It felt good to finally get one of my many doors closed for business. However, no sooner did Terrance leave the credit union did the mysterious Jason come into the bank. I began to wonder why it happened that quickly, but when you’re lonely and desperate, the wolves can sense you’re an easy prey. It had been a while since I had seen Jason, but I know that the more pressing question is…who is Jason?
Jason is a man I met at the bank. There was no stare game; it was just a smooth, yet typical male approach. One day he came to my window and I helped him. Before he left my window though, he said, “You really have a nice smile, one that I know that I’ve seen before. Did you go to Mumford High School?”
I looked at him real strange, because he knew that I didn’t go to Mumford, but the flirt in me just giggled and said, “No, I didn’t go to Mumford, but thanks for the compliment. Have a nice day, Mr. Anderson.”
“You too, Lisa.”
He lingered for a moment, pretending to struggle counting the money that I had just counted and begin to complain that the money was too new. So he asked, “Can you count it again? I wasn’t paying attention when you counted it because I was too distracted by your smile.” His comment made me blush. It wasn’t really original, but it did catch me by surprise. So that he wouldn’t have one surprise up on me, when he gave me his money back, I took it and balled it up. (Yes, I literally balled up his money.) It was me being me, but that’s really how tellers avoided giving up more bills for less. You should have seen his face…I almost felt the need to go around the glass and pick up his jaw. While counting his money back, I had a sly smirk on my face and slowly passed his semi-crinkly bills back to him making sure that it didn’t appear as if I had an attitude. This became our special way of passing money, I’d count it and then he’d ball it up. Anyways, on this first encounter, he smirked back and said, “What a clever young woman you are! [nodding his head up and down, he closed with] I’d like to get to know you a little better, so if you wouldn’t mind giving me your number…”
Without a second thought, I wrote my number down on receipt paper as he stared at me with intensity as if he was sending a supersonic force to my hand to write down the number. It wasn’t a weirdo stare, but it was definitely intense and this was not a game. I gave him my number and he put it into the pocket of his mechanic uniform that bore the name Anderson on it. He then held out his un-manicured hand as if he wanted a five so I reached toward his four fingers that he had palm-up in the tray under the glass window and he cupped his four fingers under mine for what felt like 15 seconds and that’s a long time, especially when you have a line starting to build up. So upon release, I smiled again and signaled for the next customer as he left my window.
Now I really feel the urgency to paint the picture of Jason so that you’ll really understand the type of person he really was. The first order of business is to let you know that he worked as a mechanic for the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT). He didn’t have his own car at the moment and he was temporarily staying with his mother. He didn’t have a cell phone and he also had a 10-month-old son. That was Jason when I first met him in the lobby years ago, but this is the Jason who is currently standing in the lobby: New Lincoln Navigator and an everyday hooptie, no kids, a cell phone and his own apartment. I know that you’re probably wondering how he went from a son to no son, but it turns out that after taking care of his son, Jason Jr. turned out to be another man’s son. That was definitely drama.
Hopefully you have the picture of old Jason in your head, because that’s who I went on a first date with. When we talked for the first time, we decided that we’d go somewhere that Saturday. I wasn’t the type of person who had to know every last detail, so I decided to let him decide. I went to Northwest-Detroit and picked him up off of 6 mile and Livernois. When I arrived at his house, I called to let him know that I was outside. His mother picked up the phone and I introduced myself and asked to speak to him. It was kind of weird speaking to someone’s mother, but it was what it was. When he picked up, he said, “I think I see you outside…is that you in the black Jetta,” and I responded to let him know that it was me. He walked outside with a nice pair of jeans on, a crisp T-shirt and a fitted hat. He got into the passenger seat and told me to drive to 6 mile and then we stopped at a gas station, and he filled up my gas tank. I didn’t purposely go over there without gas, but it just happened that way. I was very impressed that he filled up my tank and I thought this was a mark of great character.
