In a bar

“I want to meet a friend in a bar tonight, the evening is long, so long I hardly moved. The can in my hand, a picture in my mind, a voice I need to hear, a laugh I need to show. We’re lonely babe, in a bar, again. I need to see a friend tonight”—

Today started out its usual manner—woke up late, rushed through my morning absolutions, dashed about the house in a Ping-Pong fashion until I hopped out the door on the way to the metro station. Parked, trekked, swiped through… the same motions to which I’ve grown accustomed. Everything seemed ordinary until I arrived on the platform to hordes of fellow commuters.

We all huddled together, ready to stampede the next available train, elbows hitched in preparation to careen through the masses. Moods soured as the announcer automated the dreaded words of “delay” and “single tracking”. A train arrives, full, a fresh jar of pickles, the stem too fragile, no room to breathe. Car after car, I try to find a break – a baby bear space for me and my gym bag, just right to last the 6 stops in.

The unspoken headshake of “seats taken” caused me to break into a sprint, gazelle legs carrying me to an empty slot where I could catch my breath and set down my bags. The train pulls off. Next stop, more weary travelers usher in, harrumphing at the lack of space. Hand fisted about the pole, back against the unopened door, I feel a brush at my knuckles. His spine resting the length of the pole, body heat warming an inanimate object, my fingers nestled at his arch I feel him before I see him.

Dozing off I allow myself a brief reverie. As the stranger’s heat inches up my arm, he becomes less of a stranger more of a long-lost lover, the ding of doors closing reuniting us. I move closer, leaning my cheek on his left shoulder blade, nuzzle into the contours of his body. Head tilted to the left, he smiles into my upturned face and opens his arm. I squeeze past other patrons, engulfed in the familiarity of his embrace. His arms locking me in clasped hands resting on my lower back. My chin at hearts center, inclined up to receive his kiss, arms swallowed in his jacket, palms caressing the plains of his back. I sigh, he smiles. The jostling of the train forgotten in the comfort of our cuddle, we are the envy of other passengers distressed in their journey.

Suddenly I’m left bereft, the warmth no longer tangible. My charming stranger moved away from our fantasy. Well my fantasy. The incline no longer agreeable, the pole resumes its artic nature. My daydreams no longer reflected in over-the-shoulder glances from hazel eyes. He’s moved on. And I still want him.

Or anyone: someone to fill the hole, shorten the gap, limit the loneliness; anything. It’s been a long time. For the past two years I’ve had my own heartbreaks to overcome before I could even toy with the idea of letting someone else in. I itch for a warmth that’s not my own, not artificial like the heated mattress cover I turn on nightly. Heaters, blankets, sweatshirts, I’m tired of putting things on that require my body heat to be warm. I want the warmth to come from someone warm already. Maybe it’s time to meet a friend again.