Thursday, August 17, 2006

Seriousness

Julie sat catty corner to me in the booth, not quite intimate enough to be obvious but close enough to feel her presence. She put down her menu and leaned in towards me, making sure she caught my attention

"What happened to you?"

Julie was in her thirties, we'd met in our early twenties. She smelled great, her hair was perfect.

I briefly took up her stare, "Time happened."

She rolled her eyes to break the eye contact but returned to her intentioned focusing on me when she was sure I'd looked away.

"No, you gotta give me more than that"

Two seconds of awkward silence followed.

"What do you want to know?"

She had her teeth whitened recently, she'd had her nails done.

"I don't know, you pop up every now and then, I just think I have someone in my life I can rely on and you vanish. You know you're really bad at returning phone calls."

I don't think I'd ever been in this space with Julie and me sober before, there'd always been too much at stake. I knew I shouldn't but I had to ask the question.

"Was there an us?"

"No"

It was not the response I'd hoped for, it was contrary to her line of questioning. Her whole verbal offensive line was atypical, but incorrectly sensing that she'd fired an emotional broadside with that response she cut into my own thoughts on the negative response.

"actually that's not what I meant... yes Mr. obtuse, there was an us, there was you and me and err, you know, Vince."

We were on the way to discussing "us", fifteen years of maybe, fifteen years of unfulfilled potential, and fifteen years of unburst soap bubbles. Preservation mode kicked in, I was good at steering conversation, I was very manipulative, or maybe I have always just been a coward. I thought of Vince, her ex-husband and wondered.

"He was a good guy, where'd he go?"

Her mood deflated a little, her coat hanger shoulders slumped slightly and she looked over to the TV screen, the Angels were playing the Yankees but she wasn't really interested.

"Cheated, ejected."

I could really run away from her right now, put us back into the sometimes but never category and kill this line of conversation down the road to some form of belated commitment.

"oh, sorry."

She continued watching the baseball on the small screen across the room, or maybe she was just looking at the Treat Williams look-alike sitting at the booth under the TV eating quesadillas with his grandma or sugar-mama.

"Old news, he's working in Seattle now banished by shame."

I was still looking directly at her,

"Wasn't he from there?"

She didn't return the look immediately, but sighed and slowly dragged herself from the TV or Treat look-alike back to me.

"Why do you change the subject?"

I guess I'd missed some cue, sadness seeped out of her words like ivy covering a building in fast forward over twenty years.

"Sorry, I flow."

There might have been some anger in her response.

"you hide", she said.

Then again, most women in Hollywood are angry at something all of the time.

"Yes, true true."

She sat back in the seat, straightened her shoulders and pushed out her breasts. My eyes ducked down and then back up at her face. She caught it, but she'd always caught me.

"You've always hid from me, every time we get close you're nowhere to be seen the next day."

I sighed.

"We've always been running at different speeds."

I felt the start of my usual velvet hammer routine, the one I use to break it off with someone who was feeling a little too nesty with me. I didn't start the second verse, but gave her a silent space to fill in.

"Yeah, I suppose."

She continued studying the menu, reached over and grabbed my arm and asked,

"Are the enchiladas still good here?"

She knew if it was time for her and me that I was a nut to be cracked slowly. I love a woman with brains and game and the rest.

I responded, "Yup but it's definitely taco day for me."

She looked out for the waiter as if scanning for him would magically make him ready to come get our order. It still baffles me that some people eat in restaurants five times a week and still don't understand that putting the menu down on the table is the correct waiter calling signal.

Out of nowhere she gave me her serious concerned look.

"What happened to that Mexican princess you met in Baja?"

I definitely wasn't ready to talk about that topic, it was a knife in the stomach but I had distance from the whole affair so I remained as casual as ever.

"Oh baby, that's a long story... let's eat"

5 Comments:

Blogger Blondie said...

Your stories are increadible, J.

Absolutely love it.

1:51 PM  
Blogger ramblings said...

WOW, gonna finish it?

If so, I cant wait to read more.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Mystical Me said...

Welcome back sweetheart, Ive been wondering if you were going to finish this or not.

I hope all is well with you. Julie sounds like a smart, sexy, & interesting woman. Still wish it was me though. I hope you have an awesome weekend. ;) Take care sweetie!! Love always, MM XOXO

11:35 AM  
Blogger smart mouth said...

..."I love woman with brains and game and the rest."

Hmmm...Jed, you'd better be careful. One of these days a woman with more game than even you will come along. And where will you be then?...following behind her perfect ass with your tongue hanging out ;)

Julie

10:11 AM  
Blogger WDKY said...

Isn't it amazing how two people can talk yet still say nothing? Interesting story - but maybe you should stop playing in the next installment and try a good dose of reality. It really doesn't hurt that much ;-)

10:31 PM  

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