Keep it Humming

“Where are you?” he asked suspiciously.

“Uhhh … at work. Where did you think I’d be?” I answered, following up with a question of my own.

“What time are you leaving?”

“In about 30 minutes probably. What’s up?”

“I’d like you to spend my birthday with me. I’m gonna pick you up.”

“OK. What are we going to do? Do I need to go home and change? Where will we go?”

“What are you wearing?”

I described my causally chic outfit he told me it would be fine for what he planned. I smiled, excited about the opportunity to hang out in the city after a long day.

After wrapping up what I’d been working on, I packed up my things, and headed downstairs. I stepped onto the sidewalk of South Clark Street, looking to my left and right for his car. I didn’t see it and decided maybe he wasn’t as close to my building as he’d said he was.

Being patient was no problem. I was going to eat something other than Chipotle for dinner and, ideally, have a little fun afterwards. I adjusted the heavy bag hanging on my shoulder and leaned against the building next to people having the chatter those addicted to nicotine have. After about 10 minutes of holding my breath as long as I could in between gasps for air to avoid second-hand smoke, obsessing with “I hope I don’t smell like an ashtray” thoughts and looking at the no-one-will-ever-notice-it chipped polish on my left big toe, patience turned to anxiety, and I reached to call him.

My phone rang.

“Hello?” I answered. “I was just about to call you.”

“I’m sitting here waiting on you. I haven’t seen you,” he said.

“What are you driving, I’m standing outside now by the door, and I don’t see your car,” I said, as I slowly walked south on South Clark Street.

“I’m looking at you out the window. You look nice.”

“Please don’t tell me this is you in this Hummer,” I begged. My plea wasn’t a disingenuous one but one made because I hate Hummers; I hate limousines; and this was a white stretch Hummer.

He chuckled that, “how you like me now” chuckle and dragged out the words, “Yeahhh … that’s me.”

I embarrassingly climbed into the truck, after he got out and opened the door for me. There were multi-colored lights flashing on the black leather interior of the vehicle that could have accommodated 15 passengers, but we were the only two inside, except the white woman with bleach blonde hair, deep-set wrinkles and a raspy voice she undoubtedly acquired from years of smoking.

I tried to swallow my embarrassment. This was a kind gesture. Guy wanted to spend his birthday with me and he did what he thought would have made me swoon (it would have made most others): rent a superfluous vehicle for a night out on the town. it’s the thought that counts, right?

“So what are we going to do?”

“Go eat and then we’ll see,” he said.

“Sounds good. Eat where?”

“There are plenty places down here, but I want something good.”

The driver asked, “You ready to head to dinner?”

“Yes, we are.”

And off we drove. Curious about where we were going and taking deep breaths to simmer my embarrassment, I tried to relax and enjoy the ride. ’90s R&B played through the too-cheap-for-this-expensive-vehicle speakers and he chatted with Miss Ashtray Voice as she maneuvered the “truck” through the downtown streets of Chicago as if it was a Chrysler Crossfire. We passed all the restaurants I was familiar with, and I watched people stir on the sidewalks at dusk.

“We’re here. Let me turn around,” the drive said.

I didn’t see anything but Berry Chill until I saw the Chili’s and I mumbled to myself, “Chili’s?”

Yes, Chili’s. That’s where the white stretch Hummer dropped us off. Chili’s.

My stomach churned, so I only picked at the food I ordered and wondered if I’d have to pay for. The check came, he paid, and we headed to the Flavor Flav mobile.

“What do you wanna do now?” he asked.

“Oh, you didn’t have anything planned?”

“I just wanted to see what you wanted to do,” he said.

I lied, “Actually, I’m not feeling well. It might be best if I go home.”

“I’m sorry,” he droned. “You want me to take you? I have the car for the next couple hours. Or you can come back to my place and take a nap.”

This story would be juicier if I added the fact that during our dinner conversation he made disrespectful advances. But that’s not a fact. He didn’t make advances. He didn’t talk. At all, except to the server. But I suppose when you ask someone if they’ll be your girlfriend in the very first conversation you have, there’s not a lot left to say. (By the way, that’s a red flag: If someone asks you, “Will you be my girlfriend?” and they’re not being charming but serious when you’ve known them fewer than 24 hours, do not accept further advances. I promise you, it won’t work out.)

“Nah. Thank you, though. I think I’ll just take the train. It’ll be quicker, and I don’t want to screw up your birthday. Go somewhere else with someone for the next couple hours. Have fun,” was my response.

The driver took me to the train station. As I stepped out of the open door, he leaned into kiss me. I quickly kissed my hand and blew the invisible kiss over to him.”

“I’ll call you tonight and check on you.”

“Not tonight,” I directed. “I’ll probably be asleep.”

As I walked to the train platform humming Timbaland and One Republic’s “Apologize,” I had two thoughts, “I hope he never calls again” and “I should have ordered a chocolate chip paradise pie.” I didn’t get the pie, but what I did get was my identity stolen by him. Literally. And random hits to my credit report to this day. That’s a long story and another post.

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~ by MsInklination on February 21, 2010.

One Response to “Keep it Humming”

  1. WTH?!?! Now overlooking the sad replay of a teenager’s prom night (those are the only people I know who would have a stretch hummer at Chili’s) how in the world did this dude steal your identity? That’s the worst! I apologize for him. 😦 I can’t wait for part two of this post.

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