a second date at the sylvester

I’m sure it’ll soon prove wise to not talk here about ongoing entanglements but I went on Friday to a bar in Midtown called The Sylvester with a woman named K. whom I’d seen the week before at a different bar, downtown, called Mama Tried. I’d never been to either. And right now, 24 hours after almost the exact moment we parted ways, I’m replaying little all the little fragments I can remember. The placement of a hand. A loaded glance. Stuff that might or might not have meant anything.

I’m always eager for stuff to have meant something.

It seldom does.

We got a loveseat against the same wall as the bar and she’s short with long thick brown hair and neat downward bangs and she doesn’t drink beer, because of the taste, but she’s a fan of dark rum and the few drinks I’ve seen her with are all multicolored and fruity.

She dabbles in photography.


At one point toward the bottom of her second highball she raises a hand and cites her astrological sign as context for her behavior. Her lifegoal is to live in France, out in the country, a small wooden house with fields in every direction. She’s Nicaraguan and came to the States as a kid and studied at the Sorbonne. Tri-lingual. Spanish English French.

I get drunk and talk a lot and she listens.

At one point two of her friends join us by surprise and I figure this isn’t a good sign, like maybe she’d sent an SOS from the bathroom, but after a few minutes it becomes clear that her friends were just in the area, down from West Palm, and eventually she takes my hand, initiates an exit, drives me home and there’s a kiss in the car at one point and I ask, when we get to my apartment, if she’d like to come up and she says no, and then she looks hard at the steering wheel and looks back at me, deliberately not smiling, says in a measured way, “What would we do up there?”

Lots of flirty sparring and wandering hands but she leaves without coming up.

She’s cool. We make remarks about a third date, but no plans.

“Something during the day,” she says. “I’m tired of bars at night.”

I nod, and shut the passenger door and make for the staircase.

The Sylvester was good.

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