I was wearing turquoise. I doubt I showered that day; my hair was twisted frayed ribbons. My make-up was leftovers. As I waited for a girlfriend to meet me for a drink, I sidled up to the bar, and asked for a wine list. Nothing in print, a blur of choices. “You know what? Even easier, do you have anything from South America, New Zealand, or Germany?” Negative. The bartender poured me a taste of some white wine; I tasted oak. “I don’t mean to be a pain, but anything unoaked, do you have something other than Chardonnay?” I know what I sound like. I don’t care. I want what I want—go ahead, say it.
I don’t remember his first words to me, or if we even talked about wine. Somehow though, he ended up paying for mine. Pleasantries were not exchanged. We didn’t talk about the weather or about jobs. We talked about his day, and he presented me with the proof. His day’s activities were wrapped in shiny black cardboard boxes and nestled into a Thomas Pink bag. The boy could shop.
“Well you might as well show me what you’ve got in there, cause jeez, you’ll have no chance of dating me if I hate your taste.” Did I just say that? Now, there’s no subtext here. This isn’t Pulp Fiction; it wasn’t his soul in there. I approved of more than just the shirts. I don’t know if it was his shoulders, his voice, or those eyes. I was lost. Maybe it was the oak. Our banter was truncated upon my friend’s arrival. Introductions were made, my attention had to shift. The wine kept coming.
After my friend and I covered work, wardrobe, and weekend plans, I realized he might have to leave. I might have to leave. As my friend took her leave to make a phone call outside, I dug in. Into my handbag, I found one of my business cards. I turned to him and smiled. He smiled. There really wasn’t a need for language. I pushed the card to him as if it were a bill. “Just in case I need to go, or you need to leave, I wanted to give you this, well because I like you.” It wasn’t the wine.
“I hope this doesn’t mean you’re leaving. I still want to talk.”
“I’m not leaving.” What I meant, of course, was I’m not going anywhere at all.
My friend had to go back to her office, kiss, kiss, I’ll call you tomorrow. He asked if I would join him for dinner. We were, after all, in a restaurant, and I was, after all, hungry. Okay, let’s face it, had I just eaten a full course tasting menu at Danube, I would have feigned starvation to break bread with this man. Suddenly, he’s ready to leave. “You didn’t think we’d eat here did you?”
We’re in a cab headed south. Blue Ribbon. Oysters were had. Even more wine, something unoaked and perfect. We might have talked about work, about my love of photography, maybe not. It was as if we were in candlelight, surrounded by our favorite colors, even out on the curb hailing a taxi. The streets of Manhattan were flecked with gold, never mind moonlight: It was rapture.
We’re in a cab headed north. He is headed south. My pants are pulled to my ankles. I assume he tipped the driver well. We’ve arrived at his apartment, and suddenly we’re even past his doormen and in his elevator. I’m going home with this guy. I have never in my life done anything like this. I cross my ankles, read the Times on Sunday’s, enunciate the “T” in the word “bottle.” I am not the type of lady who accompanies a gentleman home upon first meeting. This behavior is reserved for girls with daddy issues, plagued with low self-esteem, for women who wear leather hotpants.
It was the 32nd floor of his building. We were high up, and the view was lovely. Then, he suddenly had to leave. There I am, standing in his apartment, this man I met only a few hours ago, and he has to get something from the doorman. Dry cleaning, some fed-ex, condoms? I don’t know what’s going on. I check my voicemail. What am I doing? I have to leave. This isn’t me.
I know that if I press the down arrow in the hall, there’s a chance the elevator will arrive with him in it. Even drunk, I’m a smartie pants. I take the stairs down two levels, thinking, no way am I taking the stairs all the way down. One flight would prevent our crossing in the elevator. I get out at the 30th floor, press down, and float past his doormen. They tell me he has just gone up. “Oh, yes, fine. It’s okay, he knows.” I spout.
I’m sitting in a taxi at a red light, my forehead in my hand. What the hell am I doing? Then, he’s there again, knocking on the taxicab window, his tie loosened and hanging open around his neck. His eyes furled, giving me that look Linus gives me when he wants a puppy massage. “Please, don’t go.”
“This isn’t me. I don’t do this.”
“It doesn’t have to be. Please, take my hand; let’s go upstairs. We’ll figure it out.” He was calm when he said it, patient and loving. He did, after all, come outside to get me. Okay, it was drama; it was wonderful.
It didn’t take long before all my clothes were off. We were naked on his living room rug, where he was massaging me with oil. After kissing my neck he says, “you know, I do have a bed.”
“I’m not having sex with you.” Now, just for the record, if a woman says this to you, she means intercourse, not oral sex. “I mean it.” I did mean it. He believes me and seeks an alternative. For a moment, he leaves the room and returns with a bottle of lotion. Trying to squirt some body lotion into his hand, he stands naked above the bed. The bottle is empty; splatters of white lotion speckle his hand.
“Damn it. I’m out of Astroglide, too.” Here’s a tip, men. Try to leave “Astroglide” out of your speech with any women you have any interest in fcuking or seeing again. Nix it from your vocab. “Astroglide” translates to “Sketchy Perv.” Defeated, he leaves the room again. He returns with Pam Cooking Spray. Red cap, aerosol spray; you know the one. You use it to cook eggs, fry up some onions, render some bacon. You don’t spray it on your dick.
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