David Emami didn’t like going out, and he especially didn’t like going on dates. However, when a sweet old lady sets you up on a blind date with her daughter, you kind of have to say yes. That was the predicament that David found himself in, and as he got ready for the evening, he hated himself for saying yes.
David put on a his tight Care Bears shirt he had purchased from the Goodwill in 1986, slipped on his baggy blue carpenter jeans, and put on his black rain boots. As far as he was concerned, he looked like a million bucks.
“Fred, Barbra Streisand,” he said as he looked at his cats, “Phone the police if I’m not home by midnight. I don’t know what I’m getting myself into, so we should be ready for anything.” His cats stared at him unflinchingly.
David sat anxiously at his neighborhood Applebee’s waiting for a woman in a red sweater, or so he had been told. Suddenly, the woman rounded the corner and headed straight for David’s table.
“Good heavens,” said David under his breath.
She smiled at him and said, “You must be David! I’m Robin!” She extended her hand, which was scaly and covered in scabs.
David grimaced, then feigned a smile and said, “Nice to meet you.” She got the hint and quickly sat down. She was a large woman with tightly permed brown, thinning hair in her mid 50s and wore spectacles that made her eyes seem absurdly huge. She carried a large green purse and wore her nicest sweatpants and an old Christmas sweater. As she got settled, she pointed out the scabs on her hand and face and simply said, “Eczema. Had it all my life.”
David took a sip of his water and nodded without emotion or sound.
“I love Applebee’s! Want to do a 2 for $20 with me?”
“They put all the garbage entrees on there. No way would I eat any of that!”
“Oh, come on! Chicken tenders! How can you not like those?”
She had a point. “I just want something else,” he said rather annoyed.
They each picked their meals without much conversation in between. When the food came out, Robin wolfed her baby back ribs down as if she hadn’t eaten in a week. David watched her in disgust while he pecked at his BLT sandwich. “Good heavens, look at your face!” David handed Robin a wet wipe and pointed to the spots on her face, thinking it was barbecue sauce.
She wiped it away, then David realized it wasn’t sauce, but just more eczema spots.
“Am I good?”
Embarrassed, David answered, “Yes.”
After the meal, Robin asked, “Can I get your number so we can maybe do this again? It was nice actually having dinner with…”
David interrupted her and said, “Absolutely not.” He shook his head and dropped a twenty dollar bill on the table and walked away without saying another word. David promised himself he would never go on a blind date again, much less with a person like Robin.
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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