Captain Quesadilla and Me!
First things first, every word I am about to tell you is true~ every single word, I swear to god. As anyone who has read my dating horror stories can imagine, I’ve seen just about everything . . . but this one scared even me.
It was a beautiful day in late May in good old St. Augustine, the kind of day where you’re happy you’re alive and you can’t imagine anything going wrong. I’d decided to take a walk on the island and afterwards I felt I deserved a beer. I wandered into a bar by myself, but when women go to bars alone, they rarely stay lonesome long. In most cases, some wildly unattractive, brutally offensive guy two or three times your age will swoop in, chatting you up and offering you drink after expensive drink in rapid succession.
For some warped and twisted reason, he thinks this will improve his chances. A smart woman just smiles . . . and takes the drinks.
This one was a doozy. It was the kind of situation where I actually had to take a moment to wonder *WHY* a man would bother speaking to me when his chances were that slim. He was a good thirty to thirty five years older than me and what a tiny, annoying, chicken looking fellow! His hair was white (what he had left of it anyway) and he was some kind of boat captain or something. He just went on and on (and on) about one stupid thing or another and I wasn’t really listening, but then he started telling me about an article he’d read, where some poor girl’s date got his jeep stuck in a dune and then ended up swallowing a contact lens. That’s when I started listening; I wrote that article.
Oh, he was gushing about my writing and although I was a bit surprised he could actually read, I was eating it up. I’m a little ashamed of it now, but the way into any writer’s heart is to rave about their stuff! Super snaps if you can actually quote their work back to them, which he did . . . that’s it. I was alllllllllll done.
When he asked me to dinner, I said yes right away. I wasn’t thinking of it as a “date”, but I’m always up for hanging out with people who like to read. I mentioned a couple restaurants I might like to go to and he said, “Yeah, we could do that . . . *OR* my friends are throwing this party? The invite was to ‘Chris and date,’ so I could bring you. And the food there is going to be *FREE*!”
Fine. Okay. Whatever.
We walked into this “party”, but it wasn’t like any party I’d ever seen. Everyone was crying and no one was having any fun. I took the scenery in a little more: there were flowers everywhere, everyone’s in black and there was a giant card on one of the tables which everyone was taking turns signing in between hugs and sniffles. People kept asking me how I’d known someone I’d never heard of and THAT’s when it dawned on me:
I was at a WAKE. With a dead person. For the free food.
I didn’t exactly know how to react, so I mingled with the mourners, signed the card. I really wanted to bust out laughing and give the stupid boat captain a piece of my mind, but I was on my best behavior merely out of respect for the departed. Captain Sh** For Brains reminded me (through his mournful tears) that I was hungry and he gestured towards a table of fruit and crackers.
“Oh, no,” I said, as gently as possible. “I am *NOT* eating a dead man’s fruit.”
After the WAKE, he took me to a restaurant where he looked at me and said, “Okay. You can have ONE beer . . . and ONE appetizer.”
WHAT? That, of course, made me want two appetizers, but by that point I just wanted to eat and get out of there! I put in an order of quesadillas and centered myself; I took a deep breath and prepared to have to listen to Captain Dumbass for the ten to fifteen minutes I’d have to wait for my food.
He opened his mouth to speak: “You knoowwwww . . . [*hiccup*] I really miss my wife. She left me and now I don’t get to have [*gulp, hiccup*] sex anymore . . . no sex, Bri. There’s no one to have sex with.”
Great. He was drunk. And crying again.
“Andddddddddd that’s why I am so glad I met you. You got such pretty eyes, like a princess! [*gulp, hiccup, burp*] Princess Bri! And I get to have sex with you now [*hiccup*] . . . I can’t wait to have sex with your eyes.”
TIME OUT! Whoa!
About this time, I choked on a mouthful of Bud Light and spit it all over the table. Captain Plastered was to drunk to even notice, so I excused myself to the bar, where I pulled the waitress aside and told her to bring my food in a to-go box, which she did a few minutes later. I don’t think I even made eye contact with the drunken fool as I gathered up my stuff and walked out the door, with him yelling after me that he was calling the police, that I would go to jail for stealing his quesadilla. I didn’t care, I had to get out of there.
In the morning I checked my email and found a forwarded email from the editor of the Underground. It was entitled “BRIE” and it read simply: “Dating column really, thieving crazy bitch nice eyes though man.”
I didn’t connect it at first, but the captain sent it five minutes after I left the restaurant . . . I guess the police weren’t answering the phone! So can we get a round of applause for Captain Mental Patient? I stole his quesadillas . . . and his heart!
The Jaded Bandit