Monday, January 01, 2007

The double date

Friday, December 1, 2006, 7:15pm
Ming Garden Restaurant

Nate is tall and chiseled, exactly the Abercrombie model-wannabe that I envisioned. He is careful to take control of the conversation early, and to be our table spokesman, speaking on behalf of the group each time the waitress visits.

Nate might as well be pissing a circle around Lila, marking his territory like a wolf. He's no doubt heard all about me, and he wants me to know that she is his now, not mine, and that his biceps are bigger than mine, too.

I have no idea why he's insecure, if he is at all. He's taller than me, younger, and better-looking. He's more Lila's physical equal than I am, and I often wondered why she never dated more guys like him.

"You have a Z4, don't you?" he asks, when the conversation lulls. "Those things have crappy suspensions, I heard." He smiles broadly, and the girls chuckle.

Don't you just love when someone basically spits in your eye and then laughs it off? You try to give it back to them, and it's "Hey, ease up! It was just a joke!" But guys like Nate always slip up eventually, and when he does, I'll be waiting.

"Yeah, the sport suspension is standard, and it doesn't like bumpy roads. Anyway, I sold mine."

"Uh oh," he chortles. "The girlfriend is laying down the law!"

"I wish I had that much control over him," Tim says. "Actually, it was--"

Lila slaps his arm lightly and grits her teeth at him. "Sorry," he mutters.

I'd know that mutter anywhere. That's the I'm-fucking-Lila mutter. You tell yourself that you don't need her, that she is just another warm pit stop for your little Darth Vader, but you know that if she ever pulls that steady sex stream out from under you, that you'll collapse to the floor, reduced to a shivering wreck, a heroin addict quitting cold turkey. I've muttered more than a few insincere "sorry"s myself, in order to keep the sexual gravy train rolling. I can't blame Nate one bit.

"Steve, let's go smoke a stogie in the bar," Nate says after dinner.

"Ick," Lila says.

"It's not that bad," Tim says. "Let me just use the girls' room and I'll get us a nice dessert wine!"

"I'm not 21--" Lila says, but she is gone.

"Good call. I'm gonna hit the head too," says Nate.

"I'm sorry about what Nate said," Lila says, once we are alone.

"Still breaking him in, eh?" I laugh.

"Are you free for lunch tomorrow?" she says, and my cock goes instinctively stiff. But my gut is wrong; she can't want sex. If nothing else, she would never insult Tim that way.


"There's something I need to talk to you about. Can you meet me at the office at 12?"

"You're working on a Saturday?"

"Just in the morning. So can you meet me?"

"Sure. Where do you work?" I smile.

"Shut up," she laughs.