Basil is teased and denied by his cruel wife, Lindy.
To my surprise before she sat down she bent and gave me a quick, gentle kiss on the lips. She pulled back and smiled then said, "Hi Larry. Have you been waiting long?"
"No, only about forever." Linda did the little pout she is so good at and slapped me on the shoulder with the back of her hand. "Liar."
Linda and her friends ordered their drinks and began chattering like magpies. The mostly talked about the school and the kids they had that year. Occasionally one or the other of them would say something to me but mostly not. I spent most of my time looking at the place with new eyes. I surprised myself when I realized what I was doing. I was trying to fit myself into the place as more than just a customer.
This time I watched as the place filled up with working stiffs stopping off for a cool one on the way home and the occasional school kid hiding from responsibility for a while looking for a good time. There was a part of the bar set aside for under age people and families.
As her friends left us Linda spent more and more time talking to me. Like many evenings when she sat beside me she leaned against me and rested her hand on my thigh. From time to time she would squeeze my thigh to make a point or just to get my attention. She would be looking up at me with a strange look on her face when she did that.
After all her friends left Linda turned to me and said, "You've been awfully quiet tonight Larry. Is something bothering you?"
I sat a moment then said, "No, not really. Phil and I were talking before you came in and I have been thinking about what he said. He wants to retire and sell the place. He asked me if I wanted to buy it. I've been thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my life and for some reason I can almost see myself here. He said there was a really large living area upstairs. I just love the shade and yard here and the stream running past. I have been trying to decide if I want to try and find the money to buy the place and if I really would like to do this if I can."
Linda leaned against me and wrapped her hands around my arm. "Larry you have to do whatever makes you happy. I learned that in college. Daddy wanted me to get a business degree and then an MBA. I loved the business courses but I just couldn't force myself to work in the business world. I hate the back stabbing and the unethical behavior going on there. The little petty jabs supposed friends and work colleagues poke at each other make me steam. I worked for a while in college as a tutor and found I love teaching so that is what I decided to do. I love my work and can't think about doing anything else. I know I'll never get rich doing it but so what? I make enough to live on and that's fine. You need to find something you like too."
I hugged Linda and smiled down at her. "Yeah, I agree. My little pension helps a lot but I can't live on it. At least with it I don't have to worry about finding a really high paying stressful job. I looked down at Linda once more and continued, "One of the things I really want though is someone to share my life with. I need someone who will be happy with whatever I make of myself, someone who is happy to just let me be me and wants to share that."
I felt Linda stiffen a little when I said that. She didn't relax when she looked at me again and asked, "What do you mean Larry? Are you going to start dating someone or something?"
"No, just commenting that whatever I chose to do I need to have someone who will support me and understand.