My poor choices when it comes to men are legendary in Seattle. And I mean the entire city. I work in the mayor's office and often host banquets and events on his behalf. I spend a lot of time with civic leaders and because several of them have witnessed a few notable catastrophes, they have taken me into their hearts.
How does this play out? Dates. Blind dates. Scores of them. Seems everyone has an uncle, brother, father, son or cousin who would be perfect for me. My friends arrange meetings in their homes, at the top of the Space Needle (one of the finest among fine needles), at waterfront restaurants and deep in the bowels of ferry boats. And it's always the same. Nice fellows. Attractive enough if those things matter to you. Yuppies, Greeners, logger types, and businessmen. Bikers, tree-huggers, military men and cops.
I appreciate the efforts, I really do. But I always insist on meeting these men alone so I don't have to put on an appearance of interest for the matchmaker.
I suppose it will come as no surprise to my friends that I have made another disastrous choice. Found this one on the third level down at the Pike Place Market. Long hair, wearing one of those knit skull caps made from natural hand-spun yarn. He played guitar and had a soft sad voice that plucked me right out of my errands and delivered me breathless at his feet. He sang the Coventry Carol and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.
I wanted to gift him with a new wardrobe, a classic guitar, fine meals and my trembling adoration. He became my reason for Christmas, for living. That night I fixed him a bubble bath and lined the tub with red votive candles. Then I cooked him a T-bone while he cleaned up. I washed his clothes and carefully scented them with lavender and musk. Shouldn't have bothered. When I tapped on the bathroom door three hours later I discovered he was gone. Along with my checkbook, my mad money and the jeans and sweater I'd bought for my father.
I know I'm supposed to feel cheated, ripped off. But I don't. His smile haunts me like a symphony and the memory of his voice will keep me warm all winter.
First published: February, 2006
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