In that world of atmosphere, the sexual tension was palpable and, well, kind of fun. The combination of talent, wealth, fame, and animal magnetism on any given night filled the room as lingeringly as songs like “Moist Towelettes” or “Let’s Eat Breakfast!” (An ironic song to hear on the jukebox, considering many of the regulars would get up and have a boilermaker for breakfast at 5 p.m.).
So. Horny older guys plus cute waitresses a decade younger or more? Lotsa flirtin’ and hurtin’ at One U. The chips fell where they may have, but I tried to stay out of as much of the mishigas as I could ‘cause I knew my fragile psyche wasn’t as strong as my tough words. I mostly would listen and look -- and laugh.
My co-worker, Brenda the ballerina, carried a torch for one of the regulars, “M.A.,” as did Claudia Awed-eyes. M.A. was a manly fella, about 40 years old, with a trim & athletic physique (he looked kind of like Barbie’s Ken). He had that ruggedly handsome face with chiseled features, a full head of carelessly coiffed dark brown hair that was neatly brushed up & back, and a penetrating hazel-eyed gaze. M.A. was good friends with our boss, Richie, and seemed to be there so much he could have been on the payroll.
I figured he was from the Midwest or something, probably a latter-day Gatsby type. His tight bluejeans looked so perfect they could have been ironed; his button-down shirts were always freshly laundered. I wasn’t sure what else he did, but he sure as heck wasn’t an artist.
Although M.A. wasn’t my type and plain didn’t appeal to me, he wasn’t a jerk and he treated us “girls” just fine. Brenda ballerina fell for him; whenever he was around, she changed from an efficient server to an excited little girl behind the swinging kitchen door: “Did you see what he just did? Did he go off with Lisa? Is he drinking coffee or tequila, yet?” Brenda kept an excited monologue up in the back of the house whenever he was around during her shifts and she came to drop off a tray or pick up an order.
Objectively, I could see that he was a striking figure of a man and that most girls would find him irresistible. I was glad that Brenda liked him and that I didn’t. I let her carry on about M.A. and wondered if they were destined to consummate her passion. He seemed to like everybody just about the same amount, but acted more distracted as the evening progressed. . . acted more distracted each time he ducked back into the office for a few minutes, then returned. . .