A fragment of fiction
The condensation that had formed on the outside of the pint glass caused it to slip straight through Rowan’s fingers. Joachim violently jerked his legs away from the splash that didn’t come anywhere near him.
“Y’see, that wouldn’t happen if they didn’t over-chill the ales. It’s a good job it wasn’t full”.
“I’ll tell you what’s a good job, it’s a good bleedin’ job that I could get out of the way quick enough. Darnell does enough moaning about me smelling of booze as it is”.
For a brief second Rowan thought about asking a difficult question in response to this, but quickly decided to let it go. He placed a couple of beermats at the edge of the pool of alcohol that was now spreading across the table, breathing in the newly released scent.
“Ah, the divine fragrance that results from IPA being released into the wild… Actually, it smells foul like this. I prefer it in the glass”.
An adjustment to the position of the beermats did little to halt the expansion of the spillage. Rowan rubbed his fingers together, drying their moist coating of beer.
“And now my fingers smell”
“I get fed up with how frequently you say that.”
“It matters not, I suppose. It’s not like I have anyone to smell them for me these days.”
“You used to get Poppy to… smell your fingers?”
“I would have liked to, but she wasn’t into it.”
“I wish I could be completely certain that you were joking.”
They went through the motions of chuckling, each fulfilling the social obligation that they expected the other to expect, each well aware that any genuine laughter or warmth was at least a few pints away.
“Why do they call ’em fingers, anyway? I’ve never seen ’em fing” added Rowan, hoping to keep the bonhomie going.
The beer puddle reached the edge of the table and steadily began to drip down to the floor. Rowan began to smile as he realised how the gentle thud of droplet hitting carpet sounded like a cat’s pawstep, before he realised that Joachim was saying something to him.