It was as if the passage of time had no power over the Green Mill. Or over the man seated two tables over who wouldn’t stop staring at me. His steel-blue eyes were as mysterious as the club itself.
Calm and self-assured, a glass of whiskey in his hand, he came over to my table …and sat right down. This was more than just rudeness, it was an open declaration of war. This creep was invading my personal space and disrupting my moment of communion with the place.
I didn’t know if I should smile at him, ignore him, or get up and leave. There was nothing friendly about him, or about me either, for that matter. A little game had begun: he would stare at me, then I would give him a defiant look and continue ignoring him. This went on for at least ten minutes. An eternity. Finally, Steely Eyes spoke up and a surreal, monotone exchange ensued:
—This is the first time I’ve seen you here.
—You’re not from around here.
—What gave me away? My accent?
—Are you here alone?
—Are you alone?
—Are you single?
—No. My future husband travels often for business and I am extremely independent.
—No, I just got here a week ago.
—It’s brave of you to go out alone.
—Like I say, I am very independent.
—Have you found him?
—I don’t understand.
—I know you’re looking for him.
With that, Steely Eyes got up and walked away.
To be continued…
Translated from french by Kenneth Barger 🙂