Monday, June 25, 2007

Whew!

OK, I know. I need to finish the Quiet Man Saga. But, I am trying to get the hell out for a vacation and its been hellish with the passport thing and all, and I don't have the time, so it will have to wait until I get back from Europe in mid to late July.

And I still have not packed one thing and I still need to get more things. I am now trying to get organized- ie should I take my digital camera or buy a small newer one? I have a "bulky" sony one-a cd mavica-nice camera but large; should I take my lap top? Should I rent a GMS phone?

Should I bring curling iron and try those horrid plug converters? Should I buy new converters? What the hell am I going to do on the plane for 6-8 hours or whatever the damned flight length is or is not?

How many outfits should I bring-about two per day? How many shoes can I bring versus how many I want to bring? Where can I get a damned lightweight shawl for visiting the the Vatican when I get to Italy since you can't go sleeveless in the tempestuous heat and can't wear shorts either.

What should I bring besides Benadril if the sun gives me a rash as it usually does but has not lately, but as of late, yes it has and a weird one at that: on the tops of my hands by each thumb- just some slightly raised bumbs that do not itch, but make me scratch them lightly every onece in a while. What the hell is that crap anyway? Another thing to figure out, in addition to whether or not my fantastically pink Victor Longo lip gloss, acted as a magnifying glass to my lips last week when I somehow got a bad case of chapped lips after hanging out in the sun with it for about 1.5 hours.

Should I buy running shoes- I don't run- for the support or buy those nice pink NIKE sneakers that look like shoes but are not but look like they don't have any cushioning either?

So these dopey questions are what are occupying my thoughts at the moment, including the poundage permitted to fly-suitcase I mean. I can only take ONE DAMNED SUITCASE!!!!!!

Wish me luck in remaining sane, while holding ad infinitum with the passport people and hoping to GOD that it arrives Thursday as my local congressional office was told it would-WHEW!



Monday, June 11, 2007

Happy New Year, Quiet Man

After the TJMaxx event, I think the next time I saw Quiet Man was on New Year's Day.

Yes, New Year's Day.

Christmas came and went and so did New Year's Eve. We had all attended a New Year's Eve party at a local restaurant, the one that Quiet Man had reacted to with the "Let's go!" comment.

The restaurant was not all it was cracked up to be; they must have a great photographer with lots of fancy editing and effects, or I was just to wrapped up into the party to notice the supposedly fantastic d├ęcor.

At 12 pm New Year's day we were invited to a ceremony on the local level. I was so tired; we had New Year's Day dinner cooking and it was cold outside because it was January. I was dragging. I really did not want to go out.

Harry was eating dinner with us. I told him I had to go to this ceremony and was getting ready to head out.

"Oh, OK, Harry, you can meet me there," I told him. He was hinting for an invitation, so I told him where I was going to be. Harry lives in the city where the infamous TJMaxx was located.

The room was crowded and there was only standing room. When I had arrived, I did not see a soul and it looked empty. Where did all these people park that were in this room?

As the room began to swell with bodies, I was standing with some acquaintances. I go back and forth with calling people I know acquaintances or friends. I had a boyfriend once who had this system with friends. You started off as a buddy and then he would elevate you up to friend. His logic was that friendship had to be earned and when you reached that level, it was like for life or something intense like that. I used to call everyone a friend and if it did not work out, oh, well, no big deal. Then I used to think about the old BF's logic and it kinda made sense.

One of these acquaintances was Fannie. She had a husband name Nick. Nick was very nice. Fannie was fake as far as I was concerned. One reason I think Fannie was fake because she was very unfriendly when she was first introduced to me. Then when she realized, how childish is this, that she was on the "outside" with others in our group and I was definitely not, she went out of her fake way to exclaim to me that when we first met, she was observing me and decided I was such a nice person. What a load of crap, but of course, I did not tell her, my fake way right back to her.

So, Fannie finds me and sticks to me like glue because I was up front. Never ending chatter coming from her, and we were stuck like everyone else, like sardines. All I wanted to do was sit down and close my eyes. I was not even listening to what anyone was saying. It was all droning at that point. I had not taken off my sunglasses, either, despite being inside. I knew I must have had bags big enough to travel to Europe, and that is for sure.

