Faint Hopes by Ken Liebeskind
David thought, they were freaking icons for a world gone mad, and he was pretty happy to be in it.
But who would it be? Dawn was beautiful, Lia was wonderful, and there were lots of other women, too, their young, lively spirits seemingly ready to be tapped.
And then there were the gay men, who were always on the prowl. Lee basically joked about it, but some of the others were more aggressive. David had been propositioned by a bartender named Ed, who had invited him back to his apartment in Astoria one night after work. “No, I’m not into that,” David had said, as he walked toward the subway. But as he traveled back to Brooklyn on the F train (“F” is for fuck, David thought), he wondered if it was true whether he really wasn’t “into that.” Maybe he really was gay, as Lee always said. He tried to put the thought out of his mind, but there was ambiguity there that perplexed him.
In the summer, the whole restaurant changed with the summer garden opening outside where a skating rink was in the winter. Suddenly, most of the staff worked outdoors in the intoxicating night air, serving food and drinks under the stars. The atmosphere was charged with a new kind of energy.
A huge bar was set up under a canopy, with tables between the bar and a majestic fountain that spewed streams of water over statues of mythological figures. The classic figures suggested something, but David wasn’t sure what. A link between the ancient and present eras? David wondered if there were cafes like this in ancient Greece and how they would be decorated. With statues of cave men and dinosaurs, perhaps? He mentioned this to Lee who laughed and said he’d like that a lot, because he had a thing for cave men. “I’ll bet you’d love to see me in a loin cloth,” he said to David.