Something to Chew On

The Cheese Board Picker

His name was Sam.  He was a thin, lanky guy whose arms swayed like low hanging tree branches around his narrow chest.  He sported his hair perfectly disheveled, and donned well-worn converse sneakers.  And, in my cocktail-induced stupor he was—soooo charming.  He leaned in close in the crowded bar, and whispered sweet-nothings about physics and the state of commercial insurance brokerage into my ear.  His smile, which was more of a smirk, and framed by his pronounced cheekbones on either side, and his thick-framed glasses above, made me melt like a soft cheese on toasted bread.

This was it–I thought–I have found my man.

Sam accompanied us to the next bar–with dim lighting, a small menu, and bartenders with perfect bangs and sleeve tattoos (but with an odd number of men in sport coats, now that I think about it.)

I think I actually like him, I giggled to my gal pals on the bar stools next to me.  Is anyone else hungry?

Sam had been to the bar before, and was friendly with the bartender with the perfect bangs.  I gazed into Sam’s eyes and asked for his recommendation.

The cheese board is fantastic, he said.  I threw my little drunken hands up in the air!  I had grown wary of men who didn’t like cheese in recent years (among other ridiculous standards my friends and family chastise me for), and his recommendation made me giddy.

The cheese board took forever to come, as late night snacks always seem to do, and when the bartender with perfect bangs finally set the board down in front of us, we leaned in, eager to discover the identities of the assortment of cured meats and cheeses awaiting us.

I leaned over to Sam.  Please, help yourself.

His long, bony fingers lurched for the cheese board, and he hurriedly picked at its contents like a crow picks at road kill before the next car comes by.  He picked and picked and picked and picked as if he was scared to be caught in the act.  I sat on my bar stool just watching him.  Pick and pick and pick and pick and pick at the helpless little hunks of brie and gouda, candied pecans and my hazy infatuation with Sam, the cheese board picker, until it all was–gone.

The dim lights grew brighter in the bar, the unspoken reminder to girls on bar stools that it was time to go home.  I left Sam standing on the corner of a street I have since forgotten, his long, bony fingers held up in a befuddled wave, goodbye.


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