One Boy, One Dragon…

17 Jul

The summer after I graduated from college, I returned home to Wisconsin for a few months before moving to Boston in the fall for graduate school.  I knew I needed to get a summer job, but had never had one before (wince), and my only experience was in theatre.  It wasn’t long before I found the perfect solution to my problem.  A new restaurant had just opened where all of the waiters were singers who performed onstage between their serving duties.  I called them up and scheduled an audition for that afternoon.  The restaurant was empty when I got there (they were only open for dinner) and I ended up singing for the owner and his head waiter.  I was hired the next day and started soon after.  My serving skills left a little something to be desired, but I usually won over the cranky old ladies with my Gershwin, Sondheim, and Schwartz repertoire.  The head waiter, “Aaron”, constantly complimented my singing.  He was more of a Kander and Ebb/Jason Robert Brown guy.   To this day, whenever Aaron is brought up around my mom, she exclaims “Yes, but he had a lovely voice!”

A brief synopsis of Aaron:  He was eight years my senior.   He was a big blonde musical theatre lover.  He owned a multitude of fleece outerwear.  His apartment smelled like the inside of an envelope.  He bought bags of frozen burger patties in bulk and kept them piled in his freezer next to his bottles of vodka.  His favorite movie was the one where that dude plays a piano on a ship.  His favorite musical was “JCS”, an abbreviation that confused me at first… but for those who didn’t attend the University of Jazz Hands, it stands for “Jesus Christ Superstar.”  He was ready for a full-blown relationship and I was still in party-mode from my senior year of college.

At the time, I would never admit that we were dating, but everyone else knew that’s exactly what was going on.  I mean, we were together most of the time and I seem to recall making out in the broom closet at work.  We also frequently carpooled to and from the restaurant, as he lived in my neighborhood.  I would always bring a book to read during down time at work.  One day, Aaron told me that he really liked the fact that I was a reader, and that he was going to start bringing a book, too.  The next day he showed up with a large meal deal from Wendy’s and a book that said “One Boy, One Dragon, Infinite Possibilities” on the cover.  I’ll never know if it was an “Eragon” spin-off or mystical erotica.

Here’s the part of the story I have denied for years and have only recently come to terms with:  Apparently, Aaron had some issue with his lease and had to move out of his apartment………… And into my mom’s basement.  (“Yes, but he had a lovely voice!”).   Now here’s where it gets good.  We began arguing pretty frequently, like you do when the person squatting in your mom’s basement wants a serious relationship with you.  Come on, I was 21 years old and freaking out about moving to the East Coast and starting grad school.  Not to mention getting funky on an air mattress didn’t sound very appealing to me.  Many of our arguments would take place in my car, while I was driving.  He could be very dramatic, and threatened on several occasions to leap out of my moving vehicle.  One day, we had picked up a large pizza and were en route to my friend’s house to watch a movie with her and her lover.  On the way there, Aaron announced that he loved me, and elaborated as to why he was the perfect man for me.  I’m sure I responded with something less than amenable… and the next thing I knew the passenger-side door flew open.  Aaron flung the pizza out of my moving car like a frisbee, then hurled himself out after it.  Looking in my rearview mirror, I saw the pizza box skidding down the street and Aaron’s body rolling after it like a bag of bricks.  I quickly made a U-turn to go see if he was OK because I had been going around 30mph, but he had run off into the night.  I also eyed the road for the pizza (I was really looking forward to that pie) but it was no where to be found.  I imagined he had run off with it and was now eating it, angry, bruised and bloodied in someone’s treehouse.  Later on, I found out that he had called my younger sister to come pick him up and bring him back to my mom’s basement.  The next day, Aaron showed up for work with bandages covering his knees and elbows.  Things were not the same after that, and I left for grad school a few weeks later.

I will say for Aaron that he is one of the most genuine people, and he has given me some of the best compliments I have ever received.  He is also the one who saved the day after I had an emotional meltdown at the grocery store that summer and lost my car keys somewhere in the produce section.  He picked me up from the store, calmed me down, and went back the next morning– eventually locating my keys buried under some tomatoes.

Speaking of tomatoes, I often wonder what became of that pizza… Oh well, no pizza could ever amount to the joy that recounting the story of the man who leapt from my moving vehicle has brought me over the years.

One Summer, One Thespian, Infinite Possibilities.

3 Responses to “One Boy, One Dragon…”

  1. Chelsea August 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Having recently embarked on an online dating journey, it’s become a hobby to compare my own stories to others’. I follow you on tumblr and found this blog as well. Basically, this is a bit of fan-mail! Love both your blogs, this entry in particular made me snort a little.

    Good luck with your dating adventures!

    • WhatsInTheBoxBlog August 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

      Thank you! Best of luck to you as well… let me know if you come across any gems.

      • unleashedchild August 27, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

        Thankfully (or unfortunately?), I haven’t come across anyone outrageous: just your run-of-the-mill ex-frat boy (it was an uncomfortable hour of drinking chai) and someone else who I’ve actually been seeing for a month or so.

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