I was walking towards Rittenhouse Square to meet him. The boy who had, of late, been occupying my thoughts, daring me to dream, teaching me of romance. We were meeting for lunch--two hastily prepared brown bags full of whatever we could throw in there before class, respectively. This had been happening a lot lately and if I was completely honest, I was hoping it would never stop.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
The sky was full of the sun, overflowing really, in bright streams that invited people to lay out blankets and soak it in. It was still spring, but summer was beginning to creep in softly; people were beginning to respond with t-shirts and skirts, flip-flops and brightly painted pedicures. I looked for him and our eyes met across the park. I couldn't help smiling, my face saying plainly what I wasn't quite ready to commit to in words.
We sit down. We eat slowly--hoping to draw out the lunch hour, feeling no need to usher in the future when the present is perfect. We talk about class; he asks about my dancing, I ask about his music. He crosses his legs, looking quite comfortable and it is at that moment that I become quite uncomfortable. See, Drew is wearing shorts with a huge split right down the center seam.
Keep looking at his eyes, I think. Keep talking about something-anything!--and maybe he will uncross his legs, I hope.
It doesn't work. He has the look of perfect peace; I realize that he could sit like that, with his legs crossed in leisure, forever. Just like Buddha. Only Buddha never wore shorts with a split down the middle. Buddha never dated a shy girl who was quite embarrassed by those shorts with a split down the middle.
I keep my eyes averted. But I realize that I have to say something. I can only imagine how humiliated he will be, so I try to be really gentle.
Um, Drew? I say quietly.
Yeah? he responds.
Listen, I really don't want to embarrass you...but you need to know something...
What? he asks.
(gulp) Well, do you realize that your shorts are split down the middle?...And I am really not looking, but well, you should know that about your shorts, I guess.
There. I dropped the bomb. I thought he would be flabbergasted. I thought he would turn red. I thought he would not know what to say...
I thought wrong.
Oh right! I do forget that about these shorts sometimes, he laughs. What? I think--He forgets that about those shorts?!?! So that means that he knows about their...incomplete state and still willingly wears them?! I have a lot to learn about men; or maybe I have a lot to learn about exhibitionists...
And not bothered by it in the least, he doesn't even shift his position.
So I hint to him and ask, Do you think maybe you could...?
Oh sure! And with complete ease he simply pulls his shirt down further, covering up the split, but still not uncrossing his legs.
He wasn't embarrassed. Not even a little bit.
And when we got married three years later, guess which shorts made the move to our apartment? Yep, the ones with the seam split down the center. Needless to say, I have since thrown them away.