The Saga of Anna, A Confused Lady ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Saga of Anna, A Confused Lady

Anna polished her shoes and walked to the circle. The colonial dame wandered the streets late at night. She was confused about which direction to take, what with her fall from grace at the hands of her former friend Ellen who had cast an evil spell over her and misspent her fortune. She walked into a pub.

The bartender approached and asked her what she would order and she had to ponder that too. At first nobody noticed her, but it was not long before two men sat at her side.

She immediately took a fancy to the younger gentleman to her left, a handsome and affable chap in a stylish suit. He pointed out his many influential and well-connected friends in the bar who raised their glasses to toast and cheer him on. He gave her stacks of his calling cards, each one glossier and more colorful than the other. At first she was smitten, especially with all those endorsements, but the young man's eyes wandered to the other ladies in the bar.

The older gentleman to her right looked attractive in his bright and polished uniform. He spoke of his gallant and chivalrous deeds which impressed her greatly.

The handsome youth was bright and most impressive but would he be faithful? She had heard how he had broken the heart of other ladies when he left town-twice! She wondered if his wit and charm were enough to make up for his youthfulness.

It was different with the man to her right. He might be a magistrate or a colonel in the militia. It was his loyalty, steadfastness and stability that gave Anna such pause and everyone said he had done things properly. Anna wondered if he would be willing to ever break from his ways, let down his guard, or show his humanity? Accustomed to being the boss, would he be a sensitive listener, she wondered?

Somehow the two men began to argue. The military man insulted the younger one who humorously brushed him aside with ready repartee. This made the magistrate even angrier, yet she also wondered if perhaps there was great truth in his barbs. However, she disdained such behavior.

But then there was the bartender.

Anna could see that he was efficient and dutiful, though he spoke plainly and without flourish. How odd, she thought. Could this plebeian of the pub be somehow worthy of her admiration? Would it be proper for a lady of her class and breeding to be with one who possessed so little understanding of her world? Or did he know more than one thought at first? She observed the young man working hard, serving his customers, directing his employees, preparing for the midnight close--and then midnight came and it was last call.

The two men at her side offered to escort Anna back to her home or carriage. They extended their hands and smiled. Anna hesitated. Decisions, decisions, pray give me the strength to make the proper choice, she thought to herself.

Would it be the handsome lad or the colonel, as she was now referring to him? She turned her gaze to the hardworking bartender who was preparing for closing time.

“One for the road ahead?” he asked Anna.

“And what does the good man know of the road ahead? And what would the good barkeep recommend to smooth its ruts and ridges?” she inquired.

“I do believe the lady possesses an independent spirit and can answer that best,” he replied.

“Ay, good sir, that I do, or so I have been told, though of late I seem to have been pulled in opposite directions from my participation in the party life.” she noted.

“I gave up the party life to seek my own path” he said. “Too many parties wearies the soul. I have focused on the tavern and it has been my life. I know that and I know it well, though I believe I am now being called to a greater good."

The other two gentlemen who obviously felt the bartender could never win Anna's favor, cleared their throats and coughed. Anna turned, not sure how to respond or which one to choose.

“Good sirs. I shall enjoy a final drink here and perhaps stay until the clock strikes two, if I may be allowed. I bid you two gentlemen to join me if you wish. After having enjoyed conversing with both of you, who I know quite well to be fine gentlemen of good breeding, kindly allow me but a moment longer to speak with the barkeep before I make my choice,” she implored.

And the moral of the story is: Whether it’s midnight or two a.m, everyone gets more handsome at closing time--even the bar tender.

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Paul A. Richards said...


You are a Republican, at heart.

Paul Foer said...

No...but keep guessing

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