the bar, but I pay it no mind. I am not a day over 45, but my body and mind feel as ancient as the sign outside the bathroom that reads, “Gals,” in its antiquated script.
Then he comes into the bar, a vision of squalor in the midst of a destitution so profound it hangs heavy on the place, and even heavier on him. If I am a haunting spector, he is otherworldly. His clothing hangs loosely on his bones, as if they were created for a much larger man. He is playing at being an adult, but he has had no acting lessons. His feet draw my attention downward, clad as they are in filthy yellow socks, that I’m sure used to be white, and absolutely nothing else. His socks have medium to large sized holes riddled throughout them, and he limps inside under the thin shadow of the doorway. He wears no coat, and his Nirvana t-shirt is threadbare, Kurt’s face thinned out so that it is hard to make out features. On his square-shaped head sits a brand new-looking black bowler hat, quite incongruous with the rest of his shabby appearance. He keeps putting his right hand up as if to assure himself that the hat is still perched there.
I straighten the collar of my peasant dress that has begun to slip down even farther the longer I sit at the bar, covering up the bare swell of my small breasts in an attempt at modesty. He looks my way, the expression in his gray eyes questioning, but I don’t know which question they ask. I notice the gray also in the hair at his eyebrows, thick and shocking in its thickness. The rest of him is so reduced it is incomprehensible that thickness, and yet it makes him more solid, more real. I can almost imagine him in another situation, being a different man. Almost. The gray in his hair places him at at least my age or older, but that doesn’t dampen my sudden anticipation at his approach. My flowery dress comes barely to my knees as I sit at the bar, awaiting his advance, a fluttering in my stomach at what could be an interesting encounter.