Turtle Sundaes and Purple Doves
I’ve been thinking about color all day. Well, two colors specifically. Purple and yellow. Well, not yellow exactly, but a golden amber, almost the color of a nice beer. But beer isn’t a romantic description, and dark blonde tends to make people think of light brown. Blonde is too pale, too yellow. And he’s not a ginger, he does not have orange hair. His hair is more like amber waves of grain. His hair is the color of beer, scotch, hell I could even say whiskey, but that just makes me sound like an alcoholic. I’ve been obsessing over Chris’s hair all day, and how to describe it. I want it to feel good on my tongue, the way thinking of him does.
I really hope this evening’s date is good. And that brings me to the other color I’ve been thinking about: purple. Purple is not a Christmas holiday season color. At least not in the stores that I was willing to brave this morning. So I stood in front of my mirror, dressed in all black, hoping that I had just enough purple streaks in my hair (thank you hair extensions) to be acceptable for a Price review show.
I waited for Chris to pick me up. I freaked out because I was going to be in a car with Chris for around four hours. The first two hours were either going to be really painfully long and full of awkward silence or what I really hoped for, not long enough to be with him. I had been running pretend practice conversations with myself all morning. Making sure I had topics to introduce, and that my light tinkling laughter didn’t sound like a rabid barking squirrel.
I didn’t expect him to knock on my door, but to text letting me know he had arrived. But he knocked.
“Hi, Chris.” I beamed when I opened the door.
It wasn’t him, it was the UPS guy delivering a day late, my “Christmas” present from Mom. A box of hand-me-downs. Mom still didn’t quite get my personal professional dress aesthetic. Nor did she fully grasp that I worked in an extremely business casual setting, or that it wasn’t 1985 anymore and I don’t wear pastel colors.
My phone buzzed. /knock knock I’m here/
Now that’s what I actually expected from Chris. No one I know in my age range knocks on doors or rings doorbells. It’s getting to be a lost art.
I threw open the door. “C’mon in.” I was simultaneously distracted by the box of fugly clothes from mom, and Chris on my doorstep. My insides twisted in an excited twitterpated manner.
“Uhm, you thinking about going all out eighties style for this?” Chris gestured at the blouse I had draped across my chest. Side buttons, shoulder pads, and ruffles that ran from the shoulder to the bellybutton in a V-formation. Oh, and it was yellow. I look terrible in yellow.
I snatched the offending garment from my person and tossed in back into the box. “No,” I said a little too loudly. “My mom just sent me a box of clothes from when she started working. I guess she thought that fashion recycles, maybe I could use them.” I shivered.
I noticed Chris still staring at my chest. Score! I typically downplay the boobs, since they can be distracting at times. Today was not one of those times. Full cleavage exposure. Colliding boobs and a low plunge bra were my weapons for this evening. Chris’s distraction proved that they worked.
I locked up, and he led me out to his car. Let me rephrase that, he escorted me. Allowing me to walk in front along the narrow walkway, placing his hand on the small of my back to guide me around the block, he even opened the car door for me.
So far, this was better than my idea of spending the day at the movies. This was a date with a gentleman. Damn, he had manners. I cannot even begin to express how incredibly sexy it was. I didn’t expect it, after all, he texted me from outside my front door when he could have knocked. I was not going to think about that, I was going to enjoy it.
“I like your purple tie,” I said as he slid into his car.
I hadn’t really paid much attention to the car last night, after all, he drove us into the hills to look at Christmas lights in the dark. In the daylight, I noticed it was spotless. I’m pretty sure it hadn’t been so spit-polished clean last night. I grinned like an idiot. He had cleaned his car for me.
“Thanks, I like the purple hair.” He replied.
“I actually don’t own too many purple clothes that would be acceptable for the theater,” I confessed. “So do you really like Prince? Why is this all the way up in Santa Barbara?” I asked.
“My sister really likes Prince, and therefore everyone really likes Prince. He is great, no denying that. I think she got these tickets more for her, but since I’m somewhat local, I was the excuse. My parents live in Santa Barbara, so it’s reasonable to expect that I would be there for Christmas. And honestly, it really isn’t that far away.” Chris explained. “I’m not sure what this place is, we are going to. I think it’s a theater. When I looked it up for directions they had a lot of stage-shows listed. We’ll see.”
I watched Chris’s profile the entire drive up. His hair, the color was still giving me fits for a name, golden amber like scotch, swept up and away from his brow. Mirrored aviator sunglasses covered half of his face, but did not hide his chiseled good looks at all. I never really stared at him, or focused on his features before. Typically it was notice Chris from the fifth floor, get flummoxed, blush and run away.
