The lights hunker down, low and flickering, casting tremulous shadows on the dark walls. Heads tilt closer to the midline. Another glass is poured, another drink is stirred, with midnight's subtle fading. As the music's tempo begins to slink and waft, a few tables now sit empty - forks abandoned at reckless angles, plates streaked with honey or dotted with olive pits, fingerprints on the wine bottle.
You are confessing a long-held regret. I attempt to take each word and wring out its meaning, rather than let my body simply blur into the mellifluous cadence of your voice. A woman begins to cry silently at a table in the periphery, while three others respond by simultaneously reaching for her free hand. The bartender leans against the counter, momentarily subdued. A man clutching a leather jacket moves gingerly forward to push a swath of molasses-toned hair from his girlfriend's face.
There is a kind of honour in this.
I suck the gin from my martini olive and we rise to lose ourselves again in the nebula of city lights.