Off Line—Elaine Bonow

Off Line—Elaine Bonow

He may have been the most fascinating person I’ve ever known, but…He doesn’t seem to have an Internet fingerprint as far as I can tell.

What do you mean everyone is on the Internet right?

I only met him yesterday. I’ve looked but so far no real leads. And you know how paranoid I get of meeting anyone in person these days. It’s so personal.

How did you meet him? What did you do? Where were you?

I just went shopping at the Market, you know the Metropolitan. Since it is so nice out I was feeling really good. You know how you feel when everything just seems to be right.

Shit, I don’t think I’ve felt like that ever. You’re always so “Pollyanna” anyway. I don’t know how you can stand yourself.

Don’t be a hater. I can’t help myself. I got a little dressed up. I dug out that red sweater that shows off my boobs, put some lipstick on, let my hair down. And remember, it’s also almost Valentines Day.

Woo Hoo; I haven’t had a great date on a Valentines Day for ages. It’s been a long time singe Marko was around. Boy Oh Boy, did he treat me good, at least for the first couple of years.

Marko was a dick and you know it.

Yeah, but he was fun for a while. He spoiled me and then, ha ha ha, soiled me. But enough of that old crap. What happened, tell me and don’t leave anything out?

I was cruising the candy aisle and he actually backed into me. It was like a cheap intro to a porno.

That’s funny. Most of the time someone runs into you they are some kind of freak with spots or some old lady and her caretaker buying soup.

I didn’t think much of it or him at first. He was an older man; well not old I’d guess he might be around sixty. He is taller than me and looks like he is in decent shape. He was dressed all casual but not too young.

You’ve always had a daddy thing. Yo, remember that one old guy you hung out with, the one who loved going to the opera.

Yeah, Mr. Mike was fun. He took me to every single opera performance on the West Coast, San Francisco to BC. I just had to drive and he was happy. Plus we stayed at all the fancy hotels when we went even when we went to the opera here.

Too bad he passed. Glad he was doing something he loved. I’d like to be so lucky. Maybe I could find some one who wants to go on long walks on the beach and smell dandelions with the baby seals.

Girl, you are so cynical.

I think I am funny.

True that. Well, I was flustered because when he actually looked at me, I felt that tingly feeling, like, who is this guy and why haven’t I seen him before. I come here almost every day. I know everybody and they know me. I looked around, you know, looking for the wife or the children or his caretaker.

And? Was he alone? How did you talk to him or did he talk to you first? Or did you stalk him through the store, hiding behind coke displays and pretending to study the back of the olive cans.

He actually stopped me down the next aisle as we stumbled away from our initial crash. He didn’t even give me the usual lines; just that his name is Randy Butler, he plays piano for the symphony and ballet. He lives in an old Victorian apartment not far away, He’s single and straight he’s adventuresome and would like to get to know all about me.

Dang, that’s like a cocoa-for-cocoa-puffs kind of guy.

Hell yes! I thought so too but when we got to the counter all the clerks knew him by name and even asked him how the favorite ballet stars were doing, like they’d known him for a while.

Well, sounds legit and you say he wasn’t too doddering, too ugly or had bad breath?

No, no he seems very dignified and cool so I didn’t say no when he asked if I would like to get a coffee and talk. I’ve been so bored lately and it was such a nice day that I said yes.

That’s a fast turnaround. I’m glad it was broad daylight. You are usually so afraid of casual dating. I mean you going to coffee with him after knowing him for a good fifteen minutes is so strange.

I couldn’t help myself. Form the time we walked out of the store to the coffee shop I was more and more, how can I say it, enamored with him? He asked me all about myself and what I liked and he seemed to like the same things I did and more. He seemed to know so much about everything. Plus he had been everywhere plays all kinds of music on a ton of different instruments. He paints and writes poetry. He’s published for Christ’s sake.

But that’s only stuff he told you. How do you know he’s not so full of shit? I mean, girl, are you that naïve?

I thought about that but he was telling the truth I swear it. He just knew too much. He invited me to go to the opera with him and not only that said he would introduce me to everybody. We are going to meet at the backstage door tomorrow night before the show.

I must admit that this does sound promising. It sounds much better than meeting someone on OK Cupid like I do. You should have seen the lying profile of the last geek loser I met on line. Bah. Ick. Yeck.

That’s just what I thought. This has got to be innocent enough. I’ll be all right.

Right, unless he is a late blooming serial killer. The question is what should you do about not finding him on the web? I’m there. You’re there.

I know, I know. I checked Linkin, and Facebook, Twitter and Pinerest. Nothing. Do you think there could be anyone, anywhere that is not on line?

I have heard rumors about that but I’ve never met anyone off the grid.

Well, I think I’m going to take a chance. If you don’t hear from me after tomorrow just come look for me in the Twilight Zone.

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About bbcstudiowrites

This blog is me archiving the BBC Studio Writers Workshop.

Posted on February 17, 2015, in Fiction, Seattle, Short Stories. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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