They quiet down when they see me.
Their smiles shrink and the brazen light in their eyes dim.
“Good evening,” they say, shy, timid.
They clutch their drinks and behave in a way they think I would approve of.
I watch them as I open my own drink from behind the bar.
I watch how limited people’s perceptions are. How slow they are to observe, how quick they are to judge and assume.
So I wait. I open their drinks.
And then I see them behave in a way I once approved of.
They are quiet no more.©