Boy, have I been completely uninspired lately. I really do have a good excuse though:
I started my class two weeks ago. While it’s not as demanding as the class I had last semester, it does take up a lot of my spare time and blah, blah, blah.
Plus, it’s hunting season here in my neck of the bush. And lo there come many hunters. And yes, just like last year, I am getting the inquisition of:
“Where are you from originally?”
“You didn’t pick up that accent around here did you (followed by a self satisifed laugh)?”
“What’s a young little gal like yourself doing in “man’s country?” (oh yes he did, I honestly didn’t know whether to be flattered or offended.)
“Why the hell would you move here?”
“Are you nuts?”
Of course, all the hunters who asked me that were from somewhere in the lower 48. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just that if you’re an Alaskan, you don’t ask such things. It’s more like: “How long have you lived here?”, “What brought you to our fine state?”
That idea that you’re crazy enough to live here is already established. There is no need to be baffled. At that point, it’s just “getting to know you” banter. None of this “What in tarnation?” bullshit.
Anywho. This is not the point of my post. I actually have something interesting to write about. Recently in my daily perusing of blogs, I’m reading a lot about past dates that either went awry or never amounted to anything. And that, my friends, finally inspired me. Because, lord god, do I have some stories. But I’ll only bore you with one.
I was in college and working at the drug store two blocks over. I became friends with the pharmacist’s daughter who also worked at the drug store. Her name was Holly. She began dating a guy who regularly came to the store to pick her up. I worked the cash register in the front, so he and I would often talk until Holly finished helping her dad shut down the pharmacy. One night, he brought along a friend.
I honestly do not remember seeing Benji the first time. The reason I know this is because when Holly called me later that night in my dorm room, she asked me if I remembered the guy that had come with Jeff (her boyfriend). I told her “no.” Then she proceded to tell me that he was interested. I really began regretting not seeing him. But I was a single girl, and willing to give this “quasi” blind date a try. We made a date for the next night.
They picked me up at my dorm and Benji met me at the door. He was, shall we say, not at all what I imagined. Picture Kurt Cobain crossed with Carrot Top. With no less than 10 piercings in his face. That was my man.
But, I was open minded and he did open the door for me when I got to the car. And he had a nice smile. We were crammed in the back of Holly’s Nissan 280Z. As uncomfortable as you can imagine. Luckily we went to an all night diner around the corner. Over dinner, Benji and I actually had a lot to say. The conversation came easy. I admit I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t know what I was expecting. I admit I judged him a bit too harshly in the beginning. We finished up dinner with dessert and coffee. By the time, he paid the check, we were snuggled up next to each other.
“Let’s go to Freedom park and play some music!” Holly exclaimed
Benji looked at me, snuffed out his cigarette, and asked if I liked acoustic guitar. I told him I did. We loaded ourselves back into Holly’s 280Z and away we went to Freedom Park. On the way there, Benji had his arm around my shoulder, I was leaned up against him, and he kept telling me my hair smelled really good. There weren’t sparks but I liked him. He might not have had long term potential but he was someone I could see hanging out with. He tried to kiss me. I gently turned away, and acted like I missed the signal. I liked having his arms around me, I liked that he liked my hair, but that was it. It was purgatory between being wildly attracted to someone and being completely turned off. I wasn’t either. It was weird. I still can’t explain it.
We got to Freedom Park, and he got out his guitar and played a song he wrote called “The Ice Cream Man”. Afterwards, he asked me if I knew what the song meant. I told him it sounded like it was about a woman who had an affair with the ice cream man and bore a child with him unbeknownst to her husband. This, apparantly, impressed him.
“Wow, no one has ever guessed what that song is about.”
“Um why not? It’s exactly what you sing about in the song.”
“I don’t know, but this is a sign, you’re the first girl that’s ever gotten it.”
“Wow. Cool.” (My vocabulary knew no limits that night, can you tell?)
It was getting late. My dorm had an 11:00 curfew and I had to get back. We drove back crammed into Holly’s 280Z as usual. It was the same scene. Me leaning up against him. Him smelling my hair, telling me how great it was. When we got to the dorm, he walked me to the door and kissed me lightly on the lips. I remember that between all three piercings, I thought he had really soft lips. Odd. I know.
As soon as I got to my floor, I had an entourage of interrogators asking me:
“WHAT WAS THAT, that just dropped you off?”
I told him “THAT” was a very nice boy named Benji.
Benji and I talked on the phone a few times and tried to schedule another date but I just wasn’t into it. He wanted something serious, I just wanted to be friends. We never went on another date. He eventually moved to California and met the woman of his dreams. I hear he’s now in an up and coming band in L.A. I wish him all the luck in the world.
It was one of those really good “one hit wonders”. A nice date, a lot of fun, but not one that needed repeating.