She strode in, the very picture of humility. If you can think of a tsunami as humble. Her presence was like the crash of a tidal wave onto a seaside village. Everyone was devastated. Nobody was unaffected. Nobody would ever be the same.
She had black hair the color of a raven whose wings shine blue in the sun. It was long and she wore it tied up bandit's mask of a rag that went well with the many bits of jewelry you found here and there when you examined her. Her clothes were invariably black and ornamented with touches of silver. I've never met anyone who could pull off the "gypsy princess" routine, but if she had tried, I'd have bought it from her.
She showed up every night around midnight. Every man in the place held his breath until she arrived. Every woman waited too. You'd think they would have hated her for her effect on their men but it wasn't so. Not even in the beginning was she their rival or their enemy, but their friend.
She sat alone at a table in the back for about ten minutes. Finally Warren, our resident maestro of nine-ball had the courage to approach her. Damn my sour piss-yellow soul that it wasn't me. She invited him to sit. Gil magically appeared with drinks it would take something supernatural to pull Gil out from behind his bar. She and Warren talked like old friends for half the evening with every eye in the place on them then he got up and took a stool at the bar. I surrendered the stool to which I was considering being surgically attached and sat beside him. Microeconds later, Gil joined us. "Who is she?" was my question. "What is she like?" was Gil's. I guess my question stemmed from my old cop instincts kicking in, because I didn't care who she was. From the very depths of my soul, there was nothing I truly wanted to know more than what she was like. I wanted to know her habits, her voice, her every quirk. I wanted to know what she ate, what she liked, what she wanted that I might satisfy her every whim. I wanted to know what she looked like rising from the water, tousled from a restless night's sleep, sweaty from love-making, relaxed beneath a tropic sun. I wanted to know what in God's name I could give her, do for her, somehow please her, that she might love me.
Warren's only response was "Talk to her." He said not another word for several days as far as I know but rather sat and watched the parade.
Every night for a month, this wonder of creation joined us in our seedy bar and we bought her drinks and lay our souls on the grimy bistro table before her that she might know us somehow love us maybe one of us at least.
When my turn came, I was one of the last, she held my hand and said to me things nobody will ever hear. I felt blessed that she held my hand, she had rarely touched anyone else. She knew me before I spoke to her the things I'd never before told anyone, and never again will. When I'd poured out myself into the unfillable cup that was she I found that she could love me, did love me.
She entered our lives on the 7th of May and on the 3rd of June we sat expectantly watching the door and were disappointed.
Warren said her name was Mary. Is that the name for love?