It is not unusual for me to wake up feeling like I have been hit by a truck. It is unusual however for that feeling to go away after I get out of bed. This is probably the best feeling I have had in the morning for a difficult to remember how long time. Having a good evening last night may have something to do with it. That and drink at a pace of less than 4-5 drinks an hour helps too.
Shaft and wife met me out for dinner last night. I haven’t seen either of them since I lost my money playing poker at Shaft’s 2 months ago. Shaft’s wife (SW) is good and pregnant. 5 ½ months I believe. Which means she wasn’t drinking. Which means she was a lot less animated or interested than usual.
I also invited a woman I will call Belisima. Belisima and I work together. Danger sign #1. When I met her she told me she is going through a divorce. Danger sign #2. Upon further discussion it appears that she has told her husband she wants a divorce but there are no lawyers or papers or final dates or any of that good stuff. Red Flags #3, 4, 5, etc. But does this stop me from inviting her to dinner last night. No, of course not. Yet again our hero goes running head first in the waiting jaws of a giant alligator.
So I make reservations for 6pm at N9NE Steakhouse. I spell it that way because they do. I have been wanting to go to this place for years and I was looking for a hip energetic place and this seemed like a good idea. I leave the house at 5:45 after waiting for 20 damn minutes for a cab. I called them back and they didn’t even have anyone on the way. So I jumped my ass into my car to discover I was riding on fumes so already late I stop at a gas station so I don’t have explain why my stupid ass is sitting on the side of the road out of gas a mile from the restaurant. I make it there by 6:10. I am the first to arrive. Belisima got stuck in traffic and arrived 2 min after I did. Shaft hadn’t even left the house yet when I had talked to him at 5 minutes to six. Imaginee that, the procrastination king being the first to arrive. All hail the king.
Nine has a really cool design and I love the round center bar. We drink, we talk, we flirt, we wait for Shaft and co. to show up. They do. Close to 7pm. We close out our bar tab and move to our table. $32 for 4 drinks. It’s gonna be a rough night on the wallet. Could be worse. Could be Miami.
It’s a steakhouse so I order the 12oz filet. I avoided the 16oz bone-in filet because I wasn’t sure if the extra 4ox I would be paying for was the bone or not. And I had been stuffing my face with bread and was ordering the ceasar salad. The only thing worse than getting a bad steak is getting a good steak and not being able to finish it. Not that I would let happen, but I certainly did not want to be so engorged that I was lethargic or uncomfortable. I was technically on a date you know. Speaking of my date, she had mentioned that she was going to get the lobster tail, but when she did Shaft made some comment like watch out she has expensive taste, or some such. I really didn’t hear it and didn’t pay much attention to it but when the ordering came she ordered the lobster risotto. I am not sure if she had truly changed her mind or if she ordered it because it was cheaper. I had already surrendered my menu and I didn’t know she had ordered the risotto until our waiter had vanished. The waiters at Nine wear white blazer so as Shaft stated, “you know they don’t do any real work”. He pretty much was only responsible for taking our order and making sure we had plenty of drinks to ensure that we didn’t think tipping 20% on a zillion dollar bill was a bad idea. There were apparently about 4 other servers assigned to our table to bring our food, take our empty plates, and to keep our waiter’s jacket clean.
The steak was good. I tried some of Shaft’s steak and the flavor was good but I still love the melt in your mouth buttery goodness of the filet. I never did taste any of Belisima’s risotto. She said it was good. I hope so. I really would prefer my date to order something more expensive to ensure that she had a good meal. My love of good food is way stronger than my love of money. Obviously, or my waist would be thinner and my savings would be fatter.
Shaft and I are apparently like little school girls because we spent half the time talking and joking with each other, ignoring the women at the table. But I am not the kind of guy who shows up with a date and then ignores his friends. That kind of shit pisses me off. Belisima seemed to be having fun watching us two fools act up.
I expected Shaft’s Wife to be all over Belisima like Barbara Walter’s on a prime time special. Where do you work, how do you know Dave, how long have you been banging him, etc. I don’t know if it was the pregnancy making her tired or the lack of alcohol keeping her conservative, but it turned out to be Shaft who asked all the questions. When he asked who she lived with I felt a definite decrease of oxygen in the room but I don’t think Shaft or wife noticed for the brief seconds before she said me and my kids. She has two, 6 and 3. Shaft gave me shit saying that it must be hard to put up with my shit at work.
Then came the piece de resistance of dinner. Dessert. I had this banana ice cream cake that I swear made me come a little. SW ordered the same thing and seemed to be having a few orgasmic moments of her own. Belisima ordered some small choclate cake something or other and I cannot for the life of me remember what shaft ordered. But we were all a little weak kneed after the experience.
The only flaw in the service the entire night was that it took them forever to bring the check after we finished dessert. That and I ordered ice wine with my dessert but never received it. I still haven’t checked the bill to see if I got charged for it or not. Bastards.
Shaft and wife called it a day and Belisima and I moved to the bar. I ordered another drink, Belisima did not. I wanted to go up stairs to ghost bar but there was a private party and we had to wait 20-30 minutes before we could go up. It was about 9:40 at this point and B originally said she had to leave by 10pm. She said she would wait. 40 min and 2 drinks later we went up stairs. I have to admit the coolest thing about ghost bar is it’s logo. Everything else was a complete disappointment. The upstairs was exactly was the same as the down. Somehow I figured, different name, different décor. No such luck. The was an area of the bar where you could look down on the restaurant that was cool but not unique by any means. The did have some lights in the ceiling pointed at the wall and were shaded by what appeared to be old time black and white pictures on film so that they were projected onto the wall. But some of them were bent or not positioned properly so the picture was shortened or barely visible.
We talked for almost 3 hours. About this, about that, about music, about her favorite song. And soon after mentioning it, Low came on, and she came to life. This was the high point of my night. It is the closest I have ever come to getting a lap dance from a girl I know. I was gonna say dating but I don’t even know if we’ve hit that level yet. But it was hot. I swear if I smiled any bigger the rest of me would have disappeared like the Cheshire cat. I wanted to look around the room to see if anyone else noticed but I refused to break eye contact on the chance it might end. I am now in love with that song and officially in lust with that girl. To say the least the next thing on the agenda is to take her dancing.
We talked some more and the waitress would come back every thirty minutes or so to ask if I wanted another drink. I think that is the first time in my life that didn’t piss me off. I am usually looking for the waitress after 13 minutes. That night I didn’t even notice. They closed at 12:30 because the crowd was thinning and there were no new customers coming in. I told Belisima she was a cute pumpkin, seeing as she had missed her self imposed curfew.
Upon leaving we struck up a conversation with a gay hair dresser and Belisima and I got hit on by the same 47 year old woman.
At some point I remembered that I had my camera and had not gotten pictures of Shaft, his wife and peanut their expectant child. So I took pictures of me and Belisima. It wasn’t until I saw those pictures on her camera that I realized that she was too pretty for me.
So I had to give her a mustache.