Monday, March 12, 2012

Firefighter's first date.

I will be giving away free Kindle versions of my book Dangers, Toils, and Snares: Confessions of a Firefighter for Saint Patrick's day. Please help spread the word.

I held the door for Kim, as she passed I got a whiff of her perfume, nice, and thanks to my ex I knew the scent, Amarige.  Poor Kim she had no idea how far behind the curve she was without even trying.
We found a table in the sun, I pulled her chair for her and we took our seats.
“Thanks for meeting me, you should know you are the very first date I have had in almost 12 years. So my skills may be a bit rusty.”
“You have skills at dating?” she was sly, I liked that.
“Maybe skills was a poor word choice. Any skills I may present I assure you are dated somewhere in the nineties. I assume there have been improvements in the system since I was last involved”

“That hasn’t been my experience I’ve seen very little improvement in the system since high school.” She followed this with a pleasant smile.
“Have you tried this internet dating much?” I asked.
“Some. It’s kind of fun and kind of weird sometimes.”
“Weird? You mean like weird men or weird dates or both?”
“What constitutes weird if you don’t mind me asking?”
“Many things I guess. Weird clothes is one.”
“Weird clothes? Like clown costumes or jumpsuits, stuff like that? Cause that I would consider weird.” I gave her a straight face on that one. Clothing was not my strong suit and suddenly I wondered if I was dressed weird. She gave a bit of a giggle.
“No clown suits, some clowns, but no clown suits. I’ll give you an example. I met a guy for coffee like this. I was waiting for him and he came running up, literally running, in a tank top and gym shorts, all sweaty and out of breath, with his IPod blasting in his ears.” Her face was squinching up.
“Did he smell?” her face said he did so I asked.
“How’d you know?”
“Lucky guess.”
“So he pulls out his ear buds says hi and sticks out his sweaty hand.” Her shoulders pulled back as she relived the scene.
“Real gentleman huh?” I felt my shoulders pull back as well.
“Did you shake it?”
“What was I supposed to do? Leave his hand hanging out there.”
“Eww!” I said.
“Tell me. So he plops down across from me like nothing weird is happening, and now sweat starts dripping off him… and he was really hairy. I could see sweat form and slide to the end of a hair and drip off.” She shivered so did I.
“Ewww!” I heard myself say again.
“Was he wearing like those short shorts and wristbands?”
“Thank God no, but I wish he had had the wristbands, then he could have mopped up some of the sweat.”
“Eww!” I said again. “So he’s sweating, stinking, and dressed weird?”
“So all things considered I’m doing pretty good by comparison?”
“Fantastic.” She said.
“Was he a nice guy?” I was feeling better about my wardrobe choices.
“I have no idea. I just stood up and said sorry I can’t do this and left.” She gave kind of a regretful smile.
“Really? You just walked?”
“I’m fifty years old, been married, divorced for three years now, and been on my fair share of dates. I don’t have to be polite if I don’t want to anymore. You’ll figure that out as you go along.” She just sat back in her chair. I liked her.
“I will huh?”
“Yeah you will Tim. You’re a sharp guy.”
“Thanks. Did you grow up here?”
“I did, married my high school sweetheart in fact.”
“Which high school?” She named the arch rival school to my high school.
“No? I went to Mitchell.”
“You did?” She asked. Now she sat forward.
“Did you know (she named her ex-husband)?”
“I did, do know him.” Her face dropped a little.
“And what do you think of him?”

She had done this before I knew it instantly. Her ex had a bad reputation back in high school as a real thug and he hadn’t changed over the years. I’d see him out in the bars over the years, we weren’t friends by any means, but we knew each other.

He was a real tough guy and so were his two brothers. Last I had heard one or maybe both brothers were in prison or recently released. You didn’t want to be on the wrong side of these guys. As a firefighter and paramedic I had seen firsthand the damage this bunch was capable of laying down on a person and it wasn’t pretty. She read my face.
“He’s not a nice man. That’s what I think of him.” She gave an exhausted smile.
“No he isn’t.” She filled up with pain like a puddle in a down pour, her whole body sagged.
“I’m sorry. I can’t imagine what you have been through.”

My heart broke for her. She had in one sense escaped that beast and at the same time was haunted by the association with him. I couldn’t date her. For one I don’t date anyone’s ex, and second knowing this man as I did, I wouldn’t risk my own safety. That may sound cowardly and maybe it was.
“No you can’t Tim.” Her eyes fell from me.
“You have been through this before haven’t you?”
“Yes. Don’t feel bad Tim, I understand. He’s a scary man.”
“Are his brothers still around?”
“One, and one is dead, killed in prison.” She stood up and held out her hand. I stood up and took her hand, then pulled her in for a hug, she sagged.
“He won’t be there forever.” She pulled away.
“Yes he will Tim, you just proved it.” She spun around and walked away quickly.
My resolve to rejoin the dating world was weakened that day. People are such miserable things.


Jenn said...

I feel for her--she was probably "trapped" with that creep for years and dating had to be hard if anyone knew him--they wouldn't date her. You were honest--didn't lead her on--good for you. It is hard--but what can you do?

I haven't dated in so long (other than my husband) I would be totally lost on the scene. I wouldn't know what to do anymore. (And hopefully that is a bridge I won't ever have to cross). It has to take guts is all I can say!!

Cheers, Jenn

November Rain - k~ said...

This was an interesting end to the date, but I have to wonder about something you said: "For one I don’t date anyone’s ex"... aren't YOU somebodies ex?

Fireman said...

Don't make me think Rain. It's a man thing or my thing but it would be disrespectful to date someone's ex even the ex of an A$$.

Fireman said...

Thanks Jenn, if you could have seen the deep sadness in this poor woman. You should schedule one of those husband dates soon.

November Rain - k~ said...

Fair enough ;-) No thinking invoked from this one...