by Risa Gechtman
You: Sitting on the walkway railing of Westwood Tennis Center – court #1 – waiting for me. Your skin is a delicious olive color, even in October. Your muscular chest pushes your t-shirt out past your chin.
Me: Noticing that you’re more handsome than your Ok Cupid pictures.
You: Coming to net to get a closer look at me. Your smile is unusually wide.
Me: Asking the question that brings us together, “Why did you get a divorce?”
You: Saying, “My marriage, in the end, was crummy; she started drinking and gaining a lot of weight.”
Me: Hearing the word crummy reminds me of cookie crumbs. I flash on the crummy man I’m in the process of divorcing.
Me: Giggling and squealing when you hit balls into the corners, forcing me to run.
You: Delighting in my laughter.
You: Getting ready to move the date off the court to a sushi restaurant.
Me: Agreeing to dinner but wanting to shower and change first.
You: Offering to let me shower at your condo, close by.
Me: Wondering what you have in mind when you’re already asking me to come back to your place after an hour of tennis.
You: Telling me that you’ll be walking to your favorite sushi dive and will be waiting for me the
Me: Liking the look of the soft blue jeans, violet button-down, and brown leather shoes you’re wearing when you walk out of the restaurant to greet me.
You: Recommending the best dishes. Me: Realizing I forgot my glasses and asking you to order for us.
You: Calling the waiter over with a flip of your wrist. Your brusk manner makes me uneasy.
Me: Smiling at the waiter, assuring him that you don’t mean to use that tone.
You: Ordering an iced-tea.
Me: Ordering a glass of white wine.
You: Telling me about your job in finance, haltingly.
Me: Wishing you’d have a glass of wine, too. I talk about teaching.
You: Producing words seems difficult. Some of your salmon salad makes its way to the edges of your smile.
Me: Concluding that you’re not for me. Me: Noticing how stiff the conversation has become.
You: Paying the check and holding the door for me as we make our way onto the mid-evening street.
Me: Walking towards my car, sensing our imminent parting in my muscles. You: Pulling me close and moving in for a goodbye kiss… right on my lips. Me: Admiring how you pull me back to the physical so skillfully.
You: Readying for more kisses under a street light on Westwood Boulevard.
Me: Imagining friends, acquaintances, and even my two teen daughters, spotting us.
Me: Asking, breathlessly, if we can continue kissing at your place. You: Reminding me that you don’t have your car. Me: Driving us to your condo. Me: Sitting on explosions in my groin.
You: Smiling wider than before. Me: Noticing that your kisses are a revelation.
Me: Celebrating that our kissing tells a different story than the one I conjured moments before.
Me: Feeling, that after a long drought, you might be the one.
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Risa Gechtman is a newly-married Los Angeleno, a veteran educator, a mother of two self-possessed teenagers, and a life-long tennis aficionado.