Friday, January 23, 2009

The Offer

Come on, love
Sign my name
Like I do yours
No shame
    --The Offer, Cruel Black Dove

(Find Part 1, Love Story by Cruel Black Dove, HERE.)

Bar noise boiled like white water.

She listened. Detached. Part of it, and not part of it. Reveling in both.

"Hey. Could I buy you a refill there?" a man said from behind her.

She twirled the ice in her glass. Faraway and quiet. Not flirty at all.

The world flowed in the same delicious stream as that motion. Caressed by the alcohol. Almost as if the present held onto the passing seconds and mixed with a taste of the future. Wonderful and disorienting.

The cubes stopped.

"Yes," she said, facing him. "I'd love another drink."

"Great!" He motioned for the bartender, pointed down, and the man nodded. "So, um, do you work in the city?" he said.

She edged aside his discomfort. Mined deeper. Stalked through the numbness of her drink. "Actually, I do."


She felt herself tightening, coiling around his presence.

"Do you...."

His eyes were grey. Almost clear. Like having no color at all.

"Do I what?" she said.

His shoulders settled. Broadened. The discomfort drained. "I was going to ask if you come here often."

"Go ahead."

"It's just a stupid line."

She swam in her bathwater senses. Anchored by him. Why wasn't she nervous and scurrying away?

"Ridiculous really," he said.


He watched her. Something emerging. Becoming different.

"Can I tell you something?" he said.


"I think I know you," he said.


"You do?"

"Yes," he said.

"From where?"

"That's not what I meant."

Her lips parted. Just a fraction.

Curious. So curious. He seemed to be standing closer.

"Maybe you do," she said. "And maybe you don't."

He smiled. "I guess it doesn't really matter."

No. Not at all.

"Are you okay?" he said.

Excitement so primal. It shivered in her deep. Impaling on his scent. Peeling her wide.

"I don't want to be me tonight," she whispered.

In the darkness.

Her inferno screams.

"Can you do that for me?" she said.

And he smiled with his own darkness.


the walking man said...

Predator and prey, which is which this day?

Sarah Hina said...

It's always a jolt when facades crumble. To be that honest about desire and intention is risky, but infinitely rewarding when answered with the same kind of transparency. I like that even time seems to have receded here. Or maybe they've just stretched.

Wonderful dialogue and details, Jason. :) That song's a growling celebration of abandonment, too. Great inspiration.

jenn said...

Hey! I think I know her...


Chris said...

Fabulous, I've felt like her many a time.

JaneyV said...

The primeval beat of the music mingled with the words made me think of hunger … longing. I like the way they circled each other, revealing a little bit of their motives, watching to see if the other gets spooked, until they both realise they are exactly what they are hoping for. You sure know how to write sexual predators!

I have heard it said that some people go to bars because they want to get a drink.


paisley said...

oh jason that was amazing... i have stared into those depths of escape so many times... i just loved it......

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Oh, very exciting and dangerous!!
Superb dialogue, as usual, Jason.

Anonymous said...

Tantalising and deliciously dark - all in one.

AllanMcPhrust said...

Amazing really captured things most would have missed.

Catherine Vibert said...

That was extremely enjoyable. I liked all of his pathetic attempts at lines, which never would have worked on her in normal circumstances.

Aniket Thakkar said...

Oh I love Dialogue based writing in general... and loved this one in particular! I suck at pic up lines too! (One of the prime reasons of my single-hood :) ) and turned to writing so that I don't have to be me! So was there with you on every word of it! The video was 'Cherry on the icing'!

Anonymous said...

To Everyone: I was moved by those of you who felt a resonance with this vignette and found it realistic. Once I started to write it, I realized how very difficult it was going to be. Having two people meet and come together in this particular way, is very unusual. One night stands happen, but I imagine they happen very differently. Drunk and goofy and flirty (or needy). Not so instantaneous and focused and real. Anyway, I saw how easily this moment could come off as laughably fake. I'm glad I capture something believable. I do think the music helps to read it by. It puts you in the emotional moment.

Walking Man, neither, and both. One some unique level, they are the same. Or at least they trust that they are.

Sarah, yes, it's very much about a dangerous-feeling release. Especially the danger of revealing things to yourself. I like how you felt them remove from the world around them. Like time stretching. That's the most wonderful kind of escape I can imagine.

Jenn, :) Your sister, right? ;)

Chris, I hope seeing a part of you reflected here might give her a bit more freedom.

Janey, that's certainly why I (we) go to bars. :) It was spectacularly hard to show this interaction with so few words and movements. Having you describe it back to me is great to see. (And being good at writing these scenes...I guess that's a compliment. ;) ).

Paisley, your comment means a lot to me. You have insights into experiences that I'll never have. Although they are extreme and painful, I'm still intrigued that you actually dove into those worlds. You have things to teach. The fact that you saw truth here makes me think that at least in a small way, I might have some understanding.

Kaye, I really do love to write dialogue. :) Sometimes, it's a guilty pleasure, like I'm cheating or something. It's so much easier for me to pace than extended passages of description.

Aggie, you've captured the essence precisely. :)

Allan, that's something I do strive for. Capturing observations that might not be consciously catalogued in real life, but nonetheless create the juice of the moment.

Catvibe, yeah. To be honest, I've never used a line in my entire life. The fact that everyone knows what's really going on makes me crazy and paralyzed. My approach was vastly different.

Aniket, I'm with you. Dump the lines. In fact, going the writing/artistic route, and embracing the intensity that comes with it, will serve you much better. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Predators seldom stalk predators.

Catherine Vibert said...

That's funny, I've always had the same problem with paralysis. Perhaps this is why I explode outward with a sonnet or some other highly romantic gesture, which my poker face has hidden so well that the arrival of such a thing seems entirely out of the blue. A new TV show last week called Lie to Me, had one of the liar detectives saying upon first meeting a woman, "I want to sleep with you." Cut right through the BS why don't you! :-)

Anonymous said...

Charles, ones that wish to stalk and be stalked (not in a getting arrested sense) could be liberated by finding another.

Catvibe, in a way, it sounds like you do that, albeit after having it build up for some time. In a way, you too cut through the BS.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Reminds me of "Looking For Mr. Goodbar."