We went to Trad'r Sam's on Geary to catch up, probably with the understanding that brightly colored concoctions that go down easy would lower our inhibitions enough to speak honestly. That is how a Singapore Sling is like Miss Marple: It looks innocent enough but will cut through bullshit in about 30 minutes.
We sat near the booth marked "Samoa" and across from the one marked "Honolulu," but when we looked up over our booth, there was no name for our seats. That should have been my first clue.
I ordered a Wipeout, the irony of which wasn't lost on me when I promptly knocked it over with my knee, sending aqua-blue slush all over the place. After that I decided to play it safe with a Surfer on Acid.
He told me I was beautiful but that I needed a haircut. He held my hand and asked me about the eczema across my two knuckles. I told him it was stress-related, and he asked if he should kiss it to make it better. That should have been my second clue.
"White Horse" by Laid Back came on the jukebox. Oh, no. There is something about early electro that really turns me on. I discovered this while on a date with my first boyfriend, Mark, whom I found very attractive but just couldn't quite feel any passion for. Then Mark played "Egyptian Lover" by the Egyptian Lover, and did a tiny little pop-lock when he handed me my Milwaukee's Best, and it didn't take long for the dry humping to ensue.
"If you wanna ride, don't ride the white horse ...."
"What song is this?" asked ex-boyfriend, who was sitting with me in the no-name booth at Trad'r Sam's. He thought it was funny that I knew all the words. I just stared at him with a look that said, "You mean to tell me that you have never heard this song, like, ever?" No, he hadn't. My disgust was quickly changed to excitement when I realized that the best part of the song was to come. "Here it comes," I said, chin up expectantly and pointing at the ceiling. "... You a bitch."
He laughed and I wanted to sit closer to him. This guy was a cheater and a liar, not to be trusted, which is probably why I fell so hard for him before. In my fantasies, he comes back to me and tells me that he has changed, that he knows himself now, that all those girls were an attempt to fill an emptiness that he now knows can only be filled by the love of one good woman.
Well, he said those things to me and the haze of rum and warm fuzzies clouded my judgment. The only bullshit that my drink cut through that night was the idea that I was over him. If Miss Marple were there she would have given me one look and then softly taken me by the arm and driven me back to St. Mary Mead for a nice cup of tea. But she wasn't there.
We held hands and snuggled, but I didn't let him kiss my eczema. I did, however, let him kiss my lips, and as the cliché goes, it was like slipping into a nice, comfortable old pair of shoes. Shoes that really turn me on.
A birthday was happening over in "Tonga." In fact, the entire place was packed to the bamboo with tipsy chicks with tiny umbrellas in their hair. I rested my head in his neck and smelled his familiar smell: pomade, Ivory soap, and whatever pheromones attracted me to him in the first place. This was the first guy who actually read my stuff after I said I was a writer. He was the first guy to appreciate the pie I baked for him with our initials cut into the top.
The big question was, of course, had he really changed? But I wouldn't need to worry about that until the next day.
Reader, I banged him, and we laughed and sighed and then reminisced. I let him kiss my rash. My cat slept between us and my dog licked his face in the morning. I didn't ask him when he wanted to hang out again, and he didn't say when he would call me. I sort of felt like a living version of a Tammy Wynette song, the ones before she stood up for herself. I tried to find clues in his behavior: Was he uncomfortable, or just tired? Did he want to get out of there, or was he going to be sad to leave me? On my way to work, I put in a Whodini tape (pop-locking the cassette in, of course) and sped off, content to live, for now, with the mystery.