Vegas: Boston returned to his spot at the table, I watched bewildered pondering his question. Was winning my plane ticket the only thing I was happy about? The irony was that a suit was making me feel shallow about profit gained. No, of course it wasn’t just the money; it was the banter, the pursuit, the chemistry and attention. I bit my lip wondering why he wanted me to own these feelings? After all it was Vegas, it was my last night, and he lived in Chicago.
Boston tossed chips to the dealer, “You know what the best paht is? We are going to fall in love and she doesn’t even know it yet.”
He spoke of love with confidence not fear; I wondered if he tossed the “L” word around like he did his chips. This feeling stirred inside of me like a hot air balloon rising –I recognized it as hope. I remained silent; the dealer spoke up,
“It is Vegas, crazy things do happen here.”
I was getting double teamed. Mr. Casanova persisted,
“I have to go to the bathroom but I can’t risk the Lady leaving.”
The dice rolled three or four times. I watched him in my peripheral.
“Go to the bathroom, I’ll wait…but I don’t wait long.”
“You heard the Lady” The dealer echoed, “She doesn’t wait long.”
We went to a circle bar behind the table. Boston asked,
“What do you want?”
“Do you have a color?”
“Do you know your wine?”
“Yes, in fact I do.”
“Good, why don’t you pick me out one?”
“No, tell me how you’d pick one out.”
I took the list. There were two selections for each variety.
“First, I’d select the variety. Tonight I’m feeling Pinot Noir. Then I’d go by price.”
I pointed to the $12 instead of the $24 option. He didn’t seem impressed. I didn’t give a damn.
He got the wine. When he came back he stretched out on a chair across from me.
“Tell me, why are you single?”
“I don’t settle.”
His eyebrows lifted, “What do you mean settle.”
I took a sip of wine knowing that was my tough girl answer.
“The truth is that I go for the one thing men have a very difficult time giving…I play for the heart.”
It felt silly to say aloud to a stranger. I turned my gaze to the red mixture swirling in my glass following the movement as I pondered my past love affairs. I tried to further explain,
“You know that feeling you get, like butterflies…”
“Like when you stepped up to the table tonight.” He said cutting me off, “Yeah, I know that feeling. “
His stare was penetrating. I reminded myself he was a gambler and these were lyrics to get in my pants. But I couldn’t stop a fire from igniting. Boston continued,
“What if I told you that I want to get your number. That I will call you. That I want to date you.”
Inside I answered; it’s so hard to hope. On the outside I held a poker face. Why was it so hard to hope? What was I even hoping for? Perhaps, I was holding on to the past without even knowing it, too scared to release the hot air balloon because the wind had repeatedly knocked it down.
I gave my number, shared a kiss and returned to Philly with a lust for untethered hope; it’s not necessarily about a man, as it is about a state of being, of dreaming and believing.
Up, Up and Away,
A Warrior Princess