Monday, January 23, 2006


hold up...ain't this guy a research scientist? what's he doing driving a beat up camry? i don't know what i expected, but it damn sure wasn't that. what happened to german engineering? what happened to plush, heat controlled leather seats? what happened to the fucking seven-series?!?

oh least it wasn't a yugly.

he stepped out of the camry and walked over to the passenger side, awaiting me as i stood up and strolled up to the car.

"am i late?" he asked eagerly as he opened the door for me. i slid into the seat. the worn, yet comfortable leather seat. i looked up at him and smiled.

"no, you're not late."

he ran to the driver side and hopped in. a minute later we're on the road headed towards the restaurant. yesterday he told me i could pick the restaurant, so i'd decided on a casual spot over in atlant.ic stat.ion.

"have you been to atlant.ic stat.ion?" i asked, "because we can go to do.c gree.ns."

he turned to me and his face flourished into a smile, white teeth gleaming between full lips curved upward, the ends tied into twin bows of dimples deeply set within his cheeks.

damn, but this guy is really attractive.

even though his black hair was liberally peppered with silver strands througout it, his face had a youthful glow. i think it might have been that twinkle in his eye that did the trick.

"actually, i found a nice thai restaurant right up the street." his words were bobbing on the surface of a voice deep in timbre, the waves of his russian brogue creating a collision of vowels and consonants as he spoke. i looked at his lips to see if i could get a better understanding of what he was saying from watching their movement. when i glanced up i saw he was looking at me with amusement...and something else. hold up...that ain't what i think it is, is it? i turned quickly and stared out of the windowshield, determined to keep this exchange as casual as possible.

"thai sounds cool," i said, squeezing nonchalance into the statement, "what's the name of this place?"

he told me the name of the place and i didn't recognize it. it was located only a short distance from my office building so we were there in no time. during the drive there he asked me about my department and what we do, obviously trying to put me at ease by keeping it a strictly professional conversation, yet it hovered in the air between us, a shimmering mist of awareness soaking through our exchange, an unspoken promise speaking to me in the silence of his pauses.

and that was before we even got to the damn restaurant. what the fuck is this about?

when we reached the restaurant, he followed the sign for free parking until we found a spot to park. we'd been making small talk the whole time, but the sudden hush of our surroundings as he cut off the engine left us both disconcerted as we stared at each other. it became a heavier presence in the car, as though it'd been imprisoned in sound and was now desperate to unfurl and cloak the inside of the car. mikhail twisted his upper body, resting his left arm on the steering wheel as he turned to me. he looked into my eyes and said

a. "i've been trying for weeks to gather the courage to ask you out to lunch."

b. "do you think my car is safe here?"

c. "i find i am very hungry right now."