The Oh my dear God! Those eyes could melt titanium! kinda love that one finds in places like airports, retail stores and gas stations. The sort of youthful, downright childish lust that perpetually reminds all human beings that, well, our bodies were meant to respond to stimuli beyond the realm of the rational mind.
She handed me my coffee, smiled, and asked if I could wait a few seconds. She was about to take her break and asked if I had time to talk, split a muffin.
Of the tens of thousands of weary, caffeine-deprived travelers who'd passed through that Sky Harbor terminal Monday morning, I was the only one who'd pointed out that she had the most enchanting eyes.
Nobody had ever, EVER just randomly said that to her, and, well, my compliment made her smile more than the pushy New Yorker who, moments before, had insisted that her iced mocha was too cold and who wanted to complain to the corporate office...
Most guys, you see, don't use words like enchanting, to airport baristas or to any other woman, for that matter. Hell, I rarely use the damned word in casual conversation. Fucking hot is usually the most a guy - any guy - can muster from behind the veil of instantaneous libido.
I don't know why I said it, actually. The phrasing just spilled over my teeth and past my lips, into the air and through her hair, into her ears and brain.
And no, I wasn't the first guy to compliment her. I was, however, the first male under the age of 65, completely sober, to compliment her on something other than tits or ass - very few male customers had ever so much as talked to her face as she served up their lattes and cappuccinos.
I was in love, instantly, for a whopping 15 minutes. Knowing it wouldn't last, I tried to make the most of it, to cram the whole ritualistic courtship bullshit down into a lusty affair of casual conversation. We chatted, split a low-fat blueberry muffin, and then, like that, she took her enchanting eyes back behind the counter and went back to work.
C'est la vie, my friends. C'est la motherfucking vie.
Somehow, even though I live all the way on the other side of the continent, I ended up with a phone number and an email address scribbled onto a dirty napkin - in case, she said, I want to hang out or something next time I fly through Phoenix.
Go fucking me.
I spent the remainder of my hour-and-a-half layover wandering around the terminal, feeling like, well, a complete stud, shooting complete strangers the How you doin', baby?, the look so many guys tend to give off at times of personal satisfaction.
I made a complete ass of myself, I'm sure.
Pays to give a woman a compliment, though.
I've been digging through every crevice and crease in my laptop case since I flew out of Sky Harbor, hoping beyond all hope I didn't throw away that goddamn napkin.
I fly through Phoenix often, actually. And I've been known to accidentally miss connecting flights, simply to hang out or something.
- MORE -
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (ZP) -- He fidgeted with his boarding pass and passport as she explained the situation.
They'd taken one final holiday together, a trip to Florida and Georgia to visit friends. They broke up, officially, in Atlanta on New Year's Day, an amicable and supposedly mutual split after ten years of dating. It wasn't working for either of them and, well, they both knew it.
She took a drag off of her cigarette as we chatted, just outside of Douglas International Airport, hunkered down for our long layovers with cups of three-dollar coffee and our smuggled fire and tobacco. And he stood there, listening, hardly saying a word.
She added that she'd already moved into her own flat back in London, where they both worked, and that, well, she held know animosity towards the fact that he'd been sleeping with an Ethiopian/Briton colleague - she'd been seeing someone else, too.
Stereotypical Frenchwoman - cold and blunt in casual conversation like a German, nonchalant and whimsical like an Italian. Her English was more Canadian than British or American, a fact that she attributed to her years as a college student in Montreal.
The ex-boyfriend, a perfectly bronze Duala, originally from Cameroon, added that he, too, had studied in Montreal, that they had started dating in college and that, yes, it was a mutual breakup. He rolled his eyes and dug through his pockets for chewing gum - he was, he said, trying to quit smoking.
He seemed more than a little annoyed by the fact that she'd brought up his relationship with the Ethio-British coworker, that they'd broken up while on holiday, and that, well, everything was just peachy now that they were just good friends.
She and I talked for a good hour, until the time came for the pair to board their next flight - they were heading to up to New England to visit his brother, who she had also once dated...
And people say my love life is strange.
- MORE -
DAYTON, Ohio (ZP) -- For some Americans, college football is a religion.
And for some, that religion reaches well beyond the frontiers of faith, well into the realm of puritanical insanity.
"OH MY GOD! WHAT'S THE SCORE?!? ANYBODY KNOW THE SCORE?!? ARE THE BUCKS STILL LEADIN'?"
There is nothing quite like watching a very large man sprint across an airport terminal, sprinting for dear life and risking a massive coronary, the cold steel blue industrial carpeting slowing down every step with its damned gravitational friction.
And, no, by the time our plane had landed, the Buckeyes weren't still leadin'. They were headed, in fact, to that wretched little place, to where every overrated football team ends up, where the hype and fanaticism ends and the gridiron starts - a solid, painfully embarrassing loss.
A mere five minutes behind the Ohio State football maniac, a certain Louisiana State University alum, tired as he was, stopped to ask a lone custodian about the score of a certain national championship game.
And that LSU-educated librarian sighed when he heard the score, 24-10 at halftime. He really didn't give a shit about a silly football game. He was tired, still had an hour drive back to his Oxford Fucking Ohio apartment, and wasn't sure, exactly, where he'd left his pickup. When he got back into town, he planned on swinging by a pub to catch the last few minutes - if he wasn't too tired.
For those unfamiliar with the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) or American football, just think - Big Brother meets World Cup. It's less about true competition than your average pie-eating contest, a live-action role-playing game for the benefit of an army of obsessed fanboys and fangirls, a handful of overzealous boosters, and a few university financial planners.
Big Time College Football's "national championship" is nothing more than two teams playing in a game because several supercomputers and less-than-objective polls declared them worthy of a shot at a championship. One shouldn't put too much stock in a system designed around making sure the popular, well-funded schools get to sell more merchandise or to earn millions in television revenue.
Or, to put it another way, the BCS National Championship Game is nothing more than one big, sick joke, a disgrace to the spirit of athletic competition. And, well, the LSU Tigers would go on to wallop THE Ohio State University Buckeyes 38-24, becoming the first two-time big, sick joke BCS champion of the new century.
Yay. Geaux Tigers. Too bad there's not a playoff system beyond a few polls and a couple of statistical algorithms to back up that championship.
As the tired librarian made his way towards the baggage claim, he wondered aloud if the man realized how downright strange he looked, with his laptop case slapping against his girth, sweat pouring off his brow, as he raced towards an update and into the realm of hype addiction.
The woman next to the librarian laughed.
The fat man who'd just set a new Dayton International land-speed record was her husband.
She didn't see what the big deal was - her alma mater, Michigan, had won its bowl game the previous week - she liked football, sure, but forgot to watch her team's 41-35 win over the University of Florida. Instead, she'd spent New Year's Day shopping for new clothes for their grandchildren.
And for those who don't know, or who don't care, his Ohio State and her Michigan football squads have been duking it out since 1897, making the now annual meeting one of the oldest and most storied rivalries in North American sports history.
"Oh, this is mild. You should see him when Wolverines are in it. We don't speak for weeks. I can't even watch the game with him anymore..."
The librarian laughed nervously, grabbed his leather bag from the turnstile.
For some reason, as he drove home, he couldn't help but feel sorry for that poor woman.
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