A beginning

Michele met someone at work and thought he’d be a good match for me. Funny and smart. She showed him my picture and said,

“I think you can reach my sister.”

I wanted to get a look at him, so my brother accompanied me to the store. Michael had met Marc and begrudgingly agreed to point him out.

“You shouldn’t get involved with Michele’s friends,” he warned. “It won’t end well.”

We stood in the ice cream aisle debating chocolate chip vs. heavenly hash. Michael motioned toward a guy walking our way.

I peeked around to see.

He walked with confidence and looked friendly enough, but totally not my type. Marc was stocky. I liked skinny. Marc seemed almost jovial. I preferred sullen and morose. This full-time college student had a job and his own place, while my usual guys played in bands suspended for noise violations, rented rooms at grandma’s house, and wrote bad poetry.

Marc had eyebrows like Dukakis. I liked that.

Holy shit.

He walked right by.

Said hello to my brother. Didn’t even look at me.

I was standing right there!

Who the hell did he think he was?

A few weeks later, Michele invited me to his party. Whatever. I’d stop by, on my way to Julie’s, just to say hello and see how lame it was.

I didn’t care one way or another. I wasn’t going to be impressed.

His friends were nice, not as square as I thought they’d be. Fishbone and Living Colour on the stereo. Decent drinks. I sat down with my sister and her boyfriend and gave not a single shit about my surroundings.

I did sneak a glance around the room. Marc talked to people and made eye contact. Asked someone how they were doing, and listened to the response. Didn’t look away. Drank water rather than alcohol.

He was funny. Not “telling jokes” funny. “Sharp, clever, observational” funny.

I almost laughed out loud a few times.

After keeping me waiting nearly a half-hour, he sat and introduced himself. I was polite. Non-committal. Aloof.

He asked a few questions. I didn’t tell him I attended college on a theatre scholarship. I didn’t tell him I liked his taste in music. I didn’t tell him I was a Scorpio or about to change the world. I didn’t tell him much of anything.

Instead, we talked about The Wall and I spent five minutes discussing its merits. I used my hands and made expressions that only an animated eighteen year-old theatre major would find necessary when discussing Pink Floyd.

Marc laughed. Kind eyes.

“Are you some kind of actress?” he asked. “Maybe a comedian or performer?”

“I am an actress,” I said. “I just don’t have an audience.”

Marc smiled again.

“You have one now.”