Thursday, December 1, 2022


I wouldn’t have sat down across from him if I had known.

Okay, that probably makes me sound like a douchebag. I’m not an asshole. Maybe a little, sometimes. When I’m hungry, or tired, or when the person in line in front of me orders the last piece of cake that I have set my eyes on and can practically taste in my mouth already, the one with glistening dark chocolate and raspberries, or the handmade earrings I scout out on a market that match perfectly to my favorite blouse, or that hamster in the cage, with the white spot on the snout, when I’ve just come up with a name and subconsciously added it to my family tree (true story). Then I might get cranky. But otherwise I’m totally zen. Really.

Let me explain myself. I’m not a person who is known to be shy. In fact, I’m far from that. My mouth is running most of the time, I can’t seem to stop it. Honestly, sometimes I wish I could. And well, basically I have no problem with guys. No, usually guys have a problem with me. It’s not that I’m super stunningly beautiful or anything although I consider myself not bad looking. But I’m kind of straight forward. So there’s that.

But this guy… Well, this guy really didn’t play fair. Sitting on the bench in the corner of a booth with his arms crossed and his glasses slightly askew, watching people dance with the undeniable coolness of indifference from under the bangs of dark brown hair that were falling into his face, how should I have known? I just needed a place to sit because these shoes aren’t made for walking. Or dancing for that matter. Fact is, I needed them to be off and I needed a place to put my glass of whatever bought by whoever and his booth just happened to be nearby. Of course I also happened to start a conversation because that’s me. Cant’ help it. Besides, there were salted peanuts in a small bowl sat in front of him which he didn’t seem to eat anyway and when you are devouring someone else’s food it is common decency at least to talk to them while you do it. Or so I assume.

Thinking about it, there were plenty of hints. For once: his speech. But the thing is, during the wee hours of morning in a crowded club while shouting across a sticky table and over the beats of the newest remix of the latest top-of-the-charts act, you don’t exactly expect people to flawlessly recite Hamlet. If his speech was kind of slurred and I caught only half of it, so what? No one cares. It’s not the first time two people in a bar have spent the night conversing about two completely different subjects and still woke up in the same bed on the following morning.

So… call me inattentive if I thought he was simply a little tipsy.

And straws. God forbid the invention of straws as additions to bar drinks. Because how can you tell anything about the person sitting across from you when all they are doing all night is leaning forward just so to capture the tiny straw between their lips – and oh those lips by the way – to take a sip and that is it? Like, come on, give us a little help here! A small notice beforehand. A warning sign, waving flags, anything. Maybe add a few blaring sirens just to make sure and because it’s really, really loud in clubs nowadays. No one knows why. Maybe because the shit that is called music can only be suffered when your last bit of brain is blasted out of your ear canals. But what do I know?

Anyway, I don’t appreciate surprises. I am the surprise. I like to be in control and I like to pick my own battles. Usually I’m the one winning. My strength is not so much talent or accuracy but endurance. I already mentioned that trait, I can talk someone to death.

I mean literally, I’m sure I could.

“What I’d really want to know is: why do you guys love it? I mean, attraction to the male counterpart is the only reason us girls even consider wearing these torture devices. Except for the fact that they come in pretty handy if you want to stab someone to death in a dark alley because, let’s face it, they are a hell of a killing machine. Right now though they are only killing one person and that’s me. I’m kinda sure that’s not how it’s meant to be. But again: why? What’s the reason? Do you like to watch us struggle to walk? Seems sick to me.”

I think his eyebrows lifted in amusement. It was hard to tell because of all that hair that had fallen into his face, obscuring part of it. Honestly, what is it with hair, nowadays? Somehow, it needs to be everywhere, on the head, down to over the eyes, with bushy eyebrows and dense beards for the rest. A camouflage made of self-renewing, self-attaching body cells. Though, beards are sexy, I get that part. And his hair was nice, in a way, unruly, fluffy and soft. I suppressed the impulse to reach over the table and run my hand through it. He threw his head back a little and cleared his face from it. It’s also possible that this was the first time he actually saw me in full.

