Colin walked into the lobby of the concert hall clad in his wool dress coat and a warm scarf. He had remembered his leather gloves this time. He scanned the room for Brian as he unwound the scarf from his neck. Brian spotted him first and walked up from behind. He put his hand on Colin's shoulder.
"Brian! Good to see you!" Colin turned to shake his hand. "A goatee?" He remarked, looking at Brian's face.
Brian stroked his chin. "It makes me look sophisticated."
"Right." Colin said with a dubious nod.
"My wife says so."
"Is she here tonight?" Colin asked, looking around.
"No, she's still settling things up at the condo in New York."
"I see. So this is a guy's night out."
"Precisely." Brian stroked his goatee again.
"You know I'll never take you seriously if you keep doing that. You look kind of like a 12 year old with a glandular problem." Colin said, referring to the strange effect Colin's facial hair had on his boyish looks.
"Like I said, more sophisticated." The two laughed.
"I snagged us some good tickets. We'd better go claim our seats.
They both took programs from the usher as they entered.
"Hmm. Mahler." Colin commented, looking at the program.
"That sounded negative. Don't you like Mahler?"
Colin stuffed his scarf into a coat sleeve once they had gotten to their seats at the middle of the main floor.
"It was a pensive tone. I haven't listened to any Mahler in years." Colin flipped through the program. It contained three months worth of program information and was glossy and full of advertisements, much like a magazine. He turned to the list of musicians in the orchestra. Glancing at the names he noticed Anne Williams listed as the assistant principal trumpet. He recognized the name from the list of musicians participating in Ravinia for the summer. He would be accompanying her in July. He pointed it out to Brian.
"I'm accompanying her at Ravinia this summer. I'm also accompanying the concertmaster."
"Ravinia. That will be nice. Anne Williams, I wonder if she's attractive." Brian wondered aloud, scanning his own program.
Colin frowned, "I don't see how that matters."
"Are you single."
"Yes." Colin continued frowning.
"That's why it matters. We'll find out soon enough." Brian motioned to the stage, where musicians were starting to make their way on stage.
Colin imagined a dowdy, middle-aged woman with big glasses after Brian wondered whether or not Anne would be attractive. He wasn't sure why the image popped into his head. Perhaps there had been someone like that at Julliard. That must have been it, he thought. He looked up at the stage with a curiosity born from Brian's comment. What if she was beautiful and young? But what did it matter? Then again, he was lonely. Lonely but reluctant to start anew after recent circumstances. Still, he couldn't help but wonder, and kept his eyes trained on the brass section. Eventually a brown haired young woman made her way on stage, in amongst the men of the brass section. She was, in fact, the only female brass player in the orchestra, aside from a fill-in french horn player. Colin thought her quite pretty, and took notice of her slim figure, dressed all in black, as he watched her move to her chair. Another trumpet player said something to her and she smiled in response. It was an alluring smile, Colin found himself embarrassingly captivated by it. He smiled along with her unconscious of it.
"So that must be her." Brian said, watching Colin swiftly squelch the smile from his face in embarrassment. "She's pretty." Brian raised his eyebrows at Colin. Colin rolled his eyes before returning to reading his program.
"Still, that has nothing to do with anything." he spoke definsively "I hope your wife knows you behave this way in public."
"Uh huh." Brian smirked at Colin's definsiveness.
The lights in the concert hall lowered and the stage lights brightened as the orchestra tuned. Colin kept a self-conscious eye on Anne.