“So, if you don’t mind me asking, what exactly did you learn from all of this?” The stubble-faced man had his eyes intently trained on his colleague as he awaited an answer. The two had been sitting here for a while; one obviously going through relationship problems, and the other just lending an ear. I was being entertained by their randomness and mood changes. They were two decent fellows, both kind of reserved but comically witty – even in their state of melancholy.
“What do you mean, Daniel?” He knew exactly what his colleague meant. He just wasn’t prepared to answer such a question. He also seemed to be a bit offended by the question and the look he gave him as he asked it. I had to admit though, he had a right to ask; he had been listening to him vent, ramble, and gripe for the last hour at least.
“I mean, like… None of this really means anything if you didn’t learn anything,” the guy named Daniel said. He seemed to be very reasonable and was making it his business to make sense of everything. “Like, you’re a really smart guy, and confusion doesn’t suit you well.”
“Hmm… What did I learn from it?” The romantic pondered on this question for a few seconds. Then he smiled and started with…
“I learned that night can be as bright as the day.”
He then sipped from his glass and gave his friend a crooked smile. Daniel grimaced at the romantic’s poetic tenderness. “Please just stop! Forget I asked!” Nonetheless, the romantic continued on.
“I learned that great pain is only a loss of great gain.
I learned that simply holding hands can change lifelong plans.
Shadows only lie where her smile doesn’t shine,
And sleep is merely to be with her in another place and time.
I learned that love travels on the winds that carry her scent,
And that there is much more love than time to be spent.”
I laughed a bit as the love-sick patron annoyed his friend. He then put his arm around the shoulder of his buddy and asked, “You know the feeling, right?” and laughed at his discomfort.
“C’mon, just stop! Go and tell her! Just get off of me!” He threw the arm off of him as he jumped from his stool. “I don’t even want my last wings.” His friendly time of lending an ear had come to an end. His trust in the Guy Code had failed him as he was forced to listen to free versed poetry from who I could now tell was his best friend; and that’s why he wouldn’t leave him. They were close, and one was in need of the other right now.
“I learned that arguing doesn’t fix as well as a kiss,
and apologies are necessities when hearts are at risk.”
As Daniel turned and walked toward the exit, the poetic reject burst into laughter and followed after him. They grabbed their coats from the hangers and continued out into the night.
“The first time I saw her, I knew love was at hand…”
I cleared the tables where they were sitting and wiped the area clean. As I poured the liquid from their abandoned glasses, it occurred to me that they had only drank soda. I said a prayer for their continued sobriety, and went on to wait the next table.