The boys were a bit disappointed that I had acted on my own; after all we were in this together.
“No “we” aren’t in this together guys, this is me trying to restart a part of my life. I appreciate all your help, but I’m going on date, or a meet and great or whatever it’s called now, and I’m going by myself, no Cyrano de Bergerac stuff.”
Blank stares at the Cyrano remark.
“Cyrano de Bergerac, remember the movie with Steve Martin, Roxanne? When he was a fire chief with the big nose?”
“Yeah.” They all nodded with understanding it did have firefighters in it after all and Daryl Hanna.
“That’s Cyrano de Bergerac, when he helps the dumb guy try and seduce Daryl Hanna, remember with the deer hunter hat on and he’s telling him what to say so he can get the girl? Remember?”
“Yeah.” They were following.
“Okay, so you guys don’t get to go with me and hide in the bushes and watch.”
They were all a little let down. I don’t think they really thought they would get to go, but they also hadn’t thought that they didn’t get to go.
“But you will tell us, right? How it goes?” asked Dave.
“Yeah we will have a full critique, I still need your help guys.”
The appointed day came and I prepared to meet a stranger for coffee. I had devoted quite a bit of mental time to how I would go about this, how to dress, what topics to explore, could I make her laugh and so forth.
I had not read a single woman’s profile that didn’t highlight the fact that every woman walking the face of the earth desires a man that can make them laugh.
Now I had had a pretty good run at stand-up comedy in the mid 80s, I had performed for about three years and was making a place for myself in that world. I had been in shows with Rosanne Barr (even gave her rides once or twice), played basketball with Sinbad, gotten high with some others you would know, so I knew I could make people laugh.
But that career had ended when my first wife made me choose between comedy and her. Stupid me I picked her. The point I’m trying to make is that doing stand-up is premeditated, I had all that humor rehearsed and new the material well.
Slipping humor into a conversation on the fly is a skill as well I believe. But that skill had been stifled in the seriousness of my divorce, I didn’t feel so funny anymore. The atomic bomb that was my ex-wife had eradiated my funny bone to the point of malignancy, and now like an organ grinders monkey I had to go be funny. Self gratification sounded more appealing, than self flagellation at that point.
I went. It was a nice sunny day so sitting outside sounded good. My “staff” had advised me to get there early and buy my own coffee.
“Never buy the chick her coffee TimO it just isn’t done that way anymore. She needs to buy her own, makes ‘em feel powerful” Advised Hatchet.
“Oh and sit where you can see her come in but she can’t see you. Then if she lied and weighs like 300 pounds and used 10 year old pictures, you can just slip away unnoticed.” Added Dave.
It all sounded reasonable to me. So I did as told. I don’t believe you can be more uncomfortable in what is supposed to be a good time, than this. Every time the door opened I did a prairie dog bob-up, to see if it was her. Not obvious at all.
She had offered to wear a red dress to help identify her arrival, so anything red made me feel like a bull in the ring, I immediately became hyperaware of that color, red cars, stop signs in the parking lot, red shoes. I began to sweat and feeling damp made me think to just run, I didn’t need this.
“Hey.” Said the young woman that brought me my coffee.
“Mr. Casey, right?”
“Yeah.” I knew the face but couldn’t place it with my scrambled mind. She extended her hand to me.
“Shannon, you are friends with my dad Todd?” Shannon had grown up.
“Yeah right, Shannon, how’s your dad?”
“He’s great. How are you, I heard about your…”
“Yeah.” She showed the proper amount of remorse for my situation.
“I gotta get back to work.”
“Okay, thanks for saying hi, and tell your dad to call me.”
“I will Mr. Casey. Nice to see you.”
As she stepped away my eyes refocused on a red dress she had been obscuring. The perfect Hollywood reveal. She was at the counter ordering. I was compelled to do the guy thing.
You women may do the same thing I don’t know, what I do know is the mind of men and firemen more precisely. A check list is rapidly moved through in our minds. First, an overall observation is made, a quick head to toe survey, to determine if we will consider you for a sex partner.
Sounds crude, but is factual none the less. She passed the test. So no need to slip away like a snake. Shannon’s distraction had somehow calmed my mind and grounded me, I felt at ease.
Kim was her name and I should have known just at the hard “C” of her name this was a mistake. Not until that moment did I remember both of my wives names had started with a hard “C” sound. I was cursed.
She turned away from the counter and scanned the room. I stood and gave her a wave, she smiled brightly and made her way over to me. I stuck out my hand and she took it.
“Yes and I’m sure you are Kim. Red dress gave you away.” She smiled again.
“Wanna go outside and visit?” I asked.
“Beautiful morning, of course, let’s go.”
I took the lead so I could get the door for her. I might not have purchased her coffee, but I’m still a gentleman and always open doors for any lady.
1000 words, I’ll pick it up again tomorrow.