In the middle of the ceremony and trying to answer another of Fannie's inane questions, I had turned to whisper to her and who is in the crowd but Fred. He was alone, which was odd, because he never goes anywhere without Quiet Man, as far as I knew. I had thought they were so odd, with dressing the same, how they agree on everything it seemed, I had told each of them, without the other, they must be gay. No, as far as I know they are not gay, but geez, they seem so much in sync, it could be, it could be. This was one possibility that ran through my mind as to why Quiet Man was weird to me.

Well I had about enough of standing in my high heeled boots and I had to make my way downstairs to sit down and I did not care if I had to go sit on the curb outside. I told Fannie I was leaving, and lo and behold she was as well.

I noticed Fred was not in the spot I had seen him earlier.

We get down to the first floor and I ran into a person I just love: Van. Van is just the sweetest, honest and genuine man I have met in a long time. He does not have a malicious bone in his body.

I go through the door to the hallway that also posed as a waiting room because it had long wooden benches along its walls that people sat at before going upstairs.

"Oh, Van!" I cried as I put my arms around him and welcomed him. By this time, Fannie and Nick joined us. We stood by the door and chatted and chatted. Van is about 70 years old and was beating cancer. He is so sweet and corny at the same time, he is just charming.

I had not seen Van in about two months. So I was filling him in on what needed to be said to bring him up to speed. Fannie was trying to get in on the conversation, which was annoying.

When Fannie, who really did not know Van, was interjecting herself, I quickly turned around to see who was in the hallway with us, and because I can’t stand people who look at me from behind. I had been facing Van for a long time while talking to him and my back was to the hallway.

I turned and saw Quiet Man sitting on a bench, staring at me. He was leaning forward on his knees, just looking. Down the hallway. In our direction.

He was sitting next to Fred, who had one of his daughters with him. Fred was sitting on the bench, just sitting.

The two of them, so weird.

I turned back to my conversation with Van as quickly as I had looked behind me.

It had un-nerved me somewhat and caused me to talk even faster to Van, who was trying to keep up.

Nervously, I had turned a couple of more times and looked right down that hallway as if he was not even there. Sometimes he was looking, other times he was not and once, he was not there at all.

When he was not there, I waved hello to Fred, who cheerfully waved back.

Man, these two are odd.

I could not stand anymore and decided to sit on a bench opposite and a bit away from Quiet Man and Fred.

Fannie of course sat with me. So I made the best of it and talked to her.

We then decided to go outside and I was beginning to wonder where the hell Harry was.
On the way out, I walked right past Quiet Man. I looked right at him and said nothing as did he. Fannie unknowingly helped me do this by her unending blathering.

We were standing in the weary and cold January weather; it kinda woke me up, but I still kept on the sunglasses.

After chattering for a while, I saw Harry’s vehicle circling the parking lot. Geez, can he just find a damned spot and park? What was he doing.

I saw Harry walking toward the building after I flagged him down while he was still circling the parking lot.

I decided to go in before Harry got to the door, because in my sick logic of the moment, if I went back to my previous seat on the bench, Harry would be walking right by Quiet Man for sure.

So I did, and he did.

As I was talking to Harry who stood next to me, I eyed Quiet Man. He was looking at Harry and I. What is with this guy, I was thinking. What does he want?

I introduced Harry to Fannie. She was peppy and friendly with him, but before she could move over and make room for him, I told Harry to sit on the empty bench opposite me. I did not know Quiet Man was going to be at this ceremony, and I don’t think he even went upstairs. So why would this man come to a ceremony on New Year’s day to sit on a bench and not even go in? I knew he was not interested in these things, and the answer was that Fred wanted him to come. So what is up with that? I could not even think of a normal explanation for how those two operated.

So Fannie was chatting it up with her new friend, Harry. Harry has a way of slow speaking that drives me up the wall. Harry is a Taurus and they do everything their way and they don’t believe in rushing. Taurus men are very funny, but bossy and possessive. You have to adapt to them, they will not adapt to you. I don’t adapt, so I don’t know what is wrong with Harry.

