"Great tits!" he said. I was standing at the bar waiting to pay for my liter and half of wine, this is the bar down the street where they have it on tap and you bring in your empty water bottle and they fill it up. I wanted a bottle of red, and the tap had run out so the bartender was in the back hooking up another keg or whatever. A cask, maybe.
I took a step back and moved my arms out, palms out. "They're not even tits, really," he continued. "They're breasts. Full, round, round breasts. They're perfect." I hate this, I hate this so much. I want the quick retort, the one word. The one that shrivels him, and all I can think is phrases in English. Spoken like a true gentleman, I have, and a few sailor's greetings, but I can't twist the idioms into Czech somehow. Come on brain, move. "Of course partly it's probably your bra, but it's also just that you have such big tits. I mean breasts." I start wanting him to make a move to touch me; the people around us are starting to watch and I want it to be clear that he went to touch me and that's why I had to hit him. I'm looking at a picture to the right, one of those old cigarette ads, maybe from the 1940s or maybe made to look that way. It's framed and I can see his reflection in it. He's a lot taller than me, which means I'd have to get him on the ground before i could smash his head, which is what I want to do, but he's drunk enough it wouldn't even occur to him to block a solid punch in the belly, and I've got rings on.
The bartender comes back in, sees me being towered over, yells SIT and the man sits down like the slobbering dog he is and we all turn leisurely away. I pay four dollars for the wine and go.
It takes every bit of my effort to focus on the bartender, to focus on the parallel between a drunk man and a misbehaving dog, both needing to be trained. I do not believe that in spite of everything people are good at heart but I know that I am already wildly disinclined to leave the house and that if I think about any part of this story other than the bits that are funny I will entirely shut down. Later that night over the wine I explain to Marcela about space, the assertion of, and detach from the story enough to tell it. Laughing because he was, after all, right, although completely unpoetic and rather smelly besides. And this is how we re-enter the world.