I’m in the bathroom at my house and my son Johnny is sitting on the edge of the bathtub asking me a never-ending barrage of questions as I try to apply eyeliner.
“Who made frogs?” He said.
“I don’t- ” I said.
“Why do frogs croak?” He said.
“I think-“I said.
“Who made God? Do you believe in God? Did Dad go to heaven when he died? Will I have another Dad someday? What is love?” He said as he throws a tennis ball at my butt and exits the room running.
Now I am crying and my mascara is running down my face and I have a date. It’s the first date I’ve been on in five years since Michael died and left me to mother two boys alone.
It’s a Thursday and it’s Ladies Night and Blondie Night at Bear’s Biker bar in Coma and all the locals come out to hear me belt out a Blondie tune or two. I’m not Blondie, though. I’m just a Mom raising some boys alone. And tonight I’m just here to be on a date because there’s only one bar in Coma so this is where my date is taking me. His name is Jack. He’s apparently an English professor and a writer. I met him because Marybell thinks I need “some old man” and she put up my picture on the cork boards in every Panera within a 30 mile radius of Coma and attached her email address to it.
Then she added parameters:
-must have a job
-must be kind
-must play an instrument
-must like art or know what it is
-must read (so gross)
-must know how to care for someone who is broken
-must know how to open doors for a lady
So here I am sitting at the bar waiting for Jack, who I’ve never met, and Marybell told me there were at least three men who answered her ad for me and two of them sounded like they might sleep with farm animals so she chose Jack. I don’t know what Jack looks like. I haven’t seen any pictures. I don’t go on Match.com or even on the internet much because it all seems so unreal to me.
“I didn’t have to date to find a woman.” My Dad yells at Bear. “I don’t understand this Tamer stuff!”
“Tinder.” says Bear. “It’s called Tinder.”
My Dad sits back and laughs, “Tamer. Tinder. THERE ARE WOMEN EVERYWHERE THEY LIVE EVERYWHERE EVEN UNDER ROCKS.” Dad yells and points around the bar where there are no women except for me sitting by myself waiting for this Jack character who is now 10 minutes late.
“You don’t get it. This isn’t serious dating.” said Bear.
“With women everything is serious even when you think it’s not, Son.”
“I get that.” says Bear and he’s an old school skate rat so he pushes his long hair out of his face. “but Tinder is less serious than say a Match.”
“Why do you need someone to match you????? You just know when it’s a match, Son. You know right away.” My Dad said.
And Charlie the Coma Librarian walks in with his Les Paul electric guitar and he smiles and winks at me and motions toward the crappy wooden stage and he says, “It’s Ladies Night and Blondie Night, Sadie.”
“I’m waiting for someone.” I said.
And he laughs and he said, “No one is here.”
“EXCUSE YOU. I AM HERE.” said my Dad.
And I look around and there’s no Jack. There’s two fat bikers fighting about Foosball. There’s a guy passed out on a table alone but there’s no Jack.
“If you want to be happy it’s something you have to work at with someone you feel something for right off the bat, Bear.” my Dad said. “Tamer’s not gonna do it for you.”
Every string on this guitar is out of tune and Charlie leans over toward me from his perfectly tuned Les Paul and said, “What do you want so start out with tonight, Sadie?” and I look around the room and all I see is saddness and men alone and men passed out on tables and I said, “I’m Gonna Love You Too?”
“Good choice.” said Charlie.
And the door of the bar opens and guy with dark curly hair walks in and he’s wearing an obscure band T-shirt and a sweater and some of the snow falling outside follows him in and he is holding a guitar case.
“This bar sucks.” says Jack. “Where’s Sadie?”
And I tentatively pull my hand off of the guitar I am tuning and raise it and he looks up at me and he says, “Perfect.”
And there’s one time in your life to feel like this when you see someone and you connect and I can barely see him it’s only his outline but as he comes into the light all I can think is this guy was made for me. Something about this guy was made for me.
“You are late, Buddy.” said my Dad.
Jack laughs and shakes his hand and said, “Yeah, sorry about that. I had to remove a rooster from the middle of the road on my ride in.”
And my Dad laughs, “Happens to me all the time, buddy.”
“But you’re not Sadie.” Jack said. “Where is Sadie.”
“She’s up there.” said my Dad and he points to the stage. “But she won’t take her clothes off Buddy. She doesn’t take her clothes off.”
And Jack looks up at me and he winks and he walks over to the edge of the stage and he says, “This bar sucks, Sadie.”
And I can’t speak because there’s something so right about this guy so I just walk over with my guitar on and I just hug him and he hugs me back so hard that he has to put down the guitar he’s carrying. “What are we playing?” Jack says.
“I think it’s gonna be Blondie’s I’m Gonna Love You Too?” I said.
“Perfect.” He said. “Great choice.Sorry I was late this rooster was in the road.”
And then he stops hugging me but I don’t want him to stop because he smells like good soap and promise.
“Let’s play,” He says.
“Sadie DOESN’T GET NAKED.” my Dad yells.
And Jack starts strumming the chords to ‘I wanna Love You Too’ and I stand beside him and start to play and Charlie just watches and claps.