Sunday, February 1, 2009

back then

      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.  

     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.  


kathiek said...

OH...MY...GRACIOUS!! Too funny, Jess! I guess it's a good thing Drew is so comfortable with himself. Are YOU learning how to be more comfortable with him?! ;-)

The Husband said...

The funny thing is, I was thinking, "Wow. She's really into me. She just can't pull her gaze from my eyes. Nice . . . " Little did I know my eyes were merely a diversion so she didn't have to look at my crotch.

Sigh . . .

peaj said...

Yes another example of how men need the civilizing influence of wives.

silk said...

geeze, given their place in your history, don't you think you should have framed them and put them on the wall in a place of honor? More attractive than certain can openers as a decoration, I dare say.

This really made me laugh. Almost as good as the story where you reached for his hand in the car and he says "why were you pointing at my crotch?" That made me LOL for quite a few moments.

If it makes you feel any better, my husband and I have been together for over twenty years, and I was appalled when he came home with duct tape on his pants a few days ago from where they had split on his backside. I said "you were at WORK like that?"

He says "what was I supposed to do, walk around with them open?"

See, now I would have left the building and gone to buy new pants, or maybe not let them get so thread bare in the first place. He puts them in his closet for later when he might have to crawl under the house or something. What do you want to bet he might not notice and accidentally wear them to work again? I don't think so. They're history. As soon as he leaves today.

kathiek said...

silk, is your husband related to Drew?! ;-)

Michele said...

Shorts with a split, AND commando??? Too funny Jessica!

kathiek said...

GASP!! He wasn't going commando, was he?! DREW!!

Jessica Latshaw said...

Lol--your comments are hilarious!

Silk--yes, I could totally see Drew doing that particular trick with the duct tape;-)

And just to clear this up--he was NOT going commando!!! He was, however, wearing boxer shorts--and you know how boxer shorts sort of gape open in the front? Well, this was why I was keeping my eyes focused solely on his face.

silk said...

Not related. Just a guy.