Tuesday, January 24, 2006


he questioned as he continued staring at me intently. his gaze dropped to my lips.

"i'm sure it'll be fine," i said as i broke the eye contact and made to open the door. he turned and quickly got out of the car and was rounding the back of the car as i swung my feet to the pavement. he held the door as i stood, making a point of avoiding contact with his body as i did so. he was standing close, subtle wisps of his cologne blowing towards my nostrils in spicy notes of patchouli and jasmine. i inhaled, recognizing the gio cologne. okay, so that's one of my things, you know? a man who smells good is a wideout working with a fifteen yard gap in between himself and the secondary, get me?

we walked to the restaurant, a short distance away. he started again with the small talk and i let him carry the conversation while i made a quick perusal of his form. he stood about 5'10, medium frame, broad chest swathed with a light blue polo shirt and what appeared to be lean muscular thighs encased in jeans that fit him perfectly. i lagged behind for a second so i could check his ass, surprised to find he had a nice looking one in the jeans. i went through my mental roledex of images trying to determine if all russian men had asses like his and realized i knew no other russian men to compare him to. i mean, i knew about the russian presidents but i couldn't see their asses in the suits they've worn. they've never bent over to pick up anything in front of photographers who could capture the proof of whether or not they have junk in the trunk. vague images of nicely formed male gymnasts from the former soviet republic came to mind, but they could have been on the 'roids so i dismissed them immediately.

we entered the restaurant and were greeted by the maitre 'd who reached for two menus and led us into the dining area.

"we would like a table over there please," mikhail said to the man as he pointed to a darkened room separated from the main dining area by a low wall and curved doorway. i noted just how secluded and intimate the space was and lifted an eyebrow. it was becoming very obvious this cat wasn't seeing this lunch as merely two colleagues eating together.

"i'm sorry sir, but that area is only open for dinner," the asian man responded quietly, "i can seat you here if you wish."

'here' was a table for two in the front of the restaurant next to a large window. although it was up against the wall, there was nothing intimate about it as there was a large party of folk at the table right next to us. mikhail frowned, disappointment in his voice as he replied.

"this is fine."

he pulled out my chair and i sat down. he sat down in the chair across the table and smiled again, the twinkle re-appearing in his eyes like a lightening streaking across blue skies. i had to admit he was just a bit appealing. he was olive complected and had more of the look of an italian than the stereotypical russian portrayed in the movies (hold up...didn't this cat in the photo date grace jones for a while?!?)

anyway, he starts telling me more about himself. he came here in 1993 to achieve the american dream (now when he told me this, i had to laugh cuz i'm like "uh, the american dream don't usually include fucking with a black woman in most folks mind", but i digress), so he came here from the soviet union. he told me how distressed he was at being unable to find a job quickly. i was amazed at how willing he was to express his emotions and share with me his fear at being unable to find a job to support his family (he was married at the time with a seven year old son and a step-daughter). frankly, i don't think i've ever had a first date where the guy straight up told me about his hopes and fears and feelings of helplessness like that. i became more comfortable with him as he shared more about himself with me. the whole time his eyes never left mine and he spoke in a low voice, which made it a little difficult for me to understand him through the accent, but i managed. then he...

a. put on a pair of eyeglasses and started looking at the menu.

b. reached across the table and grasps my hands lightly, his thumb making lazy patterns across the back of my hands.

c. asked me if i'm ready to order.