They were the only ones sitting at the bar. Around they were straggles of diners on the Wednesday evening. He was quite tall with gym-honed muscles. Curly dark hair and olive skin. High cheekbones. In the dim lighting the face could be anywhere between 35 and 45. She had straight hair, dyed blond, and was meticulously made up and accessorized. She was wearing a creamy thin sweater, beige pencil skirt, and tall tan boots, all of which emphasized her well-toned slim shape. She was professionally tanned, in November, from face to legs.
She said she got married with someone she met in second year of college. He asked how long she was married. "Five years," she replied. "Divorced by 27." Then she claimed that the years from 28 to 30 were really good. He said early marriage was not in his family tradition. His father married late. He always saw himself walking the same road. "If you asked me in my twenties where I'd be when I'm forty, I'd have told you I would be single, enjoying life," he said with a smile, bearing his white and slightly misaligned teeth.
He went on to recount the story of he and friends participating in the bull running in Spain. "It was seven in the morning and I was sleepy, wet, and hungover." They got drunk the night before upon arriving in Pamplona. "People all around us were chatting and joking. There was an old guy in his 60s. Steve said look, if he can do it we can too." When the bulls charged down the cobblestone alleys, he was swept up in the crowd.
"It was the most exciting thing, by far, I have ever done in my life," he said. "After it was over we went to have breakfast. Steve asked me if I wanted a drink but I didn't."
She didn't come up any story to match his. Instead she went on with her diet and personal training regimens. Her diet "really works" and cured her of cravings for starch. "The first two weeks can be tough, but now I don't even miss bread any more," she said. She had a raspy, strong voice that projected all the way to the front door. He was almost as loud.
He started to chime in with some workout tips, but not too enthusiastically. At one point the bartender, a guy with beard, younger and stockier than the date, inserted himself into the discussion about various physical training and dieting methodologies. Neither the man nor the woman seemed to be bothered by his intrusion into their conversation, so that for a moment it looked like three buddies chatting over drinks. The man had his face turned to the woman, but his arms were firmly placed on the bar table, drawing a line between her body and his. She, on the other hand, turned her entire body toward him.
On our way out of the restaurant I said to S, "He may not refuse to shag her, but I don't think they'll go farther than that."
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