I can’t remember with any real clarity why I consented to a date with Kenny.
There was something stupidly sexy about his wearing his Ray-Bans in the Four Seasons Hotel bar. And practically irresistible about the way he scowled when I, a stranger, liberally gave him shit about it.
I’m big on giving shit to men I don’t know.
I have no idea why, but it is by far my most successful means of accidental seduction.
Despite the scowl, Kenny was no exception.
“We have to meet again,” he was telling me by the time I decided to head back to my room.
“Is that right?”
“As soon as fucking possible.”
Oh, that’s right. He had a foul mouth.
“Thursday. At six. The Botanical Gardens. I’ll be there. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll be there, too.”
And I liked how demanding he was.
Just off the cuff, none of these were very good reasons to meet up again with dear Kenny, whom I knew not at all.
But this was back in December, when things were spiraling sickeningly out of control.
And I was trying very hard not to notice.
So I went.
Thursday. At six. The Botanical Gardens. He was there. So was I.
But not because I knew what was good for me.
Perhaps even because I wanted something that wasn’t.
Understandably, it’s very difficult, at a certain point, to know what I’m looking for in a man. But when all of the hell-on-wheels traits that Kenny exhibited at our first meeting went missing by our second, I knew we had failed.
Really. I wanted nothing to do with him without the rude, abrasive behavior.
And maybe it was sweet that Kenny wanted to share his favorite exotic plants with me. In fact, I’m sure it was. But I was just entirely immune to sweet at that point in time.
Sweet wasn’t part of what I needed.
I needed a chain link fence digging into my back. I needed the Ray-Ban’s back on. I needed that foul mouth breathing some hot, nasty words on me.
“The orchids are my favorite,” is what I got instead.
I sighed. He misinterpreted.
“They’re breath-taking, no? Such pristine beauty. Such lush, feminine flowers.”
“You know, the word orchid has a Greek derivation,” I said, meanly. “Which, roughly translated, means testicles.”
Kenny looked at me, then back at the orchids, then back at me.
“I don’t think so,” he said.
“Can we get a drink here?” I asked him.
“At the Botanical Gardens?”
“I think I’m going to go somewhere for a drink,” I told him.
I would have preferred to go alone.
I would have preferred to leave Kenny in his steamy scientific lair.
But things were just really not working in my favor that night.
“I’d go out with you again,” Kenny told me, as I was nearing the end of my second drink.
I stabbed my straw between the ice cubes and sipped until I made that vulgar used-up sound.
“Listen, Kenny. Don’t take this personally. But the next time you go to the bathroom, I’m going to sneak out the back door,” I told him.
“Are you serious?”
I was kind of hoping to get one more scowl, but instead Kenny looked confused, maybe even hurt.
Disappointed though I was, I softened a bit, and was even considering an apology, when Kenny hit me with this:
“You know, you could be awesome, like me and Macklemore.”
“I could be what?”
“But it’s pretty clear from your behavior that you have a meth problem.”
I was still trying to navigate the first comment.
Because it struck me as a real zinger.
But Kenny unabashedly confronting me about my alleged meth problem just moments after he’d suggested we go out again?
Off the map.
Just between you and me, I have a ton of problems. More than I can count, name, categorize. Some probably even have names with Greek derivations.
But meth addiction is so not one of them.
I watched him go. Borrowed a pen from the waitress.
“Dear Kenny, ” I wrote on my napkin. “Way to handle rejection.”
“You know, you’re kind of a bitch,” the waitress told me.
I looked at her.
Realized it was true.
Scrunched up the napkin.
And skulked out into the night.