Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Lady and the Outlaw

I heard the Harley scream to a stop at the back door.
Bikers weren’t regular here but one blew in every now and then.
It was about four o’clock on a Thursday, the bar was fairly full
Regulars mostly, some white collar crowd mixed in with the rest.
The long hared biker released his black mane from the rubber band that held it in place. He wore the usual uniform; well worn boot cut jeans, black leather jacket, heavy black boots that had surely seen better days.
He gave the crowd a cautious once over, before proceeding to the bar settling on the first empty stool. My crowd hardly noticed him.
He ordered a beer while lighting a short cigar. That was when I noticed his heavily tattooed hands. One of my regulars made a stab at conversation but quickly retreated back to the safety of his own stool. I remember hearing her one of the women comment “damn that is one good looking man”.

I’ve been in this business a long time and I sensed that this guy wouldn’t be any trouble. Although it was clear he wasn’t here to make new friends.
As I mixed another hi-ball the front door opened blinding us with the suns last efforts. With the light behind her you couldn’t really see her face but you could tell she was one well put together woman. She stood there letting her eyes adjust then headed for an empty stool. The woman was wearing a well-cut suit and man was she a looker. She ordered a glass of white wine while laying her red leather cigarette case on the bar. Man this one screamed expensive and oozed classy not my usual Thursday afternoon fare.
And believe me, I wasn’t the only one that noticed, although she paid no attention. She silently sipped her wine then opened her cigarette case packing the long cigarette on the bar. The men on either side of her produced lighters; she thanked them both but lit her own.

The drinks were flowing and the next time I noticed she was feeding the jukebox a handful of quarters. The tattooed biker walked up beside her and I noticed her flinch. I could tell that they were talking but I couldn’t hear what was being said. Still I kept a protective eye on her.
The biker walked her back to her seat, then collected his beer and cigar then joined her. The quick draw lighter man on the left offered up his stool before slinking away. Now there was a strange looking pair, I thought.
I still couldn’t hear them over the music and the cocktail crowd, but whatever he said sure made her smile. Her entire face lit up bright as sunshine.
Later he flagged me down his large hand in the air ordering another round.
“Moon Dance” began to play I watched stunned as he led her onto the empty dance floor. Watching them I felt in an odd way they somehow suited one another. Their drastic difference in appearance was almost a compliment. Their steps were slow and sure, yet somehow strangely familiar. Several of my regulars turned to watch. He was a big boy at least six feet two; he had large well-muscled arms that held her tightly. She seemed small next to him although she wasn’t petite. Her head rested on his chest as they swayed to the music. He was talking to her and it was obvious that she liked what she heard. When the dance was over he led her back to her bar stool.

Busy as I was I didn’t see them leave but over the noise I heard his Harley roar to life. When I looked towards her stool but found that it was empty too.
Of course I can never be sure, but there’s a part of me that would like to think they left together.

Six Shooter Sally