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Even so, we shared enough similarities in our personal and professional lives that it felt as if, even as strangers, we’d been a part of each other’s social circles for many years. It could take just one strong drink for accidentally drunk and unwittingly aggressive Amy to rear her ugly head, and the bartenders at Longshots were too unpredictable to entrust with this very important first meeting.
I moused over his photo gallery and started clicking through. Drink in hand, I commandeered my usual position at Longshots: the overstuffed leather sofa in the back corner.
He had thick, dark curly hair and wore modern horn-rimmed glasses. You can’t make yourself that available.” But he’s so good-looking. It was dim but not too dark, and it was the one place in the bar that didn’t cast the kind of bad shadows that could add a week of sleepless nights plus another 20 years to my face.
I’d moved in closer to him and hadn’t once thought about my laptop or email rating system. The waiter came by and asked if Jay wanted to order a drink. He wasn’t interested in taking recommendations or even in asking my opinion.
Longshots offered an extensive menu with pages of specialty drinks and, in the back, several more pages of coffee roasts and flavors. He’d just filed his story, and he wanted to be alert in case the copy desk called with questions. I loved how, in contrast, Jay was so genuinely, naturally inquisitive.
“I’m looking for something that has a rich flavor, maybe even nutty or chocolaty,” he said. At least at Longshots, he wasn’t making assumptions.
Dozens of press-pass badges were hanging on his cubicle. I never stayed more than an hour and always made at least two trips to the bathroom.
In the next photo, he was out at an event, dressed in a black fitted shirt and dark slacks. Mench Tastic: I don’t have a lot of time to chat now. What do you think about getting drinks sometime this weekend? They must have suspected me of something, though they weren’t quite sure of what. A prostitute for men with a haggard-office-lady fetish? Just as I was taking a sip from my glass, I saw Mench Tastic walk through the door.