“Anjolie, I just wish someone understood that when I see people, I see so much more than other people see in other people, you know what I mean?”
“Uh, I guess so, yeah? Yeah. That’s so interesting.” She took a sip of her mojito as he noisily scooted his tall, dark stool closer to her.
“Like, I’m a photographer. And I just wish I could work with a model who, like, understood the planes, you know? Like, the planes of movement and space and color, and how to interact with them. You know?” His hands were up, like his image of how a real artist sees the world, an eye closed as he peered through to her.
“Ummm.” Her pause was much longer the second time, and she looked around the bar as if considering his question, managing to catch the attention of the unoccupied bartender, who walked over and asked her if he could get her anything. She shook her head. “Yeah, I think I know what you mean.”
“You’re beautiful, you know that?”
“Awwww that’s so sweet.”
“I like how you get me, and you’re so beautiful, and I just feel like I could tell you anything. Like, I’m so self-conscious about my art and wish I could just make people look at it. Like, grab their faces and put them in front of the art and they’d understand it.” He gestured as though grabbing her face, and for a moment, Anjolie recoiled, before recovering her smile. “Anyway, if the whole audience could just be beautiful, sweet girls like you, I know I would be successful.”
“Anjolie, I’m so shy,” he said confidently, scooching his stool even closer.
“But whyyyy? You’re so talented!” She had no idea if this were true, but it seemed like something he wanted to hear.
“You haven’t seen my pictures, but I know you know what they’d look like. God, I can’t believe we’ve been talking for so long and it took us until now to finally meet. It’s like, fate.”
“Well, six days… I mean, I guess I know what you’re saying, though.”
“Sorry. Um, you know that’s not my name, right?”
“What do you mean, Anjolie?”
“Angela. Angel-uh. Anj. I really like Anjolie better. I’ll call you Anj. I like that sound, Anj.” He pronounced it with a soft a, holding it in his mouth for a long time and looking over her shoulder. He nodded and smiled at her toothily, like Patrick Bateman.
“So, like I was saying, I just feel like, like we have this connection. You can model for me and I can make us both famous. I’m getting another drink. You want the same?”
“Bartender! Bartender, two more drinks.”
Bartender mixed the drinks and exchanged glances with me.
“So, Anjolie. Will you be my muse? You’ll be my muse. You’re perfect.”
“Awww! No one has ever assssked me that!”
“I just, I just need someone to make me strong. And I think that’s you.”
“But why aren’t you strong?” She scooched her stool closer.
“You can’t just ask someone that, silly! I’m just shy.”
“But you’re so talented! You’re soooo talented!”
“Anjolie.” He reached over his half-full drink, nearly spilling it, and took her hand. “Anjolie, I love you. I know that might sound crazy, but it’s true. I love you, Anjolie.”
“Um. I just met you.”
“Our faces just met, but our souls have been dancing for years. I have to go to the bathroom.” And without feeling weird at all, he closed eye nodded, and walked to the head.
“Run,” I told Anjolie Angela.
“Yeah, if you go, we’ll tell him you got an emergency phone call or something,” Bartender added.
“What? He’s so nice!”
“He just told you he loves you. That’s all I’m saying,” Bartender said, going back to shaking mojitos.
Angela checked her phone, took a long drink from her glass, unmucking the mint from her straw. After a long sigh, she started to stand, just as he returned.
“Hey babe. Missed you. Want to get some shrimp?” He asked, adjusting his pants as he sat down on his stool, scraping the legs and bumping her chair and picking up a menu, in one motion.
“Ummm I don’t think…”
“You’re right, let’s get some alone time. I rented Bruno. I hear it’s so funny. I know you’ll love it.”
And they left.