Happy Birthday to You

Her birthday’s today. A special bouquet, custom made for you.
“Space is what I need.” is what she said…

Cold, & firm – didn’t even let me in to get my stuff…
Slams the door is all she did…

As I turn around and head back to the car, my grip loosens & I can’t hold onto the disappointment. That special bouquet of pink, yellow & red roses, slips from my fingers and falls into the reflective puddle. It’s stark, cold reflection, is broken by the slow ripples of sadness spreading thru the surface.

“A dreadful, stormy night ahead and the music on the radio is lame!” I say to myself as if expecting a bit of sympathy. Nothing, will be able to soften the mood today – maybe not even music.

OK PowerMix cassette! “Lets see if you can lift my spirits, once again!”

Sure enough a mellow, sad song comes up mid stride…

“I’ve been waiting for you…

Signed with a home tattoo
Happy birthday to you
was created for you.” ♫

“how ironic… I would have done anything for her.”

Sitting back into the bucket seat, I just try to dwell in the sounds of irony…

Pulling up to a red light, I get a pause to contemplate the moment. I put my head back on the head rest & close my eyes for a second. A sudden sensation that someone is watching me, smacked me in the face! I open my eyes and look to the car to my left. Two guys sitting in the front. The passenger with long, stringy blond hair and the scruffy driver with short messy black hair – thinning on the sides and balding on the forehead. Being caught, they quickly look away.

“Hmm that’s odd…” that driver seems very familiar. “I’ve seen his face before…” When I look back the car drives off.

Words, playing me deja vu
Like a radio tune
I swear I’ve heard before…

I drive on as if this smack didn’t hit me. Really, it didn’t mean anything anyway… My attention goes back to the comfortable moment with Duran Duran on my stereo – just trying to dismiss the worst day of my life.

“It doesn’t matter anyway… I didn’t need her. It was all just a fun game of Cat-n-Mouse…” I say out loud knowing its a white lie but trying to convince myself that its better this way.

“I got entangled in her sharp claws but instead of running, I stayed…”

I pull into the Hess gas station and decided to call a few friend to reconnect – you know – see where they’re hanging out. “Ring, ring, ring…” is all the receiver would volunteer. They have all moved on to their own cat-and-mouse games.

“I might as well go home & put these pieces back together again.” I tell myself in a tone of surrender & with the strong desire for this day to be over!

Heading down Military Trail, the traffic is flowing slowly & below the speed limit. I just get lost in the tune of the music & the soothing rumble of my Camaro…

“Lost, in a snow filled sky
We’ll make it alright to come undone”

Trying to obliterate the last few moments, my mind returns to the trip home. It seemed shorter, but glad that it’s coming to an end. As I put my blinkers on to make the right turn onto Purdy Lane, I notice something weird in my rear view mirror.

“Hey! it’s those two guys who were starring at the red light!” What are they doing here? “Have they been following me?” In a split second my mind shuffles thru what seems like a flash of a hundred faces…

Shit! that’s her X!!” I knew I’ve seen that face before – a picture of a weary guy hidden in a drawer…

He’s a tall, lanky guy. Wearing a white t-shirt, beaten & transparent from obsessive over-use. Just a blue-collar guy, with scruffy hair. He seems weary from trying to put his life together again with her. No wonder he wants to get out his frustrations on me!

As I make the turn, he speeds up & tries to ram my rear bumper. I hit the gas to get him to miss & he spins out onto the oncoming lane. My tires, startled by all this sudden excitement, squeal & leaves black trails in the asphalt. He accelerates, trying to catch up, but is at least a few hundred yards behind. Barreling down the road, trying to get away from him, we’re doing 50 on a 25 and Bonnie Drive is coming up.

“Do I turn & pull into the driveway – or – keep going?” I ask myself as if I would answer back – I don’t know what to do… “turning in & stopping, would be two against one – and it will be revealing my sanctuary.”

My heart pounding, I see him gaining distance on me. All I can thing to do is floor it and speed away from him.

I pass a slower car & he gets stuck as oncoming traffic blocks him. A good gap grows between us as he tries to pass the slower car. Finally I reach Jog Road and luck will have it! The light just turned yellow.

My tires squeal around that turn & he, like his future with her – is stuck at the light. As for me, I’m long gone – not sure of what’s next…

“Who do you need?
Who do you love?
When you come undone

Who do you need?
Who do you love?
When you come undone”

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So it Begins….

“No ma’am, go ahead. I’ll wait for the next teller…” I nervously tell the lady behind me in the line.

Then, almost instantly thereafter, the next teller frees up & her customer walks away. “What do I do?”

I hesitated for a minute & the man behind me taps me on the shoulder. “son, the next teller is free! go on…” he urges me to not hold up the line.

“Sir, you can go ahead, I’m waiting for a specific teller.” I reply nervously because I just realized that the other tellers heard as well and now they are coyly teasing her.

It’s been a month of Saturdays doing this, and apparently everybody has noticed – today it became very obvious. I guess I better ask her out today & not let this opportunity go by.

There, her customer finally completes & leaves her counter!

“Hi Ann Marie, great to see you again…” Funny, I practice my line to perfection & now that I am face-to-face with her, this is what comes out!

“I’m great Pablo” she replies “what can I do for you today?”

“I just need to deposit my check…” I reply with a lame, truthful reason. I should have said one of my ‘exciting’ reasons that I have practiced over & over again in my head.

We engage in small talk for a bit & then I get my nerve to get a little more personal.

“How long have you being working here?” I ask nervously

“uh, about six months…” she replied and grins a nice smile.

“You have a pretty smile…” I said so nonchalant, not really paying attention that I said what my heart wanted me to say. She turns red, bows her head smiling even bigger, and then she looked away nervously.

“Ah! there’s my signal!” I shout silently in my head. “…and so it begins.”

She is playing along & didn’t reject me! This is good… She is even flipping her hair! She looks at her co-worker & they both giggle. She looks down again & then looks up at me with her big, beautiful smile.

Her shy smile reminds me of Kristy McNichol in the TV show, Family. Grinning ear-to-ear with a slight tilt down of the head, but with her deep, brown eyes making full contact with mine.

I used to have a crush on Meredith Baxter, from that TV show. She has long, flowing blond hair – that is until I met Ann Marie. Her smile is just so warm and kind. Behind the counter & the safety glass all I can really see is her chestnut brown hair with the flipped ends. It frames her oval face so nicely.

Ann Marie seems very soft, sweet & sexy looking. Her nails are perfectly manicured & have that ‘French’ white line on the tips. The money she hands to me even has the feminine scent of her perfume.

“What else can I do for you?” she says, interrupting my moment of daydreaming.

Oh boy! I’m about to end our transaction, and I don’t know what to say…

“Yeah… I was wondering what you are doing next Saturday evening? I thought we could maybe catch a dinner & a movie?”

“A dinner & a movie? Really, how creative of you!” my small voice chastises me… She is slow in replying, so I start to drift into listening to my little voice. “I bet she is going to shoot you down!” that voice volunteers again.

She looks up from her counter & then hands me a deposit receipt. “here is my number, call me & yes, we can go out next Saturday…”

“Wow! she said yes!!!” I shout it out really loud & jump all over the place – all in my head.

“Can’t wait!” is all she said & again flashed that sexy smile at me as I walked away from her counter. I walk out of the bank with the biggest smile I have ever had.

“I cant wait for next week!”

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