Yes, it’s girl bait. I’m chasing after a young girl. Shameless, aren’t I?
Okay, before you start dialing Dateline NBC and John Walsh, let me explain. She’s only two years younger than my stepdaughter, and yes, she knows how old I am. (I’ll work the step-daughter into the conversation, I promise.) On our first date we met at a bar, and one of the old guys from the avenue was chatting her up. “Thank god you got here when you did. The chickenhawks were circling!”
I looked at the “duffer” and grinned inward. I’ve probably got five years on him. But I took the opening. “Speaking of chickenhawks, how old do you think I am?”
Angel smiled, “Dunno, hadn’t thought much about it.”
“How old is your dad? “I asked.
“Dunno that either. Never met him.”
I didn’t know how to respond to that, so I braced myself and asked, “How old do you think I am?”
“Thirty-eight?” She was sipping ice water through the straw in my glass.
“Add ten to that.”
Her eyes bugged, and she set my glass down. “Get the fuck outta here.”
It was a statement of surprise, not an order to depart.
“But I feel fifteen here,” I said, pointing to my head and heart. “Well, maybe twenty. I’ve matured a little, but I’ve got a long way to go.”
Angel and I work a few blocks apart. She’s a floor manager at a department store, and we encounter a lot of the same people. She’s been coming to my store for a couple years, hitting the ATM, getting a quick soda. Her Achilles heel? Peanut butter/chocolate brownie cookies. They are the size of a Pizza Hut personal pizza, and quickly sell out. Dr T and I both watch the shelf, and stash them for her. (Since he’s there in the daytime when the cookies are delivered, he’s got the advantage.) She must get quite a kick out of watching these two old white guys slappy-fighting over who gets to buy the young lady her lunch-cookie.
We meet at the bar in between our respective work places. The waitresses and bartenders know us, so we get exceptional service and are cut slack when payday is a few days off. I tipped a dollar for my glass of ice water. Angel gave me a look. “It’s worth it. The last time I ordered a shot of whiskey here, it came in a Big Gulp cup.”
Angel likes brandy. I got her a shot and ordered a second. Conversation flowed without awkward silences. I wasn’t at all nervous; unheard of on a first date. It was less like a job interview than most first dates, but we have the advantage of long-term over-the-counter flirting. (Translation: She’s heard most of my corny lines already.) We shared a bit of background, but focused more on future goals. As we talked, her hands reached across the booth. She began running her fingers along mine, gently pulling my arm hair and grooving on my freckles. My insides felt like I’d chugged ten shots of whiskey. Hot, dizzy, excited.
We share a fondness for certain, um, vegetables. I’d brought some along, in case we had a chance to sneak off somewhere, but in a high-profile fishbowl like downtown everybody knows who everybody is. We can’t just park our asses on the sidewalk like the dog-and-backpack crowd. Showing my age and common sense, I offered to send some home with her. “You got a film container, or some kind of stash?”
“No…” she said, embarrassed-like.
Don’t worry hon, you are still way hipper than anyone in this bar.
I pulled a bank deposit slip out of my wallet. “As Anna Nicole Smith said, where there’s a will, there’s a way.” I snuck a thumbnail-sized bud into the makeshift envelope and prepared to palm it to her.
A devilish smile crossed her face. “Want to hide it for me?” She pulled her top out from her skin, exposing her bra.
No need to ask me twice. “Oh hell yeah.” I stood up and moved between the sightlines of the bartender and waitress. (It was also a preventive move: Standing up after playing with her boob could be potentially embarrassing.) Using my index finger to pull the bra-strap back, I caressed the side of her breast with my ring finger as I gently lifted and hid the bud underneath, carefully missing her nipple. She seemed surprised I didn’t go for more of a feel. I figure if things work out, I’ll have plenty of playtime there. It was a feat of remarkable restraint.
It was time to go. She’d been up and working for sixteen hours, yet still looked fresh. “Wanna walk me to my bus stop?”
I glanced at my watch. “My god.”
“What?” she asked.
“We just spent three hours over two drinks. It seemed like fifteen minutes.”
Her hand slipped into mine as we hit the sidewalk. DANGER WILL ROBINSON! Mushy as it sounds, I love holding hands with girls. Her hand-grab also yielded a fistful of my heart.
We walked past my work. Pan and his ‘She’s not my girlfriend!’ were chatting with the cashier. Pan saw me, waved and started after me until he realized I was on a mission. Good eye, son.
We found an open bus bench. I called the Transit Tracker. Fifteen minutes. Perfect. Not too long, but plenty of time to work up to a proper goodbye-for-now. She sat next to me, rested her head on my shoulder. I began rubbing her neck, working my way down her back. As she stood up to look for the bus, my hand drifted toward her curvy bottom. She looked over and saw me pulling my hand back.
“Bad hand! Bad, naughty hand!” I scolded my appendage.
Angel smiled. “You wanna feel my booty? It’s okay.”
She turned a little, and I ran my hand from her hip down across her smooth backside. “You’re supposed to squeeze it. Give it a grab!”
I caressed and gave her a gentle pat. “Nah. In due time, love. In due time.”
After sitting quietly for a few minutes, she admitted the bus she preferred to catch home was further up the mall, but she was afraid I wouldn’t want to walk that far. I said, “Well, why don’t we just walk up there, then? That’s where I go to catch my bus.”
And they’re off!
We strolled up the transit mall, hand in hand. Folks who knew us said hello. Spangers tried; we channeled Nancy Reagan and just said no. We found a piece of wall near the bus stop by the jail. As our time together ended, a swirling vertigo began. We chattered nervously about how we had fun and how we wanted to do it again next weekend and yes I think you’re sweet too and oh fuck here’s your bus.
We stood, gave each other the look. Her hand reached up, fingers running through my hair. She grabbed a handful, gave a low squeal of delight, and pulled me close for a quick, delicious kiss. I watched her get on the bus, breathless and dizzy.
I stood there in a pleasant state of shock. I had no clue what to do. So I walked, heart racing. I felt like if I jumped I would hit the top of the sky. I had that funny feeling that starts in your chest and ends near your knees, like a hot burning coal the size of a basketball. I found a bus stop, pulled out my phone and began texting.
“Sorry if its 2 soon, but I REALLY had fun 2nite. Cant wait 2 do it again. -”
I’m not sharing her response, but let’s just say it did nothing to quell my exhilarations…