Freezing in good company

by Alice

Boston was cold. I kept trying to talk, but my cheeks were frozen. All I could do was laugh.

And then there were the socks. Or rather there weren’t socks. I was treading through the oldest cemeteries in America, wondering how long it would take for my toes to get frostbite in ballet flats with no socks. Paul Revere was probably never that unprepared. Though he also probably never wore ballet flats.

We decided to buy some socks for my feet. We walked into a bookstore, not to buy socks, but because it was on the way and we both seemed to gravitate toward the door. He suggested that it would be a good place to warm my feet, and though it had no fireplaces, I agreed. It had enough books to warm even the coldest of feet, I’m sure.

He and I wandered through shelves upon shelves in the same way we had wandered through graves upon graves, stopping to admire some, squinting at the odd names of others, and walking past some with hardly a second glance. I bought a couple, books that is, and one for him as well.

Then I bought socks. Pink of course. With warm toes we continued into the North End, where he was a wonderful tour guide, pointing out interesting things that he knew nothing about, and wandering aimlessly trying in vain to find that one thing about which he knew loads of random facts.

By the time the dinner kiss came around I was having a miserable feeling about having a great time.

“Shit,” I texted to Amanda. “I like him. I like him a lot.”

I’m not sure what I was expecting. To have a horrible time? To be completely awkward and want to leave to save my own continuing embarrassment? To feel stuck with someone I knew hardly anything about and realize I didn’t want to learn anything about him? But then why would I have come?

The guitar player in the restaurant sang an Italian song over our table — thanks to our over-involved waiter — and he continued to strum the final note until we kissed. We did, over the table.  It was a small table with a safety candle (fake flame) in an intimate setting — very close to the other diners.

I laughed. Boston was cold. But the company in Boston was warm and welcoming. I’m looking forward to seeing him again.