Across this crowded room, I manage to catch his eye. There are so many other women here and they seem so enamored of  his persona–stricken wet it seems, by his lurid prose. The way I used to get.

I see him, too. We have what they call a history. I’ve cultivated, over time, an attitude of aloof amusement toward his behavior, having put great effort into preventing our paths from crossing. Nevertheless, how quickly my feelings can turn from cool to hot when he is this near and I can’t avoid him anymore.

He nods in recognition, giving me a wink. I nod back, with a smile.

“I’ve been watching you!” He yells from across the floor, bobbing his head to the music.

It’s so loud in here…with the ticker tape post feeds running twenty-four-seven. But I have to admit my heart still skips a beat when I see his face. His eyes seem darker, smoky in the dim light. He looks more handsome every time I see him.

“Really?” I mouth a word that I’m sure he can distinguish across the distance.

“Brilliant work! Really brilliant!” He yells back.

I thought he had forgotten about me. I wonder if there is still some thread we can pick up on to move our story forward. In the space of a minute I imagine what that might look like.  I play out our entire relationship, from the beginning to the end and all the stops and starts in between.

We could never seem to get our temperature right…I either got too much of him or not enough. It was maddening.

What would he want with me anyway?  I know him too well. That makes me persona non grata in his fantasy world. I don’t fall for his posturing…but I do understand him, like no other woman…except perhaps one.

I still want him, of course I do. And each time I believe it will be different…

“Cheers!” ” I lift my drink in a gesture of gratitude, sending him a knowing look along with the smile he could never resist.

I turn toward the mirror above the bar for a quick check of my lipstick and hair, preparing for his advance.

By the time I turn around he is gone.