Robbo breezed in - the weight of his stumpy little body bouncing on the balls of his feet - Charlie, his older brother, had taught him to bounce like a plastic gangster - it seemed to work - people respected the bounce - were in awe of the front - there didn't need to be anything behind it so long as nobody challenged it. And few people did. Not since grammar school where almost every other kid had exposed him.
His hands were plunged deep into the pockets of his cheap little windcheater. His keys were in one hand and his lighter in the other. He glimpsed Keith moving toward the toilets. Shit - he had meant to look up Rhode Island last night and instead had collapsed in the kitchen when he got home - he'd even left his Shredded Wheat. It was hard looking after yourself when you were living on you own. That cow - she'd run off leaving him alone - and she'd run off with a woman!
He'd known Keith for a few months now and he felt close to him - as close as he'd felt to Charlie before he went off to Canada - even Charlie couldn't live with their father's demands. He'd even given Keith his redundancy money to keep the bar afloat. There had been that boy at school - they'd been very close - too close maybe - it worried him even to remember it - and his feelings for Keith were closer than that - closer than he'd been to his wife even.
He was bouncing across the bar now - acting like he owned the place - going to join the boss - who knows, maybe he did right now - Keith had been a bit evasive about what he'd get for his contribution. And then he spotted mad Liz - oh no - please don't let her talk to me - he turned his head, checking out the bland artwork on the walls - anything rather than catch her glance. Bizzare flliers for the upcoming Mexican menu - commissioned from some cheapo art student. He stepped up his pace and was past her in a moment. Safe.
He pulled out the chair, winked at the waiter, and sat himself down at Keith's table just as Keith emerged from the toilet.