I sat in the dim light of the bar at Smokey Joe's. I cradled the tequila sunrise in my hand, and grimaced at the fact that the new bartender had stirred the grenadine sunrise out.
In the end, it's got the same effect, I thought with a dramatic eye roll. I sat back and watched the crowd, sipping on my drink with some subconcious relish.
Things were just starting to heat up, the jukebox was definitely the hot spot tonight. Which didn't suprise me, it was full of some of the greatest jukebox music I could have ever conjured up. Most jukeboxes were absolutely predictable, turning out one hit wonders and top forty pop songs. But at Joe's, it was all about snobbery.
I spied Xander by the door. For once, he hadn't worn his customary beanie, and his dark hair stuck up in many places, complementing his rugged, unshaven boyish face. He had even swapped out his usual grungy indie rocker uniform for a courderoy blazer. I immediately wiped the happy welcoming smile from my face.
"Xan, over here," I beckoned with my tequila sunrise. Xander paused for a moment, looked around and hesitated before walking up to me.
"Zadie?" He said with a look of astonishment, "You look really different."
"Yeah, well, I guess people look a lot different when they aren't in places most people are accustomed to seeing them in," I explained as I finished off my drink and slapped the glass down on the bar exuberantly. Xander continued to stare at me, transfixed as the bartender made his way back.
"What'll it be?" He mumbled incoherently.
"I'll take another, but don't stir it. Xander, what's it going to be?" I prodded him.
"A Pabst, thanks," he smiled strangely at the bartender.
"Make that two," I said with a nod, changing my mind.
"Hey," I began as I turned back to Xander, "Thanks for coming. I know it's probably really weird for me to be asking a coworker that utterly hates me to drinks." He paused for a moment, digesting my words.
"Are you kidding? I wouldn't have missed this for all the comic book conventions in the world," he smiled. I looked down at my feet, trying to take in this whole new Xander.
Was he trying out a new semi-normal personality on me?
Our drinks came swiftly and we sipped them in silence. Well, Xander sipped, I slugged. Hard. It was going to take a lot of alcohol to get me to digest this foreign situation.
"So..." I said, which was my stupid way of trying to initiate conversation without having to put any effort into it.
"So..." Xander replied.
We both began slugging down drinks with exceptional zeal to ward off the awkwardness.