I had me a real cowboy hat, and I felt proud. I had never really owned any kind of hat before now, but I felt like it was a part of me and that I belonged with Eze. This was going to be a great trip.
We pulled up to the cafē, and it was nothing special. I had lived here my entire life and never heard of this place before. Eze told me that cafē reminded him of a Lyle Lovett song “This Old Porch,” where he has a line about a plate of greasy enchiladas. I had no idea that he could actually be nostalgic too!
We sat down and I ordered a glass of sweet tea, and a glass of regular tea. Eze ordered a Coke with lime. I asked “Why Lime?”
He just smiled and said “Lime goes with everything Amigo!”
I knew there was some underlying meaning to that statement, because I didn’t have a clue as to what he really meant. I was sure that, in time, when I least expected it, I would find out.
The two girls from the insurance office walked in, and my God, they were beautiful. I was so caught up in panic mode that I did not even realize how pretty they were until right now.
They were both smiling and sat down with us. Eze said “Well hello ladies, we were just about to leave.”
The Mexican girl said “But wait, Eze, please don’t go. We really got here as fast as we could. It’s only been about twenty minutes! Please stay, don’t be mad at us. Is there any way we can make it up to you?”
He got that wry smile in the corner of his mouth that I was starting to pick up on. “I tell you what, if Pooh wants to stay, then we’ll stay. If he says go, we’re outta here!”
“What do ya think Pooh? Should we allow these ladies to buy us dinner, and take us dancing tonight?”
“Uh, yeah sure!” I got a stiff kick in my shin with his boot, and a new look that told me to slow down. “Well, I mean, I don’t know.” I had no idea what he wanted me to say. Of course I wanted to stay, they were beautiful.
“Oh Pooh, please! We can make it worth your while, please say that you’ll stay and have dinner with us!” the strawberry blonde one said as she put her arm around me and leaned her head onto my shoulder.
I was ready to just explode from excitement until Eze said “I don’t know about this. We don’t even know if you can dance, let alone what your names are!”
“Well, I am Gisela, and my friend is Pam” said the Mexican girl, “And of course we can dance! How about we eat first, then we can meet you at The Hall, around ten tonight?”
I swallowed hard now, because I had never danced a day in my life. It has always been difficult for me to know what to do around a woman, and tonight I would be expected to hold one, and lead her? I was in trouble and Eze knew it just by the sweat starting to form on my brow.
He just ignored me, because this was his way of having fun, and torturing me at the same time. “Well Pam, you already know me. That handsome man that you are leaning on is my friend Pooh. I call him that because he is naïve and innocent to most of the ways of the world, but he won’t be by the time we get back from the mountains!”
She just got a sly look in her eyes as she bit on her lower lip in the sexiest way that I had ever seen, and squeezed the inside of my thigh, “Well, if you’re Pooh, then I want to be Tigger, and pounce all over you! Oh my, I sure hope that you can dance, cause I can’t wait for tonight!”
Eze was nodding with approval as he turned to Gisela, “Looks like they have something going already. I sure hope that you’re ready for me to sweep you off your feet tonight, literally!”
“Really? You can really dance?” She said with an anticipation that I had rarely seen before.
“Ma’am, when I take you into my arms tonight, on that dance floor your feet won’t even touch the ground.”
We spent the next hour eating the best Mexican food that I have ever had, and talking about what had happened earlier. Eze was so charming and well-travelled. Everything that he said just rolled off of the tip of his tongue. He had their attention and they hung on every word. They couldn’t get enough.
Me, I was in panic mode. In just a few hours, I was going to embarrass myself once again, and lose the attention of yet another woman. How was I going to get out of this? I had nothing that I could talk about intelligently. I had never danced either. Pam would see right through everything and probably want Eze anyway!
He was right. How could I have lived so long and accomplished so little? It was like I was programmed to get up every morning at the same time, eat breakfast, shave, shower and go to class or work. I had a routine, everyday. My life was just a routine. It was ordinary. I couldn’t do what Eze did. He was confident and quick to act in everything.
Here we were, with two beautiful women that we just met, and he had convinced them to buy us dinner and ask us out dancing tonight. He did it without even knowing their names. That was amazing!
While I was groveling in my mind, Pam had finished eating and slid even closer to me than before. She laid her head down on my shoulder and was rubbing the inside of my thigh with her hand. She would give it a light squeeze every now and then.
I was climbing the walls! I never had a woman touch me like that, not even with the girls last night. This was wonderful and terrible all at the same time! What if she wanted to kiss me? What was I going to do? Last night was different. It seemed like everyone was kissing on everyone. Pam was different. She was sincere and I was in trouble, and knew it. I didn’t want the blue balls to happen again, and I was sure that there was no shower in the restrooms here.
I jumped up, “Ok Eze, we need to go now!”
Pam was surprised by my reaction, “But wait, you’re leaving already?”
Eze was a bit confused, but never showed it. He knew how to take control of a situation. “Yes, Miss Pam, and Miss Gisela, we have to go now. If you want our undivided attentions tonight, then we need to leave now so that we can finish preparing for our trip. Ten o’clock, right? We will see you there. Make sure that both of you are wearing something extra-sexy. We will be going high up into The Rockies, and at elevation, there won’t be any women to look at!”
“Thanks for the dinner!” I said with my voice cracking. I was an idiot, and I knew it.
Pam smiled again right at me. I smiled back as I walked into a chair. She put her hand over her mouth as she giggled, and then waved.
I was miserable.
Eze started laughing before we could even get into the truck. “You don’t know how to dance, do you?”
“Uh, well, you know…nope!”
“Yep, I figured as much! That’s okay, because you are now enrolled in Eze’s School of Life, and there won’t be anything easy about it! Class has already begun. By the time we see those two again you will be one of the best dancers there!”
“Yeah, right! How do you figure on that happening?”
“See, this is what I mean! Get in the truck, we have work to do!”
As we drove back to my mom’s house he continued, “I’m sure that your Ma did the best that she could, raising you by herself. It’s clear to me, and everyone else that you have never been around men! That’s not that men are better, just different!”
“We are expected to be able to do certain things, just like women are expected to do other things. Bring the two together, and they can do everything! That’s just how it was meant to be!”
Eze had a way of straight talking philosophy that actually made sense. It was obvious that he put a lot of thought into what he said, and he believed it. He lived it, and it showed.
“Confidence, Pooh! You don’t have any! Remember that confidence becomes competence. We need to get you a heaping spoonful of both before tonight!”
“How do we do that?” I asked weakly.
“You need to step up and let your pair drop, by God! How about you start by believing in yourself? Maybe you haven’t realized this yet, but you’re not stupid! We live in the greatest country in the world! Here, you can be anything that you want to be, you just have to work at it, and that’s what we’re going to do!”
“What do you mean, work at it?”
“We’re going dancing, right now! That is, as soon as we get cleaned up, and changed! Get on with it, go now!”