After my dad left Ferneau on Saturday night, I stuck around with my brother to watch the jazz band. Chris Henry was busy at a benefit downtown, and didn't show up to join us until around midnight.
I could never figure out the name of the jazz band, but the keyboard player was amazing. Don't really remember what he looked like in the face, but I watched his hands all night. As the bar filled up with young, beautiful twenty-somethings, including the strange striped-dress one that danced like a robot on speed, I had to crank my head around to see them.
Two of my brother's friends joined us at the table (right next to the keyboard player). He, and his friends, are eleven years younger than me. Ryan and Dave were both sweet to buy my wine. Ryan said, "I know you can afford to buy your own drinks, but we just can't let you do it. It doesn't seem right. In exchange, introduce us to your doctor friends. The ones that want a stay-at-home-dad to raise the kids. We'll be game."
Matt's other friend Dave just passed the bar. He is a tall, dashing young man, who's going to make a great catch for a lucky girl. He asked me, distracting me from those hands, "So how is single life?"
I gave him my pat answer. "I'm just focusing on the emotional well-being of my kids, right now. It's about all the strength I can muster." He nodded as if he understood. Then he asked me, "So how old are you anyway?" I told him I was 36. He looked incredulous. "I didn't know you were that old!" My friend Alyssa told me I should take that as a compliment. At the time, I felt like a dowdy old woman. I replied, laughing, "Way to make a divorcing woman feel good."
It was about time for my wine/hour, so Dave got up to refresh me. As he sat back down with the over full glass of Cabernet, he accidentally spilled the entire glass onto my lap. He looked alarmed, and I looked down. "No worries, it wasn't intentional. But I think I'm going to have to go to the bathroom to fix this one."
I wandered into the too-crowded ladies room, and assessed the damage in the mirror. Wiped off the wine dripping down my legs into my new short cowboy boots. My short dress was dark brown with white and blue flowers -- all the white was wine red. I decided to take my dress off and wash it in the sink. I apologized to the women around me. "Someone just spilled a full glass of wine on my dress, so I am going to wash it."
I expected a bit of sympathy and camaraderie, but it was like I suddenly had the plague, standing there in my white cotton bra and hipsters. I decided it didn't matter, and concentrated on my task. Many more young girls came in and out, looking at me with quiet judgement. I ignored them. Who the hell cares?
After the dress was rinsed and all the excess water squeezed into the sink, I retired to a stall to get decent. When I came out, there was a girl dressed in white at the sink. She looked at me.
"Did you see that girl in her underwear?"
I laughed. "I was that girl in her underwear." I explained the situation. She sympathized (finally!).
"Can I ask you a question?"
"Sure." I looked at her white jeans and blouse, and was thankful that the wine was not spilled on her outfit. She might not have recovered as easily as me.
"What were those words on your panties?"
"Oh! These are my favorites. I bought them recently. Dream something - hang on, I can't remember."
I turned around and flipped my dress up to check it out in the mirror. Oh yeah. Lime green block letters on a royal blue background. "DREAM MORE."
She looked on appreciatively, and I told her to have a good night. Returned to my brother, checked my watch (it was after midnight) and asked him to walk me to my car. My dress was wet, and I was cold, and the band was scheduled to play until 2:00. I couldn't stay a minute longer, hands or no.