Friday, September 7, 2012

The party

He sat down at the bar and looked around. The party seemed to be on in full flow, although the flashing lights made visibility an issue. People next to him were asking for a dazzling array of alcohol based drinks. 'One rum and coke', said someone, 'vodka-redbull' said another. A person on his right was pounding on the bar and screaming (in a voice that clearly proved the liquor was achieving its purpose) for 'shots'. The bartenders, three in number, were doing all they could to meet the demand, but the ratio of demand to supply still seemed woeful. Of course they were following the cardinal rule of 'serving the hotties first'.

He turned to look at the dance floor and people seemed to be enjoying themselves. Dancing, singing absolutely terrible songs in unison, men attempting to get women drunk, women pretending to be drunk so they could hit on guys with plausible deniability the next day. Most people had the look of glee on their faces, although for some of them it was due to the joint being passed around. He saw someone stumble to the toilet, open the door and fall in. The alcohol had claimed its first victim of the night and it wasn't even 10:00.

He still sat at the bar, holding on to his drink. Whiskey, with soda, a little water and a lot of ice, his second of the night. He had to drink enough to achieve the required level of confidence to attempt his plan, yet sober enough to pull it off. Beauty is in the balance. He continued looking at the entrance every few minutes. He was a couple of sips away from finishing his drink when she walked in.

She was wearing a sober red dress which ended above her knees. Minimal make up, hair loose, and a smile. Always the smile. She wasn't a stunner. But she was beautiful. 'She didn't even try hard, unlike all the women here', he thought. But that's what he loved about her. A visual reel of every occasion he had spent time with her began to play in his mind. Tonight, was the night. He knew it. It had taken him months of deliberation to get to this moment. The alcohol had raised his confidence levels and he didn't care. 'This could work', he thought. Qualms of rejection had left hand in hand with his sobriety. He had imagined this scenario a million times, the speech, a curious amalgamation of every good yet clichéd line from great romantic comedies. He was going to do it. He was gonna go out on a limb. He was.....

Another guy walked up to her, her smile expanded ten fold, and they kissed passionately for a minute. The kiss reeked horribly of the honeymoon phase of a new relationship. He held her hand and they walked to join the rest of the party, leaving him at the bar.

His mind had gone into overdrive with 'fuck' being the only logical word he could come up with. He cursed some more, his mind being the only listener. Elsewhere, people had begun to reach saturation levels as far as alcohol levels was concerned. On a different night he would be pointing and laughing at the misery of drunk persons. Not tonight though. Tonight, he was simply sitting at the bar, ordering his third drink, then fourth, soon to be fifth and so on till time stopped. He reached for his pack of cigarettes and began to light one.
'Hey, can I get one? I'm all out and its been a rough night', a voice next to him said. He turned to face the person with the request. It was a girl he had seen a couple of times before but only knew by name. He thought for a second, for some reason remembered a catch phrase from an old sitcom, and decided it would suffice.

'Hey, how you doin?'