The Blind Date

436px-absinthe

[Source: Google search.]

My wife and I arrived at a popular Upper West Side restaurant about fifteen minutes before our friends.  Mariam remained by the door to wait.  The place was crowded and noisy.  We’d been here before.  It was always like that.

I made straight for the bar to get a beer and wait for our friends and a table.  We switched our reservations from 8:00 pm to 7:00.  There was some confusion.  My wife made it clear that we couldn’t  and wouldn’t wait until 8:00.

I snagged a seat at the small bar and ordered some kind of imported beer on draught.  I took a sip.  That is when I heard the woman next to me say something.

“I’m sorry,” I said.  “Were you talking to me? Is the seat taken?”

“No,” she said. “I was talking to myself”.

I had the feeling she thought I was going to hit on her.  She clutched her iPhone in her right hand.

“Are you waiting for someone?”, I asked.

“Yes, he’s late.”  She turned to me and looked me full in the face.  I saw an attractive woman with just a bit too much red lipstick and too much hope in her eyes.  I took a risk and asked:

“Waiting for a date?”

“Yes,” she said.  “And he’s late.  He already cancelled once before on me claiming there was a sickness in the family.”

“So, you think you’re being ‘stood-up’?” I ventured.

“Yes.”

“How late is he?”

“He was supposed to be here at 6:45.”  I looked at my watch.  It was 6:48.

“Hey, it’s probably traffic.  His Uber didn’t arrive.  Give him a little more time.”

“How long?”

“Give him until 7:10 and then make a call or text him,” I said.

I sensed that this woman has been let down more than a few times on the blind date thing.  She even admitted that it was true.

“I have a lot to offer,” she said.  “I saw a guy for a year and a half.  He didn’t want to go anywhere, movies, opera, museums…I told him I wanted to get out and experience what New York City had to offer.”

“Good move,” I said.

She looked at me again, not avoiding direct eye contact.  “I’m sixty,” she said.  “I have a lot of living to do.”

Our party arrived and our table was ready.

“That’s my wife over there with the white jacket.  She was a former opera singer.”

“Interesting,” she said.  “I’m an opera singer too.”

I got up and took my coat off the seat.  It was a few minutes after 7:00 pm.

“It was nice talking to you,” I said as I made a move to our table.  I felt suddenly very sorry for this woman.  She wanted to have a date on this night.  She wanted a companion.  She most likely wanted a lover.  She was sixty and she said she had a lot of living to do.  I thought for an instant to ask her to join our group but realized it would be awkward for everyone.  I turned to her as I left her side.  She still clutched her iPhone.

“I hope he gets here.  I hope you have a date tonight,” I said.  She smiled.

I went to our table and settled into my chair.

“I met a most interesting woman,” I said to our friends and to Mariam.  “She was an opera singer.”

I ordered a Malbec and ate a thumb-sized piece of bread.

I looked over at the bar stool.  The woman was gone.  I glanced around the room to see it he did indeed arrive.  I didn’t find her.  She most likely went home alone again that night.  She would wipe off the red lipstick.  She would pour herself a glass of Chardonnay and sit alone…maybe watch an old movie…maybe call a friend…maybe go to sleep..she probably had a cat or a dog.  Everyone else in Manhattan seems to.  But it wasn’t a pet she was looking for that night.  It was a man.

She probably cried, alone and wishing for another chance to find someone to join her in life.

I can almost cry myself thinking about her hope that was dashed and her lonely night before her.

Actually, I did.

There are a million stories in the Naked City…and this is one of them.

 

 

 

Advertisements

3 comments on “The Blind Date

  1. Jackie says:

    This is a sad story. The guy most likely showed up, expecting some one younger, not realizing this woman’s worth and slicked out because he thought he deserved better, in my eyes she was lucky that someone that superficial “didn’t show up”.

