Monday, October 04, 2004

Old Dog

I went to the White Dog Cafe with my boy Willie. He's my junior by several years.

In Philadelphia, there aren't a lot of places to sit out doors and enjoy reasonably priced, well prepared food and enjoy the sort of snob beers I favor. White Dog is an institution, started in the turbulent 60's in a narrow row house smack in the middle of the U of Penn campus. The owner's successful defiance of university plans to raise the block gave her a notoriety she expanded as a local lefty agitator. An early success in Philly's Restaurant Renaissance in the 70's she is a now a comfortable contributor to many bleeding heart enterprises. She also serves a great burger 'till 1 A.M.

The distracted waitress brought the first round of beers, and eventually remembered to take our orders, soon producing Willie's chicken wings(Atkins), my steamed broccoli(low fat, low carbs). Our identical medium rare burgers, side salad, no buns(ditto). Another round of beers(alcoholism)arrived shortly after.

Willie considered me for a long moment. He teases, and scrutiny is a good sign that something's comming.

"Can't find your razor?"

He removed a celery stick he'd missed from his plate of wings. Willie has a strong distaste for celery ever since an adolescent incident involving a chubby counter girl in Wildwood New Jersey.

"Huh? No, I just haven't shaved in a couple of days. Why? You used to like Scruffy Ed "

Willie and I had dated awhile back. One night before going out we'd started play wrestling, which had gotten rougher, and then hotter. Afterwards, he lounged on the bed. Sex, food, and a mutual fascination for each's total alien otherness were really all that we'd had in common. Now the first had made us late for the second, we were starving, and had to pull ourselves together. I needed a shave, but didn't want to take the time for one.

"You're the one who has to look at me, which do you want, Clean Cut Ed, or Scruffy Ed?"

"Don't shave, I like Scruffy Ed. It's cute."

Cute. That was the best I ever got from Will, never made it to sexy. We jumped in the shower.

The plate now safely cleared of offending cruddite', Willie grinned, training his bright blue eyes on me. He reached over and rubbed my chin, his red eyebrows raised.

"It's not cute. If its grey."

"Uhhngh! You bitch!" I yelped, snapped up a celery stick and flipped it at his head. He dodged, it fell to the brick terrace, and we started to laugh. The waitress appeared.

"Can I get you guys anything else?"

"Yeah, two more beers, I replied, "and bring the check for youngster here, he's paying."
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