After what I deemed somewhat of a failure night, Smile‘s birthday gathering, I wasn’t exactly feeling positive (I’m told by some readers they were depressed after yesterday’s post as well). However, I wasn’t giving up or accepting defeat. I chalked it up to an off nights.
For the rest of the week, I didn’t reach out to him. I wanted to see if he’d reach out to me. Surprisingly enough, Smiles texted Friday afternoon. Maybe my friends were right. Maybe I was right to lay low and let him come to me. I hadn’t sent a message or made a phone call since I left him Wednesday night. He wrote, “How’s your Friday going?” I told him it was going well and inquired about his cleanse. We texted a bit before I jumped on the opportunity to confirm our plans to go to the Metropolitan Opera that Saturday.
I wrote, “Looking forward to seeing you tom night btw! Call me when you get a free minute so we can discuss details before you go comatose on me…”
He immediately called to clarify. We discussed the timing of his Ayawaska ceremony and the timing of the opera.
I remembered from our conversation earlier in the week, tickets were to Barber Saville. I went online and did some research. I’d never been to the opera before, so I didn’t want to look like a schmuck. In doing my research, I realized his timing of the show was off. “Is this Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Metropolitan Opera? If so, it looks like it’s at 1:00 tom…” I texted him.
I received a troubling response: “What. OMG! EEK! Let me look…” “Houston, we may have a problem!” I responded, “I gathered.”
He eventually called me back to offer a few possible solutions. He didn’t think he was going to be able to make the opera by 1:00 after being up all night, so the first was to give me the tickets, and I take someone else. The next was he gives the tickets to a friend if I don’t want them. I said, “Well obviously my first choice is to go with you. You don’t think you’re going to be able to make it?” He paused a moment, and responded, “Let me make a few phone calls to see how I’m going to be after this. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be wide awake and energized.” He hung up.
After about a half hour, he called back. He talked to someone who’d done it before, and they told him they weren’t sure how he’d feel afterwards, but it was quite possible he would be alert and want to go. They told him not to cancel his plans. So, our new plan was no plan. We were going to play it by ear.
That night around 8:00 I sent him a text saying, “Have fun tonight, and be safe ;).” I got a response at 4:16am. “Home safe. Should be good tomorrow. Home at 4am. Call you about 11.” It was a very happy text message to wake up to. I was thrilled. After thinking we wouldn’t get to go, I once again got excited about the date. No man has ever taken me to the opera before.
At 11:00, he called, and we discussed attire. We thought about grabbing brunch for a hot second until we realized we’d be late if we did. I came into the city, and we hopped on the subway up to Lincoln Center. We first grabbed the tickets, and then, instead of brunch, we settled on coffee at Starbucks.
We made our way back to the opera house and found our seats. We had great orchestra seats, but to get to them, this involved sneaking past a full row of elderly folks. As Smiles was passing one elderly fellow who didn’t stand for him to pass, the man got overly excited about someone passing in front of him and began to make a fuss asking Smiles to wait for him to stand. In the meantime, the elderly man began to have a coughing fit followed by apologizes for the next ten minutes. I was thrilled there was at least one seat between myself and this man. That is, until the show was about to begin, and he wanted a better view and scooted over – still coughing, still apologizing.
He wasn’t even there after a few minutes in my mind. I started to chat with Smiles. He was talking about a work project and the subject of his mother came up. Mid-story about her, he stopped and said, “Well, you’ll see if you ever get to meet her.” I was back on track! The fact that he was even entertaining the idea of me ever meeting his mother thrilled me! I was on cloud nine.
On top of that, he reached out his hand as the show began to hold mine. The birthday party night was well behind me. I now had a clear signal he was indeed interested in me. I could have melted into a puddle right there (it’s the little things for me obviously).
When intermission came, I had no idea everyone leaves the theater. We went outside and grabbed water at a nearby cafe. It was a gorgeous day, so we sat in the sun a minute commenting on all passersby. When it was time, we went back into the theater and watched the remainder of the opera. I was elated. It was a good show. I would definitely go back again, but it’s more of a once a year thing, whereas Broadway is a few times a year thing. But, that wasn’t even what was making me so happy. I had a permanent smile.
Afterwards, we decided to grab early dinner. We crossed the street to hit up a sushi restaurant, only to find it closed. We settled on Cafe Fiorello’s next door. When the waitress approached, Smiles asked her what her name is and began chatting her up. This is something I noticed he does everywhere we go. I find it very attractive. However, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say he was flirting with her (he did used to date women as well). She was eating it up. Neither was a bad thing. I wasn’t off-put at all.
We shared a nice half bottle of white wine and ordered our food. When the waitress returned to tell me they no longer had any lamb in the restaurant, I ordered my second choice. Smiles cut in and said, “You should inform the maître d’ we are outraged there is no lamb, and he should give us another half bottle of wine.” She replied, “Since you guys are so great, I’ll see what I can do.” After she left, I commented on how I was impressed by his effort.
When she came back to check on us, she said, “He said no to the bottle of wine, but I’m there’s something I can do for you instead.” He again thanked her with his charming smile. I said, “We’ll prob get a free desert or something.” He noted, “Oh, we’ll get something. You’ll learn I don’t give up. This is fun for me.”
Shortly thereafter, she returned with two glasses of champagne for us. I was duly impressed. He was a smooth talker. He really worked his magic. With that, we cheers to actually making it to the opera.
We were our waitress’ last table, so we closed our check so she could cut out. “You guys are my favorite table of the day. I love you guys!” she exclaimed. Although he argued against it, I picked up the tab since he provided the opera tickets. As I forced my card into the waitresses hand and told her to scram before he could get his out, he appreciated the gesture. As we were finishing our champagne, Smiles pulled out his phone and was looking for something. I asked him what he was trying to find. He noted there was a store in the neighborhood he wanted to stop in. I asked which because I was decently familiar with the neighborhood. He wouldn’t tell me. It was a big secret. I love surprises, so I didn’t push the issue.
We began to walk up the street. I had no idea what was coming next or where we were headed since he was being secretive, but I had a feeling I was going to like it. But, that’s another post for another day…Follow @onegayatatime