Wayne stood on the pavement, chain smoking until he had a small island of cigarette ends scattered around his teeth. He glowered at the club, all five feet five of him. He had fought like a wild animal when we had escorted him off the premises but had stood on the pavement where our authority ended. Despite the steady flow of people, all of us on the door kept an eye on him to make sure he did not get back inside.
He had pinched, needy features with small, sunken eyes that glittered with need. His light brown hair was thin, slicked away from his forehead with so much product that I could make out the tooth marks of the comb he had used.
He made me glad I was bald.
His white shirt was crumpled and he had ripped out the right knee of his black trousers where I had grabbed his leg when he tried to kick out at me. I ‘accidentally’ threw an elbow into the side of his thigh, not enough to do any damage but just to remind him that he needed to behave himself.
She was still in there, you see. Wayne waited for her to forgive him or come out with him. I admired his determination, but I could not tell him that. We were under orders.
Tom came up to me. Hard worker, going to join the army but the girls like him and he doesn’t back down.
‘Jesus, he’s still out there?’
I sighed, fighting the discomfort that made my chest and stomach tight. I wanted to go over and have a word with him, talk some sense into him. Tell him to go home have a pizza and a wank then go to bed
Love does that to men.
Men experience love as a chance to be vulnerable. Much like when we’re ill, a place we go to in order to relax and soften. That it gets mocked and dismissed says more about the world than it does men.
I wondered if she would have waited outside for him.
People laugh when I say these things, which is why I don’t.
Tom called me away when he saw a guy inside who we suspected of dealing on the premises then there was a fight over a woman. When I got back outside, Wayne was not on the pavement. A prickling started at the back of my neck. I watched him walk up the stairs to the VIP room, with the balcony view. The door started to open and she stepped through.
Each time I saw her, I ached from my balls up to my forehead. She was blonde again, small and curvy in a white silk mini dress. She captured a look that combined purity and lust that took my breath away. I should have envied how she smiled at him.
She stood on tiptoes to kiss him on the cheek, a preview of her affections. I could not see his face, but I imagined that, being kissed by her made him look beautiful in the way men can be.
Again, another thing I don’t say to anyone.
I had been here at Altar for a while now. The club has always done well, despite the smoking ban and the recession.
She’s the reason for that. I never asked about the specifics because the one time I did, I was shot a stare that answered my question.
The trick is, they go to her.
Wayne would never leave that room. He would live on, in his social media accounts and the memories of anyone who cared about him. I wondered what happened in there. I hoped it was quick, but something told me it wasn’t. Men took longer to break, and there’s probably some pleasure in taking your time for her.
I had dreamt about it. I wake up rock hard and crying at the same time.
Women will do that to you.
What matters for her is that there is another Wayne or Kevin or Bryan who will see her and eat his own heart for a chance at her. She won’t have to do much, they will build most of the relationship in their head. Normally women do that because they’re afraid of revealing that they’re fucked up balls of neuroses, but she’s not like that.
She was perfect in the worst way possible.
She pushed them away, offered them the choice to come back to her.
It had always been that way.
I walked back outside, took deep breaths of the night air to centre myself. I wanted to ring my girl but she would be asleep. Bloody time difference. I saw her a couple of times a year. Instead, I watched the queue for the club and wondered who she would choose next.