If You’re Going to Cheat, Don’t Leave Your Cell Phone Behind

31 July 2008

While I was working at Anonymous Big Deal Restaurant, I found a cell phone in the banquette during my end of the night inspection of the room one evening.  It was too late to call the number listed as “home,” and the following day we were closed so I tucked the phone into my briefcase determined to find the owner in the morning.

 

I have made many of these calls in efforts to return phones that have gone astray; almost invariably the person on the other end is a bit bewildered before they understand that I am not trying to sell them something.  The woman that answered the phone spoke very little English but eventually she passed the receiver to “Mrs. Smith.”  I explained that I was the General Manager of ABDR and found this phone last night.  She was extremely grateful, and indicated that it belonged to her husband who was away on business.

 

“I would be happy to send the phone to his hotel.  Where in DC is your husband staying?”

 

Awkward silence.

 

“You’re in DC, not Chicago?” she asked, barely masking the growing anger in her voice.

 

Recognizing I had just put her husband in the jackpot and that there was nothing I could do about it, I attempted to be merely the dispassionate observer.  “Yes, ma’am, we are located in downtown Washington, DC.  Where would you like me to send the phone?”

 

“Ship it to my house; and address the package to me, please.” 


Poorly Dressed Men and the Women Who Tolerate Them

30 July 2008

Whether walking along the streets of hipster neighborhoods or drinking in the random pub/bar/restaurant/lounge it is a common sight: nicely dressed women and their proletariatly attired gentleman date.  Cute and coiffed ladies with men whose attire is more appropriate for a casual picnic than a night on the town are a far too frequent sight.  My general disdain for khakis (garanamals for people who wear adult sizes) shorts (for all men over the age of 14, never appropriate unless athletic activity is involved) and flip-flops (not the political variety but those that may be worn for running errands, beach frolicking, or when sick) is a bit of an aside.  This is a question of balance, and one that I have never understood.


For the longest time I had dismissed this phenomenon as being as relevant to me as Facebook, Late Night Shots, and Abercombie & Fitch – trappings of youth about which I refuse to care.  And then I saw My Favorite Redhead last night.  She walked into our mutual watering hole and was simply stunning in her black and white summer dress and shoes that would have inspired LivLuv’s envy.  She was about to have a birthday dinner with her boyfriend – significant mostly because she is not a woman prone to having boyfriends or other long term romantic entanglements.  Between me and our other friends in the room, she surely received scores of compliments on her hotness in general and the hotness of the dress in specific.


Later in the evening, after her dinner had concluded, she and her beau strolled down the street as I was outside having a cigarette conversation with my crush de jour.  I was gobsmacked by the contrast.  She was dressed in a manner where she could have entered the finest of restaurants, and he looked like an extra in a Gap commercial – cargo shorts and polo shirt but thank the baby Jesus his collar wasn’t popped.


MFR is brilliant, accomplished, funny, an all around terrific woman, and my age – mid 30s.  Yet she, from outward appearances at least, was accepting of her boyfriend having dinner at a nice restaurant in shorts and flip flops while she was dressed to the proverbial nines.


Does it no longer matter to women how their partners and paramours attire themselves?  Has the collective man behaved so badly for so long that treating a woman well excuses poor attire?  Do women simply no longer consider a gentleman’s attire relevant?  Am I so hopelessly old-school, prim, proper, and fashion addicted that I am wrong-headed on this matter?

Feel free to answer those questions in the comments.  I will still follow the only fashion rule I have considered for the better part of two decades – if Cary Grant wouldn’t wear it neither will I.


Culinary Coitus Interrupted

28 July 2008

If I only get one room in my house for all time, I take the kitchen without a second thought.  I do my best work in the kitchen, I am happiest when cooking, and even happier when cooking for friends.  I express love through food, creativity in my dishes, and write love notes by making breakfast in the morning. If ever you see me truly depressed, put a Chef’s Knife in my left hand, a glass of pinot noir in the right, a pork tenderloin on my cutting board, and Mack the Knife on the stereo – problems solved.

 

So it was early Friday evening that I – engrossed in preparing dinner for a few friends – was blissful in my kitchen.  Every eye on the stove was enflamed in stares ranging from slow simmer to intense boil; every inch of counter space occupied with carefully selected parts that would form a whole greater than their sum. 

 

My internal rhythm screeched to a halt with the ring of my phone – I hate telephones.  I answered it without looking at the caller ID, presuming it was one of my guests.

