Sarah came to the Uptown last night. It’s the third time this week. She sits at the bar, which is nice because I can talk to her in between filling drinks. Each time she came she had some reason why she stopped by. One night there was nothing on TV. Last night she was in between somewhere and somewhere, which is silly because, c’mon, you’re in Nowhere, North Dakota, not between anything and anything. Or, between everything, and it’s all so far away from all of that, nobody would end up here. Darren Harmanson was sitting by her at the bar and he was talking to the guy next to him, I don’t remember who it was just then, and he caught what she was saying and he stopped and looked over at her, like he couldn’t believe anyone would say that. And then he looked at me. At first I thought it was one of those looks like, “You sly, SOB …” I kinda liked it.
She doesn’t stay long when she comes, except that one night when it was pretty quiet on a Monday and I could turn down the jukebox and put on something quiet and we could hear each other. I remember somebody yelled that night from by the pool table for me to “change that shit, now!” But I didn’t care that night. I wish she’d come back on a quiet night like that again.
This is crazy. I think about her all the day. I seem to pick the impossible ones. First Laura, and she doesn’t want to spend her life with a guy. And now a woman who’s almost twice my age who’s in a mess of a divorce, or trying to get one. I seem to like the ones who aren’t really available. And then I’ve had one of the nicest women I’ve ever met, waiting for me to start the life together that we always talked about. And I’m hiding here. Mabye I am as dumb as my dad says.
Awhile after she left, when it was getting quieter, Harmanson said, “Who is that?” I guess he’s never been into the cafe. Probably doesn’t pay attention. I told him it was my boss. He said, “Well, I was thinking you were crazy, flirting with a lady like that. Now I think you’re just stupid.”