Now, where were we?
When I met the Piano Man again, I got crippling laryngitis. I had warned him, via email, that he would do all the heavy lifting in conversation. I had no voice. He was keen. I was sick. I brought a notepad.
As I walked into the bar, he was at the piano and began a medley of Gershwin, Sinatra, and Bizet. He was self-taught and playing my songs.
Piano Man: Thanks for coming so far.
Translation: It is my pleasure. Though in fact I should be in bed feeling extremely sorry for my sick self, alone, as spinsters are wont. But I’m happy to maybe have a reason in this forsaken world to be hopeful. In other words, I would schlep to the ends of the galaxy for a decent second date.
Piano Man: I’ve been reading your column. You’re much sweeter in person than on the page. You’re pretty hard on yourself.
Translation: Can you get over this column thing? It’s anonymous, no one knows who you are, no one has ever guessed who the Rockstar is, and he’s extremely famous. Also, I was kind. So what’s the problem?
Piano Man: My brother said, “If a dating column is all she wrote, I would be concerned.” But it’s not. I really loved For All the Tea in China.
Translation: Loving my book matters, congratulations on admiring me. But again with the column? I’m so sorry you have to tap dance all the way through this date and I can’t assist in the patter, but there are other topics. Let us move on.
Piano Man: So tell me this, how do you want this column to end?
Me: (*on the notepad*) I AM PREGNANT. THE END.
Piano Man: It doesn’t make sense to me. You’re smart. You’re funny. You look exactly like any guy would want a girl to look. Why do you need to write about dating?
Me: (*at the top of my lungs*) You are safe.
No bigger lie was ever whispered in the history of love. No one is safe. We are all vulnerable. Hearts are breakable. And we still have to try. I am not out to hurt anyone.
The Piano Man walked me out of the bar and kissed me. It was a blustery day. I was running a fever. Maybe I was swooning. I would have to sleep with him to find out.