The Gullfire's Waiting
by Michele Christopher
I was walking home today in the wind and the breeze, listening to most of my neighbors bitch and complain about how cold it is. For me, it’s just getting comfortable. I always operate much better and much faster in sub 60 degree weather. And the colder it gets, the better I get. I’m nigh unstoppable at 30 or so…. As I was walking by, getting bits of a dozen or so “Damn, its cold” conversations, I flashed back a little to a scene from an old war movie, where a Nazi soldier is climbing a hill in the snow. He’s seriously wounded and the snow is really coming down, but he refuses to stop climbing. Finally he stumbles and falls. He stops moving entirely and the camera pans over to an Iron Cross that had been hanging around his neck, a stark contrast against the white of the snow.
For some reason, my brain jumped from there to one of my other favorite films. Something I saw a dozen times when I was a kid, but really holds an entirely different meaning for me now. Most of you know how I met my wife. But nobody knows about the first date.
We had met up with a few mutual friends a couple of nights after we met, gone bowling and had spent the entire evening together. We drank beer, bowled and talked shit to each other. But as the evening went on, we drank and bowled a lot less and eventually we just ended up hanging out in a deserted lane, talking and making googly eyes at each other. Near the end of the night, I finally manned up and asked her what she was doing in a couple of days. “Escape From New York” was playing at one of the local clubs on it’s Movie Monday night and I wanted to know if she wanted to come with me. Happily, she said yes.
We were going to meet up at a coffee joint a little before the movie, mainly because I can always have a cup of coffee and I had a feeling I’d need one in order to keep up with her. I got there a little early, having skipped out of work so I could get there just a few minutes before she did. I waited outside for her, stomach doing flips and palms sweating while I waited on her to show. I really had no idea what I was doing. I was terrified of getting into any sort of relationship again, but I really didn’t want to let this one go. So, while I was standing outside, acting slightly nervous and completely terrified, she stood inside and watched me through the window.
After a couple of sweaty, terse minutes, she came out and let me off the hook. She smiled at me and gave me a hug that lasted a little too long. I didn’t mind. She smelled fantastic. We set off for the theater and talked the entire way, finally coming to the mutual conclusion that it’s not what you’re like, it’s what you like. Taking in the slowly darkening skies and dodging taxi cabs the entire way to Chinatown. Once we got to the club, we paid the entry fee and headed up to the balcony.
We grabbed a couple of beers and tried to make small talk, but the simple fact was, I had no desire to make time with her in a meaningless, let’s shoot the shit kinda way. I wanted to kiss her and smell her skin and talk to her about records and music. If you know me at all, you’ll know that the last is very important. If I’m willing to sit and talk to you for hours on end about music, I’m trying to get you attention. It’s the only thing in my life that ranks up there with my wife and kid, so don’t try and bring that Rick Springfield shit. So we sat and made small talk until I mentioned a show I wanted to go to in a couple of days. And she immediately caught on. Band names started flying, guitarists we respected and lyrics we thought were cool. Serious nerd shit, but I live for stuff like that. We almost missed the beginning of the movie.
By the time Snake managed to land his glider on one of the World Trade Center, we were cuddled up on one of the benches, her head on my shoulder and my arm around her waist. I knew once the movie was over, I didn’t want her head resting on anyone else’s shoulder and I was determined to keep it that way. Suddenly, all that anxiety and trepidation was gone. The goofy feeling in the pit of your stomach, the sweats that you can’t control… The first date jitters finally left the building and we left as well, not long after. Walking hand in hand through Chinatown is still one of my favorite things to do with her.
How about you ? What was your first date like ?
thefinn lives in Philadelphia and does his best to keep her head on his shoulder. Archives