“I don’t know.” The skin around his brown eyes crinkled as he grinned and his eyes were… Well, they had the ability to smile more evenly than his lips, that’s for sure.

Yeah, I admit it, he was cute.

My fingers worked on the tiny clasps at my shoes, fumbling to get that small hook to open and quickly. Quite a task to do when the middle-aged guy sitting further away at the bar is nearly falling off his stool in an attempt to catch a glimpse under my skirt and every other male and some females included are waiting for my boobs to spring free while I’m bent over.

“Whatever it is, it’s just plain cruel. Anyway, do you mind?”

He shook his head and I dumped the last handful of peanuts into my mouth. I can speak with my mouth full, no problem there.

“Do you know the only thing that helps relieving hurting feet?”

“Alcohol? Oral administration,” he deadpanned.

I blinked. He was good. Or maybe just not as drunk as I'd thought. “Yes, that too.”

His grin grew even more lopsided. “I could give you a foot rub, if you’d like.” He said it with more confidence than most would have, I granted him that.

Ha! “You wish. No, doofus. The only thing that really helps is dancing.”

He frowned skeptically.

“No, really,” I insisted, realizing I had to elaborate. I finally managed to free my feet and pulled them up on the bench as well. Wow, heaven. “I know it sounds counterproductive but it works. It’s some kind of military trick or something. Or a professional dancer trick? I don’t know. If it hurts, you’ve got to keep going, you know? That’s the only way it’ll get better. Besides, it’s only called art if blood is involved. Or so I heard.”

A shit-eating grin. “Yeah see… I don’t believe that.”

“Well, you’ll have to try it to be sure.”

He shrugged. “Too bad. I don’t dance.”

“I’m not saying you’re supposed to dance all the time. It’s okay to rest, occasionally. Yes sure, the tables are here for sitting at them although most people seem to disregard that fact. Quite rude, actually. And the owner of this club will definitely praise you for raising his income by buying drinks and staying out of the way of waiters instead of sweating on the dance floor. My feet would of course give you credit as well, if you asked them, but who does and what do they know? They are just stupid appendices that happen to be at the end of my legs. They don’t have the perspective to allow them to know what’s good for them.”

He fidgeted a little in his seat but merely chuckled.

Geez, he was a hard nut to crack. “Oh come on, this song just demands it, how can you not hear its calling?” He stared at me and I sighed. “It’s yelling: fucking dance with that gorgeous girl already!” I got up and extended my hand to him. I intended to do it gallantly but whoops. Whatever had been in that drink that I had just downed, it made the room spin around, people and everything else in it included.

The back of his hand nudged the glasses up again that kept sliding back down his nose. They remained slightly askew and I tilted my head a little to match them. “Still not dancing,” he repeated, with a slight edge to his voice. “But I would buy you another one of this…” he pointed with his chin to my empty glass, “If you like.”

I hesitated but then I fell down in my seat again, succumbing to gravity and his stubbornness. Whatever. The night was long and I’d never really liked that song anyway. “Okay, you get to buy me one drink but in return you’ll dance with me after I finish. Deal?”

In my opinion it was a pretty solid offer but he wasn’t one to fool. “What about this: I buy you two drinks and we keep sitting here?”

Man, I assumed he was doing this professionally. Probably he had an appointment to negotiate peace in the Middle East next week. What’s the job title again?

“Preschool teacher,” he mumbled. Oh duh, I’d spoken my thoughts out loud, apparently.

He scooted forward a little and then ducked down under the table. Was he searching for his bag? Maybe finally a man who didn’t destroy the shapes of his delicious buttocks by wrenching a purse in his pockets. Thank you by the way, thinking about us girls for once.

Well, apparently he hadn’t been searching for his purse. Nope.

