He wears his Red Sox cap backwards. He’s somewhere in his fifties with a full head of white hair (unless the cap he never takes off is hiding a bald spot.) He’s got a bit of a Leslie Nielsen/Steve Martin thing going; one of those silver fox assholes. And he definitely is an asshole. She’s a few years younger. Somewhere in her forties. Too much eyeliner and a lot of cleavage showing most times she comes in. She’s a little thicker around the middle than she probably was a few years ago but she’s still an attractive woman. I don’t know either of their names but they both know mine.
They drink the same thing: vodka-soda with both lemon and lime. With most drinkers you can gauge their pace after a round or two. Not them. All I need to do is turn my head and walk away to hear him calling after me for another. She’ll wait till I’ve brought him his to order hers, ensuring I have to make another trip down to the other end of the bar. This will go on for hours.
I never catch any particulars of their conversation but the tone is often that of argument. Body language indicates she’s taking him to task. But most of their visits aren’t spent drinking or talking. What they do most is make out. This isn’t cute nightcap kissing either. She’s usually off her barstool, between his open legs, sometimes even on his lap. The thing with couples groping each other in public is that it’s usually not pretty. It’s not sexy like it is in the movies. Mostly you just want to look away and pretend they’re not doing it.
I’ll wait till they’ve disengaged to check on their drinks, walk away, then inevitably hear, “DMITRY! Another?” It works like a charm.
The consensus among all the bartenders is they’re having an affair and meet in bars where nobody knows them. I’ve seen them at both bars I work at and they don’t belong in either. There’s a covert feel to the way they are with each other too. Like they wouldn’t want anybody they know to know they’re together.
But that’s all speculation. For all we know they might be a bored married couple who spice up their love life by pretending to have an affair and groping each other in public. What I know for sure is that they don’t leave a tip most of the time, even after drinking for hours. One time, after I’d brought her drink, I reached for the stack of bills in front of him to extract $4 for it, he started near-screaming, “WHOA, CHIEF!” like I was robbing him. I had to explain calmly that I hadn’t yet charged her. That shut him up but he didn’t bother to apologize for raising his voice.
That incident was never mentioned again on subsequent visits, their tipping hardly ever improves; thus I keep assuming the worst about them.
So it goes.