Another amusing thing that happened at Phoebe happened as we left. DEW and I were at the top of the steps when someone entering looked up the stairs at us. His eyes and mine met in an expression of surprised but somehow expectant recognition. In Phoebe that day I had seen only one person, Barbara O'C, whom I knew (besides AAC and DEW, of course). SMS wasn't in, worse luck. But somehow to see Geoff C for the first time in at least five years and something more like ten wasn't startling, and we grinned at each other
Geoff C. He had a piercing gaze, wild hair, and a penchant for patronizing Phoebe at an hour normal men his age should have had a job. One Christmas he gave me an asparagus pencil box. I don't remember when I learned about phallic symbols; probably much earlier than I began to notice them. A tall cylindrical box printed with asparagus, containing one dozen dark green pencils, presented with a red ribbon tied around it, which gift made SMS raise her left eyebrow in that way I so envied (my attempts to develop the same tic evolved into my habitual one-eyed wonder-gaze)(I think it's from David Letterman too). Perhaps she told Buller about this and that's why Buller dreamed about us having an illicit rendezvous at the 1782 Inn at Franklin (which was the setting of a similar story written by an Old Lyme woman who drove past it every week on the way to her creative writing class at UConn). I don't like to think what else might have inspired it.
We chatted for a minute. He hasn't lost that odd, piercing, disconcerting gaze (or the hair, or the odd penchant, for that matter). Now that I am no longer a tender young virginal thing, I probably wouldn't've been disconcerted except there was DEW, and I don't flirt with anybody when my grandmother's near.
As DEW and I walked out to
the car, I tried to explain Geoff. I used the word "flirt." I
skirted the term "freak." She said "I thought he was a something."
As we pulled out of the parking lot, I stopped when I heard a shout. Geoff
trotted up to the card. His business card--haha, he does have a job (at
the DEP or Coast Guard reserve or something, which also explains the income
without hours)--with his sister's number in Parker, Colorado. "I'll
be keeping that," I commented to DEW
as we continued on. She snorted.
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