It was our first date.During dinner I played with the thought of introducing him to my family. He was the epitome of the boy next door; button down shirt, khakis, big toothy grin, salt and pepper hair with an Ivy League cut and a face as open and honest as the Milky Way circling above us. When I asked him about his children he pulled three perfectly crisp photographs out of his compact wallet and neatly arranged them side by side on the table in order of age: Monique 9, Nicholas 12 and Evelyn 14. I searched their dark eyes for meaning. Was he a good father? Did they love him? Were they happy? The same questions I asked myself when I looked at my children’s pictures.
When we stood up to leave, he placed his hand near the small of my back to guide me; an imperceptible gesture that was inconceivably stirring. The first time I looked at him, I mean really looked at him was at the end of the date, next to my car underneath the expanding sky. Of course they loved him. Of course he was a good father. In his face I could see infinite happiness.
I was early, but I’m always early.When you’ve been on fifty dates looking for Mr. Right you take charge by getting there early and grabbing a glass of “Char-done-ay” to relax. I gave the hostess my name and waited. And waited. I forgave him as soon as he showed up, great smile, although he looked nothing like his profile picture, which is par for the course. But, the shaved head and goatee thing was working for him, and for me.
He pulled out his wallet to show me his kid’s pictures and I thought Oh dear God, this one is such a straight boy. His wallet was a mess. He had to peel the pictures apart. They were cute kids though and he could form a sentence, which was promising.When we got up from the table I followed behind him, intentionally. He had gone to the restroom earlier and I had the pleasure of watching him walk away. I wanted one more view. He drove a green Jeep Grand Cherokee with a V-6, impressive.
They were colleagues meetin’ for dinner I told Tommy, or a coupla’ guys whose wives were having one of them “girl’s night” or whatever the hell they call ‘em. So they decided to make the best of it, leave the kids with Grammy and Gramps and grab a beer. But Tommy says “Look closer, Bobby, I gotta’ ten-spot that says there’s something more. Most guys don’t look each other in the eyes for that long,” and then Bobby stahts making googly eyes at me, the fucker. It might have been a first date. It’s Boston, for Chrisake! The place is wicked full of em’, but my money says they’re not.So I tell Bobby I’m in and we watch ‘em walk to their car. So I say, “See, he’s driving a fuckin’ Jeep, pay up ya’ re-tahd!” And then, and then, right on the kissah!
I handed the ten over to Bobby. The kiss was so fuckin’ fast it wasn’t worth ten cents.