I had turned to look at Quiet Man who finally said hello. I replied hello back and continued on with Harry.

I then saw the best friend of one of the people involved in the ceremony. This is one good looking man. Tall, handsome, dark hair and blue eyes and a bright white smile that was large and generous. I had just met him the night before at the New Year’s party. He has a girlfriend, a former beauty queen, who I briefly saw upstairs with him. He was walking up and down the hallway, that I could not resist saying something to him.

“Hi Harley!” I said loudly and firmly to him.

I saw Quiet Man watching me from the corner of my eye.

“Oh, hello, Muse” he said with a broad and genuine smile.

“What are you doing walking up and down this hallway by yourself ? “ I said while wondering why the hell I said that.

“I cannot find Yvonne,” he replied while explaining she left upstairs to come down and now he could not find her.

What was wrong with that girl, leaving this handsome and genuinely sweet man? If I was with him, there would be no way in hell I would let him wander around looking for me. What was wrong with Yvonne.

“Well, Harley, I have not seen her and I have been here for a while. So how long are you staying? “ I nosily asked.

Well Harley and I had a nice time conversing, while Fannie was trying to talk to Harry and nose her way into getting introduced to Harley. I was not obliging her.

Harley is really a gentleman and took time off from looking for Yvonne to speak to me, which was thrilling. Harley comes off as very genuine, which I am sure he is, but since I only met him the night before, I had to qualify it, but he was an officer in the Navy, but was now out. His family is a billionaire family but you would never know it at all; he was so real and sweet. He was a regular guy with impeccable manners. A gentleman.

I could feel Quiet Man watch Harley and I. Oh, all the giggling and laughing and smiling I was doing while I was watching Harley as he spoke to me, made my face hurt.

“Muse, you have the most beautiful hair,” he threw into the conversation like a rocket.

OH MY GOD, I was so embarrassed. The conversation we were having was mundane, about him going back to Washington D.C. with Yvonne and the party the night before. I hoped Quiet Man heard that. Harry could have had a bomb go off on him and he would have continued doing what he was doing, probably telling Fannie all of his joke stories that crack him up into hee-haw laughter, a true Taurean trait.

Harley was looking at me. He was almost standing over me, looking down. His smile was brilliant. His eyes animated.

All I could think about was where the hell was Yvonne?

As I usually do when I am caught off guard, I rattle on about something until I can change the conversation or exit it altogether. I blurted something out about donating my hair and went into excruciating detail about hair donation enough so that Harley would be silenced.

Eventually Harley decided to move on and try and find his lady love, Yvonne.

The crowd was on its way to a small reception in the building across the way.

I collected Harry to go over and had Fannie and Nick in tow. Fannie was still chatting away with Harry.

Quiet Man and Fred had already made their way over.

I said hello to Fred again while getting something to drink, a plain cranberry juice. Quiet Man was standing above everyone due to his height, all those rushing the snack and beverage table. Lordy, what people do when there is free food and drink always amazes me.

I had left Harry and Fannie chatting outside the building. Harry had his back to the stone.

Quiet Man greeted me in his usual fashion, gallantly and sweetly. I was glad to see him but did not show it.

We spoke about the night before. He said he had gone into the big city with friends. I thought it was sort of odd that a grown man would go and watch a ball drop, but that is just me.

I had mentioned that the restaurant was nothing like it looked like on the internet. He stated he had gone there as well and it was not good.

He already went there, I thought. How weird is that? I thought. The place he was so fakely enthused to bring me and he went already. How odd.

Quiet Man was acting anxious. If he was not by Fred’s side or near him, you could see his eyes searching for him. Quiet Man excused himself from me and went directly to Fred.

After a short while, Fred came over to chat with me. I made small talk with him and then introduced Fred to someone he was happy to meet and got rid of him.

I was drinking my cranberry juice and it the juice level in my plastic glass was getting low. Tried as I might to get some more, I could not reach in between the throng of bodies vying for cheap fruit danishes, donuts and the usual variety of pastries and coffee.

