Jean-Luc, The French pirate, is not named Jean-Luc. He’s, also, not a pirate. He’s a pilot. For some reason, my roommate and I thought pirate was funny. Calling him Jean-Luc was not meant to be funny, rather it was meant to be romantic. His actual name is dull and American dull…like Barney or Fred.
When I first spoke to him on the phone, I detected a trace of an accent. French? Hispanic? Subsequent times, we had a bad connection and his accent got thicker – Vichyssoise. When we arranged to meet, I was uncertain whether we were meeting at 4 or 5. Were we meeting at Cocoa Beach, Cocoa Village or at Coconuts? Somehow, I felt rude asking him to repeat himself and trusted in our cell phones to find one another. I DID know which day. I had that much narrowed down, despite the trace of Alsace.
We met at Ron Jon’s, the only place both of us knew we knew. I knew he wasn’t going to stand me up, because we called one another, triangulating. We were on the phone together as he walked up behind me. ”Don’t park there.” (I love a man in charge.) ”The free parking is there.” He pointed across the street and he got into the passenger seat of my car. (Ack! My car is a smelly mess.)
We walked towards the beach and along Alan Shepard park. I asked where we were going. Jean-Luc said he was following me. Not good judgment on his part. We stopped at a restaurant with live music coming from the deck above. Things were going swimmingly. He took my hand which normally makes me uncomfortable. Somehow, a man with confidence has the power to make me give way. I liked him immediately.
We talked. We walked the beach. We had dinner. We hot-tubbed and cold pool’d. Having no swimsuit, I just swam in my underthings, despite the security cameras. J-L’s biggest downfall is a horrendous taste in movies. We started watching an old Sam Elliott western – ‘Fight no never more…’ or something. Fortunately, we didn’t finish it.
When I left I must have been doing something (muttering, playing with my keys, muttering.) When I looked up, he was flashing those dimples and looking at me with amusement and affection. For a moment, those twinkly, blue eyes Christian Grey’d me. (My writing now is as weak as my knees were then.). I remember his expression clearly. I have no idea what I was doing that created the amused affection.
Three days later – insecurity kicks in. My imagination is working overtime – while I was at my job working overtime. Jean-Luc was not a pilot/pirate, but works as a fast food drive-in cashier. His French accent is faux. Not even his dimples are real. He’s blocked his profile. His phone was a disposable like the ones drug dealers use. I wondered had he existed.
I looked up his profile on line. There he was; a middle-aged balding man. I’ll give him his due — nice bod. ”Shit!” My looking up his profile becomes visible on HIS profile. I feel like a nudgenik. When he wrote me, it almost didn’t count. He was prompted. The message was canned. My only weapon to write back a breezy note. ’See how busy and happy I am?”
The moral of this story? Who the hell knows.