 

“Good evening, this is Refugee.”

 

“Refugee, this is Anonymous Samaritan. Your mother has been in a car accident.”

 

I am glad I didn’t drop the phone into one of the sauces.

 

“Who is this?”

 

“My name is Anonymous Samaritan, I saw the accident happen.  I stopped.  Your mother is in an ambulance; they’re about to take her to Suburban Hospital.  She asked me to call her son, Refugee, and gave me this number.”

 

“How badly is she hurt?”

 

“The [EMT’s] wouldn’t tell me anything, but she doesn’t look too bad to me.”

 

“Thank you. I have to go now.”

 

I hate hospitals.  I hate the powerlessness of it all, the smell of illness, the necessary apathy of the staff, the greed of the administrators, the lucky to get sixty seconds of a doctor’s time, the horrible coffee – I hate it all.

 

It was forty-five minutes from phone call to me sliding through the hospitals doors.  My sister lives closer to the hospital and was already at my mother’s bed side before I could find a cab.  A few moments later, she told me that Mom had bumps and bruises but would be fine.  “I am in a cab now; will see you soon” I replied.

 

I sank into the back seat of the cab as a sense of relief settled.  At that moment, I realized that I had taken the time to pack away ingredients, shut down my stove, and stow perishables in the refrigerator. 

 

I hate my selfishness.

 

I muttered more to myself than the cab driver – please don’t stop for anymore red lights.


Restaurant Week Recommendations from the Refugee

26 July 2008

I have updated the Restaurant Week post – some restaurants have been added, some have been deleted, some have been caveated (shut up, that is a word – my word.)  I also added a list of great value places not participating for those of you seeking to avoid it all.

 

Plan accordingly.


If You Can’t Flash Your Friends, Who Can You Flash?

23 July 2008

Last week I attended a going away party for two very dear friends.  About the midpoint of an evening that was quickly descending into delightful debauchery, I stood on the bar to offer a toast to the guests of honor.  I held court in all of my bombastic glory for at least ninety seconds extolling their virtues and explaining why DC was to become less interesting with their departure.  Just after the cheers, but before I climbed down from the bar, someone shouted “hey Refugee, your fly is down.”  At least I was among friends.


Not Everything is Supposed to be Forever

22 July 2008

Friendships have a life cycle – some are meant to last forever, but most are temporary in the grand scheme.  Some people pass through your life for a purpose and fade away; some people were clear examples of the universe having some fun at your expense; some you know the minute you have your first argument that you will be fast and long friends.  Consider the people you met during your first week of college.  Most served the purpose of preventing the need to make the transition to the big pond alone; a few became life long friends, some you relegated to Facebook. 

 

In that spirit, I cull the list of names in my mobile phone at least every six months.

  • Random woman met at a bar and only called once – delete
  • Business contact needed months ago but with whom business is concluded – delete
  • Woman that only calls after last call and several glasses of wine – hmmm, maybe I should keep that one.  Change her name to AnswerOwnRisk, BootyCall-Tracy, yes, that is a better idea.
  • I have no idea how/when/why I met this person; who are they?  Who cares – delete

 

My first few weeks in the blogosphere were like that for me.  I hastily posted links to other blogs – some were permanent, some let me feel like I wasn’t making this step alone, some I just sat near in the Dining Hall and probably stayed too long.  Now, however, it is time to prune the BlogRoll, plant seeds of writers I truly enjoy and make that small space to the right a truer reflection of the spirit of me.

 

Trouble with Toast – very engaging, occasionally self-deprecating, and always enjoyable stories of adventures in food and life.

 

Lemon Gloria – delightful, insightful critical observations from her corner of the world.

 

Life Goes on, I Think – I know I am late to this particular party, but this woman writes beautifully and I imagine would be great fun over a cocktail or three.

 

DCDamsel – this blog is a bit younger than mine.  It is raw, ribald, and has made me laugh aloud more times than I can count.

 

1,2, 3, I Love You – I must thank the Freckled One for steering me to this gentleman’s introspective, and candid tales of a “fat, bald, English teacher” making his way.

 

I have also added a section for blogs I really enjoy and wish that the Author’s would post more often.


Refuting Terrible Kissing Advice from a Website That Ought To Know Better

20 July 2008

French kissing tips: a hot, wet kiss usually starts off strong and invasive. It floods the mouth with a tongue and opens the mouth wide. A wet kiss can sometimes include licking of the lips and around the lips; even the face can be licked.”

