Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Speedy Getaway

After the "drought" -- a time during which I decided not to play the field -- I agreed rather reluctantly to let two work friends of mine, Mary and Sean, set me up with Sean's roommate. The only thing I knew about him was that he was 5'11", and I'm 6'1" -- that didn't make me too happy, but hey. For the man of my dreams we could work around it.

One fateful Sunday, I answered the phone only to find Mary saying, "Enough of your foolishness. This is Tony, now talk." After a bit of awkwardness, something of a conversation emerged. Tony seemed a bit unrefined, but a genuinely nice guy.

When he asked me how old I was, I replied truthfully that I was 18. When I asked him, he said he was between 22 and 30. Um, OK. He claimed to be a semi-tall Italian type, with a slightly receding hairline, although not quite as receding as, say, Nicolas Cage.

I agreed to meet him out (mostly to stop the harassment from my friends) a couple days later. His car was in the shop, so I had to pick him up (in hindsight, this was a good thing). As I drove to his house on the night of our date, I had visions of a 5'11 Nic Cage -- not bad.

I spotted Sean outside and he waved me over to their apartment, which was in the middle of the "hood." We went inside and there was Tony, dressed to the nines (or so he thought) in thick gold chains and clothes that only look good worn by Will Smith in 'Men In Black'. Then I noticed his rather large bald spot (he must be closer to the 30 end of the age range he gave me). He wasn't exactly 5'11 either, more like 5'9 in platform sneakers.

We left his apartment and got on the road. Rather abruptly, he told me to turn. Somewhat surprised I found myself in the parking lot of a sports bar. Inside, we talked a bit before he ordered the special, meat loaf, for the both of us. We ate in silence, except for the sound of Tony shoveling food in his mouth.

He literally bent his head over his plate, giving me a full frontal bald spot view, and shoved the food in his mouth. After complaining about everything from the food, to the place, to the waiter, to the guys who held the door open for me, Tony decided we needed ice-cream. (Please, no more!) He directed us to an ice cream parlor where he ridiculed a large woman who came in for ice-cream, the pimply guy-behind-the-counter, and pretty much everything else. (Someone save me!)

I finally asked why he had moved back to Florida. Turns out he had spent two years in jail for drug dealing, plus doing some illegal financial work. He was not 22 or even 30. He was 34. And he hadn't had a car in years. He had moved down here because his old finance buddies offered him his old job back. "The Feds are watching us," he confided.

After dropping him off and enduring another 15 minutes of excruciating small talk, I pleaded an early morning meeting and told him I'd call him if I decided the age thing wasn't a factor (read: jerk factor). An evening like that is enough to make any girl glad to be single, with a car for a speedy getaway.

-- J

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