It’s Really Him

Saw this in the feeds the other evening, a short anecdote about perceptions. Seeing as Mercury is in Retrograde — I figured it was time to tell the story — in print form. Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

True Story

Was ten, no, more like twelve years back. I was “dating” this stunning woman, I mean, total package. Classy, gorgeous, and she had a quiet presence that belied the fire that burned within. Had the curves and carried them well.

“What’s her sign?”
“Dangerous curves ahead.” (Snicker.)

I did mention, really very attractive. Built like — insert your own, favorite metaphor here. Really, visually very appealing. Good heart, too. Poor taste in men, but what can I say? I have to bank on that.

One fishing buddy, oh how I recall this with great mirth, “Yeah, she’s just a little out of your league,” then grinned.

A man’s grasp must exceed his reach, or …

Anyway, we were stopped at the Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood. Dripping Springs. One of those. The original, big, open pit, dust-choked parking lot, and the woman, my date, she managed to remain cool and calm. Elegant and refined in the face of pit BBQ. I know I had on a ball cap, and from the era, I would guess I was wearing a San Jose Sharks hat. Just an artifact of memory to — I always liked the logo: shark biting a hockey stick.

At the Salt Lick? The deal was, all you could eat, plus to go box, for a set price. Order up, and she had on white, perhaps a light jacket or blouse, stretchy white pants, with that roll and swing to her gait, with her exceptional good looks. She didn’t spill a drop of BBQ sauce on herself.

Guy sitting across the way, he looked at me, at her, then back at me. My hair was down, and my visage, under their cap, pulled low — Scorpio style — on my brow.

It’s Really Him

“You’re someone famous, I know you.”

I shook my head. Unless one was reading horoscopes on the internet, no, not someone famous. Not even.

It’s Really Him

“You’re someone famous, I know you.”

I demurred. My date, she was amused, “Have you been a hiding a secret life from me?”

We huddled and giggled, and continued with the enormous portions of various forms of smoked meat. The guy across the way kept glancing at me, and he looked puzzled.

“I know I know you, you’re someone famous.”

He ventured that comment, once, twice.

The advantage of a hot date? Sure, that works.

“So I finally get to sleep with someone famous,” she quietly smiled at me.

If being famous helps close the deal?

At the Salt Lick, on a Sunday afternoon, they used to offer all you could eat plus a to-go bag, and I left with a huge portion of food. Wound up eating on that for three or four days, back in a trailer park, in South Austin.

As we were leaving, me clutching our combined to-go orders in a bag, as I recall, plus an extra serving of Salt Lick proprietary BBQ sauce, my date leans over, probably hinting at cleavage without displaying a thing, and whispered to the guy, “It’s really him.”

To paint the picture properly, I just have to iterate — the woman with me, my date — truly attractive, stylish and studied casual, but very good looking. Little blonde bob, I think covered partially with a straw hat of some sort, mature but not old, and classy. Carried herself well. Texas girl, Austin-born, if I recall, but certainly Texas. Not a drop of BBQ sauce on anything.

So as we’re leaving, with merry smile, and a staged whisper, she leans in, “It’s really him.”

The guy, he’d been watching me, most of the meal time, trying to figure out who I was, or see if I had a guitar or other tell-tale symbol.

“It’s really him.”

“I knew it!”

He squealed like a school girl, then sat back and pointed at his companions, with some kind of “See! I told you so,” gesture.

My date smirked.

True story.


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