The waiter was slow and she felt that he was doing it purposely. At least her date was perfect; and that compensated for Mr. Speed Bump. She had a list of the things she hated. Not a long list; just a precise list that reminded her of how the world around her could at times wobble. The first item on the list was ‘Speed Bump’. You may be thinking about that obstacle, that anti-law-of-smooth-forward-movement inconveniently encountered in a parking lot or side street in your daily life. Well, her speed bumps were those moments in life when you think you are moving along at a nice pace on relationship evenness, and suddenly you hit a speed bump. Her last boyfriend was a good example.
Her last boyfriend also made number two on the list, ‘Pothole’, her euphemism for another ‘hole’ word that starts with the letter ‘a’; which, to her, has the same connotation. Pothole was thought up one night back in college when on a first date the guy responded to her question of where they were going, with “Back to my dorm to do some smoke.”
Her list goes on, and it seems that all of the men she has met in the last ten years have made the list. A psychologist once told her that the list ‘made her’. “What?!” He pointed out that maybe she was looking for new acronyms, vice eligible men. The psychologist made number seven, ‘Narrow Road Ahead.’
The other thing that tried to dampen her joyful mood this evening of bliss with the man sitting across from her was the vegetable of the day, zucchini. Thanks to her obsessive-compulsive-zucchini-loving parents, she had to endure the sight of zucchini at every meal. The family dog would not even touch the stuff. Number six, ‘Unleaded Gas Only’; any vegetable or man that gave you visual or actual gas.
She laughed to herself, as she suddenly thought about that guy in the band. They dated and she was so wrapped-up in his sexy use of French. On their last date he had invited her to his apartment for dinner and, yes, he had fried zucchini. To ease her mood, he apologized, “S’il vous plaît pardonnez-moi ma chérie.” She did. About an hour later the apartment door opened and an unknown woman walked in. Her date introduced her to the woman and said “les trois d’entre nous vont faire l’amour fantastique!” She screamed, “The three of us will make fantastic love, my ass!” This encounter earned music man a swift goodbye and number four, ‘No Double Parking.’
Then she met the dream of a man sitting across from her. He listened to her, made soft gentle closeness with her, and fantastic sex with her. So what if he did not talk about his life; he said that it was more important to listen to her talk about her day. His only fault was that he frequently had to travel for work and they communicated by text and infrequent phone calls at odd hours. She accepted the fact that he sometimes could not immediately respond to her texts; because he was, after all, perfect.
And so it was the following week when he had to travel to Paris, of all places. She thought maybe he would meet Mr. No Double Parking and give him a ‘Ticket’; and wondered if she should add that to the list?
The trans-Atlantic time difference added to her impatience. Thus, she literally jumped for joy when she saw the quick response to her ‘I love you sweetheart’ text.
Then, she almost dropped her cell when she read, “He told me about your list. Mr. Test Drive says adieus. I’m the wife! And you just made my list, ‘Driving Without A License’!”
(Speed Bumps is a work of fiction, copyright 2014 by Steven S. Walsky, all rights reserved.)