David Emami was craving Applebee's. He enjoyed their happy hour menu late at night not because he enjoyed drinking, but simply because he was quite fond of their artichoke dip and was always happy to purchase it at half price. He put on his finest black rubber boots, some baggy work jeans, and a Hall and Oates World Tour 1983 shirt he had purchased when he saw them live in Portland, Oregon. He was ready for artichoke dip.
To his surprise, the usually quiet restaurant was busy and loud. To his dismay, there were no tables left, so they asked if he would like to be seated at the bar. David rarely drank, but he didn’t want to wait, so he found himself a bar stool and waited for someone to take his order.
“All alone?” asked a hefty woman with a faint mustache and tightly coiled brown perm. She looked to be in her 40 and wore tight black yoga pants and sparkly t-shirt that said, “DIVA” on it.
Repulsed, David replied, “Yes, and I’d like to keep it that way.”
She leaned in and was immediately obvious she had just eaten the tuna on rye. “I love Hall and Oates.”
“Yes, they’re quite splendid.”
“This must be destiny,” she said as she put her beefy hand on his thigh, “Two star-crossed lovers meeting randomly at a bar who both just happen to love Hall and Oates. Care to know my name?”
“No, I’d rather not,” he replied as he pulled away and reclaimed his leg.
“And my name is Please Leave Me Alone.” He turned away from her and hoped she’d go away.
“I love me a cold shoulder,” she said as she began to massage his feeble, bony shoulders.
David pulled away. “Don’t you touch me! This shirt is priceless! Who knows what kinds of processed oils are on your fingers!”
“I was just trying to get to know you!” she said sadly.
“I just wanted some artichoke dip! You’ve ruined that for me!” David threw his menu down on the floor and started for the door.
“Can I at least get your number?” she pleaded.
“I wouldn’t even give you a cold, let alone my number!” He left the restaurant without his artichoke dip and decided to go home and eat a Hungry Man frozen dinner with his cats instead. Fred and Barbra Streisand were always good company.
David Emami is Alone in Portland is a collection of stories that peer into the life of a middle-aged curmudgeon with a fondness for cats and antiques.
Playfully illustrated with Bitmoji characters, his story comes to life as each day brings a new adventure.
He was obsessive compulsive and mad about antiques. The apartment was covered, top to bottom, in decor that would be more aligned with that of an old woman that peaked in the 1960s. david-emami-takes-on-portland.html
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