If I was having coffee with...
It would be after catching Thelonious Monk at the Five Spot. We'd enjoy a couple adult beverages during the show - rum and Coke for me, ouzo for her - but just a couple. Then we'd find an all-night diner that has an 'A' rating from the health department.
I'd avoid the obvious topics - From Dusk Til Dawn, Desperado, the elevator scene from Ugly Betty. Instead, I'd wow her with an astute remark about Frida Kahlo or Rafael Trujillo. The intensity of the coffee would prompt me to say:
You sure know how to keep a guy up all night.
Our banter would flow freely, like the wine at an open bar. But then we'd hear Deb Harry singing "Call Me". I'd grab my cell phone*, wondering who could be calling at such a late hour. I mean - I know what the lyrics say, but who takes them so literally?
Help me, E Man. You're my only hope.
Dang. She even sounds like a redhead over the phone.
J Mo**, darling. You know I think you're top shelf. But my masculinity cannot be contained by one woman.
But I won an Oscar. What do I need to do to impress you?
There, there. I say in my soothing, pat-on-the-top-of-the-head voice. I can make time for you tomorrow night.
With that taken care of, I turn my attention back to Salma, who has been pretending to concentrate on her pastrami on rye. We finish our coffee and munchies, discussing the usual date topics between bites: politics, religion, the stock market. When the waitress saunters over with our bill, I notice something amiss. She senses my chagrin and asks if anything is wrong.
Your name tag says Ellen, but you don't seem like an Ellen.
How observant of you, the waitress replies, visibly amazed. I mistakenly left my name tag at home, so I'm using a co-worker's tonight.
I have a car in this story, so I drive Salma home. I hit the brakes and put my Edsel in 'Park' in the street near her apartment building. She seems perplexed when I exit the vehicle and just leave it there. But I approach a nondescript van parked in front of her building and tap on the driver's window.
I know you're cops on a stake-out. So why don't you leave me the parking space and come back when you're capable of not being so obvious?
They do as they're told. Then I swing the Edsel into the now-vacant spot. I give Salma my 'maybe I'll call you eventually' look. But she's a spicy Latina, so she leans over and whispers in my ear:***
Why don't you come up and look at my stamp collection?
I don't know why she wants to show me her stamp collection at 2:30 AM. But I'm a gentleman, so I accept her invitation.
Wow. You have an Inverted Jenny. This is easily the rarest stamp I have ever seen.
Unfortunately, even the best dates have to end. So this one does. When I finally make it home, I'm cleaning out my pockets, and I notice the receipt from the diner. It seems the waitress jotted a personal note on the back:
Laura 212 524 6822 I have Netflix.
I add the receipt to the stack, then go to bed.
* - Yes. I have a cell phone in this story. Now you know it's fiction.
** - It was J Dawg, but she thought it sounded like J Dog. Then it was J Drizzle, but she thought it sounded like a satirical rapper name. Then it was J Moo, but she thought it implied she was a cow. Now it's J Mo.
*** - How close was she when she whispered? Let's just say I got a good whiff of her pastrami sandwich.