You have your mask on.
You are going down a crowded bar, looking straight ahead and trying to press your lips together just as much as you squint your eyes.
You smile. The photographer has been hired especially for you.
A look falls down on you and sees you from the perspective of three shots.
The hand of a man with a watch goes into an opaque white champagne cooler boasting four l.e.t.t.e.r.s – time for a commercial break.
It seems to you that he is dropping the ice cubes with the deftness of a man who owns a bar.
Or at least a car that is worthy of being parked in front of a bar.
It seems to you…
Love is not MOET, girls.
This is your measure to feel desired.
That man over there… he is neither hell, nor heaven.
That man is not stupid.
The watch on his wrist measures the times between three meetings and one sleepless night.
Between two types of very well-mastered indifference – to you and to your dress.
This watch has been paid for with money that was not earned in a beauty salon.
With money whose value you don’t know.
You don’t know the value of money, because you like the luxury that it can buy and you can share on social media.
You know the price.
You know the label, but not the one who pays for it.
You might have a guess about how much the watch is worth, but you have no idea how much the man who is wearing it is worth.
An expensive watch shows good taste.
You take it as a well-paid welcome… to your heart!
He is not drinking gin to see you through a different perspective.
He is just drinking and looking through you.
At least you have the champagne to yourself!
The champagne is there to prove your beauty.
And it lasts for only one toast at a time.
And you go home with the little handbags and the little hopes for a little love.
You can kill for some kindness, but a glass of champagne is just enough.
And love is not little.
Even the most expensive watch can’t measure it.
The men who drink at the bar are not there to look at you and your cheap circus masked in an expensive dress…
The fact that they pay the bill and leave does not make them stupid.
It makes them bored.
And it makes them even more tired.
For a long time now, no one has wanted to buy you, no matter how expensively you are trying to sell yourselves.
Make the difference between the plastic ice bucket and the crystal wine cooler.
One of them sounds shallow.
Love has another face.
This closeness is not measured in millimetres.
Beds that become sports fields.
Love is not acting unapproachable until 2 a.m. for a bottle of champagne for you and your friend and then texting, “Where did you disappear?!”, on Viber.
That man… he will pay, but he won’t stay…
And that is the price of the champagne that you are drinking. This is not love! Love is a smile.
It is kindness.
It is beautiful!
It will know you in the most crowded bar there is.
You won’t need to take a selfie and tag yourself.
Love will find you, one way, or another.
You don’t need to take anything else off.
Just take off the mask.
Text: Eva Koleva