The shiny black tables were smooth, the light dim, the group from LA beside us grew rowdier so we moved to a table near an open window overlooking the alley below, wondering why we hadn’t moved sooner since the cool breeze relieved us of the bar’s stuffiness. We watched the girls-night-outs in their tiny black shirts and laced up corsets and tried to remember the appeal of the youthful’s penchant for tartiness.
He was a another match match. Another first date. A handsome geologist, never married, no kids. We shared jokes over text leading up to the day and I was looking forward to the date. He quickly had me in tears laughing about his cat Steve’s terrible battle with IBS (kitty style), a result of losing a piece of his bowel from swallowing a length of rope among other assorted bits. Turns out Steve is not very discriminating at meal time.
His detective-like probing had me break my first date rule of dropping the 9/11 bomb and I found myself telling him my ghost stories â€“ mysterious and timely CD players and lights turning on, which he took in stride. The bar began filling with more pretty young things in Jersey Shore hair and so we paid and moved to another quieter bar around the corner, for one last drink.
Sitting on stools at a tall salmon coloured marble bar, I began to hear his own stories, the difficult ones, a painful childhood. I spoke more of Arron. Our tales were cutting closer to bone. Behind us, a man and his girlfriend suddenly appeared. The man was small with wide blue eyes, and a gappy toothed smile and inexplicably he thrust toward me a single tall red flower, a dahlia.
“Has someone you know died?” He asked. I nodded dumbly.
“Then this is for you.” I took the flower, dumbfounded.
“Was it a woman? A mother or grandmother?” I shook my head.
“This is unbeleiveable!” Geologist said. “Why now?”
The man just shrugged his shoulders.
“He does this sometimes. He’s kind of psychic,” his girlfriend said. “Come on, Anthony.”
Anthony gave us both a hug. “I don’t know why I do this sometimes. I just get a message that I should do something, so I do it,” he said sheepishly and then they turned and walked out of the bar.
Geo looked at me, incredulous.
“I’m sorry. Stuff like this just sort of happens to me sometimes.”
“He is really looking out for you. I can sense him. He is amazing, and powerful.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard that before,” I said, still holding the flower but putting into my glass of ice water. The colour of blood, punctuated by a yellow eye. the flower seemed otherworldly on its tall stalk, with its sharp, pointy petals,
“I kind of feel a little intimidated,” he said quietly.
“You shouldn’t. He’s giving us both a sign. Geo sat quietly trying to take it in, clearly moved beyond words.
“Just look at that flower! The two buds. One is just about to open, about to bloom and the other is still in a tight bud. It’s like they represent your children.”
“Yeah, I thought that too,” I said amazed that he was articulating something that I too had noticed.
A few minutes later, we got up to go. I handed him the flower.
“This is for you.”
“No, no. It’s yours.”
“No,” I said. “I’m quite certain its for you.”
“I wish we could find that guy again. I want to ask him.” At the corner where I was going to catch my cab, we saw Anthony and his girlfriend trying to hail a taxi.
“It’s you!” Geo said as we approached. “Who was the flower for?” At the same time, me, Anthony and his girlfriend all pointed to Geo.
“See?” I said. Anthony took the flower that was still in Geo’s hand and held it across Geo’s chest, over his heart. He have Geo a big hug.
“Green!” Anthony said, still embracing Geo. “Green grass.” At that moment, a cab pulled up, and Anthony’s girlfriend began pulling him towards the open cab door. “Green grass!” he said again, as he fell in beside her.
“He does this,” his girlfriend said through the open window before they drove off.
Another cab pulled up and I hugged Geo goodnight.
“I’m so moved!” he said.
“An amazing night,” I agreed.
Later as I was getting ready for bed, he wrote in a text, “That was the most profound spiritual experience. I am in tears. He is beautiful. He is pure. Wants to make sure you are OK. It blows my mind.”
I refuse to read anything into all of this given my track record and penchant for premonitions. I proceed with extreme caution. Still, his final message for the night:
“Steve respects the flower. Not eating it.”
I think I’m gonna like Steve.