It was 90 minutes before I called him back. Ready he asked? "Yes." With Latino men, you rarely have to explain the amount of time it takes you to get ready. They know the wait is worth it. Que linda, he said when he saw me. A bachata song came over the radio. Do you know how to dance bachata, he asked. "Do you?" Yes. "Then I do to, I just have to follow right?" Si, he said with a smile.
He wanted us to go meet his friends, so I agreed. The first table of names, I would not remember, although I tried to remember some of the women's names. I couldn't make out the Spanish accents either. As we walked away one of the men said 'caio flaca.' I smiled, it was a term of endearment strangers do not usually use with each other.
I asked, "were they Argentinos?" No, Chilenos. "Oh, they sound like Argentinos." Yes, a little. Another round of handshakes, and what did I want to drink one of his friends asked? Piña con vodka, someone said 'Piña para la niña.' I could tell this was going to be quite the night.
We were at Delirium listening to the punk rock standards. I sat down, not wanting to mess up my flouncy top. I could just imagine the chiffon ripping on some sweaty mosher. For the record, I had not dressed for this bar.
In English someone asked me do you want to see? Handed me a small black leather-bound book. I smiled and opened the pages. "Oh, did you draw these?" Some, would you like to draw something? "I don't draw, just write bad poetry." That's fine.
My drink arrived, was I okay? Yes, just going to write some bad poetry on demand, we laughed.
I wrote and thought about keeping the shiny silver pen, didn't of course. The music had changed and I wiggled in my seat a bit I guess because one then another guy had asked if I wanted to dance? "No, thank you, really."
Stood up and placed my purse on the table. Another introduction, this time to an artist. Is that your purse he asked? "Yes." He said why don't you set it over here by my friends. "Not sure how long I am staying thanks." My guy said let's go meet his friends. So we did, and finally free of my purse, I focused on my still full drink. I remembered my last night of drinking there. The morning after was painful.
Held my drink out and said it is too strong help me. Made a note to switch to water. It was loud and they discussed Pink or Elbow Room. So, we made our way over to the Elbow Room, but the Brazilian Band was not playing that night.
We sat at the bar, and someone was buying a round but I ordered water. It was a group and I quickly took up with the banker by day and musician by night. Asked what I did, told me both of his parents were professors. So the conversation kept going. I looked up and saw my guy wink and smile.
I said, "it was nice talking with you," and excused myself. They were discussing what to do since the Brazilians were not playing. In a rare public display of affection my guy pulled me in close. I noticed it was timed precisely as the guy I had been talking to made his way over.
The artist invited us to his nearby loft. Inside I found a peacock feather and arranged it in my hair, it complimented my outfit perfectly. We looked at high fashion photography books and I drank Jamison on the rocks. My guy played the guitar, it was nice. I fixed my hair into a knot and rearranged the feather. The artist said let me adjust it. My guy walked over and said, I will do it. He did a perfect job.
The small group was predominantly international and Spanish speaking. The artist was learning Spanish and the language lesson when we returned from adjusting my hair was on not touching. Explaining how one would say do not touch, do not touch her...it was doble sentido at its best.
My guy asked the artist if the piece hanging on the wall was his? No, did I want to see his work? Yes, it was just a few feet away from where we sat and my guy kept on with the guitar.
A few feet away, we looked through his stills, and sketches. He asked me if I had a boyfriend? "No," and I kept looking at the artwork. Started to comment on how nice it was to meet me..."Oh, I am sorry, I don't have a boyfriend but I am here with someone."
He fumbled over his words, noticed I had been talking to many people that night. "Yes, fortunately we are both really social. We have been through this before, if we are out together we are not exchanging information with others." We can be friends though, he continued.
"You are his acquaintance, he said you were a great artist. Invite him to something and ask him to bring me. I have to respect the boundaries we have set, have no desire or reason not to." He said, it makes sense, the two of you, he is lucky. "It is mutual."
I spotted the vintage wallpaper on the shelf and then we made some art. First he asked, when they were teaching me how to say not to touch, they were talking to me about you, right? Maybe, his friends took it up with you, not us...