It was just nine o’clock when the cab pulled up to my front door, and I was anything but sleepy. I felt a little anxious and decided to take a walk. It was a nice night. I wound up at a small pub only a few blocks from my place. Being Wednesday it was pretty quiet. There were two women playing pool—rather badly at that, so I put a quarter on the side rail near the corner pocket with a fair degree of certainty that I’d be winning the table shortly.
“How long have they been at it?” I asked the bartender.
“Oh, for a while now…not very good. They‘re just killing time. They‘re waiting for some friends to show up.”
“Oh, so we’re going to have a bevy of beauties to look at.”
“We can only hope.”
When their game was over I introduced myself as the next player. I decided to take them both on. I enjoy playing pool with women; there are no stakes and nothing to prove. The games are always void of tension, seriousness and snide remarks. We played two games and I won both times. After a while their friends showed up and they all began a game of darts. Kathryn, one of the women I was playing pool with, didn't like darts and opted to sit with me and have a drink.
“It was fun playing pool...although I'm not very good. You are great at it.” she said, smiling.
“I play a lot. What brings you out on a Wednesday?”
“My sister and I decided to get together with my cousin and her friends for the evening.”
“So, you don't like darts.”
“Oh, no! I hate darts. I’ll just watch them enjoy themselves and I’ll play some tunes on the juke box. I’ll play all my favorite songs until my quarters run out.”
We began talking about the music we enjoyed. The contemporary music Kathryn liked was not the same music that I listened to, or even cared for, but there was something in her manner when she was speaking about it. I was caught up in her enthusiasm, and as we talked further I discovered that we had quite a few things in common. We shared an appreciation for good literature. She spoke of Tolkein and Wodehouse; James Herriot and Arthur Conan Doyle. I talked about Hesse and Dostoyevski; Hunter S. Thompson and Hemmingway…authors Kathryn was aware of but had no abiding interest in. She was a very warm and friendly women. She listened intently when I was speaking and offered her own interpretations and thoughts, so that I knew she wasn’t only vaguely listening, but really interested in what I had to say. She was—or at least she seemed to be—interested in me, and wanted to know about my family; where I had gone to school, and in turn I was interested to know the very same things about her.
Time passed quickly. All the women who were playing darts were now saying their goodbyes and Kathryn's sister was anxious to leave. It was nearly midnight and each of us had to get up for work the next day. But I was having a good time for a change and didn't want the evening to end. Nevertheless it ended, and I had to be content with Kathryn's phone number and her assurance that she would love to have dinner with me. I thought about Kathryn all the next day and the day after. Then a week had gone by and I still hadn't called her. What was I waiting for?