The drive to Santa Barbara took no time at all. I never once had to resort to one of my practiced conversation topics.
Chris drove by the theater first, to make sure he knew where we were going. It looked like a dive bar to me, with big banners advertising the Prince Review featuring Smokey Haute. If nothing else, we were in for an interesting time.
“You like Italian?” I said yes, and he took us to a little family owned restaurant he said he had been going to for years.
I thought dinner was going really well until I fed the boobs. My boobs are practically an entity all of their own. They seem to require feeding daily. It does not matter how hard I try to not spill, but I always do, and I always spill right on the boobs. Sometimes I wonder if they leap out to save my lap. Are they purposefully collecting food to later? Are they god-lings I am not adequately offering sacrifices to? Maybe I should just always offer my first bite of the day to my boobs, and then maybe I wouldn’t have grease stains in the middle of all of my shirts.
Well, tonight my clothes were saved the shame of marinara sauce stains by raw boob flesh. Unfortunately, the delicate skin of my décollitage was not spared the hot sauce. I may have screamed. Chris may have jumped up and wiped a napkin across my chest before he realized he was fondling me in public. He was beet red from embarrassment when I returned from the ladies’ room after cleaning up. My glorious cleavage was bright pink, and a bit tender.
“I am so sorry.” His eyes bounced between my eyes and my cleavage. “Are you okay?”
I laughed, “I’m fine. They got a little excited from being let out, and forgot not to jump after hot foods.”
I pressed a cool damp napkin to my chest. “Ow. Isn’t this just great? My best asset, and I have to burn them.”
Chris leaned in conspiratorially, still blushing. “You still look terrific, and, uhm. They do too.”
It was my turn to blush.
It was my own clumsiness, but the restaurant still comped my meal and gave us free desserts.
We thought we had plenty of time to get back for the show. By the time we parked and made our way to the entrance, a line had already formed down the street. Based on how everyone was dressed, this was a night club, and not a dive bar. I was glad I wore flats, then I could dance. Looking around at who was in line, it was hard to say, but I was fairly certain we were at a gay bar.
By the time we made it inside, I knew it was a gay bar.
We found a small table near the stage, and Chris got us drinks.
“I thought this was going to be a play of some kind. I feel overdressed.” He said as he slid a pink frothy drink in front of me. The glass had almost as many curves as I did, and the fruit spilling from the top made it look more like Carmen Miranda than a cocktail. He loosened his tie and undid the top button on his dress shirt. My mouth went dry at the sight of his neck. I took a quick sip of my drink.
“Maybe it’s a cover band?”
“Is this okay?” He asked, looking around. “You aren’t disappointed?”
“What that it’s not a play? Not at all. I think with this many gay guys and a Prince Review we are in for something interesting.”
Interesting really didn’t begin to describe Smokey Haute when they took the stage. Gender fluid to the extreme, and sexy as hell, Smokey took Prince’s feminine twist and masculinity and tied it all up in knots. Dressed like the purple rock god’s early days of the 1980s, Smokey defined cross-gender sex appeal.
I leaned into Chris’s shoulder, “I’m not sure if that’s a he or a she, but day-um.”
“I know what you mean. I’m drawn to the her, and confused by the him. They have me questioning my sexuality.” He confessed.
“Which is?” I asked.
“I’m firmly hetero.” I was pleased with that answer, mostly because he directed his gaze straight back to my boobs, as if to confirm that they did, in fact, hold some attraction for him after witnessing Smokey Haute.
It turned out that Smokey was our MC for an evening of drag performances of nothing but Prince tunes. It was fabulous. I don’t think that stage ever saw so many purple sequins and feathers before, or since.
The show ended with Smokey telling all of us to go dance. I jumped up and grabbed Chris, dragging him to the dance floor.
“I don’t dance.” He complained.
“So you can hold my drink.”
“I’m not going to be your floor table.”
“Then just stand there and pretend to dance. Please?” I begged.
His smile told me he surrendered. Chris was right. He didn’t dance. He sort of twitched back and forth, and not on rhythm at all. He moved like a jerky sloth. It was pitiful. But he moved because I asked. I on the other hand, danced like a spaz on speed. I more than made up for his lack of movement.
A long, glittery, sweaty arm draped over my shoulder. I turned to see the overly made up face of Electra Shock, one of the queens from the floor show. “Honey, tell me he screws better than he moves. I don’t think dance lessons could help that boy.”
