Couples Night

I go to my dive bar every Monday to watch football. I go because I adore the bartender and the dive bar owner. I go because it’s a dive bar and I can wear an ugly T-shirt and baggy jeans and whatever makeup I put on in the morning and not care because no one else cares.

And it has been perfect. In a way not one of my friends here or there would ever get.

It was so perfect when the Monday bartender noticed me a month ago when I was floundering with a date who would turn out to be a nightmare from which I luckily woke up–amazingly–intact.

It was perfect until my best friend who is actually the boy’s friend, didn’t show up tonight as he always does.

It was perfect until tonight, when, contrary to every reality this dive bar has ever known, it became couples night.

No really. This is not a couples bar. This is not an anything bar of any sort. This is the bar that can’t possibly be more than the sum total of its handful of under-the-radar patrons, most of whom are in the business, unless they were fired, which was likely last night.

But somehow, tonight, tonight of all nights, it was couples night. Thus descended the couples from hell who demanded mixed drinks instead of bottled beer. The couples from somewhere far away who spoke with accents, the girl halves of whom wore slinky designer dresses and draped their arms around the boy halves who kissed them before they made them cry, just before they made them laugh again so that everyone could play pool as if the tears had never dropped.

It was the couple of young guys who decided that I was the gal to surround and swarm, until I told them how old I was, and I cleared them out even as they protested, “It’s not you. You’re hot. You’re the reason we stayed this long. It’s just….”

It’s just whatever it isn’t, my drunk babies.

“Sorry,” I apologized to the bartender with whom I joke about being my Monday night boyfriend. “I have a way of clearing a bar when my age is mentioned.”

“No baby. They’re idiots. They left me $2 on a $38 tab. Glad to have them gone, really.”


The conversation between the two next to me turns to what isn’t working between them. And she cries.

The conversation between the three dressed all in black who just got off their shift, shifts to the guys who never call.

The conversation between me and my Monday night boyfriend turns to me, and he asks if I am okay and what am I thinking.

“Them,” I say, raising my glass toward the foreigners playing pool. Because I am thinking hard about these couples who cried and now play pool as they laugh.

My Monday night boyfriend doesn’t get it. At first. Then I wave my hands around my head, gesturing that much is bursting to be written about. This he gets. Because he knows I am a writer, although he has never read one word that I have written.

“It’s okay, baby. So are you.”

And I am. And I am not.

I am staying put in South Florida for the foreseeable future. I am trying very hard to ditch the drama that surrounds me and my girlfriends and the boys who surround all of us. I am trying more than hard to focus only on my writing and how best to pitch it to the agent who will best represent me.

But then I am surrounded by the couples who caress and kiss and make each other cry, and who don’t give a damn about who witnesses any of it.

And this makes me angry because they are not supposed to be here. This is my one place to never see any of this, to never have to think about any of this. And yet, here they are. And so am I.

And so I am.






7 responses to “Couples Night”

  1. Kim Ayres Avatar

    I take it you didn’t win a million in Vegas then 🙁

  2. Nick Avatar


    Good luck on pitching. You have a wonderful voice. Insightful, self reflective, but unfortunately always with a touch of sadness.

  3. Jennifer Avatar

    Staying put and facing the demons is going to be hard, but if you can do that, you can do anything. In fact, pitching to an agent will be child’s play. Especially for a writer as talented as you. 🙂

  4. JoeInVegas Avatar

    Ahh well, we hear stories of striking it rich in Vegas, of the snow in Colorado, of the blue sea off of Florida. Doesn’t matter where, just enjoy what you have. The word stories are nice, please continue practicing here in anticipation of a longer one.

  5. savannah Avatar

    you’ll have your bar back, sugar, sounds as if it was just a one off kinda night. xoxo
    (keeping good thoughts for you!)

  6. Julie Avatar

    Oh, no… don’t tell me the snowbirds are already there!

  7. Andy Avatar

    Hey RG, why haven’t you written about your trip to Vegas? Is it because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? I always thought that was an old wives tale. Andy
    London UK