Dateline: "I've got a great comfy couch!"
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7:33 p.m. – She calls to say she's running late, but doesn't want to cancel like last week when she had to cover a double shift. "Finally, that jackass" — her boss, who just turned twenty-one — "hired more girls, and I don't have to cover again this weekend. But, change of plans. Meet me at the gas station on the corner of Carrier Dr. in a half hour."
8:05 – Pull into a 7-11; go inside for a bottle of water, wintergreen mints, and a lotto ticket.
8:20 – She sends a txt: "Sorryalmostthere :)." I pop a mint.
8:27 – I walk over to her car and see she's still in her uniform. By now I doubt we'll make it to the movie theatre in time to see the movie, so I offer dinner and a drink, or a rain check if tonight is just a bad night. After a few moments of thought, she counters, "Well, as much as I'd love to cancel just to get out of these clothes and take a shower, how about you just follow me home and we do dinner and Netflix? I've got a great comfy couch!" I say sure, why not?
8:35 – I follow her through a winding labyrinth of Orlando subdivision streets.
8:55 – We pull up to her place; I park under a tree in the front yard. There's another car already in her driveway; seeing my cautious glance, she tells me that it's her roommate's car, and her roommate's already away for the weekend. I nod and follow her into the house. After a short tour, she hands me a stack of delivery menus and says, "Surprise me!"
9:15 – I've ordered food. The shower's off, and I can hear her humming a tune while she's getting dressed. I tell her dinner will be here in probably a half-hour, and she tells me me to turn on the DVD player, saying, "There's a really chilled-out movie called Baraka — have you seen it?"
9:17 – I see that the Baraka disc is on top of the table next to the player, so, curious, I turn on the player and press play. Annnd, hardcore porn. "I think your roommate switched your movie."
9:18 – "Let me guess — porn?" She comes into the living room laughing, and we turn the radio on instead. I tell her she looks really nice. Actually, she looks stunning.
10:05 – The food arrives; I tip the driver, and surprise her with Chinese.
10:15 – Radio off, lights off, bunch of candles lit, a fifty-gallon fish tank glowing, Chinese containers spread across the coffee table, beer in a little tub she's filled with ice, we sit down to watch a movie on Netflix, leaving the porn-haunted DVD player off.
10:20 – Chowing down on dinner, we decide on un film de Almodovar, giggling at all the Spanish abuelitas dressed as babushkas. I've seen the film (Volver); it reminds me of the kind of family I wish I'd grown up with. I tell her the condensed version of my family history — only child, both parents married four times each, both dead, close to mother, despised father. She tells me her version, featuring fewer marriages, more love, and more family members. She's shocked when I tell her I have no other relatives, not even distant ones.
10:45 – Prompted by a scene in the movie, she tells me how her mom helped a friend once with an alibi when her friend's husband was found murdered. She looks at me seriously and says, "It's always good to know who you can trust." I smile and nod, partly because this is true and partly because I'm trying not to look creeped out.
11:30 – She lies back against the arm of the couch, and crosses her feet, resting them on my lap, and asks, "Want to roll us a joint?"
11:40 – The two of us thoroughly into a good high, she tells me to kick off my shoes, so I do and feel completely relaxed on her couch. She was right. It is a really comfy couch.
12:20 – Volver is ending, and we get hypnotized by the music and the patterns in the credits, both of us exclaiming how we'd love to escape the tourism of Orlando and go live wherever they shot the movie.
12:30 – We stepped onto her screened porch. Feeling the cool breeze and smelling the orange blossoms, she tells me this was better than any date we could have had in the movie theatre. I agree. Despite the smorgasbord of Chinese we decimated on the coffee table, she tells me she has the munchies. We go back inside.
12:33 – She comes around the kitchen bar wearing two glazed doughnuts on her index finger, and imitates Seth Rogen saying "It's anal-probing time!" And, without breaking character, laughs, sounding exactly like Rogen. (Thankfully, I have seen the movie Paul, or I think I would be confused at best.) I decide I definitely want a second date, and possibly a third.
12:40 – We finish our dessert munchies, and while absentmindedly licking glaze off her fingers, she looks over at me and asks, "So, do you think you want to stay the night? The couch makes a great bed." I say that yes, if I left now I would probably just get lost in her subdivision.
12:41 – She tells me to go ahead and roll another joint. Then she reaches over and turns on the DVD player.