I laughed and probably blushed. I had no answer for her yet, but I certainly hoped so.
“I saw him earlier, and I thought hmmm, mmm, mmm that man is fine. He is so well dressed, I bet he swings both ways. But now I have seen him dance. He is all yours. Straighter than a stick.” Electra Shock swiveled her head and snapped her perfectly manicured fingers before sashaying away.
Chris leaned in. “What did she say?” He had to yell so I could hear him.
“I’ll tell you later,” I yelled back.
Chris put up with my spastic gyrations for one more song before grabbing my wrist and pulling me from the floor. “Let’s get out of here.”
He drove for a few minutes before parking the car. He opened my door and helped me out. He had driven us to the beach walk. The evening was cool with the wind coming in from the ocean. The waves roared as they washed up on the beach. It was a welcome relief after heat and noise of the club.
“Oh, this is so quiet after the club. That was fun, thank you.” I spun around. My skirt twirled out a little further than expected. I giggled nervously as I patted it back into place.
“That was. So, are you going to tell me what that drag queen said that made you blush? Or are you going to blame it on the lighting?” He slid his hand into mine.
I couldn’t think for a moment, his hand felt so warm. No, I wasn’t going to tell him all that Electra Shock said, because if I did then I would blush even stronger. So I edited. “She said she could tell by your dancing skills that you were straight.”
“That’s not all she said.” He laughed and tried to coax me to tell him the rest.
“I’ll tell you that later. Like next week or later. When I know you a bit more.”
“But you’ll tell me?”
“You know what I want?” He suddenly asked.
I shook my head. To kiss me?
“We had dessert,” I told him.
“That was hours ago. Let’s go find some ice cream before I have to drive us back.”
Apparently, Chris already had a place in mind as he pulled up to an all night diner. I slid into the booth across from him. We both ordered turtle sundaes with caramel sauce, hot fudge, pecans, and lots of whipped cream.
“So,” he cleared his throat. Then he nodded at my boobs. “You plan on feeding them again tonight?”
I laughed, “no they have had their allotted quota.” I tenderly poked at the still pink flesh. “Besides, it’s still a little tender.”
“Well if you do. I volunteer to lick any ice cream off.” He smirked.
I know I lit up like a Christmas tree. I was speechless, flustered, confused. Part of my brain said I should slap him for being impertinent. Part of my brain was ready to dump the entire sundae into my cleavage. All of me buzzed. Chris’s intentions were pretty clear, and while my body said ‘oh hell yes.’ I did need to make sure he knew I wasn’t that kind of girl, exactly.
“I’ll keep that in mind.” I managed to say when I finally found my tongue. “But not on the first date.”
“So are you the kind of girl who has dating rules?”
I cocked my head to the side and looked at him like he just grew three green heads.
“You know, kissing but no tongues right away, no sex until the fifth date. I don’t get to see you in your underwear until I meet your parents. Sex right away, but no sleeping over for at least six weeks. That kind of thing.” He explained.
“That sounds like entirely too much work. I take it you have encountered that a lot?”
“You have no idea.” He answered.
We finished our ice cream, I did not feed the boobs, and Chris began the long drive home.
“Do you need that kind of structure while dating?” I asked. What were my rules of dating? I didn’t like to sleep with guys on the first few dates, but it doesn’t mean it never happened. When it did it also typically turned out to only last a few dates, thanks for the shag have a nice life.
“No, I don’t need those kinds of limitations for dating.” He laughed.
“How about we play it by ear, and see what happens? Does that work for you? I mean, do you want to keep seeing me?”
“You saved my Christmas, Nat, and I had a really good time tonight. Yes, I would like to keep seeing you. And I don’t mean running into you in the break room at work. Playing it by ear sounds like a good plan. No pressure for expectations by deadlines.”
Again the car ride took practically no time. I had Chris pull in behind my car in the car park. “You can’t stay here long, or they will tow you.”
“Do I have enough time to walk you to your door?”
I nodded, “and that’s about it.”
“Fair enough.” He followed me upstairs to my front door.
I proceeded to become incredibly shy. I wanted to kiss him, so I shoved the shy down and began playing with his neck tie. “I had a nice time. What are you doing tomorrow?”
“Hanging out with you and watching movies?” He answered.
“Move this car or I’m having it towed!” We heard someone yell.
He kissed me quick, then took off down the stairs. “I’ll call you in the morning. Night Nat!”
“Good night Chris,” I called out after him.
“Shut up!” Someone else yelled.
©2016 Lulu M Sylvian. The Twelve Dates of Christmas