The two young man sat beside one another. The third in the group, the woman, rose to get herself another drink from the bar. Seizing the opportunity, the younger man turned to the other and asked in German, “so, how are things between you two?”
The other man, an artist in his thirties, shrugged then casually answered, “you never know with her.”
The younger man observed this companion’s seemingly eased repose. Admittedly, there couldn’t have been a more precise answer.
When the woman returned to the table, the two men smiled with their eyes then brought their heavy bottles to their silenced lips. They listened as she went on to describe her embarrassing drinking habit for speedy consumption while unapologetically taking greedily sips from her glass between each breathy rant.
The older man admired her apparent self-aware deliverance from denial, while the younger man fought back his impulse to take the drink from her hand and give her wrist a squeeze of disapproval.
They knew nothing as to how one might best proceed with displaying to her his affections.
Defeated by their inability to say out loud what they wanted to, both men sat deeply in their chairs awaiting the moment when her drinks would finally catch up to her. A tactic they all knew she’d use to alleviate the tensions driven between them, and of course her affairs.