At my usual spot in the bar. It's the same old same old-- bartenders, clientele, music-- but maybe tonight, I'll get lucky. It's a long shot, I know. I couldn't count the hours I've sat here, looking at the patrons, wondering if anything will happen. I've sat here for so long, unnoticed, my spirits are sinking with each passing day. Self-doubt creeps in, I spend half my time wondering what's wrong with me. Still, hope springs eternal and I still do hope. Hope, and sit here waiting. The crowd today isn't promising. There's several regulars I know by sight, and one or two by name. I've never met any of them, never been introduced but I've heard the bartenders talk to them. Tom, who always sits and gambles at the same machine, although from here I can't see what he plays. He has the care and the pace you would expect from an old man-- his movements are slow, you can see him thinking about everything he does before he does it. Rum and coke, sipped slowly. Whenever he wins the lines on his face soften momentarily and I can see what he looked like twenty years ago. Eddie comes in here to play darts. I'd have thought by now he would buy his own set, but without fail he comes in the door, walks to the bar, slaps his license down, and heads to the dartboard, house darts clutched to his chest like a secret. When the bar got rid of the old bristle board and metal tipped darts in favour of an electronic board, he stopped coming in for a month. When he finally started coming back in, he complained to anyone who would listen that it just wasn't the same. The weight was all wrong. The electronic scoring meant he didn't get chalk on his fingers, and that messed up his throwing. Any number of problems, but apart for that first month, which I suppose was done in protest, it didn't stop him from coming in, taking the darts, and playing. There's a couple who would come in, sit in the corner and be sickeningly cute over their chicken strips and nachos. Only she comes in now, I don't know what happened to him. She doesn't seem too sad about it though. She enjoys her chicken strips as much as she ever did with him there. Another couple come in only on Sundays. They're older than the first couple, and they seem so comfortable with each other. I've never caught their names, but sometimes I wonder if Tom had anything like that before he started coming in here and playing his machine. I wonder if chicken strips girl and her nacho-ex-partner will work out whatever made him stop coming in with her, and maybe they'll be the sunday lunch couple in another forty years. But I digress. I don't have a chance with her, she's too busy on her chicken. Tom isn't here yet, and Eddie is waiting impatiently for the dartboard, mumbling to himself. It's the unfamiliar faces I should be looking at, I've got a better chance with them. The group that's usurped Eddie's place at the dartboard holds no hope for me, I can tell at a glance. The guy at the jukebox, if he's the one who put the music on, is almost definitely out of contention too. From experience, the most popular songs played on jukeboxes in bars are Piano Man by Billy Joel, Don't Stop Believing by Journey, and Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi. Other songs come and go, and there's a few more that are pretty common, but I've heard these three more often than I care to think about. Piano man is such a cheerfully depressing song it almost rattles me every time I hear that harmonica start. The characters don't seem anything like the regulars in here. They revel in their misery, whereas ours don't seem miserable for the most part. Again with the tangent. That's what sitting in a bar will do to you. Jukebox, no. Darts, no. I'm not picky, I'll go to anyone who'll have me, but the crowd just doesn't look promising tonight. So it must be me. I can't sit here and blame everyone who comes in for not being interested in me. What's the quote? 'The only common denominator in all your failed relationships is you.' But it's not like I can change the way I was made. I don't think I'd want to. I'll just feel better by telling myself I'm too refined for most people. Tonight's a no go. I'll just sit here on my shelf, collecting dust, and let the night pass me by.