Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Service: * * * *
Food: * * *
Ambience: * *
Babe Count: * * * * *
Phone: +27 11 325 2727
Yup, the babe count is full to overflowing tonight. That's cos the babe sitting across from me is Jacqui. It's our meeting, the one where we hand things to each other and say goodbye. She's looking beautiful tonight, in a red-Japanese-sunburst-on-white cotton blouse, oriental-cut. "I bought it on the Woolworth's sale," she says.
We've both been crying intermittently since Jacqui arrived. But there are amazing amounts of love flowing between us. This woman really loves me, really finds me precious. And the same from me. We've hugged a few times. Touched each others hands. I've held her face.
I've got this little condom pouch in my cargo pants. It's right near the ankle, inconspicuous. And I've got it loaded tonight.
I reach in and pull out a candle. And a lighter. "I brought this in case they didn't have candles for us." And they certainly didn't. This place is VERY brightly lit.
When I asked the maitre d'hotel if he could perhaps dim the lights, he said, "Hmm. We don't have a dimmer, but I'll see what I can do. But, just out of curiosity, are you saying the restaurant is overlit?"
Jacqui lights the candle, and I breathe white light into it as she does so. Then I reach into my condom pocket and pull out a blue rectangle of glass. It's a piece of mosaic that's fallen off the wall of my block of flats. Jacqui's a Gaudi-lover, and has done a mosaic course, and is about to make a mosaic. As she realises what it is, and where it comes from, the tears flow again.
I hold it to my heart, and breathe light and love into it. I ask God to enter it, so that it may guide Jacqui on her search for her soul, and that she may be free. I kiss it three times and give it to her. She touches my face, smiles through the tears. "Thank you."
Yet another dipping into the pocket. A smooth, round, white pebble. Quartz. I do the same with it. "This one's just for you to keep somewhere, to remind you of me. The mosaic is for your next project."
All this while, the waiter is hovering. As Jacqui bursts into tears and reaches for a serviette, he braves the table. "Would you like to order?" he asks.
"No, not right now," I say. I'm also on the verge of crying.
Jacqui puts the stones in her bag. "I want to keep the energy in them," she says. And my floodgates break.
The maitre d arrives as I'm pressing a sodden serviette to my eyes. "Uh, sorry to, uh, interrupt. But, uhm, I'd like to offer you an hors-d'oeuvre on the house, just to keep you going till you order." He then goes on to describe it. Something to do with olives, bread, basil. I dunno. I'm crying. Leave me alone! Jacqui nods a yes to him, and he leaves.
The lights slide down a couple of notches. "That's strange," I say, and Jacqui's thinking the same thing.
"I thought they didn't have a dimmer," she says.
And we're onto some other topic. And I start to cry again. And the maitre d pops into my distorted field of vision. "Sorry to interrupt," he says, "but is this level of lighting now acceptable?"
I almost start laughing, but the sorrow's just a little too throaty for me. So I just blub while Jacqui says the lighting's cool. He leaves.
Then Jacqui starts crying for one reason or another. And the waiter appears with the hors-d'oeuvre. Jeeez. The service here would receive five stars, but only if they added a touch of sensitivity to the mix. As it is, four stars is a little generous, but that's okay, cos Jacqui and I are here in a loving space, and we're creating a beautiful breakup. So I'll be generous to the service. But I can't easily forgive the ambience. The lighting, even mysteriously dimmed a notch or two is still daylight-bright.
We talk about things. "Are you seeing anybody?" I ask.
"I don't think I'll be seeing anybody for a long time," she says. Then, "This poet of yours. I don't like the sound of her. I would like to request that you let me interview any of your potential lovers. You deserve only the best," she says.
I touch her arm, delicately, sincerely, tenderly. "That's you," I say.
So we yo-yo through our emotions, with the dude appearing as the tears break. Weird man.
My tuna salad is delicious, and superbly presented. It's just that the knot in my stomach is leaving me a tad un-hungry. Jacqui's ravioli is satisfying to her. I ask the waiter to put more than half of mine into a doggie bag. I'll have it for lunch tomorrow at work.
At the end of the evening, I tell Jacqui that I love her, and that I set her free. "This is what I wish for you," I say. "I wish for you to have a beautiful journey to finding your soul. And if you find a soulmate, I wish that your soul will recognise him as your home. I have found my soul's home, and she is you." She cries. For once, nobody comes to bother us.
"You're so generous, Roy. I feel amazed that you can say this after I've hurt you so badly."
I consider this. I say, "Jacqui, I don't really understand why we can't be together, but I'm coming to understand that you need to be where you are, and you need to have this space, and you need to be free. You've done nothing aimed at hurting me, and you're doing the right thing. For yourself. And if there's ever going to be a you and me, you're doing the right thing for us."
And the evening comes to an end. We pay, head out into the night, go to her car. Things of mine in the boot. It's freezing outside. Rain spitting. I offer her my jacket. "It'll give me an excuse to come visit," I say. We laugh. Part of what we've agreed is that we might go on Vitality-points-earning fitness walks together once a month or so. We'll keep contact. And we'll hold a space open so that our mutual friends don't need to be awkward about inviting us to functions.
We put the boxes in my boot. Hug one more time, both sobbing wildly. The cold is nudging Jacqui's nipples into my chest. I love these nipples. I love this woman. I want her! And we say goodbye, and get into our cars before the maitre d'hotel can find some reason to come into the cold-cold night to interrupt us again.