Quiet man re-appeared. He was holding his coffee and a pastry he was eating. I appeared less than enthused when he resumed his conversation with me. I don’t remember what he was saying. I interrupted him to ask him to reach over and get me some more cranberry juice, which he did.

After a while, Fred announced he wanted to leave. This was when Quiet Man had asked me to go and talk outside and we where there for a total of less than five minutes. Fred’s daughter was inappropriately dressed for the cold weather, but that was besides the point: Fred had run out of people to talk to and I had long figured out if Fred is not the center of someone’s attention, and the better if the person is of some import, he is disinterested. Fred is a Leo and an attention hog and is not shy about it or anything else that shines the light on him.

Quiet Man said his goodbyes and then went to fetch the BMW 7 series to pick up Fred and his underdressed daughter so she did not have to walk in the January chill.

“Goodbye, Muse,” said Fred, who needs some sort of fanfare for his grand exit, even if its just to say good bye.

“Goodbye, Fred,” I muttered.

As they left, I turned to see Harry who was still outside, holding up the wall, talking with Fannie and her husband Nick.

Fannie walks over to me and exclaims, “Oh Muse, Harry is so sweet and so nice looking!”

Good for you, Fannie, I thought, I wonder what Nick thinks of all the attention you showered on Harry?

“Harry, are you ready to go?”

“Yeah, Muse, hold your horses,” said Harry apparently enjoying the attention from Fannie and Nick.

We left Fannie, Nick and all the pastry hogs so that we could go and enjoy a nice New Year’s Day dinner and a fire made with Harry’s King’s Wood that burned blue and green in the hearth.

Oddly, Harry did not ask me not once about Quiet Man or where I was the whole time.

This was not the end of Quiet Man.







Tuesday, June 5, 2007

What Are You Doing, Quiet Man?

Now whether after or before this conversation with Quiet Man outside of Blockbuster about going to the restaurant, I saw him intermittently. Once when I was with another boyfriend/friend, I was walking towards Fred’s store. Quiet Man was with Fred inside, and all they could do was stare out the plate glass window. Quiet Man was leaning on his elbow on the glass counter looking outward.

As I was talking to Harry, my bf/friend, I waved to Quiet Man and Fred. Fred waves enthusiastically and Quiet Man does a wide half moon wave.

Another time I was Christmas shopping all day at our local mall. Harry was done working, it was a Friday and he wanted to get together.

“OK, I will meet you at your house” I told him.

The plan was to meet at his house so he could change into casual clothes and I could leave my car rather than him picking me up at the mall and leaving my car there.

On the way to Harry’s house, I was annoyed with Harry. He is very bossy. Since he does not like to talk on his cell phone while he is driving, that is his problem. So instead of calling his cell phone to tell him I decided not to meet him at his house, because I had more shopping I needed to do, I called his house. I could not leave a message due to his message box being full. Oh, well.

Eventually Harry calls me.

“Where are you?” he demanded.

“Why are you calling me from your cell phone?”

“Because I decided to do an errand after you did not meet me at home,” he said annoyed I did not take direction that night.

“So, where are you?”

“I am at XYZ Store.”

“How long are you going to be there?” he asked.

“Not long. I am leaving.”

“Meet me at the house?”

“No.”

“Why?”

“Where are you now?”

He was just north of me, traveling south.

“I have to go to TJMAXX, so since you are going to be passing me, why bother going home?”

“Oh,” he realized, ”OK, I will meet you at TJMAXX.”

So I go to TJMAXX. I am wandering around looking at the Christmas things they had out.

As I am roving about, wondering where the hell Harry was, I see Quiet Man in the toiletries section!

OMG, I thought, what the hell is he doing here? He was casually dressed as if he just went to dinner; I knew he saw me before I saw him, because he was looking at the crap they had with feigned interest.

I was standing at the jewelry counter next to the toiletries; he must have been no more than 15 feet from me.

I dialed Harry.

“Where are you?”

“I just hit your car!”

“What! You hit my car?!”

“Heh, no, I was just joking with you. I am in the parking lot. I am coming in.”

“OK, I will be standing in the main aisle where you will come in so you can see me.”

“Okay.”