From the Life Script Network article “How to Kiss A Man”

 

This is perhaps the worst advice I have seen on the internet since Shannon turned over her blog to ZipCode and she espoused the virtues of waxed berries as an appropriate form of Manscaping. 

 

 

I have examined kissing technique before – the core of my position is that the quality of the kiss ties to the compatibility of styles – but I did not provide any concrete suggestions for being a better kisser.  In an effort to be one contrary voice to the generally horrid advice from Life Script, I offer:

 

The Refugee’s Guide to Kissing

Kiss with your entire body

Alternate speed

Communicate with the kiss

Gentle biting is hot

Understand that a hickey is a bruise – adults don’t bruise each other (unless both parties are into that)

Place your hands on my face, neck, back, head, ass, or anywhere else they are inspired to roam

Talk to me

Guide me

Find that spot where neck meets torso

Kiss me hello

Kiss me goodbye

Kiss me for no discernable reason

Understand that kissing does not have to be a precursor and is a lovely end in and of itself.

Kiss with urgency

If forced to make a choice, slow is better than fast, gentle better than forceful

Fast and forceful have a place too

Match my pace

Set the pace

Find a rhythm

Pull away, give me a knowing look and start all over again

Kiss like you mean it

 

Don’ts

Use your tongue indiscriminately

Lick any part of my face, teeth, or ear

Draw blood – unless asked; I will never ask

Leave trails of saliva

Fake anything


The Best Advice that I am Not Following at the Moment

17 July 2008

I don’t remember when I learned the lesson about the half-full / half empty glass nor do I remember who taught it to me.  I do, however, recall that this eternal barometer of optimism is an irrelevant question.  If you’re thirsty, drink.

 

I don’t know why I keep pushing away the glass.


Sex Advice from the Refugee – Sure, Why Not?

15 July 2008

Extremely Prudish Attorney (not to be confused with PLA, or ADA) and I met while working on a mutual friend’s political campaign many years ago.  Despite the sundries of differences, we were fast friends.  In some sense, I am certain that she enjoyed our relationship because I gave her cover to stay out too late, have another drink, talk about sex, and any number of other things her repressive upbringing discouraged.

 

She and I had just finished dinner at my place one January evening when she began the conversation about sparks missing from her intimate moments with her boyfriend who lived about 30 miles away.  I should admit that I relished the opportunity to shock her delicate sexual sensibilities.

 

“Have you ever tried role play?”

 

“Refugee, I… I don’t think I could be comfortable with that.”

 

“What about light bondage?”

 

Silence – enough of teasing, time for real suggestions.  “Keeping the spark alive is about surprise, constant exploration of your individual and collective sexuality.  Do something different; succumb to your baser urges; read him some erotica while he is at work – hell, read some erotica for yourself; put a note in his pocket letting him know what you want to do to him when he gets home; change the landscape.  Even something as simple as appearing on his door wearing nothing but that mink coat* hanging over there and a smile will do wonders for you.  Fuck him silly, leave him for dead and go home.”

 

Her eye twinkled ever so slightly at my last suggestion even as she bristled at the language I used. 

 

“Really?  The idea makes me nervous, but I think I could do it.  He won’t think I am crazy?”

 

“EPA, even if he does think you’re crazy – that is a good thing.  It will help get you out of your missionary rut.”

 

“It’s not too late for this?”

 

“There is never an hour so late that a man wouldn’t be grateful for a naked woman to appear on his doorstep.”

 

She stalled for a few more minutes before grabbing her coat and excusing herself to the bathroom.  She emerged bearing an uncomfortable but self-satisfied grin.  For the first time, I saw the hot side of her typical librarian look.  Pleased with my counseling job and thinking of the beer her boyfriend now owes me for the night he was about to have, I bid her goodnight and good luck.

 

She was so pleased with her adventure, until the lights began to shine in her rearview mirror.  The tears started to well as the State Trooper approached her window.

 

“Ma’am, I pulled you over because you were driving 15mph over the speed limit.  Some reason you were driving so fast?”

 

“Because my stupid, stupid friend, refugee, convinced me to surprise my boyfriend wearing just this coat, and I have never done anything like this, and refugee is stupid, and I was nervous. And here is my license.”

