Mostly rambles, few brambles
Tag Archives: relationships
This post originally ran on Slackjaw.
“Spaghetti,” I told the waiter, without eye contact, just a wily noodle veteran looking for one more big score. I was starring at my date as the sheen of panic filled her eyes — a premonition of her being inextricably linked to the tomato-stained man with the pasta-packed mouth, the bread plate positioned to catch his half-bitten fallout, and an amount of mess you’d only expect to see on a baby. Layered, however, underneath her strata of fear, I noted this awakened, sadistic glint: a bit of aroused curiosity, the undeniable part of her wanting to run towards the carnage.
Martha, or maybe Marta, had said she had never been to Luigi’s, but they knew me well here. I bring all my first dates to Luigi’s, and I go on a lot of them because I’m an emotionally unavailable narcissist.
Marla was polite, refined, and worked in finance — any of her edges had been seemingly long rounded down converting herself into this least-offensive, most-marketable version. Like a coward or otherwise unattractive eater, she had ordered the mushroom risotto: a tepid, easily spooned dish able to be sensibly portioned with little chance of excitement or fiasco. Aside from the ubiquitous first-date sibling and college questions, I was asking for her, tonight, to indulge her latent longings for danger.
When our food arrived, I could tell she antsy. Would the excuse be the faux appendicitis, the grandma bail bond, or maybe the Truman Show syndrome relapse? I didn’t care to find out and instead began my routine, twisting up a single noodle and dangling it above my seductive mouth, almost as if it were forbidden. Deftly, I unspooled the lone spaghetto from my fork as it simultaneously wrapped itself around my outstretched tongue. Marsha looked up from her risotto mid-slurp and I winked, self-assured, as if to say, “Baby, we have only started dancing.”
I snagged a fork off a passing busboy and fluffed my entrée together once before emerging with two single noodles, one end of each clenched in my mouth as my twin forks begin twirling them in a Double Dutch action. Maren’s jaw dropped, a dollop of risotto flopping out. She wiped it away and glanced around sheepishly, but everyone in Luigi’s was in my power and captivated by a new move that I called “The Sewing Machine.”
The older woman at the table next to us leaned over to Marianne and whispered, “Dude, have you hit that?”
My meatball was perched on the tip of my knife now, and that one dirty little dimple of sauce was sitting on my cheek just teasing a little, adorably, knowing exactly what he was doing. My date had given up on eating her risotto, instead opting to clench her fork in a state of “excessive titillation.” I let the meatball licentiously wind its way around my hot open mouth, like I was applying a beefy chapstick, before I snapped a bite out of it and listened for the inevitable moan set to simmer off Marcella’s lips.
I’d saved my most handsome noodle for last and, with one precise flick of my wrist, I whipped it around like a ribbon dancer before it rocketed directly into my mouth. Margot wanted to applaud, but I shushed her, instead opening my mouth a few seconds later to reveal a merit-badge worthy square knot. It was only then that I noticed her right hand had moved inconspicuously out of sight.
Together we had triumphed over surefire embarrassment and now, teaming with adrenaline, it was only natural that we pay Luigi, leave the restaurant, and go do hand stuff in my Saturn while Luigi watches from the bushes, as I, a true narcissist, get off on the extra attention.