Now, as I was talking to Harry on the phone, Quiet Man heard my voice, I know he did. He did not turn around, he did not glance, he was fervently looking at all the woman soaps, perfumes, shower gels etc.

Harry comes bouncing into TJMAXX, all happy and giddy.

“Hey, Harry.”

“Hey, Muse.”

“Harry come and look at this jewelry,” I told him as I led him to look at the crap in the case. Quiet Man was still in the toiletries. The only man in the toiletries. And the jewelry was right next to the toiletries.

Harry is one man that loves jewelry. He has given almost each and every previous girlfriend jewelry and engagement rings, and to this day, still has every piece. Can you imagine? He collects it back when they break up.

“They just didn’t love me anymore,” he explains after telling a varied amount of similar stories about wrestling off the rings from their fingers during tender break up moments.

We must have circled that jewelry counter three times. Harry is pretty loud because he loves to entertain the ladies while he is shopping with me.

For example, once I snapped at him for getting on my nerves in the supermarket.

“The Judge told you, you better be nice to me!” he chided me.

And wouldn’t you know it, he had the old bitties turning around staring and whispering about me. And, he played it like a fiddle.

If we go to the dollar store, he follows me around asking me the price of items.

“How much is this?” he inquires.

“It’s a dollar.”

“And this, how much is it?”

“It’s a dollar.”

“What about this right here?”

I answer him, “It’s a dollar!” until I realize what he is doing.

“Oh, Honey, he is precious” one woman told me once. That just eggs him on to annoy me more and more.

Enough about Harry.

Quiet Man could have repeated word for word what Harry and I were talking about since he was more than within earshot.

Nothing; not a peep from him. What the hell was he doing was what I was thinking. It was a Friday night. Did he just come back from dinner alone? He definitely was alone in the store.

Quiet Man slips to the back of the store.

Harry decides he wants to go shopping. I stayed at the jewelry counter. I then went into the toiletries to see what Quiet Man found so interesting.

I was bent at one of the displays looking at something. Quiet Man went by me and I just caught his downward glance to me. What jerk, I thought.

I get into the main aisle.

I have Harry flagging me down from the opposite end of the store. Quiet Man was headed his way.

Harry had found yet another fleece outer top. He swears by them.

“Ok, Harry let’s go.” I told him.

I just wanted to get the hell out of that store.

I could not tell Harry about Quiet Man being there. I was not sure how he would react. When I first told Harry I met him, he was very surly about it all.

While going around the jewelry counter, Harry wanted to know where I wanted to eat that night. I told him I wanted a salad; he had wanted pizza or something like that at his friend’s restaurant. I was not in the mood for iceberg lettuce, what his friend thinks is salad.

So Harry pays for his finds and we go out onto the sidewalk.

“Quite Man was in there, let’s get going,” I told him to try and hurry him up.

“What?” he said.

“Oh, never mind, you heard me.”

He wanted me to ride with him, but I told him I was not going to leave my car. He was annoying about it and I told him, ok, we can go where you want, but I am brining my own car. It was a fair exchange, not leaving my car to eat iceberg lettuce.

Harry takes his time getting into his vehicle. He rolls his window down, and says, “You are going to meet me there, right?”

“Yes! What is wrong with you?” I said. He was annoying me now.

“Ok, see you there.”

I get into my car. I was wondering why I did not notice Quiet Man was in TJMAXX before I went in; maybe he arrived after I did?

As I was making my way out of the plaza, I had to go around the lot and it brought me on my way out in front of the store.

Just as I was going to pass TJMAXX, Quiet Man is walking out, without any purchases. He put his foot onto the pavement, right in front of my car. I stopped.

He comes over to my window, which I was rolling down.

He sticks his hands in to grab mine. He kissed my hands.

“Hello, Muse”

“Hello, Quiet Man. I was just in TJMAXX; I did not see you,” I lied.

He explained he was looking at the prices of perfume, since he claimed that these discount stores where hurting one of Fred’s business.

You have got to be kidding me, I thought. I am not kidding you. And he said it most seriously.

We made small talk about not seeing each other in a while and things like that. He was standing in the middle of the driving lane in front of the store, without a care if he was in the way or not.

