Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Night We Met (Part II)

Continued from Part I:

"It's unlike you to not eat, Dave" my boss, Kate, said. With all the birthday cakes, cookies, catered lunches and company picnics we'd attended together, I'd developed a bit of a reputation for eating. A lot.

"I know, I'm just not feeling all that well," I lied. I decided that illness was the most logical escape from the situation. "My stomach's a little, well, uneasy." Whenever I needed to make an excuse to leave an event, I always went with diarrhea. Nothing can really match it's "need to go right now" qualities. You can always tolerate a sore throat or a headache for a while, but no one would deny someone the need to evacuate their bowels, much less discuss it over dinner. I gave her my best stomach cramp look so that if I bolted up from the table without an explanation, she would be able to draw the inference.

I left the Wild Club the night before explaining to Steven that I had to be up for a 7:00am breakfast and that while I would like nothing more than to go home with him, it just wasn't in the cards. We settled for a brief make-out session as I leaned against my friend's blue Miata. It was quite awkward since the top was down and David was sitting in the driver's seat barely 3 feet away. Though my back was facing him, I pictured him sitting perfectly still with his hands on the wheel looking straight ahead. Much like you might do if you were completely shit-faced and had to sit next to a cop at a traffic light. Not that I've ever done that, of course.

Since I lived in Dallas at the time, and he lived in San Antonio, we didn't see much need in exchanging numbers. We both regrettably resigned ourselves to it being a lost opportunity. Like just one number away from the powerball, or a grand slam stolen by an over-the-fence catch. In retrospect, this may have been the last time corporate responsibility interfered with my sex life. This event taught me that orgasm trumps promotion any day.

"You know, Kate," I said softly. "I think when they clear the entrees, I'm going to run back to the hotel. I must've eaten something that disagreed with me earlier." I emphasized the word "run" in such a way as to hint that I actually had the runs, and even threw in the ever-so-sublte "I'm about to shit my pants" look for good measure, but I'm not sure she got it.

"Go right now, Dave. These old farts won't even know you're missing. And even if they do, they're so drunk on wine they won't remember." Kate was always looking out after me in a drunken, cigarette-smoking step-mom kind of way. We got along famously. I tossed my napkin on my plate and said goodbye to the group. Kate gave me a knowing wink, as if she knew what I was up to. She'd no doubt excused herself from these situations many times, even if just to steal a quick Newport in the parking lot. I felt proud that my mentor approved.

Within 10 minutes I was back in my room plotting my return to the Wild Club. I realized the chance was incredibly slim that he would return the very next night, but I had spent the last 24 hours over-romanticizing how I might somehow find him and wisk him away into the sunset. This was my only hope. In a desperate vigil for love amongst the smell of smoke and cheap cologne, I'd planned to sit at the bar and stare at the front door all night. Ah, youth.

Conclusion to follow...


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