After six too many Magners on ice at Southern Hospitality, Alfonso’s package seemed all things Grade-A. He was a junior high science teacher, originally from Upstate, lived on my very same street, loved trivia, and hated cats. I couldn’t help but envision a Trivia Tuesday at Mad River here or burritos at Blockhead’s there with The Fonz in our oh-so-fairy-taled future, for us to happily frolic arm-in-arm home to our happy little Upper East Side block. Screw cabs to Murray Hill.
The night wore on and our speech got more slurred, our vision more blurred. Alfonso and his sidekick were the first to throw in their drinking towels, but before they settled up their tab, Alfonso asked for my digits.
“So do you think I could have your number? I’d love to grab a drink sometime.” The Fonz asked with his little glint of Zac Efron eyes.
I hadn’t given out my number for this purpose in quite some time (aside from when I gave out fake numbers to blind drunk, under-tipping twenty-two year olds when I was behind the bar trying to hustle for a few George Washington’s). Still reeling on my I-don’t-need-no-Euro high from earlier in the week and Cee Lo Green’s “F*ck You” appropriately playing in the background, I continued my leap of faith and gave the man my number. Why the hell not see if The Fonz’s Grade-A package could turn into an Easy A?
After Alfonso was safely out of earshot, Emily, Annie Smalls, and Jenny Saurs all gave their approvals, with Emily slurring, “Oh yes, Bacchus. I like him. Let’s do a shot.”
Perhaps my friends were just trying to provide me with some much-needed support after my eleventh fallout with Alejandro or perhaps Alfonso would prove to be a good bar-side snag, but either way, I stumbled home with a certainty in my step that I could get over Alejandro once and for all.
I didn’t hear from Alfonso for the rest of the weekend, not even a nice-to-meet-you text the next morning. By Saturday I was frowning at my phone, checking for reception and restarting it several times. I didn’t expect him to take me out a mere twenty-four hours later, but some sort of signal-of-life/I-can’t-wait-to-meet-for-a-drink message would have been nice. But perhaps I was out of practice on this whole dating scene from being wrapped up in my world of Alejandro for the past nine months.
But all things Alfonso and thoughts I tried so hard not to have of Alejandro had to but put to the back burner as I headed off to Las Vegas for work. I spent my Valentine’s Day with two co-workers and George the bartender at The Cosmopolitan and unfortunately for me, my Ketel One on the rocks with jalapeno-stuffed olives was as dirty as my Hallmark holiday of love got.
But then, as luck would have, the vodka gods were looking down on me. My cell phone rang and an unknown number popped up onto the screen. Could it be The Fonz? Or was it just one of my buyers cancelling an appointment for the following day? I hit ignore and hoped for the best.
Hey Bacchus, how’s it going? It’s Alfonso, umm, from the other night. Just calling to say hello and see if you wanted to get together this week. Umm, ok, well hope you’re well and talk to you soon. Ok…bye.
Suddenly “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates was playing in my personal background, just like in 500 Days of Summer. I was filled with joy and hope that good, dateable guys did actually exist on the Upper East Side and I took it straight to the craps table.
After a hot winning streak, I cashed in my chips for the few hundo I had won and called it a night. In the morning I would carefully draft my reply to The Fonz, but in the meantime, cheers to playing the field on the tables in Vegas and in bars on the Upper East Side…