He said he'd be wearing a green wool suit. I'm wearing a casual shirt and, thanks to Eatons' fragrance counter, a generous sampling of Jil Sander For Men. I spot him from behind, browsing the magazines, and begin to panic. That's not green, it's... olive-y taupe?
I introduce myself and suggest the Starbucks nearby.
I also pay, knowing he's come farther (by air, ostensibly for business). It's mid-afternoon on a sunny weekday and we have no trouble finding a table. As we sip (he: Low-Foam Latte; me: Tall Medium Drip) he mentions the mutual friend who suggested this meeting. I only nod, wondering whether this woman, the sister I never had, knows me at all. In twenty-seven years I've had two Short relationships, a smattering of Single-Shots, and a Venti heartbreak. But Grandes have proven elusive-straight, closeted, spoken for, or residing stateside. Now, I slip into interviewer mode, giving nothing away, only asking, asking. Childhood? College? Friends? Computer? (And shyly, with growing desperation) Astrology? IKEA? He punctuates his answers with increasingly frantic nodding. He looks scared. I compliment him on his watch so I can peek at the time.
When I run out of questions the silence is even worse.
Then I feel a breeze from the open window behind me, and with it a burst of elation, as when the end to something strenuous is suddenly, miraculously palpable.