Valentines Day Haters Can Suck It

February 14, 2014 at 12:14 pm (One Particular Angel, Sweet sticky things)

Lovetown Waterfront

Lovetown Waterfront

I awoke at 7:28 AM, grabbed my phone and texted, “Having a hard time sleeping, cute girl has me all distracted. Can’t wait to see you.” I took a couple bong hits and laid back down. It was Valentines Day 2014, and if it went as hoped, it would be a day remembered as one of the biggest in my life.

Nothing right back. She’s at work, but gets a break about 10. She’ll text me then.

When I awoke the second time, at 11:28, still no text message. At 11:30, my wristwatch alarm went off. The gut started to churn, that sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach began to grow. Stood up again? Angel isn’t typically like that. She’s not quite as bad at reading a clock as Rain; she will text me if she’s running late, but it’s usually a few minutes, not a few hours. Still, I’m walking on oily glass here. Can a fella get a break?

I showered, got all prettied up. Brushed my teeth twice. Trimmed the odd hairs next to my mouth, made sure sure there were no guitar strings coming out of my nose that could put an eye out. Gave myself the once over twice, took a deep breath, and was ready to go off in search of love.

I checked my phone out of habit.

One new message, from Angel.

Another deep breath.

Canceling? Gonna be late? Her boyfriend’s back and we’re gonna be in trouble?

One last deep breath.

“Hey mister, can’t wait for our date. We so on.”

The pressure in my head deflated like a flappy balloon. Like Popeye with a fistful of spinach, duh-dee-dee-dee-dum-DEE DEE! I walked out of my house like I was swinging the biggest cock in the world.

I have a Valentines Day date with an Angel. Onward to Lovetown…

I’ve used the phrase ‘bipolar rollercoaster ride’ when referring to Angel. It can be tough when good people get used to being in a damaging relationship. You forget what it’s like to be treated right. Worse, you get out of the habit of treating people right. The excitement of seeing someone who sounded excited to see me? I was through the roof, and hoped she was as well.

Still, I only had an hour-plus-fifteen to do my dirty work. We have a long history of drive-by kisses, and I have been known to rearrange my whole work schedule to have five minutes to walk her to the bus. Seventy-five minutes will seem like a weekend in Vegas.

After we’d made our date, we almost met up spontaneously the day before Valentines. Timing was against us, but I’d done the best I could with what I had. I wrapped some candy in a Sunday comic, using black electric tape. It was ghetto, to say the least. God, I hope it’s the thought that counts.

Angel texted me back, “Sorry, I’m running way late. Can we just see each other tomorrow? Again, sorry.”

“Of course. Don’t want to pressure you. Just impatient, that’s all. I’m TRYING to be cool!”

“LOL. C U 2mrw.”

So I’d spent the majority of the night rewrapping her present, adding oddball comics, mix-and-matching captions. I wrote, “Every bag of bitches deserves a box of dongs.” WTF, you ask? Angel shared that during a fight her BF called her a “bag o’ bitches’. While it’s hilarious, and totally inaccurate, you think I’m going to let that one go? I’d looked through the store for an empty candy box that I could corrupt and manipulate into a one-of-a-kind holiday gift.

Hostess, you never fail me. A box of Ding Dongs, a boxcutter and some bourbon tape, (we hate the scotch tape) and I got me a comics-wrapped masterpiece of perversion she can admire for minutes. Minutes, I tell ya!

I’d spend the previous evening in the easy chair, listening to tunes and rolling joints. I had to stop at eight; this was getting expensive. I put them in a prescription pill bottle with my name on it, vital information redacted. (She will learn how to spell my last name.) I was shooting for a dozen. Fuck it, I’ll call it a bouquet.

I arrived at 1:40, waiting outside her work on the sidewalk. Grinder walked by, giving me a quizzical glance.

“Loitering in front of the department store. Top secret clown business.” I winked at him.

He patted me on the shoulder and moved on without a word. He was smiling, though.

1:42. I had to race like a pisshorse, and work was right there. I walked across the street, approached the counter and stashed my daily newspaper pile behind the register. Swaggert, the manager, smiled at me as well. “Charles, you the man. I can’t tell you why you the man, but you the man.”

“Okay. I’ll take it!” I know he wanted me to press the issue, but I had bigger fish to fry. “I may be a few minutes late. Just sayin’. Got a hot Valentines date.”

He went to the HABA rack and came back with a box of Trojan Golds. “Don’t forget your helmet!”

“I wish I had time for that. And I’m good. Thanks for the thought.”

“Got ya covered. Just sayin’.”

What is *up* with management today?

I checked my appearance one last time and reclaimed my spot just outside Angel’s work. Exactly 1:45.

1:50. Is that a brick forming in my colon?…

At 1:55 I saw her smile first, then the newly-added blonde streak. I scanned her from head to toe, smiling and nodding. “Nice.”

“Why hello sir,” she said in her mock-British accent. “Might I have the pleasure of your company for the next little while?”

“You most certainly may.” A courteous bow was followed with the more traditional bear-hug. But then, we’ll hug if she runs in to buy a bag of chips from me. All donations graciously accepted.

I looked at my watch. “We have an hour and fourteen minutes. What ya wanna do?”

“Would you go to the store for me? It’s payday, you know.”

“Of course.” She tucked some money into my pocket, and we would meet at ‘our spot’.

“One more thing,” she said. I stopped.

“Yes?”

She gave me the softest, sweetest kiss. While it wasn’t our first kiss, it will probably be remembered as our first kiss.

I’m still dizzy.

The guys at the weed store were extra generous when I told them what I was up to. Angel got a heavenly dose of love. I double-timed it back to her.