    Like

  2. barbarajsite says:

    Hmmmmm… you sensed? Reference to your wife: obligatory? Too much hope in her eyes? Don’t need to have a parallel with ” too much red lipstick” Parallels work when one fits the other. ( i.e. Red lipstick & too much black eyeliner. ( not the best descriptive detail to parallel red lipstick. Simply an example. Both are objective. So they fit. Or contrast: too much red lipstick and two little something something- work better ( I think) when both are Objective descriptive detail. Not one an object combined with one not: i.e. metaphysical. Such as hope combined with red lipstick. Wallace Stevens could get away with existential contrasts: The objective aligned with the metaphysical. ( I placed a jar in Tennessee- jar object Tennessee not) although I admit your own stories are more interesting to read. In narrative, better to be more like Hemingway than the obscure poet: As difficult to interpret by other serious poets- who also find him obscure. Difficult to interpret can be boring to the reader. Important to consider your audience. You are a blogger not a poet. I don’t think. Nevertheless I think my comments are relevant. i.e. Alike, fit together, voila! Successful parallel.

    Are you sure you are not projecting your own “hope” as well as hers ? Else why bring up the word “hope”? Interesting though: the woman at the bar is waiting. But guess what- so is your wife. Waiting for what? Company, companionship, love? Hmmmm. Maybe hoping as well? Did you know you were comparing consciously (or unconsciously ) what the two women have in common. What they both want. And hope for: As well as you! Probably reading too much into your story.( If you did know exactly what you were doing, then ” it” is too obvious. Nevertheless, weather truly unintended i.e. the sub conscious meaning(s) you don’t realize you are projecting, anyone who knows you will read between the lines and interpret according to your personality. Many of your stories contain a similar sub text: hope, sex, yearning, need, loss, tears. i.e. Identification with your characters. This one? All in all, I like it. But then I am inspired to rewrite and make it my own. . That could be called plagiarism. But I like it as a format for a story of my own. Which I delay, avoid, procrastinate in doing! Your stories do inspire. Me at least. Whether I write my own. Or not. Please add a like. Mine get lost in outerspace because I end up writing my own post instead of following directions to “reply.” Or go off on a tangent pretending I am the editor of the stories that you write that will become a book of- I always said I’d like to talk to you. And that is why I write about your work. But please remember to tell me to stop if you don’t want to hear more. “replies.” 😎 Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  3. barbarajsite says:

    Dear Patrick, I liked your post it was funny. But if you are just discovering in the city of Noo Yolk , (where I learned to speak the language from a bell-hop, no less) , the existence of said machine, then theWest Coast is mucho ahead of youse guys. (OK so it was more Brooklyn Or Bronx , the dialect that is. ) Because the Xlerator is not uncommon at all. Just be glad it’s actually powerful enough to dry your hands. That is compared to the ones you usually find in say, Mc Donald’s , that nobody uses because they take a half hour to do any good. At least a few restaurants have added alternate paper towel dispensers. But as for the wind tunnel effect of said device in your story, you do know who’s to blame if that’s your wish. The era of Big Brother has arrived full force: thanks to the ultra ultra far left liberal- Make that Progressive- with a squared to infinity mind set- always one more bright idea/ invention of the slavering need to save the rest of us whether we like it or not. Determined to save the starving bourgeois & therefore to the planet! And forced upon us without a vote because it’s GOOD for us.”They” do know best – right? Personally I like the device better than having to go back and grab a wad of toilet paper to contribute to one’s habits of personal hygiene. And sometimes, when I’m bored, I wonder- exactly what do most men do- to wipe their hands after… Don’t tell me all that’s available is the old fashioned fabric encrusted with God knows how many generations of uh uh ….👹🤐🤕yuck. You know the white porcelain thing drilled into the wall with a roller inside supposedly wound tight with once new yards of clean muslin or whatever. By someone who thought it was someone else’s job to replace. But instead just hangs there from year to year. Ragged edges raveling , used now and then in a nano second swipe by one out of 50 who bother. You do know you are admitting you’re a closet conservative -tsk- because a stronger (think faster) blast of wind power is therefore —–You know what: YES! Saving the environment!!!! Anyway the piece was funny and I liked it. So put another like in the reply box. And just be glad the thing wasn’t meant to to be a hair dryer. You’d be in big time irritation mode . Or else be rummaging around in the detritus of the waste container to save a few strands of your carefully coifed … stuff that usually grows from the scalp. Funny and clever. But uh…uh oh a tiny bit of the conservative in you showing. Oh well. Fix that with a post script.

    Sent from my iPad

    Begin forwarded message:

    > From: patrickjegan > Date: November 5, 2016 at 13:18:11 PDT > To: barbarajgre@gmail.com > Subject: [New post] My Personal War With The Xlerator > Reply-To: patrickjegan > > >

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s