Leslie's Omnibus

Speed Bumps Ahead - Part II

(For Part I, go here.)

So, the Redhead Piano Bar.

I've now paid for the cab and the coat check. There are no seats available at the bar or at the piano. We get a pub table in the back. (Yuck. I know and like all the bartenders and musicians, and would much rather be up front.)

"So what's with all the secrecy and urgency, Mr. X?"

I'm thinking I'm going to hear the next sad tale about the same old star-crossed relationship.


"Has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are?"


"Or how intelligent and wonderful you are?"

Eeeew! No, no, no!

He leaned in close, smiling, with one eyebrow cocked.

"Um, Mr. X? We're friends. Just friends. Let's be clear on that, okay?"

He leaned in even closer, and his grin broadened. Unperturbed (or thoroughly sauced) (or both), he said, "I really want to be married soon. I'm ready. I think you and I could have an incredible journey together. Do you agree?"

Crap, crap, crap, crappity crap.

"I need a cigarette. I'll be back in a couple of minutes," I said as I flew out of my seat and made a beeline for the back door, leaving a flummoxed Mr. X in my wake.

I stood in the back patio area and puffed furiously on my cigarette, leaving a one inch hotbox at the tip in about 30 seconds flat. Then I rapidly paced back and forth and did a bunch of mental head slaps, trying to clear my thoughts.

It didn't help.

I ruthlessly crushed out the butt, squared my shoulders, took a deep breath and headed back into the fray.

The very model of chivalry, Mr. X held out my chair and helped me back into my seat.

"So," he said, sucking up all my personal space and grinning ear to ear.

"So I want to be clear that I'm not interested in dating anyone at this time. It's nothing personal. George Clooney could ask and I'd turn him down. We're friends, Mr. X. that's all."

He smiled beatifically and raised his hand. "Can I say something?"

"Sure. And you don't need to raise your hand to ask. Just spit it out."

Raised hand. "Can I say something?"

"Like I said, just speak your piece."

Raised hand. "Can I say something?"



"No. Either say what you want or quit asking my permission, because I won't give it. This is not 'Mother May I?'"

Raised hand. "Can I say something?"

Bloody hell!


"Can I kiss you?"

Kill me now.


Raised hand. "Can I say something?"

"No. Change the subject."

"Can I kiss you?"

Somewhere, somehow, Bill Murray is laughing his ass off at me.

"No. Friends, Mr. X -- remember?"

Raised hand. "Can I say something?"

"No! I'll be right back. I really need a cigarette," I blurted as I zipped past him and headed back to the safe haven of the smoking patio.

I puffed, paced and waved my fist at the imps of fate who were having such a good time at my expense.

There was no escaping it. I had to go back.

"Can I kiss you?"

"No, and quit asking."

Raised hand. "Can I say something?"

Sweet Mother Mary!

"NO." I slugged down a big swig of wine.

"Can I kiss you?"

"NO. Quit asking. I hate that. Look, if you really want to kiss someone, you don't mess around with all this asking permission nonsense. You do this," and I grabbed his face in both my hands and pasted a big kiss on him, then sat back, crossed my arms and glared at him.

Horror and fascination flashed across his face. Clearly I wasn't playing from his rule book.

"Why did you do that? Why did you DO that?"

"Do what?"

Raised hand. "Can I say something?"


On that happy note, I picked up my coat from the coat room and ran through the front door to grab the nearest cab.

I'll pay that tab the next time I go there. Those folks know I'm good for it.

Bloody hell.


Northwoods Woman said...

umm.. is this for real? Or are you writing another story here?
Anyway, keep your mind and your heart open, you never know who will turn out to be a wonderful man for you! Love ya!

Omnibus Driver said...

100% truth. I pinky-swear.

Mike said...

You could just shoot him. Doing him a favor, I think. And, um, everyone else.

Northwoods Woman said...

Oh I can't wait for the rest! LOL

Kevin said...

Can I say something? Quit hanging out bars. You end up with miscreants like Mr. X... and me. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Good for you Les, and I agree with Mike!

I also miss owing a tab in Chgo... which I've done many a time. It's just not happening out west. And nobody even beeps out here, can you imagine?!

Miss you!