I started to get anxious because I knew Harry was probably timing my arrival. I was mulling in my mind while Quiet Man was chattering on to me if I should invite him to eat with Harry and I. I decided no.

“Ah, Quiet Man,” I interrupted him, “I have to meet someone for dinner, who is waiting for me.”

“Oh, Muse, I am so sorry” he said as if he was imposing on me.

“Well, that is ok, I just have to leave. It was nice seeing you,” I told him as I cut the conversation short.

He kissed my hand and stepped back to look at me in my car. I waved goodbye to him and went off on my way.

I barely made it to the pizza restaurant without much time passing. I had sped all the way. Harry was waiting in the parking lot. The restaurant was closed.

I forgot where we went, but after that, Harry insisted that almost every thing we did, such as go to Starbucks and the like, was to be done out of town. He did not want any run-ins with Quiet Man or other similar such persons, as if it was an epidemic.

Geez.


Monday, June 4, 2007

Oh, Yes, You Are A Caller, Quiet Man

Friday came and went without a call from Quiet Man.

On Saturday morning I went to my local Starbucks. It was a chilly day, my just washed hair was wet, I had on a heavy sweatshirt under a down vest, and I was sporting sunglasses to cover my tired eyes. I felt gross.

I used to drink Starbuck’s coffee, but stopped after not being able to put up with or get used to its heavy taste. Hell, they have heavy duty breath mints of all kinds at the register to give you a clue.

That was years ago, but I did not mind their tea, JOY, to be exact.

I get on line and get towards the front.

I almost died.

I approached the damned counter, because at Starbucks they HAVE to get your order and payment despite you can’t even get up to the counter to pay.

At the same time I was giving my tea order, rifling through my pocketbook for money and wanting to SCREAM because I could not use the counter to rifle, out of the corner of my eye I saw Quiet Man. He was all smiles.

He came over to me and grabbed my arm and was so talkative.

“HI MUSE! So good to see you!” he said so enthusiastically while hanging on my sweat-shirted arm.

Of course everyone on line was paying attention to this spectacle.

I was SO ANNOYED that he blew me off and then acts like he did nothing. Did he have to say hello so happily? Also, I saw a dark haired older woman next to him which angered me. I was also so uncomfortable looking the way I did.

“Hi, Quiet Man,” I forced mumbled while I got out my money and glanced at him quickly. I did not turn to look at him again, and stared at the assorted teas on Starbuck’s back wall. Quiet Man was waiting for his coffee to be made. I got my tea first and turned to walk to the milk and napkin counter by going against the line.

I was looking for the milk for the tea and I see the dark haired woman that was with Quiet Man come over to the counter I was at; I was plotting in my mind the verbal assault I had ready if she bothered me at all.

I felt stupid because she then left Starbucks and got into her husband’s car. My imagination can be very active.

Quite Man comes over while I was re-capping my tea. I can’t remember what he was saying, except that for one second I felt much better he was alone. I never saw him in this Starbuck’s before I, analyzed.

Outside on the sidewalk, he insisted on talking to me. He invited me to go into Fred’s nearby office to talk with him. He repeated this two to three times. At first it was animated like an exited child. With each, "NO, I can’t, I am going into the next city, I have to meet someone," his enthusiasm waned.

“NO, I am meeting someone, “ I repeated.

[I was not meeting anyone.]

He then stood up straighter. He was looking down at me. He became cooler towards me and accepted that I was not going to drink my JOY tea while he drank his muddy coffee in Fred’s office.

HHMMPH!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is how I felt.

Now the stories I have previously related about Quiet Man and I were over the course of about month and a half.

The next time I saw him was in a parking lot. I was chatting on my cell phone with a friend before going into Blockbuster. It was anywhere between 7:30 and 8:00 pm.

I saw him walking to his car. My friend was chiding me because she thought I was very harsh with him. She insisted I apologize to him and see what he does to soften my nastiness. Nastiness? I did not think I was nasty. Did she forget he never did what he said he would do?

She pressed me and pressed me to just do it.

So I did it.

