Friday, April 10, 2009

In the Waiting Line

When I was 15, I met this guy while standing in line for tamales on Christmas Eve near my house in Texas. My parents habitually bribed me to wait the three hours it took to procure the best tamales in town during the holiday season.  Although this guy had two first names, instead of a first and last name like any reasonable person (a guaranteed sign of trouble in the south), he seemed nice enough, so I gave him my number and we went out later that week. But it soon became apparent that this guy was still terribly torn up about his ex-girlfriend and I think he tried to recreate the closeness of that bond the only way a 16 year-old boy knows how: in turn painfully over-sharing embarrassing details about his life and bragging about his sports prowess. 

This led to a 45-minute discussion about the joys of pole-vaulting, as well as an admission of bulimia, all while using a tiny can of breath spray as he talked. After I turned down his kind offer to see a picture of his ex-girlfriend and go park somewhere, he decided to continue the date at Wal-Mart, where he bought a CD that reminded him of some school dance he went to with his ex. While driving me home, he put in said CD and started crying. After he dropped me home, I realized that I forgot my jacket in his car.  When he turned his car around to bring it to me, he said, "It must be fate," to which I replied, "No, it's just forgetfulness." 

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