The walls of the jazz bar were lined with row after row of wine bottles, the candlelight reflecting off the glass. Pinots and carbernets, chardonnays and moscatos. Glass after glass, flowing. A wine museum. Jazz music from the baby grand mingled with the high-pitched laughter with young women who twirled pearl necklaces and clinked gold rings against ornate stemware.
Alex sat at a table alone, slowly drinking the rich body of the merlot dripped down his throat then on to create a warm fire in his chest. He swirled the rich wine around and thought about how long it had been since he had enjoyed a glass of wine.
His eye twitched momentarily as an image of his father flashed through his mind, one of those memories he’d rather not retain.
“Another glass?” A female server in a black dress walked by and gave Alex a smile. She was used to the Friday night crowd who treated themselves at the end of the workweek. Drink after drink, bottle after bottle.
“Another?” Alex considered the offer as he studied the server.
“Nah,” he finally said as he finished the merlot.
“No? You sure?” she said, cocking her head to the side and pretending to care. Alex knew well enough that she was really calculating her tip.
“You like working here?” he asked.
“It’s alright,” she shrugged, and Alex decided that the black dress, dyed hair, and the soft candlelight did an excellent job at concealing her age.