Monday, April 15 afternoon
I have no idea what comes next. I’m talking about me and about Peter. We met today for lunch at Quik Snak where one eats either hamburgers with tater tots or egg sandwiches with tater tots. They have other food, but for some reason, that’s all one eats. I got there early, by about 15 minutes. For some reason I still think it takes fifteen minutes to get anywhere in Tuscaloosa when it only takes five. Got a side booth and sat facing the window for about five minutes. Then went to the ladies room and came back. Peter still hadn’t arrived so I changed seats thinking I’d read a section of the newspaper and look preoccupied when he arrived. I was just switching back again when the waitress poured more coffee and somehow it was my fault that she spilled it. Naturally, Peter walked in just as I was settling myself and wound up sitting in a puddle of coffee that had dripped from the table. Throughout the meal, I giggled ferociously, dripping egg yolk on my white blouse. Returned to the office with a raging headache. For a first date, it went quite well.
I hate being nervous but I am nervous. It’s the excitement and my unwillingness to ride it through. Yet, I long to be willing. I long to be green again because green things have no memory and no regret. I long to be excited because that’s where the life is. I long to be alive again and out from under this year-long and brittle punishment. There! I’ve said it--- let this penance end.
Wouldn’t you love to know how many people get married just to stop dating? Yes, because it feels like they can stop doing a job they’re not enjoying. Then they get married and find themselves in another job. Life is one long job.
What a fool I am for a brown-eyed man. Peter’s eyes are friendly daylight brown. Comforting rather than dangerous. I think there’s more depth in a brown eye, certainly more warmth, than in blue. My own are such a cool blue, I don’t know how anyone finds them attractive. Maybe someone who likes far away places or oceans that end in a thin line.
Peter just seems like such a find. Are eyes always the first thing we notice about someone or the first thing we set out to describe. What I noticed first about Peter was his maleness, the fact that he was not oppressively so. The medium height and build of him. His cultured Alabama voice that makes fun of itself. The way he relaxes into a chair, any chair, as if he’s owned it all his life and knows it well. He treats what he owns well. He does not break his toys, I’m sure of that.