The Second Date, or “Jazz+Drinks=Tattoos”

Ok, loyal fans, here is the next installment in the Kev-Ang story. For those who read about the first date, you know that it was a frightening evening for both of us. ( https://angelamaskey.com/2011/12/29/teacher-becomes-the-student-the-first-date/ ) Our lunch the next day helped steer the wayward ship back on course to some extent, but I was still approaching this whole deal with caution.

I don’t count that Barberitos lunch as a date, because it was really just damage control. So what I consider to be the actual, official “second date”, is one I will call Jazz+drinks=tatoos. This is the night I realized there was some real potential for the two of us.

Kevin and I agreed to meet for drinks at Patridge Inn so that we could talk and listen to live jazz music. I got there first and waited hopefully. As soon as I saw him, I felt a ping in my heart. He was dressed in a tie and sport-coat, looking visibly uncomfortable, like a cat forced to wear a costume because  the crazy pet owner thinks it’s cute.

I cannot recall my drink of choice that night, as we had not been yet converted to the world of wine and margaritas. I know that his was Tom Collins. We enjoyed great conversation, for which the beverages only get partial credit. Kevin is just an easy person to talk to. He told me the story about how he found a sales clerk at Dillard’s to help him buy the outfit he was wearing, telling her that it was his first date in a long time, and he needed serious guidance to get the look coordinated just right. As if this story were not endearing enough, I was drawn in even more when at some point in the evening, he mentioned he had been thinking of getting a tattoo.

I was immediately intrigued and pleasantly surprised. I held out my watch to him and declared that now was the time to get his tattoo, right in this moment, with me. He didn’t even flinch. “Ok”, he said, “but I need to stop by my house first.” As it turned out, he wanted his first tattoo to be his son’s name, in his handwriting, and he had already gotten the 10-year old to write it out for him. So he needed to get that piece of paper. Kevin also wanted to get out of the coat and tie. It was time for the cat to shed the costume.

I loved that Kevin was willing to be so spontaneous. I was a new chickie in his life and he was letting me go with him to get his first tattoo. We went to the furnished house he rented after the divorce, a simple ranch set-up near the Augusta National. There he changed into more comfortable clothes and found the paper where his son Forrest had neatly written out his full name.

I  don’t recall how we selected the tattoo parlor on Wrightsboro Road, but I’m sure that Kenny as our artist was random chance. We would go back to see Kenny especially for Kev’s second tattoo, but that’s a story for another blog. Suffice it to say that we liked Kenny, finding him quite personable and obviously skilled enough for the simple tracing this first tattoo required.

Kevin wanted the tattoo on his chest, so Kenny had him take off his shirt and lay down on a chair which appeared frighteningly similar to the ones used in dentists offices. I snagged a stray stool off to the side and casually inched it closer to Kevin. He took the hint and rested his hand on my leg. I put my hand on his in a gesture of moral support, although there wasn’t too much pain, thanks to the aforementioned Tom Collins’.

In no time, Kev was permanently marked with the signature of a 10-year old. We both expressed satisfaction at Kenny’s work and Kevin put his shirt on over the now-bandaged area. The official second date was winding down, so we drove back to the Partridge Inn so that I could get my car and we could say good night.

Back at the upper level parking deck, there was a little awkwardness around the fact that he was determined to go for the kiss and I was determined to play it coy. He won, but would later express chagrin that he had to work so hard for it. He was right, of course. It should have been a natural end to the evening. After all, I had seen him shirtless in a dentists chair.

Driving home, I re-lived the evening in my mind, pleased with how it turned out. I had been on many dates in my life, but never one as unique as this. It appealed to my sense of adventure, as well as to my traditional side. Maybe one day in the far future Forrest will have a 10-year old of his own, and Kevin can add that child’s name to the other side. When he does, I will be right there, offering my moral support. I just hope Kevin takes the hint again and rests his hand on my leg.

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