I think you know the look. The deer in front of the headlights, the cow in a thunderstorm, the baby seal nose to nose with the ice bear. Well, generally cute and stupid animals confronted with imminent danger. That was me right there. Probably not all that cute and not as furry, but you get the image.

“Are you okay?” There was genuine concern in his voice, I registered that, although my brain was rapidly filling with thick fog. I mean more than usually. It made me wish I had thought of bringing a navigation device with me. Some kind of master plan what to do in a situation like this. Because I was totally and utterly not prepared to deal with it.

Pilot to base. Mayday, mayday! I’m losing height!

Have I mentioned that I’m a talkative person? That I can never shut up? That I have a mouth that is running more than the Niagara Falls? Well. There’s only one type of situation that causes me to fall completely silent. That makes me draw my blinds and hide behind them, sneaking looks and hoping no one will notice me watching. I’ve been there before. Only this time I could not see a way out. Newbies’ mistake, really. Always make sure your back is covered and keep an eye on the exit.

He scooted to the end of the bench and placed the tip of the wooden cane that he had collected from under the bench on the sticky floor. His left hand raised to sweep his hair out of his field of vision and to push his glasses up again. Not the floppy, uncoordinated movements of a drunk, not that at all. My insides churned as I repeated the motion in my head over and over again, the pieces of a puzzle falling into their places.

“You sure you’re alright?” He was bent forward, caught somewhere in the middle of the process of standing up, studying me more closely. “Maybe a glass of water for a change? Just a suggestion.”

I shook my head, eyes transfixed on his white knuckles on the cane’s head, my tongue heavy and useless in my mouth. “Huh?”

“I said,” he repeated himself with a badly disguised sigh, grimacing as if this happened frequently, “nothing to wake your senses but an Espresso MartiNo.”

What even was that? I found myself unable to ask, though. He reached over with his left arm, managed to grab me by the shoulder and gently shook me. That probably jolted some brain cells back into their original slots. Thank god.

“Uh… I’m fine. All peachy. Really.”


Uh-huh. Totally not. “Totally, yes.” I swear, I could barely hear myself over the ringing in my ears. Or maybe it was the music. Scratch that.

“Okay...?” he said, still concerned apparently but ready to believe me. “Because you’ve been…”

Quiet, I know. Eerily. I’m aware it’s scary. It is to me.

“Well, forget it.” He pushed on his cane and rose to stand straight. Somewhat straight. “Come on then.” He took a couple of precarious steps, using the cane for balance, swaying as he pulled one foot in front of the other with quite some practiced effort.

I blinked at him.

He had twisted his upper body to look back at me, the frown settling in his face as if intended to stay. “Uh… two glasses and one free hand,” he said slowly. “And I’m not exactly a pro at carrying liquids.”

I lifted my eyes, narrowly missed his bent legs, somehow managed to circumvent his left arm that had drawn closer to his body with his fist turning in and succeeded in landing on his face. Nice touchdown, captain. I saw realization dawning there, that sad, broken type. The soul crashing, shit, how could she be so oblivious, type of thing. The please don’t say anything, the just let me get the fuck out of here and do not let us draw this out look.

Sometimes when you’re falling and you realize that you forgot to strap on your parachute, like you sometimes forget to put on make-up in the morning and only notice when you look in the mirror during pee break and wonder why you look so fucking crashed, there’s no sense in fighting back. Because gravity is acting on everything and that’s only natural. And sometimes you come to the realization that losing is just winning looked at from a different angle. Then all is left to do is turn your clothes into a wingsuit on the long way back to earth. Hope you got some badass sewing skills.

I took the plunge. His eyes widened when I latched onto his left arm. Maybe I shouldn’t have drunk that much because we totally competed for the most unstable walk in that club. Minus those people who had given up on walking altogether and were slumped against a wall or on the floor, wondering which way was up, how to unstuck their skin from the icky ground, and if you can stave off hangovers by simply not going to bed at all, and burning as many brain cells over those questions as Newton had over his law of gravitation. Compared to them we were totally ruling. The motherfucking masters of walking in a straight line. Doubles team.

