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Mr. Moon Buys Two Goldfish

March 16, 2015

“Where can I get goldfish?” he texted. He needed it for some kind of New Year ceremony. A Persian thing.

“Walmart or PetsSmart,” I replied.

“Can you take me there, sometime?”

“Sure. Just let me know when.”

“Maybe this weekend.”

“Ok.”

It was his birthday Saturday. I bought him wine. Yes, that wine. Which I will NOT share with him. I asked him if we could meet so I could give him his gift. He decided to go to New Orleans. He said he would let me know Sunday when he was back.

When I was walking he called.

“Where are you?”

“At Girard Park.”

“I’m at your door.”

“Why are you at my door?”

Spontaneity had not been part of his behavior before then. I was surprised that he dropped by unannounced.

“We said we’d have lunch. I came straight over. If I go home, I’m going to fall asleep.”

“Well, I’m walking now and I have to shower. Let’s try for later. Maybe after 5. I have to  pick up my son at 4.”

I picked him up on campus. He hadn’t shaved. He had a 5 o’clock shadow. I hadn’t seen him in a while.

I drove him to the northside shopping center and the Petco there. We bickered along the way. He picks on me. He called me grumpy. “It’s just being around you,” I said. He laughed. I questioned his ability to care for a fish. “You’re not even going to get gravel? I knew you didn’t know what you were doing. Those fish are going to die.”

“They’re fish. They’re born to die.”

We found the goldfish at Petco. “What about that kind? How about these with the big bellies or the little carps with red heads or the black ones?” I suggested.

“No, the sixty-nine cent goldfish will do.”

He looked at the tank full of fish.

“That one,” he said pointing as he put his finger in front of a particular fish. “Keep an eye on it.”

“Ok, I’m on it.” I followed the fish around the tank. He found someone to fetch two fish for him.

“I’ve still got him,” I said.

“You’re really keeping an eye on him?”

“Of course.”

“He wants this particular one,” I told the saleslady with the blond faux hawk.

“Are you serious?” she asked looking into the tank stocked with hundreds of goldfish.

“No, any one will do,” he said.

She pulled out two fish and put them in a bag. We looked for bowls.

“Here they are.” They were overpriced. Twenty bucks for a glass bowl.

“I wonder if we can find something cheaper at Target?” I said. “Do we time? Yeah, we have time.”

He stood with his fish bag at the register until he remembered, “Oh, food. I need food,” and went back to get some flakes.

“This is my first time in Target,” he announced as we approached the automatic sliding doors.

“How exciting,” I said.

There was a large, calico cat sitting in the parking lot.

“I think, maybe one of those things, you know that you put flowers in.”

“A vase.”

“Yeah, a wase.”

“Vvvase.”

“Wvase.”

“Yeah, that’s exactly what I was thinking,” I gave up on his ability to pronounce a “v.”

We floundered around from kitchenware to the decorative aisles and found a perfectly shaped, simple wvase. It was only $5.38.

“See, perfect. I’m so glad I thought of this,” he teased.

We checked out. He had mentioned getting a meal together but I didn’t want to push it. I didn’t want him to spend time with me if he didn’t really want to.

“Hello, my loves. I’m back.” he said to the goldfish. I named them Eeyore and Pooh Bear. He objected.

“What now?” he asked. “You mentioned you were craving pizza?”

I took him to the best pizza place in town and we ordered my favorite, the cajun executioner, a blend of meats, shrimp and jalapeno on a thin, crispy crust.

I didn’t look him in eye too often. I didn’t notice that he remains the physical manifestation of exactly the kind of man I’m looking for. I kept my body language in check. No leaning in, no signals. I asked about New Orleans. He said he smoked pot on the bank of the Mississippi. I could imagine him there, sitting, brooding, smoking weed and looking for his tail. As we ate in silence I reminded myself that he’s too quiet for me, too pensive. No, he’s not right for me at all. I ignored the hair I had run my hands through and those weirdly shaped lips I had kissed on a couple of occasions.

We laughed at the conversation going on at a nearby table, “If you’re going to have a sugar daddy, it needs to be real sugar daddy!”

We finished our small pizza quickly. I suggested we split the check. He objected. “That’s what friends do,” I said. We each paid half. I caught him checking his watch.

When we got back in the car, he cooed to his fish again.

“I’m back little ones.”

“You’re so weird,” I told him. “You’re full of contradictions.”

“Your face is full of contradictions.” I had taught him that joke. It made me laugh every time he used it.

I drove him back to the engineering building on campus where he had left his computer.

“You can drop me off at the corner at St. Mary.”

“I’ll bring you to Rex Street.”

“I don’t want to inconvenience you.”

“It’s no inconvenience.”

He thanked me profusely. I said, “You’re welcome,” a dozen times. He put out his hand and I shook it. He said goodbye.

I drove off with a lump in my throat.

I forgot to bring his wine.

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From → Rantings

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