Smooth Operator

Pekin Café North Park

Pekin Café North Park

“Let’s go outside. Let’s blow this joint. Let’s vamoose.”

“Sure. Let’s.”

Outside we turn east and walk toward 30th Street. The bus stop on the corner has benches that look like turned over wooden-toy blocks. Trees on the sidewalk are wrapped up with LCD Anaconda lights like in Disneyland’s Main Street. It’s the North Park I grew up in but it’s gentrified as all get-out. Times change and people with them. We check out the blue and white tiles on the entrance to the old Woolworth’s store. Every single couple surrounding us is holding hands. What’s wrong with me? Have I lost my dating game? Not by a long shot. I deftly use the opportunity of crossing 30th to take hold of her hand. Even after we reach the other curb, I don’t let go. Like Sade, I’m a Smooth Operator.

Now Mister Nervous is magically transformed to Mister Bold and Cool. Oh gosh, thank god for small miracles. But take advantage of them, they don’t always last.

So when I slip behind her and take her side, facing the street, doing the old Gentleman comes between the Lady and the Horses flicking Mud on her Dress Thing, at the same time, and not a second or half-second behind that move, I touch her with the tips of my fingers on the small of her back, gently, you understand, gently as a diaphanous butterfly wing. It’s one of those touches that can be perceived as light, but if you do it inexpertly, without the proper degree of suavity, is reacted to like an unwanted ton of Valentino’s sexual menace.

Not now. Not this magic moment.

She reacts as if it was the most natural move on the face of the earth. Oh sh*t, this is beautiful stuff. I love it. Somehow she sends me to my comfort zone instead of to my room.

Just look at her gorgeous mug, here under the street light. The pale luminous skin, the coal-dark hair, the crimson lips, so wet, so luscious, so inviting.

Oh gosh-golly, by George and all that. Momma, oh sweet Momma, come save your baby boy. He’s about to lose his virginity…again.

Life is suddenly fair. Life is suddenly sweet. Life is at once deliciously sanctified and caloric. Smooth Operator-Sade

©Steven Hunley 2014

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