by Lesley Mellor
The men slide gracefully out of their Audies, Mercs or Saabs,
Georgio Armadioed and Rolexed.
The waves part as they saunter casually through the crowd
towards the bar, and order their scotch and ice.
Amimated conversations, ear-splitting screams of laughter,
the clatter of glasses and ashtrays.
The lounge is packed, breathing space only.
Women in death-defying stilletoes
and cleavages which almost merge with thighs,
swing their legs from high stools.
Blood red lips and nails against basic black,
drink in one hand, cigarette in the other,
and that not-to-be-seen-without fashion accessory,
the mobile, near at hand,
for that oh-so-frightfully important call
from personal trainer, tennis chum or mum.
The noise increases with the downing of drinks,
bounces off the wall and ricoches around the room.
Goups shift, some merge,
singles begin to eye each other up.
City chicks and slickers.
It's Friday night, pick-up-for-the night, night.
She pretends to be listening to all the latest gossip
about who's on with who, of an oh-so-daahling new hairdresser
who performs miracles, and is sooo cheap,
or a great package deal to Club Med.
But all the time she's glancing at the man in the Prado,
looking distinctly well-healed
in Italian leather.
He catches her glance in her glass
as she flicks back her long auburn hair
displaying the Cartier.
He looks straight at the line between the bust,
temporarily disappearing, to re-emerge from beneath
an almost hip-high dress.
It's all their for him, a delectable dish,
that's being offered, consentually.
Slowly he disengages from his mates
and comes straight over.
Someone's just left.
An empty stool, beside this delicious dessert,
and he glides onto it.
Cut to the chase, he knows that small talk is irrelevant,
can be dispensed with.
No lines for new times.
'Can I buy you a drink?'
'Martini and dry, thanks.'
They exchange pleasantries and a few drinks later,
an unstated understanding, they leave.
She came by taxi, not a problem.
He opens the passenger door of his Alfa,
always remember etiquette,
they really do like it.
She sinks into the softness of plush
whilst he, with deliberate carelessness,
drapes an arm over her bare shoulders,
and drives away.
Next Friday night will be the same,
Different bar, different lady.
Same game, same rules and moves,
and the same empty feeling
the morning after.
Copyright Sydney 2004