Triple Pisces—-Elaine Bonow
“Carrots, please. I’ll take 2 pounds of your sweetest organic carrots.” Belle Tucker asked her favorite green grocer. “I’m going to make some beautiful braised carrot for tonight’s dinner with butter, a little sugar and nutmeg.”
“Are you having a dinner party?” a man said who was standing a few steps away. Carrots, yellow, orange and purple poked out of his bag. He looked at her and smiled. He was on the tall side about six feet, skinny with a hipster beard, and dark glasses. He had on a close-to-his-head knit cap. His hair stuck out from under the cap and his long fingers were gloved. She liked what she saw.
“ Oh yes, I’m going to cook a vegetarian feast for my birthday.”
“A Pisces princess I see.”
“Well, what’s wrong with that?”
“Sorry girl, I didn’t mean that in a bad way. Actually I have a thing for you Pisces chicks, so sensitive and psychic.”
She looked him up and down and had to smile in spite of herself. “I’d better finish my shopping. I’ve got a lot of stuff to do.”
“Thanks for letting me interfere in your business.” As she turned to go a couple of carrots fell out of her bag. He rushed over in one step, swooped down just as she did and when he picked up the stray carrots they crashed heads.
“Ouch, that hurt,” she yelled loudly as she rubbed the top of her head.
He rubbed his chin and said, “That was a jaw dropping hit. I’m so sorry. Are you OK? Are you sure you’re alright?” He handed her the errant carrots. “I guess after that we should at least introduce ourselves. My name is Will and I’m a Pisces too. My birthday is March 1st and I’m a triple Pisces. I’m twenty-eight, well almost twenty-eight and….”
“ Don’t tell me you’re a musician too! She laughed.
“How did you know that?”
“Oh, I have my ways or maybe bumping heads gave me ESP.”
He laughed and when he did she noticed his straight white teeth and the well-defined shape of his mouth. She liked this.
The sun was shinning even though it was cold in Seattle, one of the last winter cold days. The Market was almost empty. The cobblestones echoed the stumbles of the regular habitués of Pike Place market life, the crafters, fishmongers, buskers and everyday shoppers. “Well, you were so right about my sign but I have a much deeper personality than just my birth sign.”
“Oh, you mean you are not so dreamy and depressed or a drug addict, eh?”
“No, I have a lot more going on than just stupid astrological generalizations.”
“Oh no, there I go again. I’m sorry once again. I’ll have to make it up to you, I’ll have to be nice and sweet to you. Do you want to have coffee with me, or something stronger? We can just pop into the Athenian. I won’t try and head butt you again and I’ll promise I won’t mention astrology any more. I have a book store downstairs. Everybody knows me. I’m actually a nice guy once you get to know me.”
She thought about his proposition. He was quite charming and he had a beautiful voice and she liked his smile. ”Ok, just for one coffee. I have to finish my shopping and get home to cook. “
They crossed over and ducked into the Athenian. There were no tourists this time of the year. The only customers were upstairs in the bar hunched over drinks. The only chatter was between the bartender and the one server who came right over and took their orders. The view from the Athenian is exquisite. The water of the Sound was deep turquoise and the Olympics were white with fresh powder. The standard fare of ferryboats went about the business of toting commuters to exurbian serenity,
“Let me introduce myself more formally than that terrible Glasgow handshake. My name is Will, short for William Anthony Grant. Let’s see, I could bore you a lot talking about myself but I don’t any idea who you are?”
“Well, you know my sign. Ah ha, I just got it. I know how you knew my sign. You heard me talking to Phil when I was buying the carrots. And I thought you just figured me out divinely!” She liked this repartee, his quickness, his directness and his smile made her feel buoyant and a little bit guilty.
My name FYI is Belle, Belle Tucker. It’s been very nice meeting you Will, even under these painful circumstances. It’s funny, I’ve never seen you around before and I am always shopping here at the Market.”
“Well, like I said. My shop is all the way down on the lower level and I am the only one working so I don’t surface often. Plus I park down in the parking lot under the Viaduct, and I just duck out the back way when I’m done, so I don’t really hang out up top. They talked easily over the two frosty mugs of Brew 66.
She took a sip of her beer. “I never drink during the day but these actually taste good. I guess I’ll be extra relaxed tonight.”
“Is it really your birthday? What are you going to cook?” he wanted to know more about this Belle girl. Hummm, he thought to himself, “what a pretty name for a pretty girl.” She was shorter than his six feet. Her skin was the color of a fine milk chocolate bar, Ghirardelli brown. Her lips were painted a rosy orange and those eyelashes were so long and thick she must have extensions like his sister. Her hair was braided into two long fat braids. He wanted to touch them, pet them and rub them on his face. He had to look away from her. He didn’t want her to think he was a pervert. The sun was going down. This time of the year the light lingered a bit longer each day waiting for spring.
She had felt his gaze as she rummaged around in her purse for her lipstick and mirror. Finding it she lightly patted on the lipstick and shut her purse. “I’d better get going it’s getting late and I still have a lot to do.”
“I still need to know what you are cooking for dinner besides braised carrots.”
“Well, I decided to be very French today as I am leaving for Paris in just a few days.”
“Are you kidding me? I have my confirmation email. Look at this. He pressed his phone got to his emails and showed her the one from Icelandic Air.”
“That’s so bizarre. I mean why with such a random encounter would I meet you right now. That’s so random.”
“What day are you leaving?”
“On my actual birthday March 2nd.”
“Thank god I’m leaving on the 10th. I mean I would be really freaked out if it was the same day.”
“No kidding but this is still too crazy. I guess we were destined to meet.”
“Here let’s exchange digits now. We have to meet up when we get to Paris.”
“For sure Will, I would like that very much.” This done they got up to leave. He touched her arm and she looked up and smiled.
He held on to her a little tighter and said, “I still don’t know what you’re cooking. I have to know before you go.”
“Portabellas en croute, scalloped potatoes, braised carrots and a green salad. And for desert a tarte tatin.”
“Damn girl, I wish I could come over tonight and help you celebrate. I have some good wine I could bring. ”
“No. You’ll have to wait. When we meet in Paris I’ll have you over for dinner and I’ll cook the same things.” He took her shoulders and pulled her to him and kissed her sweetly on both cheeks. She looked up at him eyelashes fluttering and whispered, “a la prochain Will. A bientot mon cher.”
This fancy French dinner would be bitter sweet tonight. She was getting ready to leave her old world behind, the house, the furniture and her husband of five years for a new life and she still hadn’t told him she was leaving him.