There beside me was a figure as sad as I had seen beyond the movies. He was balding and badly in need of a shave. He was dressed in work pants and a sleeveless undershirt with a large mop of gray-black hair protruding from the top of it. His stomach spilled over his waist like dough overflowing in an oven.
I didn’t have to guess.
“C.W.,” I said. “What the hell are you up to?”
“What business is it of yours?” he said.
“None,” I said. “You are absolutely right. None at all.” I turned to watch the river, now at flood crest.
“If you must know,” he said. “I am waiting for a date.”
“A date. Is that so unbelievable?”
“Well,” I struggled for politeness and chose honesty instead. “Who would date you looking like that?”
“You would be surprised,” he said. “Some women look at the ‘inner-man’ and beyond superficial appearances.”
I nodded and turned back to the river as my lunch began to roil.
“I just may have found a soul-mate,” he said, brushing some cigar ashes off his stomach.’
“Yes, a soul-mate.”
And how did you happen to find this soul-mate?”
“On the internet,” he said. “They have sites where you can find a date.”
“You matched a date on the internet?”
“You have a problem with that?”
“No,” I said. “But didn’t you have to submit a photo?”
“The Falloonian Elders don’t allow me to publicize my own photo,” he said. “So I used one of yours.”
Now he had my attention. “You used my photo?”
“Yep,” he said. “And it took a long time, as you could imagine, but I finally got a hit.”
“And what was the attraction?”
|As close as I could get to reality|
“Attractive SWF wants man who is comfortable within himself, loves casual dress and good food, and isn’t hung up on physical appearances—who loves to share a smoke and then take long, romantic walks in the spring rain.”
“Don’t I look the part?” he asked.
I was already up and moving away.
“Don’t you want to see her happy face when she meets me?”
He yelled something else but I was already out of hearing range.