I yelled out to him and he held up his hand over his head. I was embarrassed.

“OMG, you MADE me do it and now he is not coming over,“ I yelled into the phone to my friend.

“Well, at least you know,” she said matter of factly.

“OH NO, he is coming over!” I told her.

As his green Jaguar SJX came over to me, he pulled up next to my driver’s window. He was somewhat smiling and opened his window.

I had my window down already, held up my finger to Quiet Man to wait a second, and told my friend I would call her later.

“You better!” she said.

“Hi, Quiet Man,” I began.

I then just blurted
it out: “ I am sorry for not being so nice to you the other day.”

He threw up his hand with a sad kind of smile and said, “It’s OK, Muse.”

[PLEASE. I am going to kill my friend for convincing me to do something so stupid.]

He told me he was busy and had to go and turn on the heat in his garage where he kept his antique cars.

Why? Because its going to be below 40 degrees tonight.

And that matters because…?

“It’s not good for the cars,” he explained.

“Oh,” I said acting as if it was a missing piece of vital information.

So I proceeded to chat my head off with him; I was talking about New Year's and the restaurant they were going to have the party at for our group. On its website, it looked gorgeous, like something out of NYC. I could not believe they had a place like that were we lived.

On and on I went.

“Let’s go,” he interrupted me.

“What?” I said as I turned to look at him, “What did you say?”

“Let’s go,” he repeated, “to the restaurant.”

“Well, you have to call me first,” I told him somewhat demurely.

“I will call you,” he assured.

I was not going to fall for that one again. We said our good byes. And, of course, he did not call.



Saturday, June 2, 2007

You Are So Alluring, Quiet Man

As long as this story is, there is eventually a point to its end. It's just getting there that is tedious.

I don't know what I was expecting from Quiet Man, nor had I figured out what he wanted from me. I was convinced it was something, but I was not sure what.

I knew one thing, I was going to find out as elusive as he was.

The evening of the celebration was more of a cocktail party at some local offices. It was still late fall and I decided to change from pants into a split front skirt with a ribbed turtleneck that just hit at my waist along with brown tights and a pair of matching color high heeled yet conservative suede shoes. I like those shoes, since they had an elongated and semi squared toe. I pulled back my hair so it cascaded down my back yet sat a bit high on my head. My make up was demure to go along with the outfit. The fuchsia lipstick was replaced by a coppery red.

I entered the offices from the ground floor.

The room everyone was congregated in was a bit small because of the secretarial sections took up most of the real estate, creating an elongated middle that was sort of like a runway of sorts, leading to offices and then wrapping around into a horsehoe shaped floor plan.

As I entered, Fred who was facing the door, called me over immediately. He greeted me kindly as always and introduced me to the man he was speaking to, asking me to guess his identity. I had spotted Quiet Man, again by himself, a bit behind me, holding up the half wall that fronted a secretarial corral.

I hate these guessing games and of course I could not think who this older gentleman was, but it turned out that he knew my father. Oh, what a tacit turn of events that was for Fred. He is easily amused.

As I turned around, Quite Man took a step or two toward me and pulled me to him. He held my hands and kissed me hello as usual.

As crazy and cramped as this set up was, they had waiters going around with what I call snacks, since to say hors d'oeuvres in this setting was ironic.

Quiet Man had quiet an appetite and filled his little plate with everything that came by. We were standing by the door and I started to chat with those who came in.

"Hi Muse" they would say and start to talk.

Quiet Man, who was eating next to me, after about ten to fifteen minutes of this routine, seemed disposed to not have liked it.

He took me across the "aisle" to the next secretarial corral where they had the wine. It was awful. I could not drink it but Quiet Man did not care. We commented it was not like the last wine they served at the home of the man with the famous mother. Eh, what could you do?

Though I do not at this writing remember the particulars of what Quiet Man and I talked about, he was a bit different; more open, talkative and animated with me. He focused his attention on me and only me. If someone interrupted us to speak to me, he would just look at them or look away.

