Read part 2 here.
At the bar, he drank his bourbon rocks and ordered my gin and tonic. In his head he was working out some new song, perhaps, or mulling over a new way to play an old tune. I squeezed my lime and stirred slowly, looking around the bar. The young bartender was nice enough; she poured fast and heavy, and winked as she walked away. She wore a tight white top tied on with shoestrings, and a large cowboy hat with upturned sides on her straight dirty blonde hair. I stared at her a bit, but the great singer kept to his liquor and thoughts.
She had come over when we first sat down and recognized him right away, offering him a free drink while leaning her bosom over the counter. He said he preferred to pay for his own drinks, but thanks just the same. It was me she winked at as she walked away, but I didn't hold her attention without the fame of my friend.
I leaned in and asked him in a low voice what he thought of the bartender. He was swirling and staring at his whisky 'til I spoke. He glanced at the bartender then quickly back. “She's a fine lookin' woman,” he said softly, then drank and went back to his staring and swirling.
At that moment, a mother and her twenty-something daughter came up to the bar and sat at my side. The daughter, sitting closer, wore tight blue jean shorts and a pink tee-shirt with a neckline that pointed handily to the middle of her perky chest. They chattered about the concert. The bartender came 'round and took their drink orders: a glass of white wine for Mom and a Long Island iced tea for Miss Cute and Perky. Her glass was so full, when she slid it closer some spilt on my arm, and she apologized, looking into my eyes. She had these great big bright brown eyes full of life and fun. She took her napkin and wiped the liquor from my arm. Then she smiled at me and said “There, all better,” before turning back to her mother, who leaned over and apologized for her daughter's “rude behavior.”
The mother wasn't all that bad looking, either, if you're into that sort of thing. She'd sashayed in with her fake blonde curls and matching brown eyes, in many respects the older version of the young beauty sitting next to me. The same life was in her eyes, but the wisdom of her age clung to her face like spikemoss to a rock.
The great singer just sat there sipping, disregarding the beauty around him, shelled in his world of music. That's the way it was with him. As for me, I met up with the girl later on that night. She snuck out of her hotel room after her mother passed out drunk from one too many glasses of white wine. This isn't about me, though. It's about him.