We took I-75 to Van Dyke and went to Van Dyke’s Sporting Center, also know as Butterflies. but better known as the arcade. Since this was our first date, I didn’t know really who was paying for what. I didn’t want him to think that I was one of those women that just expected the man to pay, so I offered to give some money for the games, but he didn’t want to accept it. He cashed in $10 and we played a few car and shooting games. It was fun. We had good conversation. When we ran out of quarters, we played a game of pool and then drove back toward his house. I came up the 6 mile ramp and he asked if I was ready to go home. I told him that I wasn’t, so he suggested that we’d go downtown and grab a bite to eat.
Now as we were driving toward downtown. It was beginning to look a little cloudy as if it was going to storm, but we headed downtown anyway. There was no parking on the street, so we parked in one of the parking structures. Before we got out of the structure, the rain started to pour down real hard. Neither one of us had on a jacket, nor did we have any umbrellas. All hope wasn’t lost though, because there was a man playing jazz music with his trumpet at the bottom of the parking structure steps. Jason scooped me up in his arms and we just started swaying at the bottom of the structure to the rhythm of the music. It was so spontaneous and I just went with the flow. The dance was very intense for a first date, but it felt so right. I didn’t even know how to slow dance, but when I danced with him, I felt like an instant expert. By the time we finished the second song, the rain let up just enough for us to walk to our destination.
As we walked to Pizza Papalis, I noticed that he was a gentleman. When we walked, he would make sure that he was always the one nearest the curb. Even when we crossed the street and I ended up on the outside, he’d gently touch me at my waist and switch sides to ensure that he was the one walking nearest the curb. The only other man who had done this for me was my father, but dad’s way was much blunter. “Lisa, stand on this side, a woman should never be the one nearest the curb. If a man isn’t cognizant of this then he is not a gentleman. Do you understand what I’m saying to you?” There was no speech like this with Jason; there was just a smooth transition as we waltzed while we walked. He really made me feel secure.
When we finally arrived at Pizza Papalis, we sat down and ordered. Now, if you know anything about Pizza Papalis, then you know that there is no eating a whole pizza and there’s no rushing this deep dish decadence. You have to wait at least 30 minutes for your pizza, so you definitely want to go to this place with someone who can keep your attention. I must take a minute to tell you that my favorite pizza from there is the vegetarian pizza. My friend Davon turned me on to that pizza, and I got to say this is what I wanted and what I ordered even though Jason had his heart set on a meat-inspired pizza. We compromised and got the pizza half his way and half mine.
While waiting for the pizza, Jason was very attentive. He was engaged and his eyes didn’t do any roaming. Hallelujah! I can’t stand it when you’re out on a date and the guy’s eyes are all over the place while he’s talking to you or it’s really bad when you’re talking and his attention is everywhere but on you. Anyhow, when the pizza came, he ended up eating a slice of mine and taking my other slice home. He was sold on the vegetarian pizza. After he paid for dinner, we went to the car to put the pizza box up. On the way to the car, there was a person taking photos on the street and we stopped to take one. Jason, with his intense self, grabbed me and posed with me wrapped up in his arms.
When we got to the car, we decided to drive toward Chene Park. We went to an area near there where you could stand near the water. Jason grabbed my hand as we were near the rocks. The moment seemed to call for a kiss, but my emotions were kind of mixed. I had always heard that you shouldn’t kiss on the first date. However, Jason just put his forehead on my forehead and asked in the most soothing voice, “Lisa, may I kiss you?” There was a short pause, because I wanted to say yes, but I didn’t want him to get the wrong idea nor did I want to give in to a random moment. I went into this whole thought process and I didn’t realize that he had simply asked for an Eskimo kiss. What I heard is not what he said at all. He didn’t even ask if he could kiss me. Somehow or another, I missed the real question, because my mind was fixated on getting a real kiss. I won’t even pretend like I can be as smooth as Jason was when he asked for an Eskimo kiss because I wouldn’t even be able to give his smoothness justice. Just know that as he had his forehead on mine, he gently rubbed our noses back and forth and held both of my hands while doing so.
This date had turned into what I still peg as one of the best dates of my life and it isn’t over. With a seemingly great connection, you may wonder how Jason and I lost touch. You will find out soon enough so stay tuned because there is more to discover about our relationship.
Mesmerized – Hold the attention of (someone) to the exclusion of all else.