"At 9:30, throwing our evening for a loop, Anything Man came in and sat down, with his usual cheap tweed, and his usual purposefully “enigmatic” smile, along the window, in front of Liver Lady, a few tables up from Model To Be.
By that time, there would be just two of us working the floor. The model was in Kimberly’s section; Kimberly was dour, cute and lazy. Liver and Anything were my terrain.
I was a little preoccupied with keeping Liver Lady happy and so I’d asked her some questions to draw her out, but to no avail.
What have you been up to this week? Not much. How is your niece? Fine. She smiled faintly but her heart wasn’t in it.
When I went to the Anything Man’s table I said, “The usual,” as was our custom, and he said, “Yes.” And I went back to the kitchen to confer with Kevin the chef, who would cook him up something.
When I went back, Anything Man flagged me and I went over.
“I’d like to buy that woman a drink,” he said stiffly, without moving. He was obviously very nervous.
“Oh. Okay,” I said, “That’s very nice.
“Whatever she wants, just, just put it on my bill.”
It made me love him, a little. It made me see that he had a heart I hadn’t given him credit for after all; it made me wish him the best. It warmed my heart that he saw within a moment that he had found someone he could relate to. Perhaps he had a niece also, perhaps they would share stories. Perhaps they would get married and blossom later in life." (c) 2010, all rights reserved.