I don’t know why they always think that we can’t hear them. Well, maybe it’s not that they think we can’t hear them, maybe it’s something else entirely. Either they don’t care that we can hear them or they are so far from thinking of us as actual people that it doesn’t occur to them that we might be listening. I guess that’s what happens when you’re looking at someone as an assemblage of body parts to be assessed.
I was leaning against the wall at Ice, that new bar downtown. Well, calling it a new bar is a bit misleading, it’s the same bar as it used to be with a different name. That happens a lot with bars on that strip, they don’t even change their staff, just the name over the door. For a while there, they were just rearranging the hard plastic letters but I guess they ran out of ideas. Anyway, it was Ice for that night and I was waiting for my friends. Normally we share a cab to go out for the night, but I had been working late and decided to come right from the office.
My day clothes apparently drew fire from the fashion expert guys at the booth nearby.
“Look at that one. She can’t relax for a second, I bet.”
“I could make her relax. Get her out of that skirt and she’d be putty in my hands.”
“Whatever, dude. You’re getting nowhere with that one. “
“You kidding me, a drink or two and she’d be begging for it. They’re all like that, the uptight ones. They’re just waiting for the chance to cut loose, the drink lets them pretend it wasn’t their idea.”
“Fine. You won’t catch me at it. Too much work.”
“What do you mean? There’s no work. Show her a few minutes attention, maybe buy her a drink, she’s yours in a snap.”
I sipped my drink slowly, and, toyed with the top button on my blouse. The two chick magnets started whispering to each other. I didn’t need to hear them know that they thought the big plan was going to play out. They really got animated as I started to walk toward them. I was placing each foot carefully so my hips swayed for maximum effect. I let a slow smile spread across my face, I swear I could hear their hamster brains skittering in their wheels.
“Hey, fellas.” There aren’t many women who use the word fellas and mean it, but I thought it sounded like something they’d expect me to say.
“Hey, little lady.” I tried not to laugh at that, no one outside of a cowboy movie ever got anywhere with the phrase ‘little lady.’
I leaned forward on the table, and they both leaned in toward me, the smooth guy wore a grin like he’d won a prize – they still thought they were in control here.
“I heard you talking from over there.” A look of panic crossed their faces and quickly disappeared. “And you’re right, you know, I do lose control when I’ve had a few drinks.” I was trying to sound sultry but it sounded dumb inside my head. They guys were buying it though: smooth guy looked hopeful, his buddy was a bit more tentative.
I dropped my voice a little lower. “ Yeah, when I drink, I lose control of my ability to put up with shitheads like you. The only thing happening in a snap will be me breaking your fingers if you touch me.”
I turned and strode back to my place by the wall. I had an excellent view of them leaving.