“You know what?” I directed a flickering smile at him, white teeth waving the flag of surrender.

“Huh?” His eyes temporarily lost the look of focused concentration and for a moment he faltered, almost stumbled, but caught himself in the last second, ramming his cane in the floor. Hanging onto his arm, swaying as well, I noticed I probably wasn’t helping much but there was no fucking way I would let go now. God knows what would happen then, I might just take off into air or crash to the ground. For all I knew, I was soaring. So fuck anyone who thought differently. But at least I wasn’t the only person now who had temporarily switched back to pre-language state.

“What about taking our drinks outside?” Everyone knows that invitation. But most importantly I needed the whiff of fresh air on my face.

With a lurching step that had the same effect on my stomach as an air pocket he turned to look at me. “Depends.” I couldn’t read the expression on his face.

“On what?” Where were the oxygen masks when you needed them?

“Do you always talk that much?” The corners of his lips twitched.

I squeezed his arm, much tighter than intended and exhaled. “Hm… not always,” I said, with an effort on bravery, and took another step closer. His breath on my face tasted of alcohol and mint. And his lips...

Well okay, I admit it. There’s one more way to make me shut up. But only one.


  1. Great story. Really appreciate your posting .Thank you Lovis.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I enjoy posting here so much, I wish I had more to share with you all.

  2. See, you absolutely cannot post something this beautiful and just *stop* here, and let us all dying to know what comes next… It’s simply not fair. 😅

    1. I'm so sorry! ;-) It is a really short short story, I admit that.

  3. Thank you for the story! Been missing you for some time! Nice to have you post again!

    1. Thanks so much! I've been missing posting here!

  4. I somehow rememberd about this story on the other site but totally forgot also.. thanks so much Lovis for posting it and for making it so much better and longer. I totally enjoyed it to read it, you are simply the best!

  5. What a treat. You cannot imagine how much I missed your writing.

  6. So good. Thanks for the treat. Especially love this paragraph

    Sometimes when you’re falling and you realize that you forgot to strap on your parachute, like you sometimes forget to put on make-up in the morning and only notice when you look in the mirror during pee break and wonder why you look so fucking crashed, there’s no sense in fighting back. Because gravity is acting on everything and that’s only natural. And sometimes you come to the realization that losing is just winning looked at from a different angle. Then all is left to do is turn your clothes into a wingsuit on the long way back to earth. Hope you got some badass sewing skills.

  7. Loved it so much!! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  8. WOW!! Simply wonderful!!!

    1. Thank you so much! Makes me happy to hear you like the story.

  9. Yay!!! So happy to read a Lovis Original!

  10. Loved it! Thank you for posting it

    1. Thanks for letting me know you like it! <3

  11. Whatva surprise. I always love your stories. Thank u.

    1. Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment :)

  12. Lovis I love you writing I bought Lobster with a straw and reread everything you posted here a bunch of times. Are there other places I can find your writing (I don’t mind paying)

    1. Oh that’s so sweet! Thanks! All I’ve ever written is now published on here. I think. I may stumble over old stuff I forgot about, and when I do I promise I’ll put it on here as soon as I can. There will be new stories, come time. If you haven’t done so already, please consider leaving a review of Lobster with a Straw on Amazon or Goodreads, that would help me the most! Highly appreciated :)

  13. I've missed your stories. So happy to find a new post from you. Would love more!

    1. Thanks MissaW, so glad to hear from you! Writing is slow these days, but I haven't forgotten about this blog and you all.

  14. You are so talented! Your characters are absolutely fantastic and original. I cannot wait to read what you write next. Thank you for sharing again!

    1. Thanks, what an honor! Love being back on here from time to time to share my stories with you lot, it's always such great fun.