 

The Trooper stifled laughter, as he said “Slow down, and have a good night, ma’am.”

 

I heard about the traffic stop for years; she never told me what happened later.

 

*though I know animals were harmed to make that coat, none were hurt in writing this post.


Restaurant Week Is Coming; Do You Know Where Your Meal Is?

11 July 2008

 

Most restaurants suck at Restaurant Week.  They view discount hungry guests with disdain, use sub par ingredients they would never allow into their kitchen save these two weeks a year, and in an effort to sustain profit margins, they will hustle you in and out as fast as possible in an effort to get more diners they disregard to take your place.  Most participating restaurants view this week as a necessary evil to maintain the good graces of the Washington Restaurant Association, rather then the marketing opportunity that it is.

 

RW should be viewed as any other advertising or marketing expenditure would be – an investment in future earnings.  In that spirit, I sought to craft a list of restaurants that embrace RW and make a great effort to impress.  They treat their guests well, don’t short change ingredients and generally get RW right.  They are listed in order of my highest preferences.

 

 

The Oval Room – flying under the radar since Tony Compte’s arrival about two years ago, this slightly aging dining room is producing excellent food.  It leans slightly toward the molecular gastronomy but it does so without sacrificing substance.  Waived corkage on Saturday nights make this a must-do.

Mendocino Grille – Chef Barry Koslow might just be the most talented chef in DC that is not a bold face name.  It is high quality and inventive food with a solid nod to classical techniques but presented in a modern yet unpretentious manner.

1789 – A bit over-priced every other week of the year, this old-school restaurant melds highly professional and polished service with solid food that is an excellent value during RW.  You must be in the mood for a formal experience here – 1789 is one of the few dining rooms that require gentlemen to wear jacket and tie.

Circle Bistro – Despite its corporate lineage this is charming restaurant with very precise cooking from a largely underrated chef.  Anything that comes from the water is a sure bet from this kitchen.  There are great values to be had on the wine list too – sadly no one on the staff besides the chef will be able to assist you with the wine.  If you plan on dining here, send me an email and I will help you go through the list. 

Café Mozu – the lovely KassyK asked me about CityZen recently.  CityZen would never, and should never to my way of thinking, participate in a promotion like RW.  As close as you can get is the terrific food at Café Mozu.  Chef Zeibold also directs this kitchen, rock-star sommelier, Andy, also runs this beverage program; it just costs less than it’s more celebrated big brother.

New Heights – John Waybeck has been one of the most talented forces patrolling DC kitchens since his arrival on the scene at the early part of this decade.  This will be his last RW behind a stove as he is leaving soon to become the wine director for a new restaurant.  Do not miss an opportunity to sample his crafts at a discount.

Ardeo – constantly changing management in the front of the house and chefs in the back have lent an inconsistency to this lovely Cleveland Park dining room.  However, they are currently in a very strong groove and producing the second best plates in this neighborhood (Palena is just down the street and Frank Ruta is a James Beard award winning culinary bad ass, and a nice guy to boot.)

Vidalia – I have been a fan of this place for some time; however it is making this list with some caveats.  I have heard recent complaints – some from people I trust, some from unknown variables – about the service and the consistency of the food at Vidalia.  On the strength of my last visit, it is included because when this kitchen is rolling they roll hard.

Edited on 18 December 2008 to add: Since the departure of one of the best sommeliers in the city, Doug Mohr, this wine list both the by the glass and bottle only has gotten criminally expensive.

Café du Parc – one of the few places on this list with conditions: if you work downtown, if the weather is midsummer night perfect, and if you are in the mood to dine outside, Café du Parc is a lovely under the radar choice for extremely good rustic French cuisine.  It is a restaurant that always provides great value, however, their normal pricing is such that you can normally get three courses for pretty close to the RW pricing.  In other words – don’t waste a RW pick here unless the aforementioned conditions apply; patronize this little gem some other time.

Poste – another conditional entry.  Chef Robert Weland’s food is sophisticated, carefully sourced – including getting most herbs from the restaurant’s garden, – and very consistent.  The dining room matches that elegance.  It is a fucking shame that guests virtually draw straws as they enter the restaurant to determine the quality of their service.  All that being said, a three course lunch for $20 is worth the gamble here; dinner, on the other hand, is most definitely not worth the risk.

Farrah Olivia – not many dining rooms are good enough to get me across a moat.  During RW this one certainly is on that list.

