Discovering relationships vs. imposing

Concept: the authors collaborated and wanted to offer their opinion about relationships through a wild-west narrative.

The batwing doors of an old, western saloon had barely swung open for business before a weathered gunslinger trudged in and retired at the bar.  Glowing from the rays of the rising sun that beamed through a window, he rested his head on crossed forearms.  He and the bartender, a young blonde, conversed over the oaken bar between them; he unloaded his burdens and she listened with interest.

“What is it like to be you?” She asked, leaving all pre-conceived notions of such persons behind.

“Each day the morning sun will rise once more,” he began as he uncrossed his arms and wearily poured himself his first shot from the bottle of bourbon before him.

“I feel the heat rise in my cheeks and know the coming of another morning sun dooms me to fall a little further down this land’s notorious great gorge of death.”

As he was about to down the first shot of his bourbon, a second customer burst into the saloon, a younger fellow who went by the name Blondie. He gasped at the site of the other customer with alcohol.

“Come on, cousin. You know you’re not supposed to drink. I knew you were going to find the bottle today, but it’s not even high noon yet. How are you supposed to guide me, your city slickin’ cousin, through the West when you can’t see straight?” Blondie skipped into the seat next to his cousin.

“The weather here is amazing though,” he began cheerily as he took away the tin shot glass from his cousin’s hand.  “I feel hot and warm at the same time here.  It’s like the ninth circle of heaven.”

“It’s the ninth circle of Hell, Blondie,” the gunslinger corrected him and retrieved his shot glass.  “And that circle’s made of ice, anyway.”  Blondie shook the gunslinger’s fatigued body.

“Get ahold of yourself and stop talking about weather.  We both know why I came to the West:  To find the perfect woman–a short, sable-haired, conservative gal.”

At this interjection, one the bartender would describe as serendipitous, she said to the first customer,

“Funny. I too am versed in the classics.”

The doors swung open once more to lead way to a third customer: a sable-haired young gal.

Blondie whispered to the gunslinger, “That is the girl!  Watch while I make the moves.”

As she approached the bar, he intercepted her with an innocent grin.

“The name’s Blondie, I’m a real-life gunslinger.”  He drew a pistol from his cousin’s holster, and as he spun the gun around he said, “My draw is the perfect speed.  It’s fast, but not too fast.  Just the perfect speed for dueling.”

The true gunslinger retrieved his weapon from Blondie and returned it to his holster.

“Careful there, little faux cowboy. You don’t know how to work that thing.”

Illustration by Spike Jordan

Illustration by Spike Jordan

“A little showmanship is a great way to woe the ladies,” Blondie whispered to his cousin as if he was letting him in on profound wisdom.

“It’s woo,” the former said to the latter.

“Whatever.  Watch this,” Blondie raced off again with his plans. “A drink for the lady please,” He bent to whisper to his cousin, “Any perfect girl of mine will drink bottled-courage.”

“Any drink?”  The sable-haired lady asked. “I will have a shot of red-eye, then.”  The gunslinger kept a poker face as Blondie looked at him for any sign of enjoyment he might’ve gained from his failure.

Cleaning the tables during this time, the bartender sat aside her dishrag. Once she was behind the bar again, she continued to converse with the gunslinger.  They found much in common to talk about, and so for them the day went smoothly.

Blondie found the sable-haired girl, who did indeed fit his imposed requirements, to be more complex of an individual than he had thought ideal. After an abysmal argument where the two made a mountain out of a mole-hill–which was about whether the hills outside the saloon were indeed hills or mountains–the sable-haired gal left the saloon.

“Thus she walked on out of your life forever,” Blondie’s cousin said to him.

“Well there was still one nice conversation today,” the bartender said, implying the one she and the gunslinger had.  The latter, with Blondie moping behind, rose high to walk out of the saloon, but first left money on the counter.

“Indeed, ma’am.  I’ll be back to spend the rest of that later.”  With that, the doors swung open one last time.

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