the executive bar

I saw her standing on a corner, and if not for the silent wind gently moving her hair, she looked like the most beautiful work of art, something to be admired from afar and not touched.

When I finally walked close enough, the combination of her perfume and natural scent made my mouth smile against my will. I heard a “Hello” over my shoulder, and as I turned my face, I couldn’t stop hoping this wasn’t a dream. Even in the numerous nights I had been alone in my bed, imagining a similar moment, there was never a woman as beautiful as her.

“Do you know the story of the princess standing on the hill?” I said, raising my voice, no longer looking at the floor, and my eyes sought her gaze. She looked at me strangely while holding her cellphone. Apparently, the greeting wasn’t for me, but upon hearing those peculiar words, she signaled with her right hand for me to wait. After finishing the call, she said, “What an odd way to greet a woman you’ve just met…”

Embarrassed, all I could do was release a small laugh, which was quickly cut short by the sensation of her hand holding mine. “Come, let’s have a drink, and you can finish telling me the story of the princess.” As soon as I touched her, I entered that dark room where I could only see, feel, and hear her. Her hands were too soft, as if I were holding a small ball of cotton. She had beautiful cinnamon-colored skin, long brown hair, and wore a simple yet elegant short black dress with white sneakers.

I couldn’t notice anything other than her face; everything else appeared blurry, and anything other than her voice sounded like an annoying noise in the background of my mind. I can’t say for certain what we were talking about; I was completely focused on observing each of the precious shapes forming on her rosy lips as the words left her mouth and on following the subtle changes in the direction of her gaze as we delved into that conversation.

Feeling a rough touch on my shoulder, that room in which I was with her shattered, and with it, the blurry figures took shape, and the sounds began to make sense. It was the hand of a dark-skinned, somewhat obese, and short man who quickly and unceremoniously said, “Will you attend to him, or can you be with me for a while?” She tried to say something and briefly looked at me, but then she looked at the man and said, “I have no problem, as long as it’s not for too long. The night is long, and I want to work it all.” He grabbed her hand, and they disappeared from my sight.

I noticed that I had entered a corridor adorned with blue neon lights. I could hear the distorted sounds of music and a man speaking into a microphone, narrating the different shows that would be happening at the bar. A reddish light filled the place, and green and purple neon tubes decorated the surroundings of the central dance floor, from which white light emanated as the dances began.

I could see women constantly parading around the tables, looking for customers and tips, hoping to be part of the joyful atmosphere of a generous table. I lowered my gaze and said to myself, “What else could it be?” It only took the gentle touch of my fingers to shatter those dreams over me. But this time, what dream could be achieved when everything was done to get a customer? Bitter and hurt, I grabbed the last two beers left on the table and slowly headed to the bar to finish them in silence.

“What a shame,” said a naked woman who had apparently just finished dancing, “Can you hold this for me? If I don’t put on my underwear, men try to stick their fingers in when I pass by the tables.” I couldn’t help but say, “I’m sorry,” in such a pitiful situation. She said, “It’s nothing,” and smiled before continuing on her way.

I left the bottles at the bar, and as I began my exit from that place, half drunk, half disappointed, I felt the gentle grip of her hand again, and heard, “Do you remember where we left off?”

Category: story