Chilled drink in hand, tucked in the inner curve of the S-shaped bar that dominated the high-ceilinged room. The networking session had just wrapped up, and so had your talk, where I was given the opportunity to walk on broken glass. Everyone had more or less left, and the bar was practically emptied out, except for a small few who chose to stay and continue their conversations in hushed voices.
I sip on my rum and Coke whilst I wait for you to get your things, after finishing my conversation with a nice lad. It’s always refreshing to come across open minds. I take another sip of the concoction, and do a quick hundred and eighty-degree view of the space. Plush couches, Bauhaus chairs, an imposing glass-and-steel spiral staircase which led up to a more intimate lounge overlooking the ground floor —— it’s all very contemporary, just my kind of bar —— but what caught my eye the most were the large metal birdcages, home to bottles of Black Label, Malibu, and Belvedere, amongst other birds of paradise. An aviary of alcohol, you could say. The bartender was caging them up for the night, tucking them in with such care before yet another busy day tomorrow.
I take it all in, and soak in the ambience of it all. Never did I think I’d be here, in Beijing, albeit for a brief period of time. In the heart of the capital city of China, sipping on sweet nights in four-inch heels and a well-cut blazer, waiting for you. And that I’d be here for the rest of the week.
Life never fails to astound me, with how we can literally end up anywhere we want to be, should we choose to make it happen. And what’s actually stopping us? Nothing. It takes me by complete surprise each and every time. But yet, most of us choose to stay constrained, or rather, are unaware of the limits we naturally seem to impose on ourselves in every single aspect of our lives. It’s astonishing.
I take another sip, and think. Another sip, and think. Before I know it, a warm arm wraps around my waist and someone sits next to me by the bar, vying for my attention. I turn to my right to find you smiling at me, and I offer you my drink. You take it appreciatively, and we sit there for a while, enjoying our comfortable silence where no words are needed while Calvin Harris and Rihanna play in the background. We’ve come a long way since being dance partners in college, pre-university.
Because in the end, life is made up of moments like this —— small, fleeting moments, seemingly insignificant amidst grandiose celebrations and rambunctious revelry, but so very special in its own right.
Zeta Bar, Hilton, Beijing
Picture credits to Hilton (as I’ve still yet to edit mine)