Origins #18

1 Jul

I was in Rene’s car and we were heading South, out of the gridlocked city. Traffic was slow exiting the city as well and that left us with plenty of awkward silences as Rene concentrated on weaving her way through the swathe of brake lights towards South Perth.

lights blurI mentioned that I would have preferred to meet up in South Perth anyway because I could have walked there. Rene pointed out that she thought it was too close to my place, and was worried that people would see us. I pointed out the irony of that concept considering we’d just driven out of the most populous area in the state on one of the busiest days of the year and that I’d run into some mates on the way through.

South Perth?

The view of Perth from South Perth

The view of Perth from South Perth

We got to South Perth but there was no parking available anywhere. One thing I remember specifically about the few laps we did of South Perth while Rene hunted for parking was Rene droving straight through a crosswalk without waiting for the pedestrians to cross. It stood out to me because I always try to let people cross, even when it’s not a proper crosswalk. It’s 10 seconds out of my day, and I can spare 10 seconds to make the day easier on someone. I mean, there’s a law that says you have to let the people cross, too, but I’m big on courtesy regardless. I remember distinctly making a mental note on it and thinking that it was one of those things to look out for, like your date being rude to the waiter.

There was nowhere to park. I suggested going to my place but Rene was under the impression that someone would see her car there. I was a little worried about running into someone we knew but I hadn’t assumed people were spying on my property. It seemed a bit overboard to me but I was more concerned with the conversation than the location, so I shut up and let Rene decide our new destination.

Driving aimlessly?

Rene hadn’t decided where we were going yet, she just aimed south down the freeway. While Rene drove I relayed the story of her father leaving the entire office laughing at me by making it clear he knew we’d spent the night together. Rene laughed whole heartily at my re-enactment and, to my concern, dropped her head nearly all the way into her lap as she did so.

We trekked through various suburbs I had barely heard of and Rene knew well enough to take short-cuts through. Rene became fixated on showing me where a friend of hers lived. We did several laps of streets I didn’t care about looking for a house I wasn’t interested in seeing.

night-drivingThis area was very different to the government housing I’d grown up in. The suburb alone was enough to make me uncomfortable. The beautiful, ornate, double-story homes looked like the set of a TV show about imaginary rich people to me. I guess I knew those houses must exist but it had never occurred to me that I might know someone who lived in one.

Eventually Rene satisfied herself that she’d found the home she was looking for, or at least she was pretty sure. I told her it looked nice and smiled politely. We sat in awkward silence until Rene exclaimed, “We should go get a drink”, with the same enthusiasm most would reserve for announcing the discovery of 20kg of gold.

A drink

As we drove towards wherever Rene planned for us to get that drink, I noticed again that she wasn’t especially good at staying focused on the road or obeying the road rules. Nothing too terrible mind you, but it was enough that it triggered me to think how extremely awkward it would be if Rene had an accident bad enough that her car wouldn’t get her home. “Someone would have to pick us up and it’d look super suspicious that I was with her after spending the night with her”, I thought to myself.

scary driving

Despite my concerns, we made it safely to the bar just outside of Fremantle. I tried to pay but Rene fought me over it and grabbed us some fancy beers before we sat down in the seat Rene had carefully identified as the least visible to other people.

We chatted and laughed and were having so much fun that I had to remind myself that we weren’t on a date. I was even doing all those stupid things you do on a first date, like looking Rene in the eyes and noticing that they seemed to be a little crossed, and then enough time trying figure out if they were slightly crossed, or she was sitting so close to me that her eyes had to cross a little to look straight at me.

Rene seemed to be enjoying things as much as I was but was clearly worried that we might be seen. She kept asking if I thought anyone had seen us on the way there, or if I recognised anyone at the bar. I wasn’t worried about that. I was distracted by wanting to touch her. I remember leaning forward, realising it wasn’t a date, and returning my hand to my side of the table.

So hot. Want to touch.For all her concern over being seen, Rene was being plenty flirtatious and playful just the same. I don’t know exactly what we talked about but it sure wasn’t if we’d see each other or not. I only remember bits and pieces, like talking about the bands I’ve played in, and learning that Rene had played bass for a short period of time. I remember Rene trying to tell me about a particular French phrase she learned during her time there and that she said the phrase in an unadulterated Australian accent, which of course I teased her about. I would have teased her if she’d said it in perfect French too, because it we were having a good time talking pointless shit.

Despite all the bullshit leading up to it, we were having fun. It was like all the other crap was forgotten and we were just two people attracted to each other having a good time. It was exactly how I’d imagined things would be if we were to go out in the future. A bit of fun, under the radar. And it felt easy. It felt right to me.

A burger

With our bottles emptied, it was time to eat. We ordered take away from the gourmet burger joint next to the bar we’d been at because Rene wanted to eat them somewhere more private. We loaded into her car and drove onwards while the heat radiating from our burgers steamed up the windows and I complained that she again had refused to even let me pay for my own burger.

15 minutes later Rene found her way to the beach she had in mind. We parked up and wandered a few minutes down to a nice spot. We sat with our legs dangling off a cliff wall overlooking the sands the beach, barely illuminated as the moon hung low and bright, as the Indian ocean swallowed it in her waves.

The burgers were huge. Seriously, they were massive! And mine was damned good. It was so good that I forgot the complexities of the evening as my taste buds pumped happy chemicals into my brain informing me of the magnificent mixture of pineapple and chicken and bacon and fancy sauces and whatever else was in that glorious burger.homer burgerNext thing I knew my burger was gone and my belly was aching from being overly full. I had chosen poorly. I had demolished that burger and had been so fixated on how good it tasted that I’d not considered the potential outcome of forcing something the size of my head into my stomach in a very short period of time.

Burger. Gone.I was bursting at the seams and could tell that my rapid eating had triggered a burp so epic that there was every chance the Bureau of Meteorology would have to name it after it triggered a local cyclone.

In addition to this, there seemed to be half a burger on my face and between my teeth and a distinct lack of napkins or beverages to help resolve this less than ideal state.

Seriously? Right now?

Can't talk. Eating.

As luck would have it, that exact moment, as I sat there with a burp that threatens to blow my burger covered face off, was when Rene had finally plucked up the courage to initiate our ‘talk’.

So I guess we should talk about what we’re supposed to be talking about?

Yeah… Let’s do that… But… just so you know, I get that this is serious and probably not easy for you, but I ate that burger way too fast so it’s possible I’m going to burp in the middle of this conversation, and I’m really, really sorry if that happens.

After I said that, Rene got a huge smile on her face and did one of those little laughs that only shows up as quiet exhales through your nose and said:

You know, that’s one of the things I really like about you. You do and say whatever you want, whenever you want. It’s really refreshing.

Next time

That’s enough for now. Next time I’ll tell you how our talk went.

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One Response to “Origins #18”

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  1. Origins #19 | how not to be a crazy bitch - 2015.07.10

    […] My boss’s daughter had just complimented me on my forthrightness in warning her that I might b…. […]

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