Inde Blue – the overly night-clubbish feel of the lower lounge is not my thing – it works for some just not me.  However, Michael Hartzer coming in to lead this kitchen that was adrift is nothing but positive for dining in that part of town.  Walk upstairs to the dining room quickly, don’t dine Thursday through Saturday and a grand grown-up meal is yours for the enjoying.

A recent visit to Inde Blue revealed food that is worthy of a much better location and better service.  I am in a gnerous mood – so they are staying for now.

 

Great Restaurants not Participating in RW

Many people detest restaurant week – not just servers and staff at participating joints but regular diners too.  For those of you that want no part of Restaurant Week, the following is my list of places that provide great value every day of the year and have dining rooms that won’t be overrun with bargain shoppers.

 

Corduroy – Now that Chef/Owner, Tom Power, has been released from the purgatorial confinement of the Sheraton Four Points he has a dining room as elegant as his food.  Precision and consistent food paired with one of the most fairly priced wine lists in town.

Cashion’s Eat Place – this is a dining room that is comfortably elegant, a kitchen that is carefully and deliberately ambitious, and has service that is always gracious.  The late night menu (Friday & Saturday after midnight) is the best eating you can do anywhere in  DC at that hour.

Granville Moore’s – if you haven’t taken a trip to the Atlas District to sample the best Moules and Frites in DC, stop what you’re doing.  Seriously, stop.  Right now.  In addition to excelling at the Belgian staples, the meats (great burger, steak and cheese, hanger steak, and daily specials) kick ass too.  They do not accept reservations; and get busy by 7pm during prime time.  Go early in the week.  Bonus – charming but small patio in the back.

 

 

I will be updating this list with more restaurants as we get closer to RW; check back for more information.

 

Last Update: 26 July 2008

 

 

 

 

 


Sexy Comes in Many Packages

10 July 2008

I decided that visual aids were necessary for my most recent post about undergarments I find sexier than a thong.  I visited the easiest site first – Victoria’s Secret.  I found a sufficient number of pictures and was just about to hit the publish button when I realized that by using exclusively pictures of very slender women, I would be tacitly endorsing the social view that only size 2s are attractive.  Next stop Lane Bryant.  I intended to use at least half of the images from that site to reflect a more balanced approach to sexy.

 

Most of it was hideous.  I did a google search for “intimate apparel women with curves.” More hideousness appeared.  I resigned myself to having fought the good fight and used the one picture from Lane Bryant that didn’t suck.  I am certain that attractive and sexy intimate attire can be found in the sizes that many real life women wear, but it is a sad commentary that one need look so hard to find it.

 

(Side note: for the past 48 hours I have been getting a high number of banner ads for Lane Bryant, and dating websites for “larger” people)


The Sexiness of the Thong is Overrated

9 July 2008

The lovely Ryane asked me to explain this earlier today after a discussion of the vocabulary word Lemmonex swears she didn’t teach me, e-panties, turned to e-thongs.  I know that this is a provocative premise from which I begin and one that I am sure lacks universal agreement among the population of people that appreciate women in various states of undress.  So let me be clear – my blog, my post, my opinion – the sexiness of the thong is overrated to me.

Thongs are overrated in the same way that micro-skirts are overrated.  For the same reason that Marvin Gay’s music is infinitely sexier than the dumbed down, barely literate seduction music of today, I prefer

cheekies, briefs, hiphuggers, and boyshorts to the thong.  For me, sexy has more to do with that which is not seen than that which is.

Subtle is sexier than overt, words hotter than pictures, and whispers better than shouts.


New Vocabulary Word: E-Panties

8 July 2008

e·pant·ies [ee-pan-teez], noun

definition – emailed solicitations of a romantic or sexual nature from unknown sources sent to a blogger.  Usage: Some crazy person in California flung e-panties in my inbox; s/he claims to want to marry me.

Source: fellow blogger who has more than their fair share of e-stalkers (feel free to take credit in the comments)


If you can’t write random musings that may only be important to you, then what is the purpose of having a blog thingy?

7 July 2008

Something I never expected to hear in this city…

I was enjoying an unseasonably cool Saturday afternoon from the patio of a coffee shop downtown.  A cigar in my left hand, newspaper in the right, and here I was stuck in the middle of the patio with two hair-twirling, bubble bum-chewing flibidigibits in front of me.  Their conversation provided interesting contrast to the seriousness of my op-ed page.  Between discussion of hairstyles, and their attire for the evenings activities, a very attractive man emerged from a glimmering Cadillac Escalade to get his dose of caffeine.  They spent a moment ruminating on his hotness before one of these blonde things declares without a shred of modesty “I would do him in the bathroom if he didn’t drive that car.”

