Tales from the life of Jack Mckife: Smart Bar

It was 11 p.m. one Saturday night. For reasons which are still not clear, I was at the Smart Bar—a smoky cavern full of people in dark clothes throbbing to dark music. A techno-industrial jungle of black leather, chrome spikes, and Doc Martens. Through the haze, a flash of color caught my eye. I turned and saw her.

No gothic, dressed in black, vampire girl, she. No, indeed. A silky, yellow dress clung desperately to her curvaceous frame, gently undulating with every tiny movement of her supple musculature. Her rich, auburn hair relaxed gracefully about her like a playful sea otter sunning itself.

She must’ve felt my gaze caressing her because she turned toward me, and before I could look away, our eyes locked. Back lit by the blue and red club spots, she seemed to glow with a Kirilian aura, radiating sensuality. A faint smile fluttered across her lips; her eyes glittered like Indian sapphires.

Then, slowly but deliberately, she began to pad toward me like a cat, her eyes still fixed on mine, as if we were the only two creatures in the Smart Bar. Closer and closer she came. I could feel my pulse pounding in my temples so heavily it drowned out the beat of the music. It was as if I were mesmerized, unable to move.

“Do not show fear,” I chanted to myself. “They can smell fear.” Then my left hand trembled, only slightly, but she saw it, and it was enough. Our roles were now clear. She was predator, I was prey. Her sensuous lips parted in a smile, revealing two rows of perfect teeth.

Then, at that precise moment, my instinct overcame my fear. I began to jump up and down, bellowing at the top of my voice and waving my arms wildly. “GRAAAA!” I screamed. “GRAAAAAA! GRAAAAAA!” She froze in her tracks, her eyes wide as saucers.

Then she bolted away. I saw only a darting flash of yellow as she disappeared into the forest of leather clad bodies. The music returned. I exhaled. My world was spinning, my head was buzzing. I ordered a scotch and laughed—the crazy, out-of-control laugh of a man who has just cheated fate.

As he slid my drink forward, the bartender looked at me quizzically, his mohawk a question mark hugging his scalp. “You know, it’s true,” I explained, “they’re just as scared of you as you are of them.”

“That’ll be three fifty,” he replied.