After he had his fill of snacks, he wanted to move. He directed me to go down the aisle to see if there was somewhere we could talk by ourselves. We arrived at the round of the horseshoe and one room was open with the cake on a table, but there was no one it the room. I did not want to go there, because someone would eventually come in. I wanted to turn back, but Quiet Man did not. He then went ahead of me to continue on and turned to face me to encourage me to follow him.

I looked at him waiting for me to join him. He was strong and kind, and sweet. Gentle. And it was nice.

We went down the other end of the horsehoe which was a hall with rooms off of it. He entered the one on the right which was filled with a few people. I knew them but did not care for them. They all looked up at us when we entered the room. I did not care to stay and Quiet Man was ready to make himself comfortable. I indicated to him I wanted to leave, whispering to him it was not a place to have a conversation that would be listened to like nobody's business.

We explored quickly the other rooms from the hallway and none were satisfactory. As we made our way around, Quiet Man settled on a hallway corner across from the door to the cocktail party and next to the entrance doors.

He got me a seat to use, and we balanced our drinks on the half wall.

Quiet Man was conversing with me enthusiastically and yet very quietly. He came so close to me that only my knees where the only thing that kept him from getting closer. He had his back to everyone, just enjoying our conversation.

I must have been giddy. I don't remember, but his conduct was more than melting my usual cool exterior. I must have had an eternal and broad smile while sitting on that stool.

Quite Man was dressed casual and in brown, an unusual dark reddish sort of brown, that looked good on him. His height and imposing figure, for me, made me feel at ease and protected. I enjoyed sitting in that corner with my back against the wall and with Quiet Man at my knees.

After a while, he again took the lead and asked me to go outside with him. He wanted to smoke.

We were standing by the front entrance. When we got out there, Quiet Man was smiling at me. He was leaning over a post with his forearms and he tilted his head back. I remember talking at a furious pace about something since he made me nervous. As I was blathering on, I watched his eyes as they examined my chest down to my feet and back up again to look into my eyes.

I felt my face flush like a school girl. And I laughed. The attraction was strong and lingering. I had felt embarrassed that there I was, as he, I knew, with the white elephant of attraction between us.

The worst choice for that night was for him to pick the front entrance to smoke. As more and more people where entering and saying hello to me, I was also saying good bye to a good deal of them, while standing with Quiet Man in the same spot as when they came.

I knew they were staring because they must have thought, who is this man Muse is with? They must have thought as I did, that he looked, sinister. They had to because they would speak to me and quickly dart their eyes to look at him.

"Still here, Muse?" they would ask.

"Yes, why not?" I replied, while hoping they would not notice us more than in passing.

Quite Man was telling me about he and Fred's latest business interest. They were bidding on a gentleman's club. He asked me if he looked the type to own such an establishment. I told him he did not and Fred was more the type. He laughed and laughed and made me promise that I had to tell Fred.

A bit later, Fred had come outside looking for Quiet Man.

"Tell him, tell him!" Quiet Man pleaded.

Fred was interested in what was about to be told to him.

I laughed and refused, so Quiet Man told him and had a good laugh about Fred looking more the gentleman club owner that himself.

"Oh, no- you think that Muse? Me more than Quiet Man?"

"Oh, definitely," I told Fred, "You just have that look."

Fred laughed at the comparison.

Then, they had to leave Fred said. Quiet Man agreed, saying they had a meeting at 7 pm with the owner's of the gentleman's club at the Hilton. Fred apologized profusely.

"Muse, I am sorry. We have business. We are late, Muse. So Sorry," he pandered.

Quite Man genuinely apologized, probably noticing my disappointment in his imminent departure from me.

He reached over to me to embrace and kiss me good bye. Fred leaned over and did the same.

"Can I have your card?" asked Quiet Man.

That annoyed me since I gave him my card at our first meeting. But, I did not remind him of that and gave him another. He examined the card, looking at it and put it away.

"I will call you," he said, "tomorrow."

"Ok" was all I could say while thinking he told me at our first departure he was going to come to my office to visit with me, which he did not.

"Are you returning inside?" he asked.

"No, I will be leaving as well. I am tired."

"Can I walk you to your car?" he offered.

"No," I said, "I can get there myself."

We parted in opposite directions.

And that is how it ended for that night.