When I made the trek from the Bay Area to Chico five months ago, I never imagined I’d meet a man around here. I was wrong. I’ve met several. Take Joey, for example. We had a date this past Saturday night. There we sat at a small glass table in the romantic outdoor patio of Burgers ‘N Brews, a Chico hot-spot.
Sipping a raspberry iced tea, I joyously inhaled Joey’s aesthetically pleasing appearance: his deep blue eyes, chocolate brown hair with a messy-sexy curl that was perfectly gelled into place, and a smile that beamed with passion and kindheartedness. As I noticed his well trimmed and classy goatee, I relished in the fact that, at 5’8”, he’s the ideal height for me.
Enjoying another bite of a luscious turkey burger, I realized Joey was talking and still talking and then talking some more. Better yet, he accomplished this verbiage in a small town drawl—with over-emphasis on the vowel and a lackadaisical attitude towards the consonant, punctuation, or rules of two-way discourse.
“Oww I tell ya my shoulda still hurts from surgery. See.” He lifted his upper right sleeve to reveal a monstrously repulsive purple scar.
“It’s not pretty,” I confirmed.
“The meds ain’t workin too well. It sucks. I du-know what ta do. I’ve a giant Woody Woodpecker tattoo here.” He pointed at his chest. “And I’m gonna get Captain America here.” He moved his pointer finger to his left shoulder. “My ex wife is a real mean spirit. I du-know why. I just try to see my son as much as I can. Gonna have his name tattoed on my back…I’m talking too much.” He smirked. “Tell me a joke.”
“Huh? Oh, I’m not a one-liner kind of gal. I just like to write about stupid people. Sometimes I make fun of myself. My favorite comedians are David Letterman, though I wish he wasn’t a womanizer, and Ellen DeGeneres, who was funny before she did American I—“
I stopped. His eyes had been shifting for quite some time. Joey honed in on an ambulance that pulled up into the parking lot just yards from our table.
“I can’t decide whether to be a paramedic or a paralegal.” He jumped back in.
“How about a paranormal?” I suggested.
“I mean,” Joey continued, “I’d get ta drive the ambulance an stuff. But I wanna be on the right side of the law for a change. I got four DUIs.”
“FOUR?” My eyes widened and I practically choked on my burger.
“Yeah. But I’m good now. Haven’t had a drink in years.” He sipped his iced-tea and continued droning.
I glanced at his smooth skin. Hmm, okay, one DUI, I could forgive.
I admired his perfectly masculine eyebrows. Okay, maybe two. I mean, if nobody was hurt and he actually turned his life around.
His cheekbones did well to accentuate his handsome face. Maybe a third —What the hell am I thinking? My dear friend Barb’s baby was killed by a drunk driver. I can’t imagine the lives devastated. I’m sure he can’t either. That’s it,time to rule him out with the politics card!
“So, Joey, are you a Republican or Democrat?”
“I’m a workin man, a Democrat. I’ve been a union worker, led a walk-out on a job, fought with my bosses. The union guys wanted me to be chapter president.”
I shifted in my seat to look more directly into his baby blues.
Get ahold of yourself! I told me, as he graciously paid the bill.
We strolled along Broadway and he gravitated towards a store displaying humungous bongs in the window.
“Is that a planter?” I asked.
“No it’s for weed!” He proudly informed.
“I know. I was just joking.” (Sort of).
Though it felt like midnight of the following week it was just 9:12pm that night when we reached my car.
He attempted to extend our date: “What do you want to do now? Go to Lovers’ Lane to make-out?”
I think Joey was kidding, but the attraction blew over with the bong fiasco. “I don’t want you to put your shoulder out,” I told him. “Thanks for a nice evening. I’m going to be heading home now.”
He kissed me on the top of my head and suggested we get together again sometime.
I sped off quickly, so as to be far, far away before he got behind the wheel. Smiling all the way home, I thought “He’s so cute. Damnit!”