I’ll see you on a Tuesday morning. We’ll meet at some nondescript place like in line at the Bank of America on Powell street on a hazy, grey, why-did-I-even-bother-to-blow-dry-my-hair San Francisco day. I’ll be there fetching a temporary debit card on account of having lost my permanent one over the weekend because that’s what I do; I lose things. The woman in front of us will be sporting multicolored dreadlocks and singing a Janis Joplin song. She’ll start twirling and everyone in line will remain deadpanned, except for you and me. Our eyes will meet. We’ll smile knowingly at each other and I’ll sigh and look down as if to say “only in San Francisco”.
You’ll ask for my number in a cheesy way and I’ll find it endearing because sometimes, at the right time and with the right person, cheesiness is okay. You’ll wait the obligatory 2 days and call me and I’ll pace back and forth in my hallway as we talk, fidgeting with my hair and saying “like” every third word. We’ll set up a date for that Friday and I’ll jovially skip to work for the rest of the week.
We’ll go to Benihana and sit at a table with a couple and their 2 kids who look like Beavis and Butthead. The chef will try and flip a mushroom in your mouth but you’ll decline, because like me, you only enjoy the recreational kind of mushrooms. The chef will teasingly ask you if you had a bad high school experience as he flips the mushroom in Beavis’s mouth instead. We will laugh so hard you’ll almost choke on your fried rice which will make us laugh even harder. Then we’ll stop laughing and I’ll catch your eye for 10 seconds longer than normal and you’ll find it endearing because at the right time and with the right person, not being normal is okay. In that moment I’ll want nothing more than for time to stand still.
We’ll see each other again and again and one day you’ll ask me why I’m orange and I’ll make a mental note to discontinue my biweekly sessions with Staci-with-an-i at Brown Sugar Spray Tanning salon. On Sunday afternoons we’ll walk to the Walgreens on Polk street and I’ll buy Haribo gummi bears. You’ll buy the worms. We will both advocate for our respective haribo preferences at the checkout counter as though we are opposing candidates at a presidential debate. I will eventually win said debate and you will be converted.
I’ll take you home to Virginia and you’ll meet my mom and dad. I’ll beam with pride because my parents are so cool, so smart, so funny, so goddamn important to me and I’ve waited so long to introduce them to someone like you. You’ll watch Eagles games with my dad and I’ll warn you about the Peruvian sauce called Aji that my mom puts on everything she cooks. I’ll tell you it’s hotter than Channing Tatum and you’ll tell me to consider not making dad jokes anymore. My mom will make us dinner and I’ll watch your face turn red as you taste the Aji marinated chicken she made. In that moment I’ll realize I want you to know my parents for the rest of their lives and that will be a really cool feeling.
I’ll also introduce you to all of our animals including our pony called Peanut but before I do I’ll tell you to bring her a carrot, because she’s only nice to people when they have carrots. You’ll meet our dogs, Coco and Flossie and I’ll tell you about Blanch, PoPeep, Buddy, Daisy, Tory, Jack, Jill, and Sophie who we’ve lost over time but who are responsible for my best and brightest childhood memories.
I’ll realize my heart will never be broken again and that will be an enormous relief because being heartbroken is so sad, so hard, so time consuming. I’ll realize that all those ridiculous times I longed for it to work with people who were not “it” was all just a part of my story – this complicated, messy, beautiful, tricked out story called life. I’ll think of the times I’ve gotten hurt and I’ll realize it all happened for a reason: so that I’ll know how good it feels when I’m with you; someone who always makes me laugh — someone who never makes me cry. I’ll think of that celibate dude I dated back in ’09 who insisted on dry humping me once a week, even when I was wearing new chafe-inducing jeans. You’ll be the person who makes me realize I never want to be dry-humped again.
One day, years from now, you’ll read this and I will turn as red as you did when you first tasted my mom’s cooking but it will be okay, because again – sometimes, at the right time and with the right person, cheesiness is okay.
Until then though, I’ll be here…
…dreaming of Tuesday mornings.