Memoir: Our First Date


In the previous installment, you learned how Tod struggled against my brusque manner and disinterest. Now find out what happened when he got me alone.

Our First Date

Tod didn't give up. Within a week or two, he hit on a plan I couldn't refuse. After work on Sunday, when the mall closed at 5, we'd go take photos on the South Side. Great idea, only it was early November and the sun set at 5:11 and by the time we'd closed up our shops, it was too dark to take pictures.

So we walked across the Smithfield Street Bridge and went to an artsy movie theatre downtown. I still believe that what we saw that night was the world's most boring and pretentious film. Some avant garde famous guy invites all his friends to make a movie about nothing. That's what it was. It was so bad that we left before it was over and to this day I cannot remember what it was called.

It was still early, so we cast around for something to do, but downtown Pittsburgh is not known as a spot of delight after five on a Sunday. No comment about when it might be a spot of delight--it did have its moments, but not on Sunday night.

Tod suggested that we go up to Mt Washington where he lived. I agreed, to his surprise, and we walked back through town and across the bridge to the incline. As we were threading our way through the unfamiliar streets of Mt. Washington, I mentioned that I'd never find my way back to catch my bus home. Tod paused a moment, cocked his head and said,

"I'm surprised you're coming with me. You really don't know anything about me. I could be insane. I could have a machete in my wall."

"I don't think so," I said, assessing his wraith-like face and innocent smile. "I doubt you have a machete in your wall. I'm pretty safe."

"I *do* have a machete in my wall, though!" he protested and we continued in this vein for the rest of the walk to Dilworth Street.

The second floor of #25 was definitely a bachelor apartment. It was a mess. Piles of pizza boxes sat in various corners. The rooms were dingy and smelled of unwashed laundry. There was a sofa in the kitchen. The refrigerator was taped shut and a warning in indelible marker threatened bad thing if it were opened. Tod explained that something had exploded in there and the mold had gone wild. The fridge hadn't been opened in months.

And there was a machete in the wall.

Tod spent the next hour or two playing me all the songs he liked--mostly things I've never heard of but I still have a great fondness for Allison Moyet's Ode to Boy.

Then the phone rang. It was Dave, the roommate who had planted the machete into the wall. He and Tod were old friends and Dave had mysteriously disappeared from the house a week before (after the machete incident). So there was much catching up to do. I listened with half an ear and kept an eye on my watch. Despite that, I missed my last bus.

So Tod & I stayed up all night, talking and laughing and listening to more music. I caught the first bus in the morning, took a quick bath at home and went to spend a day doing student teaching. Thankfully I had the night off from work.

But I had no respite.


>The fridge hadn't been opened in months.

Could explain why Tod was so skinny at the time..

I LOVE this story! Thanks for sharing it. More, more!!

Wonderful writing :)

you should really go full lenghth with this - portrait of a media tinker as
a young woman, or maybe kurious as a titel, but please give us more stories from your life before
Kristen's Japan.
come to think of it i should reread michael chabons "secrets of pittsburgh".

You have a wonderful memory for the dialogue; I can just hear you and Tod saying those things.

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  • Jonathan and Sachiko: You have a wonderful memory for the dialogue; I can read more
  • axel: you should really go full lenghth with this - portrait read more
  • gen: Wonderful writing :) read more
  • Jenn: I LOVE this story! Thanks for sharing it. More, more!! read more
  • T: >The fridge hadn't been opened in months. Could explain why read more