 

Fourth of July is the most romantic holiday…

Watching the fireworks alone in a crowd of friends sucked.

 

A terribly sexy movie…

It is rare that I prefer the remake of anything to the original.  The 1999 movie The Thomas Crowne Affair is among the exceptions.  Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo smolder and sizzle their way through two hours in this stylish and incredibly sexy cat and mouse tale.  After watching it again this weekend, I am convinced the Mr. Brosnan made all of those awful James Bond Movies to punish the public for not seeing this movie in the theatre.

 

Celebrity Chefs are as annoying and entitled as professional athletes…

After dinner on a recent evening, I had the occasion to meet Random Big Deal New York City Chef.  I refrain from naming RBDNYCC only because despite the truth being a defense for liable, a lawsuit is not worth the headache.  This married drunkard offered this charming proposition to one of the women in the room after being introduced to her and learning that she is an aspiring pastry chef “You know who I am right?  If we go spend some private time in the office, I will let you come work for me.”


Better Angels, Flirtatious Demons, and Cocktails

1 July 2008

I watched PLA walk by the picture window of the of the hotel bar and reflexively ordered her a glass of champagne.  Prior to that morning it had been nearly two years since we had seen each other; yet the indelible memory of her sipping champagne above and before all else was as fresh in my mind as what I ate for lunch.  Her glass arrived just as she finished leaning forward on her very high heels to kiss me on the cheek.  “I’m surprised you remembered” she cooed.  “Apparently there are some things I am not intended to forget” I replied in yet another reflex – flirting back.  I made a mental note to stop doing that.

 

I had specifically selected a table with two chairs rather than one of the couches thinking that it would be more likely to sustain a plutonic air than if we were next to each other. Facing each other we exchanged summaries of the last two years of our lives.  I finally left the restaurant business and became a refugee, am reclaiming my life in increasingly larger chunks, and told my recent experiences in on-line dating.  PLA’s last two years were about losing more of her life in her effort to make partner, a couple of horrific dating episodes, and the closet full of shoes acquired through retail therapy which drew my attention to the shoes she was wearing.

 

“You bought those today” I declared rather flatly.  A mix of consternation, embarrassment, and pride was tattooed across her brow.  Before she could say anything, I told her that it was good running into her this morning and that she looked just as fantastic on the subway as she did now.  It was a presumptive statement and had a minor component of hubris too.  Yet, somehow it encapsulated and closed a conversation we didn’t need to have and left a sheepishly sexy smile on her face.

 

We began discussing our mutual loves – politics, food, wine, and Shakespeare.  About the time we were finishing our second round of drinks a heated discussion about the recent STC production of Hamlet erupted.  I contended that Hamlet was played with too much whimsy for my taste.  She countered “if I am going to kick your ass up and down the table on this point we need to get some food.”  “This is not a date, this is not a date, this is not a date” my better angels shouted in my head.  I can only surmise that it was my flirtatious demon that made the call to Capitol Grille, paid the check, and had the hotel Town Car waiting out front all in record time.

 

As we left the bar, her arm slipped around mine – the better angel didn’t protest but he wasn’t happy.  Once the car was away, I applied the romantic brakes.  “This is just dinner, right” I queried.  It was sloppy; I regretted the words as soon as they escaped my lips.  There is only so much hubris that can be playfully dismissed.  Her voice turned a bit acidic as she coldly declared “you made your emotional position clear, perhaps we can return to having a good time, now?”  The remainder of the ride had clipped conversational attempts to return to the joviality that was the early part of our evening.

 

Just out of the car and before the door to the restaurant – the scene of our first and only real date – “I’m sorry” I said softly.  “I am trying to navigate through a difficult time.  And seeing you today reminds me of the ease with which we converse, the flirtatious banter and everything else that attracted me to you.  I just don’t want to misrepresent my capacity at the moment.  I need to be candid; I need to be synchronized in our expectations; and most importantly I need to be careful with myself and the people around me.”

 

She moved closer to me and gave me a kiss that lasted too long to be friendly but not long enough to be seductive.  “You’re cute when you’re confused, let’s eat.”


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