The man at the next table has something to say.
And he’s been saying it loudly and in clear, decisive tones for a good 20 minutes now.
Judging from the looks on the faces around him, it may have been something they were expecting.
Ears assaulted, my eyes wander over the top of my margarita again and again to this table of 12. After-work Happy Hour? Club meeting? Family reunion? They are all wearing Hawaiian shirts, nautically themed shirts, and in the case of one woman, Capris-style shorts patterned with tropical birds…
Red-faced and in lecture mode, the man in question is keen to express his political beliefs.
His table-mates have gone silent and grim.
Giving up, I pull my book out of my purse, begin writing.
“What you people don’t understand…“
“What no one knows is…”
The woman to his left ducks her head, closes her eyes as he continues. He slaughters the names of the politicians he is talking about, twists them contemptuously.
He scolds the people at the table for their lack of political savvy.
“What you don’t seem to realize…”
The woman to his right turns away from him. She is Midwestern-ly polite about it, but the body language is clear: I don’t hear you.
The man across from him attempts to break in. “Hold on there a minute, Jim,” he says. “I don’t think there’s any reason to –“
Jim cuts him off. “See, this is where you just don’t understand.” He chuckles indulgently. “You’re being lied to by the people who are controlling what you hear.”
The woman on his right rises, leaves the table.
The woman on his left beckons to the waitress: check, please.
The red-faced man doesn’t notice.
I finish the last of my margarita.
Man, I think. Some people just don’t know how to party.