“So, what kind of music are you into? I mean really into. The stuff you listen to at home,” I asked, feeling quite confident about myself perched up on a bar stool, legs crossed and in my slinky black skirt and psychedelic beads caressing my hardly-there and well-covered breasts. Thankfully, my rockabilly hairdo found the right day to stay in place. “You know, the stuff that moves you,” I continued after a few seconds of silence, wondering if I had asked a bad question.
The Frangelico felt soft and warm in my throat. My voice slid through my red lips like water over oil. I had a great deal of confidence that night and it needed to break free. I could feel Max’s body heat through his thighs as he stood leaning his elbows against the bar slowly sipping his Vat 69. He had his head facing toward the rows and rows of alcohol bottles behind the bartender—the very old, classy bartender who had worked there for thirty years and seemed to have had an obsession with wiping the bar dry.
“The Kinks, Dead Kennedys, Elvis Costello. You?” Max answered, turning to face me on the “you.”
“PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Joni Mitchell,” I replied, smiling so hard my lips hurt.
“Nice.” Max nodded and turned his head to face the bar again.
“Get into a bit of trip hop now and then. Nightmares on Wax—stuff like that,” I added, trying to get his attention.
“Trip hop, hey? Unusual.”
“Why?” I put my drink down and reached for some nuts. “Why is that unusual?” As I put the nuts in my mouth, one escaped and dropped into my crotch. I pretended I hadn’t noticed and slowly opened my legs a bit to let it drop to the floor.
“Well, Greek girls don’t usually mix tastes like that.” Max put down his drink.
“Well, I’m not a Greek girl, am I?” I could feel an expression of quirky innocence show on my face. I didn’t want to be quirky and innocent. I wanted to be strange and mysterious.
“You certainly are not,” replied Max a semitone lower than usual.
“Is that okay with you?” I hoped I sounded flirtatious rather than sarcastic.
“Of course it is.” Max turned his body around this time and looked me straight in the eye. He moved close enough for me to feel his breath on my lips. I could taste his whiskey; smell his aftershave, without there even being any physical contact. The inside of my mouth became moist.
“I’m glad you’re not Greek,” he said. “I want . . . not Greek. I want . . . white skin . . . green eyes . . . long . . . black . . . hair . . .” With each pause he inched closer to my lips. I couldn’t move. All I could hear was the silent roar in his voice. As he reached the closest point before touching my lips he whispered, “Can I taste your lipstick?”