Clark followed his friend Jason into the room filled with singles. Clark felt a tightening in his chest as he tried to wander inconspicuously to the bar.
“I’ll have water with ice,” Clark said to the bartender.
Jason slapped him on the back. “Relax. Just follow my lead. I’m the master of the singles night.”
Clark took a sip and scanned the room. “Wouldn’t that mean you don’t need these any more?” he asked.
“Funny. Save it, you’ll need it,” snapped Jason. “How do things look?”
“That’s why I’m here. What’s your best opening line?”
“I don’t have one. I was just going to introduce myself,” said Clark.
“Boring. You’re in a meat market. Start thinking like a predator,” explained Jason.
“I don’t think predators shop for meat.”
Jason scowled. “You know what I mean?”
“I’m not the guy who mixed metaphors.”
“Do you want my help or not?”
An attractive woman approached
“Now watch and learn,” said Jason. He smiled at her and asked, “Do you believe in love at first sight?”
She laughed. “No.”
“Me neither. So let’s take a second look at each other and see what happens,” said Jason.
She laughed and replied, “Sure.”
Jason leaned in to Clark. “I hope you took notes.”
Clark shook his head. “How did that work?”
He sat at the bar and watched the two walk to a secluded corner of the room. Another woman approached and ordered a drink. She looked over at Clark and shared an awkward smile.
Clark raised his glass in a toast. “May the best of your today be the worst of your tomorrows.”
She tilted her head and inspected him. “Was that a pick-up line?” she asked.
The blood rushed to Clark’s face. “I don’t really know any, so I offered you a blessing instead.”
“What am I supposed to do with that?”
“Whatever you want. It’s yours to keep,” replied Clark.
“You think that’s gonna work on me?” she said as she eyed him suspiciously.
Clark took a sip to moisten his throat. “I figure, in a place like this, everyone’s just out for themselves. At least now you’ve got something good to take away.”
The woman extended her hand. “I’m Melinda.”
“Well, Clark, I’m already here with someone, but thanks for the blessing.”
Clark shrugged. “I offered it with no strings attached.”
She patted him on the arm. “You’re sweet.”
Clark turned around and faced the bar. Within a minute someone tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around to discover a group of women.
“Hello?” his voice squeaked.
“Are you the blessing guy?” demanded one of the women.
Clark cowered beneath the stares of the group. “I guess.”
The woman smiled. “Give me one.”
“Oh. Okay, sure. May God grant you many years to live, for sure He must be knowing the earth has angels all too few and Heaven is overflowing.”
The faces around him softened. “That’s so sweet,” said another woman. “Do me next.”
Clark smiled. “Sure. How about, May you have love that never ends, lots of money, and lots of friends. Health be yours, whatever you do, and may God send many blessings to you!”
The woman melted. “Do you mean it?”
Clark sat up straight on his stool. “Of course. Why wouldn’t I want good things to happen for you?”
At that moment Jason returned to the bar. His jawed dropped. “What’s happening?”
Clark laughed. “I have no idea.”