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I’m sitting very still. I’m keeping my arms to my sides. I’m facing the table but my eyes are wide. I’m looking left – and up, towards the ceiling corner where the boxes are hanging. I can hear those stealthy black boxes but I don’t want Bear to know. They’ve been doing it since we got here - the restaurant speakers. They’re hitting on me.
At first I was flattered, but now they’re getting fresh with me. Them, with their synth pads and their loops. They’re saying they want me to “lick it lick it” and “stick it stick it.” I have no idea what they’re talking about but it sounds inappropriate. And unsanitary.
Uh oh, Bear is looking at me now – his mouth is moving, he’s trying to communicate, I should tune in. Too late, I missed half of the sentence. Shit, this happens all the time. Now he’s not talking. Is it a dramatic pause? Was it a joke? Do I nod or laugh?
“….I don’t ..know.”
“You don’t know?”
“How to spell your middle name?”
“Oh! I thought you…said… something else…sorry the speakers are right above me.”
“They’re really low, I can barely hear them.”
“Well it’s louder over here. Anyway it’s Z-A-H…….”
He’s writing now. Ok, got out of that. He just doesn’t understand what I’ve been going through, what I’ve been trying to deal with.
They spotted me when I walked in the door of the restaurant. They captured my attention with George Harrison’s “Something,” to make me feel comfortable, romantic – then they followed up with Sade’s “This is No Ordinary Love” and then threw in “Pink Cadillac” just to show they could be spontaneous. They had me thinking I was in for a classy night – they made me feel ...special….
Then, the lights dimmed. I heard Prince (the artist formerly known as?) singing “Get Off,” a shocker by 90's standards, still, I’m a little surprised because this was a side of them I hadn’t seen before...it was raw, brazen! Exciting. I thought they were just the “sonic wallpaper” types but they were proving me wrong. I tore off some table bread and I chewed fervently, deliberately. I slapped on some butter and I went with it. Propriety be damned!
But now what? What’s this? “Lick it lick it?” Huh? Lick what? Are you trying to tell me something? Is this even a song? What’s going on - is this what they think of me? This is beneath them. This is beneath US. Speakers, how could you degrade what we’ve made together? What AM I to you?!
“Wha - Bear?”
“Honey… are you ok?”
“Oh, yeah, why?”
“You looked really angry… and confused.”
“Oh no, I just bit down on a seed….in the bread. It surprised me.”
“Must’ve been a piece of ice.”
“You’re drinking tea.”
“Some of the tea-leaf chunks got stuck…in my tooth..”
“But you have a tea-bag – “
“It sprung a hole ok!? Drop it.”