She and three of her friends came in together. I saw her immediately, mainly because I was watching the door. I always watch the door in that place. I don't think she saw me.
They went straight to the bathroom to fix their hair or check their makeup or whatever girls do in there together. I like to think that they practice kissing on each other, like in the movie Cruel Intentions. That was hot.
I hadn't seen or even talked to MixedSignalGirl in months. I had no idea what to expect. The last time I'd talked to her, we hadn't been on very good terms. She'd pretty much freaked out on me. For good reason.
I then spent a few minutes trying to decide whether I should leave before they came out. I also thought about being sneaky and calling her from someplace where I could see the reaction on her face. Or maybe I'd buy the girls a round of drinks from "the gentleman at the bar" so I could see her reaction when she saw that it was me and not really a gentleman.
But what happened instead was that she tried to sneak around behind me when she left the bathroom. I pretended that I didn't see her. She came up behind me and put her hands over my eyes and put her lips up against my ear and whispered, "Guess who."
"Grandma?" I ventured.
"Wrong," was the whispered response. She licked my ear.
"Definitely Marilyn," I said with certainty. Marilyn is MixedSignalGirl's mom.
"Wrong, but funny," she answered.
"Miss, I saw you come in," I said. "But I'll keep making wrong guesses if you promise to keep licking my ear."
She removed her hands. I saw uninterrupted soft skin on all ten fingers. Whew!
I turned around and gave her a long hug and a quick kiss. Man, it was good to see her! She looked fantastic, and I told her as much.
By this time, her friends were looking at us in horror from their booth.
She asked me if I wanted to come over and join them, but she knew that I wouldn't do it. Crowds aren't my thing. Crowds are even less my thing when most of the people in it would just as soon slap me as look at me. So I declined. She didn't insist.
So I stayed at the bar and she went to join her friends. I did end up buying them a round of drinks. Some foo-foo things for $9.00 each. I had another beer myself and managed to enjoy it.
A while ago I remember being a little freaked out because LaptopGirl was sitting thirty yards away from me, with only two walls separating us at Rich O's. Well last night, last night MixedSignalGirl was thirty feet away from me, and I could see her, and I could hear her laughing, and I could still smell her perfume on my shirt.
It was surreal.
When I paid my tab and stood up to leave, our eyes met. I mouthed the words Hard Rock and she nodded. I'd meant it as an invitation, but she might have taken it as a warning, because I sat at The Hard Rock for an hour or so, and she didn't come in.
Later, while I was at Rich O's, I got a text message: Thanks for being nice tonight.
So I sent back: I came very close to asking you to come home with me.
After a half-hour that somehow lasted a million years, I got a response.
I'd have come. But thanks for not asking. You're still my hero. Later.
I hope so.