“What ya wanna do now?” she asked. “Would you mind going for a walk along the waterfront?”

I’d been planning for the top of the mall, where it’s dry, quiet and secluded. I liked her idea better. “I would love to go for a walk with you.”

We walked past the Waterfront store. Dr T was manning the counter. Angel stuck her head in and waved, then rejoined me. He saw me walk past the window and smiled. Yeah doc, that’s what I’m up to before work…

I should probably mention how stunning Angel looked. She wore a shorty red dress that looked like it had been crocheted together, with spiderweb black stockings. She’d gone from work scrubbies to fashion knockout in ten minutes. This bodes well for my future mental health.

Things got deep and serious, quickly. We’d keep it light, then reality would pop in. Focusing on *us* and not what’s been happening. Emphasizing the future, not what’s already done. While I would love to recreate our conversation, that ain’t gonna happen. We are forming an alliance of two, and I want to trust her with everything, so I’m not going to spill stuff here. Her secrets are safe with me, and I want so badly for her to be the keeper of mine.

As we walked, holding hands, she’d stop every little bit, break, say hi to a couple walking by. Lots of people holding hands. She complimented them all. We’d managed to walk to the far end of Waterfront Park. “This is my other spot.” Not giving that one up, either.

She’d managed to roll a blunt while we’d been walking and holding hands? I’m usually more perceptive. Or maybe she’s just that good. I’m betting the latter. “Smoke with me?”

“Babe, I’d love to. But I’ve got to go deal with Swaggert soon, and I’m going to be late anyway. And honestly, I kinda wanted my wits about me for this. I needed no false courage to meet you today, and I don’t ever want to feel like I need it.” True. I’d had no interest in getting a pre-work buzz on. I was already pretty fucked up from this girl I was walking around with.

“Should we go?” She stood up.

“No! Fuck them. I said I was going to be late. Let ’em deal with it. Need help?”

She was trying to light her blunt, but the wind off the river was pranking her. I held my jacket open. “Wind block?”

She snuggled into my chest, I tented my hoodie around her. It felt so good. “I hope I’m not killing you in there,” I said.

“You are fine. You took a shower today.” I smelled a little better; a hint of grape and Chernobyl sativa. Yum. She took a couple puffs and sat next to me, closer. An old black man we know from the Avenue walked by. He smiled and nodded at us. Normally he gives me the stinkeye. Angel brings it out in ’em, I swear.

“I have some things for you,” I said.

"Hey, Boo-boo.."

“Hey, Boo-boo..”

“Oh, I have some things for you, too.” She opened her bag, and pulled out a Valentine.

It seemed like the sweetest thing anyone had ever done for me. I held the poker face, but I don’t know how. I still puddle up when I recall the moment.

I laid it carefully in my Broke-Ass Briefcase, after pulling out her present. I handed her the comics-wrapped masterpiece. I used the cover of the Mercury her valentine was in, with copious added goofiness. (Did I mention I’d gotten a Valentine published for her? Direct hit.) She read the line and stopped when she got to–

“Bag o’ bitches?” Her shoulders slumped, oh shit!

“The line will make more sense when you open the box.” Christ, it was supposed to be funny, not a buzz-kill. “Here, let me distract you with this!”

I fished the pill bottle out of my pocket. “I was shooting for a dozen long-stemmed roses, but that got pricy. Would you settle for a bouquet of non-stemmed happy trees?” I opened the bottle and showed her the collection of little doobies just waiting to get out. “They are small, but they are good. Great for watching movies on the couch.”

“Oooh! One would have done. That’s so sweet.” I got another soft, sweet kiss. I’m getting hooked on those kisses real fuckin’ fast.

“So candy and flowers, no matter how cheap or dry, was a good call?”

“Yes. A very good call.”

I checked the watch. We’d wandered about a mile from work, so I needed to start back. “Are you heading home? Can I walk you to the train, or would you like to walk me back to work?”

“I’ll walk back that way. I’m going to buy myself a drink and play some video crack. Just a little. I want to be home by dark. Don’t want to be wandering The Numbers dressed like this.”

The ‘hood rats don’t deserve that view.

“You walking in with me will get me a late-pass. Swaggert handed me a box of rubbers on the way out. This oughta get a grin.”

“Oh, we’re goin’ for real now.” I love a girl willing to fuck with management.

Swaggert had a gaggle of Middle Eastern boys who are omnipresent during school hours. While he sold pack after pack of Marlboro Ultra Lights, I took Angel to the side for one more hug.

“Thank you for the best Valentines Day ever. I will never be down on this day again.”

She pressed me back gently. “We’re co-workers. Let’s not be inappropriate now…”

As if on cue, Swaggert said, “Will you take over for a minute. I need to speak with you.” He pointed to Angel.

“Sure.” I put my stuff away, saw the Valentine from Angel, and looked out the window. She’d transformed from buzzed vixen to woman-in-charge. She’d switch right back as soon as their chat was over.

Fifteen minutes later, Swaggert walked in, alone. “Did she go?”

“Yeah, thanks. Had some things I had to cover with her about upcoming schedules–”

“It’s cool. I had my Valentines date. I’m gonna have a hell of a time being an asshole tonight.”

“You’ll do fine.”

“I caught that. Asshole.”

“Takes one to know one.”

I’ve been walking around on a cloud since. I think of those soft lips. I see the curves of her red dress. I remember the milkiness of her thighs as I admired her outfit while she snuggled with me on a bench in the winter. I remember the warm glow that built as we brushed against each other, and how explosive it’s going to be when we finally lock horns.

The roses and Mr Bear (officially named Boo-boo) are on my mantle. The candy is long gone, but the heart-shaped box is still on my desk.

It’ll do until I capture the heart I’m really after.

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