…………..I downed a 3rd of the smooth golden drop as the music threatened to knock me out. I found a quiet place inside my mind and thought about the old mans mysterious words.
He spoke of another Sympathy who was misunderstood.
Oh Sympathy, I feel sorry that I never really understood you before. I always just considered you like that awkward friend at the party. The one that your annoying cousin invited. The one that you sorta think is nice in that awkward embarrassed to be seen talking to kinda way.
Yeah I remember you Sympathy. I was the guy you overheard later saying I felt so sorry for you and wished my cousin had never invited you to the party. Damn I can be an asshole sometimes.
I’m back at the bar as I wrestle with these memories, relieved by libation. All dutiful thoughts long forgotten. Damn you Brice. I turn around, drinks in hand, and who should I see walking towards me. It was Sympathy, galactic superstar, no longer looking awkward.
Brice and I threw down our 4th when Sympathy walked on by. ‘Woah Woah’ my mind sang out. I watch her transfixed, Brice was way too drunk.
She leaned against the bar, looking all sleek and classy, so different from the Sympathy I remembered. I told Brice I was off for another round, but he was too busy trying to find George Thorogood on the jukebox in the back bar.
“Hi, remember me?” I said as I approached the bar and immediately knew it was the wrong question. Of course she wouldn’t, I had avoided her like the plague.
She shrugged casually and watched the dance floor, it was my turn to be ignored.
“Nah, I’m new to Kalgan” she said sipping sensually on her Pina Colada, casting me a sideways glance.
“So wadda’ya know?” I asked, my accent strong. She intrigued me this woman, I had a vibe about her, I wanted t’know more.
“Ah, you know, this and that” came her ambivalent reply.
I’d downed my drink and noticed that Brice was playing pool with two hippy looking guys. Well trying to it must be said that his focus was more on air guitar. He was indeed bad to the bone.
So I stayed around this mysterious thing. She excited me and drew me in. The tilt of her shoulder was a promise of things to come. But I needed to get her out of this din.
“Can we go somewhere quieter, where we can chat, I’d really like to know you.” the words were muffled over the noise of a wrecking ball.
“Sure” she said and tipped her head, as she lead me out the back.
“I’m not who you think I am” she added as she grabbed me by the hand.
I waved to Brice as I left the bar and gave him a thumbs up. Apparently he and the hippies wanted to drink alone. One drank bourbon, one scotch, the other beer.
We arrived outside in the cold night air and she shivered just a bit.
“Here take my jacket Sympathy you don’t want to catch a chill.” I felt so chivalrous.
“Why thank you sir, you’re most kind.” she nodded with a slight smile. She looked at me and there seemed to be a question on her lips. They had me entranced those ruby red luscious soft moist lips.
“Are you sure that you really want to get to know me better? Most people I meet don’t understand me. Most people I meet feel awkward around me.”
“I know the feeling, I once felt the same. But now I’m older, I dunno, I think I might have changed.”
She looks up at me, eyes so pure I have to turn away.
She grabbed my hand, a warming touch and had this final thing to say.
“I’m a secret you know. A secret that’s contained within my name. Most people, well they really don’t want to know me. Oh, they treat me nice and buy me flowers, white lilies are my favorite by the way. But in the end, they just use me, they don’t really want to know who I am.”
“But I’m different” I protest, feeling a little ashamed. I was one who previously treated her this way.
“If you want to know me then meet me tomorrow. I have something to give you.” She looked me up and down assessing my worth. I held my ground, heart waiting for the drop.
She whispered one more thing as she ran from me, my hand outstretched in longing. Then Brice burst out to break the trance.
“What’s up buddy? Come get another drink. There’s a band about to start called Flashlight City Blues” he grinned broadly at me and staggered just a little. I looked away to where she ran, my long lost Sympathy.
I shrugged my shoulders and gave in. Brice just has this way about him I guess, suckers me every time. So I go inside and stayed the night, too many drinks by far. But I could not stop thinking of her as I propped up that bar. Her final words echoed to me as I bathed in American Honey.
“My name you see” she whispered to me, soft lips brushing my ear “is treated like a fallacy. My name has been ill conceived ad nauseum. I’ve been waiting for you since ’92 so please don’t let me down.”
I blink my eyes as they externalize and I realize how I feel. I yearn for my Sympathy and know just what I’ll do. I’ll meet her tomorrow as she instructed me to do.
So I stagger home and hit the sack, one thought on my mind. Sympathy I want you back, one day I’ll make you mine……….
…………to be continued……..
Lyrics: The legendary M. Jagger and unstoppable K. Richards
All character references are fictitious, but may have been inspired by something. What you ask? All in good time.