Saturday, January 28, 2006


he looks even better with eyeglasses on. i frowned inwardly, unaware that i'd evidently found white guys with salt and pepper hair and glasses attractive until now. or maybe it was just the fact that he was so attentive.

"do any of these dishes look familiar to you?" he asked as he continued to peruse the menu. i picked mine up and started looking as well, finding only one dish on the entire menu i knew i'd had before.

"i've had the basil beef at another restaurant and it was pretty decent," i answered matter-of-factly, "but that doesn't guarantee it'll taste all that great here."

mikhail began naming the dishes aloud, his accent basically butchering each word. he knew it too as a chuckle dangled on the end of each name, a half-smile on his lips at his self-mockery. i laughed aloud. his smile grew to full-tilt grin and i wondered if the guy ever stopped smiling. he seemed so happy. i wasn't sure if it was because he was just a happy dude or if he was happy we were at lunch together. my ego told me to go with the latter option, as it made the ego feel better. we ultimately decided to go with a spinich soup and the beef basil. after the waitress came and took our orders he took off his glasses, placing them on the table as he sat back and watched me. his gaze was intense and i was beginning to feel a bit unnerved. it was weaving itself around our table, blocking out all other conversation like a sound-proof wall.

"so," he said softly after a minute, "tell me about you."

"i make a point of not falling into that hole," i answered, "so you're gonna have to be more specific. what do you want to know?"

"everything," he said, a serious expression now on his face. i arched a brow at him (that's my favorite "what the fuck" look) and gave a small laugh.

"we only have an hour mikhail," the tone of my voice lightly sprinkled with slivers of sarcasm, "so unless you want me to tell you about my toe jamb or butt boils, you might as well get specific." i smiled to take the sting out of it. a loud bark of laughter excaped his lips and he shook his head with wonder.

"that is what i like about you," he said, "you have no pretense about you."

"what's the point of pretense," i responded with an air of whatever, "when the truth is so much more efficient?"

"you are right," he replied, laughter lining his voice, "where are you from?"

"i'm originally from new york but i was raised here in atlanta," i responded.

"do you still have family there?"

"yes. only my mom and dad and a few cousins are here in georgia. everybody else for the most part are in new york."

he continued to ask me questions about myself, listening intently to the answers and following them with more probing questions. by the time our lunch arrived, i felt as though he'd peeled my memories away from my mind, exposing the vulnerable flesh of my innermost thoughts. i was ready to eat just to shut him up so i could keep part of my mind protected. the basil beef was in a bowl, swimming in red sauce, peppers, and basil. i added the white rice to the bowl and began eating. there was little talking at this point, as the dish proved to be messier than i had anticipated and i had to concentrate on keeping the sauce off of me. when i was almost done eating i glanced down at my t-shirt and groaned. my pristine white t-shirt had red spots covering it like bullet wounds. SHIT. he heard me groan and looked up, noting where i was focusing my attention. he said...

a. "would you like for me to wipe those off for you?" with a devilish grin on his face.

b. "a few spots cannot mar your beauty." and smiled with a light of something wicked in his eyes.

c. "sometimes the greatest blessing can also be a curse, hmm?" and winked at me with a knowing grin.