Half Empty, Since 1998

We had a spark, so we decided to do the get-to-know-you-lunch. I expected the typical lunch where we talk about careers, families and the like. But there was nothing typical about this lunch, and nothing typical about this girl.

The Lunch

Johnathan Drake. January 26th, 1999

“HEY, WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SONG, MAYBE WE COULD SING ALONG,” I shouted out loud on the way to meet her for lunch. The hi-fi systems on the ol’ Ford Contour was maxed out, and I was singin’ along as if I was part of the band. I happened to glance over and see the driver next to me give me an odd look. ‘Screw you, old lady, I’m on top of the world,’ I said to her simply by the respondent look on my face.

We had talked last night about the song by the Flys, “Got You Where I Want You,” and ironic enough, that song was playing on the radio as I made my way from downtown to the Drake University neck of the woods. I can’t get enough of that song — for me, it’s the kinda song that just sticks, the kind you can never get tired of. And in a way, last night when I asked her if she liked live music, and if she knew of the Flys, it was a test. The Flys are in town next week, and she was the first person I thought of asking to go to the concert with me. It was a compatibility test, if you will. I’m a phat cat who digs live musical gigs (that’s how the kids talk nowadays, I’m tryin’ to stay hip), and if she was too, excellent. If she didn’t like live music, well, that’d be ok, I could live with that. But if she said she preferred country, well, then we have issues.

Her name is Katrina. She plays the role of waitress at my favorite bar, among other things. I’ve been trying to get the digits from her for a while, but, rightfully so, she’s protective of her private life. I dig that about her. “You need to come in and see me while I’m working, then maybe I’ll give you my phone number,” she tells me. Gee, make me come into my bar more often? Oh, twist my arm.

So Wednesday I’m there, and she gets off early from her shift. We chat, get to know each other. Seems we have quite a bit in common. I walk her to her car, and we kiss. A great kiss. The snow is falling all around us, she’s shivering from the cold, I wrap my arms around her, look deep into her gorgeous eyes, as “Kiss Me,” is playing on her car radio, and . . . Ok, so that scene may be a bit corny, but, hell, there was some magic there. She’s a very good kisser, and as we all know, a good kisser has the power to bring about world peace. We decide to meet for lunch the next day.

‘I’ll ask her more about her family,’ I thought to myself after the song ended, and the old bag next to me at the light drove away in a huff, with her left turn signal still on, of course. ‘There’s more I’d really like to know about her.’ Little did I know just exactly what she was planning to share with me . . . . (Interest piqued? Well stay close, it only gets better).

“I consider myself bi-curious,” she proclaims in the middle of her chicken finger basket and my mushroom and Swiss burger. As I bite into the mushroom and cheese, I think to myself, ‘did I just hear that right?’ Indeed I had. So I give the appropriate nod, the nod as if all this is all common place to me, and I’ve heard this old, tired, story about bisexuality and the need to experiment a thousand times in my life of many conquests. As if. Thank god I’m using my mouth to chew at this unforgettable moment in time, otherwise I’m sure my lower jaw would have fallen into my lap.

Now it would have been one thing to hear this from a typical looking gal. But there’s nothing typical about Katrina’s looks. Her beauty is undeniable. Eyes that can see right through you. And the hair. Incredible hair. This was the first time I’ve seen her with her hair down. Ponytail fair is part of the typical garb at work for her. She showed for lunch in a crushed velvet hat with her striking blond hair pouring out (ok, truth be told, I have no idea if it was crushed velvet hat. In fact, I have no idea what crushed velvet looks like, but it sounded good). So she’s telling her story, and she’s got the hair working (no, I don’t have a hair fetish – yet). It starts on the right side of her face. She quickly tilts her head to the opposite side, pulls her hair to the left with her hand, gives it a shake as she runs her hand through it, and now it lays perfect on the left side of her face. Wait, how’d you do that? I’m enthralled.

The bi-sexual portion of the story? Keep you pants on, I’m getting to it. She continues. She continues to talk about her sexual identity, her experiences, her thoughts, her desires. She’s so confident and secure about it, it’s incredible. It’s an incredible turn-on. I’m sitting here listening to her story, and I can’t believe it’s me, sitting here, listening to her story. She’s not apologetic, and why should she be? Listening to her, everyone should be like Katrina. “I normally don’t open up like this, but I just feel comfortable talking to you,” she says coolly. Keep talking, baby, ’cause it’s gonna be a while before I can leave this booth, if you get my drift.

“Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me,” I jokingly ask. But I wasn’t kidding. I was hot, physically and sexually. I had suddenly lost my appetite, for food that is.

The range of emotions I was feeling as she continued about her life, is unmatched. She’s voyeuristic, enthusiastic, experimental . . . . but at the same time, she’s the all-American girl. There’s a natural character about her that would set anyone at ease. She’s the type of girl that everyone likes, and the type that everyone wants to be around. And today, at this cafe, she’s around me. Wow.

So the lunch comes to a close, we pay our bill, and head outside. We leave the dark, secluded, seductive environment and enter the bright, reality-soaked parking lot. The light of day slaps me in the face like a wet noodle. Suddenly I want to go back, go back to her story, go back to my burger, go back to sexual nirvana.

We say our good-byes. I tell her I’ll stop by and see her at work tomorrow night . . . and so this ends the lunch encounter. But I’m leaving hungry. I barely know this girl, and she’s already made her mark. I drive back to work in a pleasant mind fog.

I walk in, sit down, and lay my head on my desk. I feel physically exhausted. And all I did was listen. Can you imagine how I would feel if things turned physical? Well, let’s not get crazy, as exhausted as I was, I could still image getting physical with her, and want to. But one step at a time. One step at a time is all I can handle.

“What the hell is wrong with you,” asks my 30-year-old virginal co-worker, as he walks into my office.

I slowly gather my composure. ‘Ever try the mushroom and Swiss burger at the Library Cafe,’ I ask him. ‘She’s, I mean, it’s the best lunch I’ve ever had. Oh, and don’t forget to order cheesy fries.’