Evening, Gentle Reader. Tonight I’m feeling very silver screen, and it reminded me of a gentleman that I knew for a while. We’ll call him, as I did while he was courting me, Mr. L. – it used to drive him mad, that I wouldn’t use his first name.
A little about what I’ve always thought of as the ideal Mr. Right – he’d have to be English, or of English descent (my Anglophilia is severe, but not contagious); he’d need to be well-spoken, well dressed, and an extrovert, to set off my shyness. He’d have talents that offset and complimented my own, and we would make an iron-solid social unit, together contra mundum – against the world. He’d be slightly shorter than me, uproariously sarcastic, and insist on wearing a stupid hat, despite the fact that I deplore it. He may or may not sport a handlebar mustache. He would look like this:
And then I met Mr. L, who was all of that, and more. Miss K, Miss Spectacular, and I were seated around a high cocktail table on wobbly stools, in a dark bay window, at the Mix. We were awaiting the arrival of our friend Ms. Capere, and our table was situated right across from the counter of the bar. Mr. L., on turning around with his drink – just soda – sees our little ensemble, and begins chatting with us all. He was ridiculously charming, exceedingly witty, and – I have to admit – cuter than he had any right to be. When Ms. Capere arrived, we all exchanged numbers, and he vanished off into the noisy swarm.
I’d run into him, from time to time, at the Mix. We’d flirt, but nothing ever came of it, until one night, out under the reproduction-antique streetlamp, he lit my cigarette.
It began to rain, and we darted into the shelter of an unlit archway, hiding us in grey stone, and art nouveau. As the rain formed a silver curtain, covering the proscenium in which we sheltered, the only light was the cherry of our cigarettes and occasional glint from streetlight or headlight, illuminating the rain. We were very close.
I said, “We have to stop meeting like this.”
He said, “What do you take me for, Miss Bergman?”
I said, “I’ve come out without my chaperone.”
He kissed me.
The moment could not have been more perfect, or romantic, if it had been planned. We set a date, for the next day, and that’s where the trouble began.
When we met for coffee, at the Mandolin Cafe, all was well. When we began our stroll through the oldest part of town, however, past the electric sub-station built in 1920, past the deserted monuments and abandoned buildings, the pressure in my chest kept building. There was something that I had to say, but being inexperienced in these matters, I had no idea how to go about it. As we approached his car – ostensibly to listen some of his band’s music – I broke, pulled away, and confessed.
Despite the fact that Mr. L. met the description of my dream man, there was just no chemistry. Further, my many insecurities forced me to confess that he was too good for me. There was no possible way things could work out.
He was very gracious, after momentary shock. We remain friends, and for a time were social rivals. And, no matter what happens, we’ll always have that kiss, in the archway, in the silver rain.