Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Here Today

Part 1 - We Meet
Part 2 - She's So Lovely
Part 3 - See Me

Paul and I belonged to the Bravo Club, a gathering of young to middle aged men and women who pretended to be interested in opera, but in reality it was a way to meet each other. The club sponsored a party that night at the San Francisco Yacht Club, located on the bay at Fort Mason that caught the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge in the late afternoons.

Paul took Beth in his Corvette, and I went separately in my car, a Mazda MX-6 that my mother had managed to secure financing for despite my bad credit history to date, a reliable companion while my friends traded in their old models for the latest and greatest.

The party was bursting at the seams, and all the usual suspects were in attendance. Paul saw the Korean twins he had met at the last club party, and joined them on the dance floor, leaving Beth and I alone for the first time that evening.

"Have you ever dated anyone from the Bravo Club," Beth asked me.

"I've had a few close calls, but it never seems to work out. Some of the girls like me, and I like some of the girls, but it's never mutual. Just last weekend, I had a date lined up, you know, the time and place, and then she went completely radio silent."

I scanned the crowd and saw her, and I was stunned to see that she was not nearly as attractive as I remembered.

"My goodness, she's here," I said.

"Where?!" Beth was intrigued.

I was reluctant to demonstrate my bad taste, but I pointed her out anyway, as if she were in a police lineup. Beth smiled and said, "She's pretty."

"Yeah, right," I laughed.

We got a few beers then I invited her to the dance floor. She insists to this day that I tricked her that night into thinking that I liked to dance. I hate a crowded dance floor unless I am completely hammered, but then the dance floor hates me, so nobody wins. That night however, I had Saturday Night Fever, was Stayin' Alive and was Born to do the Hand Jive.

The music slowed down and I pulled her close. I was tortured to feel her next to me; her sweet perfume filled my head with impure thoughts; my body ached to consume her while my prudish mind urged caution.

We drifted outside under a covered deck, protected from the pounding rain that pummelled an ocean that hardly seemed to notice. A cool ocean breeze tempered with the steamy dreamlike redolence of fresh rainfall suffused the climate of our outdoor getaway. I couldn't hold back any longer and stole a kiss. She put both her hands out and looked dizzy for a moment, then we looked at each other in awkward silence for a few moments. She was going home tomorrow afterall, three thousand miles away on the opposite coast, and this couldn't possibly work.

"Can I drive you home?" I asked.

"But what about Paul?"

"I'll talk to him, wait here."

I found him standing alone at the bar, and decided not to mince words. "Paul, would you mind if I drove Beth back to her car?"

"W-w-why would I care? Of course you can take her!" He laughed a nervous laugh, and I felt awful. But the fact was, I was approaching 35; I wasn't a teenager anymore. Serious opportunity only knocks on your apartment door almost never, and I couldn't see turning it away on a technicality. I was breaking every rule, and was seriously jeopardizing my relationship with Paul, which I valued highly. For him though, this was just another date that didn't work out, for me, this was something more. I had however caused him a great embarrassment, and there wasn't anything I could do to staunch the wound.

All I could say was, "Thanks Paul."

From playing the dating game, I had learned that the more aloof you remain, the more the fairer sex will eat from your palm. But tonight I was all through with that. She was leaving on a plane in the morning and it was time to lay my cards on the table.

"I think you are the most important person I have ever met in my life, and I can't stand it that you are going home tomorrow."

She looked at me seriously. "But I am going home tomorrow, aren't I," she said wryly.

We pulled up next to her car and we sat for a while.

She said, "I've had a really great time tonight, but we have to be realistic about this. We need to walk away, and I don't think we should exchange numbers."

"What if I emailed you? Would you write back?"

She thought for a moment, "Ok." She pulled out a business card and wrote her email address on the back and handed it to me, then gave me a hug and slipped out the door.

15 comments:

Mr. T said...

I'm getting anxious reading this.

Very good addition to the story, very descriptive. I love it!

jenbeauty said...

She was going home...how anxious you had to have felt. It was probably a good feeling to at least get her card and e-mail addy. What a way to start a relationship.

I love where this is heading!

Scott said...

Thanks Mr T!

Jen - Yeah, just like a love story isn't it? Fate kept the lovers apart.

mr. schprock said...

I thought the scene on the deck was especially well-written. What a great story, Scott!

Scott said...

Mr. Schprock - I got stuck on that paragraph for a while. Thanks for noticing.

Mrs.T said...

I love that you pursued.... A woman loves to be pursued.. (Sometimes)

Mr. T said...

As opposed to stalked right Mrs T? :)
There's always that fine line. ;)

magnetbabe said...

You're killing me! Just write the rest in one monstrous, epic, record breaking post. Take the day off work and satisfy your readers. Seriously, call in sick or something.

Beth said...

This is one of your best, Scott. I enjoy being left hanging. Weird? Haha.

Jason said...

Scott, I think we were at least harvested from the same stem cells and cloned.

Scott said...

Mrs T - Well, you have to go after what you want in life. They say you don't win the lottery until you buy a ticket.

Mr T - Ha! I had the same thought, but she was safely esconsed three thousand miles away, protected by her father and two brothers.

MagnetBabe - And I thought women liked foreplay. Time. You nailed it. I could write all day if I could only get paid for it dammit!

Knitter - Thanks, I'm having a good time, and the pressure to come up with new stuff is temporarily allayed.

Jason - Honestly, I got the idea of the continuing saga from your site. So MagnetBabe, give 'em hell.

The Zombieslayer said...

Funny thing is I can see Paul's face right before you say "thanks." I can visualize that expression, that 35-year-old with a look of both desperation and betrayal.

women are turned off by guys who try too hard. However, if you pursue them like a hunter, it's sexy. Or so I've heard. :)

Master of None said...

My first read of your series. I'll definitely be back.

Scott said...

Zombie - There is a fine line to pursuit, the trick is knowing when they are actually enjoying it. I never really figured that one out.

Master of None - Thanks, I'm glad to have you aboard.

Miranda said...

I bet you COULD get paid for it.