Average Conversation on a Date Relating to Recent Murder Trials

“Any man who I meet in a cheesesteak shop is all right by me.” Famous last words – I have sworn off cheesesteaks forever.

So I met this guy drunk off my face at some cheeseteak shop on the Upper East Side. He was tall and cute and a firefighter too. So in addition to cheesesteaks there was a uniform involved. I can’t recall what else was said – it’s quite possible I was too drunk to remember - but I didn’t need to know any more. We made a date for the next weekend.

That Saturday I meet up with my firefighter, excited at the idea of Korean fried chicken and some uniform action with a guy who was guaranteed to be in good shape, could help me when something in my apartment went wrong, and hook me up with my lifelong dream of riding around Manhattan on top of a fire truck.

I arrive first and sit down and see my firefighter look around the room a bit nervously before seeing me and coming over. “Cute,” I thought, “he’s nervous. I must look good today.”

We order drinks and then he looks at me seriously.

“I have to confess something.” He says. I think, o for the love of God, not again.

“You’re married.” I say, thinking he’s a douchbag and wondering how much fried chicken I can steal on his dime. He looks around nervously again and I’m sure it’s because this is such an awkward situation.

“No, I’m not married. It’s . . . something else.”

“So what is it?” I’m going through the scenarios . ..  hermaphrodite, STD, funny looking balls, wanted for murder, impotent . . . OMG will you look at that fried chicken, whatever it is, I’m getting a free dinner out of it.

“Well, I’m not really a fireman.” He says. That gives me pause. One third of my whole reason for hooking up with you just flew out the window. He looks around the room again, eyes darting back and forth, before speaking.

“I’m really a cop.” He finishes. Well, that’s ok. I mean, I’m only dating you for the uniform anyways, and one is just as good as another.

“That’s ok. I mean, fireman, cop, it’s all the same. Protect and serve and uniforms and stuff, right,” I say. “But why’d you pretend to be a fireman?”

It was a little weird, but I was sure there was some sort of explanation and it would be something to laugh about at our 50th wedding anniversary, or whenever I next hooked up with him.

“See,” he says, leaning in closely too me and lowering his voice. “I didn’t know if I could trust you.”

I laugh. “Didn’t know if you could trust me? What?” Now I’m confused. It sounds all sorts of ridiculous. What is this man talking about. Had he seen my Facebook profile? Just how drunk was I when I met him?

“I didn’t know if you were a spy.”

“ . . . “ That was my response. Because seriously, how do you respond to your date’s worry that you were a spy!

He scans the room again. I’m surprised his head hasn’t swiveled off his head at this point. “See I’m testifying in a case. A murder case.” He invades my personal space and I’m not sure if I’m gonna get out of this one alive. “It’s within the department.”

He goes quiet. Then he says, as seriously as he can,

“They’re watching me.”

In my head, I’m thinking, so let me get this straight. You think that this so- drunk-she-can barely stand-and her tube-top-accidentally-fell-down- chick you met in a nasty-ass cheesesteak shop on the UES was actually a SPY sent by your fellow cops because you are some paranoid deluded nutjob, so you lied about your job and are scaring the shit out of me, and I’m sorry but all the fried chicken in the world is not worth this crazy-town insanity so peace out, I don’t need you or your firetruck.

And let me tell you, I gave him a piece of my mind.

“O, that’s . . . so . . . crazy . . . I’m not a spy, hahaha . . . you’re so funny. . .  do you mind if we make this order of fried chicken to go?”


- From the desk of Liz B