by Barbara Rose Brooker
I’m divorced, single and past sixty. Friends ﬁx me up with their rejects, or at dinner parties I ﬁnd myself sitting next to the newly divorced or widowed 80-year old boomer who wants to take me to Viagra Falls. Then a post-50 friend insists that I meet her friend, a 68-year old widower.
“He’s cool. Really great,” she insists. So Ian Fitzgerald suggests that we meet at the North Beach Café.
“How will I know you?” I ask.
“They say I look like Clint,” he says.
“Eastwood,” he snaps. ” I’m stopped all the time.”
When evening comes, a slight fog blowing over San Francisco, I walk to North Beach. The sky is full of stars, really pretty. I love San Francisco. I arrive at the restaurant and inside it’s dark and I have to blink a few times, trying to get my contact lenses in place. The air smells of cologne and whiskey. He said he’d be wearing a light blue sweater. I glance around and then I spot this man wearing a light blue cardigan sweater, the sleeves slightly rolled up, revealing strong tanned arms. He’s tall and thin as a spider, with a huge head of puffy tan hair, talking to this hottie looking blonde cocktail waitress. He’s wearing snug jeans and tennis shoes. He looks cool. He turns. I wave, as if I’ve just arrived, and hurry over to him.
“Hello. I’m Barbara?”
He stops ﬂirting with the girl and says, “Well, hello. You look better in person.”
”Whoopty-do,” I say.
We sit at a cocktail table and he orders a scotch over, telling me that he hasn’t had a drink in a long time. I have my usual Kettle One over ice martini, with three green olives, and we start talking… well, mostly he talks about how great he’s feeling, and what great shape he’s in, about his boat manufacture business, how he canoes over the rapids. And as he continues to brag about himself, his money, his boat awards, up close I’m sure his tan is a spray tan. Then he starts telling me how rotten his marriage was and now it’s time for Numero Uno, he repeats, pounding his chest.
“Do you rent or own?” he asks, popping a cashew into his mouth.
“I’m in a rent-control apartment.” He frowns. “My criteria this time is to be with a woman with money. I want her to have a coop, doorman, and a trust. I’m tired of footing the bill.”
“So how did your wife die?” I ask, thinking he’ll ﬁt into my series about widowers.
“Having her hair done. She was a baldie. She was having extensions put in and tripped on a cord. She was a klutz. Died from complications.”
“I’m not,” he snaps. “No sex. The woman was frigid. I tried to get along. I really did,” he says, his ﬁnger stirring the ice cubes in his drink. “I’m a deep person — highly sensitive. I want a woman who looks like Pamela Anderson with brains.”
“When did your wife die?”
“Three days ago,” he replies.
I glance at my watch. “Thanks for the drink, I have to go.”
“Hey, your share is twenty-two dollars. I’m generous to a fault, but I don’t know you.”
I drop the money and rush out of there, thinking that my one love is somewhere out there maybe in Cyberspace, but he’s there.