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The Ballad of Pumpkin Patch (Part 2)

July 22, 2015

Artwalk

I had not heard from him much that day and was beginning to think he might blow me off. It’s the “I’m seeing others” thing. It leaves the possibility that a better offer might be on the table. A distraction. So, in a preemptive, defensive gesture I texted him, “Do you still want to do art walk tonight? Let me know as soon as you can.”

You know, ’cause I can have plans, too. I have other people I could be seeing. That was the hoped-for subtext.

“Yes, I’d like to. I’m in! Are you?” he replied.

“I’m in,” I wrote, relieved.

We hit the AcA first and picked up our free champagne outside. I started to run into people I knew. Former co-workers, acquaintances, friends. I introduced him each time. “You know so many people,” he said. “I don’t know that many people,” I said. “We’ve run into at least 5 since we walked in,” he started a running tally. “Ehh, most of those people don’t like me,” I countered self-deprecatingly.

I was enjoying the vision of myself through his eyes. I remembered what it was like when, just after I left my ex I used to venture out alone or with Liz. She knew everyone and I was the shy, insecure, overweight nobody, trying desperately to look comfortable, to fit in, to meet people. And now, there I was saying hello to people, having people come up to me and ask me things and this cool, smart man thought I was a cool, popular woman. It was kind of nice. It was a bit of sweet revenge for old-2012-Marie.

We looked at art and counted more acquaintances and I told him funny stories about the people we saw and met. Sometimes I would look at him from the other side of the room and smile. He wasn’t my ideal type. But there was something about him. I hadn’t met anyone quite like him before. I was smitten.

He said he wanted a margarita so we walked a block to a Mexican restaurant and he ordered a raspberry one which I mocked him for and I got a regular one. I hadn’t had much to eat and I usually stick to wine so before beginning to suck down the frozen concoction I told him, “You’re in charge of my well being from now on.”

We visited the gay fireman and went to the Russo gallery. He took in the art while I scoped out the space, planning for how I might hang my HOLI pictures in January. The paintings were of naked female figures with flowers for heads. They were bound in some way with ribbon; their arms or legs. Pumpkin Patch said he found them disturbing.

We walked more until he said he was hungry. We contemplated each of the rather expensive choices. I offered to go dutch on some sushi. We sat at the bar and watched people and talked and laughed. I was really enjoying being with him. When we stole kisses, it was always sweet. I like kissing him.

Amy had said she might be at Pamplona, so we walked over to meet her. The bar was full and the crowd was weird and Amy was no where to be found.

“You want to go back to your apartment and make out?” he asked.

“Sure!” I said.

Then we came upon a “pop-up” pizza competition that was going on in a new little restaurant on the corner. We had talked about checking it out, so we went in. It was a very young, hip crowd and the method of obtaining pizza seemed shrouded in mystery. We decided to stay and give it a go. We stood in line, observing that we were not cool enough to be there. He put his arm around me and stroked my back. I had my arm around him. I was out on a date with a man. We were like a real couple participating in a social event. It was very weird but very nice.

He was telling me something when I young girl walked by, her small, perfect, perky breast barely covered by a sheath of a top that was surely going to fall off her little boobies at any moment. We both noticed it and he stopped his story to comment. “Did you see that?” he asked. I laughed. “Yes, that girl is very close to having a nip slip.”

“What’s funny is that it caught your eye for obvious reasons and I was thinking how lucky she is to have such perfect, perky little boobs that she doesn’t need a bra for,” I told him.

We waited an eternity for our pizza samples and drew a picture on a paper table cloth with crayons.

The pizza was amazing. We tasted and compared and consulted before voting for our favorite.

We walked back to my apartment. The moon was lovely with two bright stars accenting its presence. I think they were planets but I can’t remember which ones. He stopped me in the parking lot and put his hands behind my head and kissed me.

“Are you leaving?” I asked.

“No, I just wanted to kiss you in the moonlight.”

“Oh, ok,” I said and kissed him again.

We went upstairs and he expressed interest in watching “The Thomas Crown Affair,” a movie that came up in the art gallery, when I suggested he steal a piece he really liked. “It’s just an excuse to lay in bed with you,” he teased. (My rather large television and apple tv are in my bedroom.) I made popcorn and we drank wine and watched the movie.

Just before the bowler hat scene we started making out. It intensified and by the time his hand was under my shirt and on my breast and he whispered, “I want you, Marie,” I had forgotten why I had decided not to sleep with him.

He laughed at Z’s left over condoms from India, calling them chiclet condoms. I made a mental note to buy some new ones the next time I was in the grocery store.

We backed up to the movie to the bowler hat scene and watched the ending. He asked if he could spend the night. “Of course,” I answered.

“I was hoping you would say that,” he said.

When he was lying next to me, his face towards mine he said, “That was a pretty nice date, wasn’t it? Was that a date? That was a date, don’t you think.”

“It was very nice,” I answered. “Is it important to label it a date?”

“No, I suppose not.” He answered.

I wondered at this little mini analysis.

In the morning we found a nice pleasurable rhythm that may have shocked the neighbors. I made coffee and we stayed up talking. He left around 10.

I was falling head over heels for him.

I’m so fucked, I told myself.

 

to be continued……

 

 

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