16 Jul

I must have been a fright for the man in lockstep with me as I exited Cosi being as trussed as I am looking, I feel, askance and threatening. Smiles on go so far as do arm heights at this point. But I have found telling staring little girls that my crown slipped down around the neck makes them ‘understand’ and seguy into talking about fingernail color and curls… ours.

The man was tall and, well, tall. Being around the District one knows as expertly that camouflage means military that black top and tan pants means…. Shhhh. The gun and the 9” stick were dead giveaways. The gun was obvious, the 9” stick was… a girl’s best friend? Somehow I don’t think so. Tase me bro’, tase me. His partner was shorter and a suit without his jacket. Does beefcake and weenie describe the pair best? If I hit the doorstep when they did that meant they did the heavy lifting. Best I could handle was the Rite Aid plastic bag and my cup, filled with coffee that is. My style. Cosi’s around the world have learned how easy it is to please this redhead…. A cup of moo with a little bit of Java.

I know, I know, girls aren’t supposed to be speaking to strangers but we do, we marry them, we divorce them, we date them, we understand why other women divorced them and we stay hopeful, go figure. Already had checked out the fourth digi on the left hand. Bare. Naked. Been around abit to know that means nothing. Ring on. Ring off. Men, women usually find reasons to excuse pants on, pants off. This lockstep conversation wasn’t going that far. It carried only until the corner of McCormick and Schmick.

A lot of life got filled in between one crossing light to the next. Love it when a man’s eyes pops open when I share my skills. Not those. Wink. Never PDAs on public streets. One never knows when a discretion goes viral or the discretionee goes, well, usually displays the reason their woman divorced them. Somethings are best left private. In the block lock, it was revealed the suit might be better protected by me than by the gun. One sees the gun coming. One rarely sees a woman who listens. Eyes most often don’t make it above the belly and below the neck. That’s ok. Erin Brocovitch taught us how, “they’re boobs, Jack, boobs.”

And once upon a half a century old life, I was the Babe In The Backless Red Dress my boss sent out knowing I listened and that I trotted back with what he needed to know. He would ask why. Two explanations. I was truly interested about things I don’t know. I learned. I asked. The Mom’s voice that on a low monotone firmly said things like ‘put that down NOW” or “come with me NOW.” Worked too many times. Fave story remains the woman who crashed a party, something she had a reputation for doing. The suits were obvious. My boss said, “Get her.” And I did. Of course, everyone at the table looked at me like I was skinning a cat alive the way this done to the 9’s old lady was going on, one look from me at the Mayor, at her, at the door, a nod… he sat quiet, the table took his lead, as I had my collar, so to speak.

Another factor was, I remembered. Details. To this day that does intimidate some men. When I am asked if I am profiling them, I find it answer enough to look over my lenses and ask, ‘should I?” Now, let me tell you these skills don’t often translate over in to personal life. Why? I trust. I want. I find reasons to believe. Yeah, I guess it is something about Daddy too. I know whose my daddy. I know I vowed to be better. He was good. Just, that once upon a lifetime he was a child too.

The Babe In The Backless Red Dress was my boss’ secret weapon. I mean, send out a bunch of suits wired with noticeable cording behind the ear, hello. That is about as discrete as the NSA sign outside the NSA or the CIA sign outside the CIA. It’s an amber alert to make sure if something bad was to be done, these are the men to watch out for. And they did. My wire got tucked behind my flowing hair. No one saw me coming. And, being younger and fitter before gravity hit, with my badunka dunk, I hear it to this day, they watch me going. So, I am told sometimes to the point of embarrassment. That happens at the point the guy becomes the wolf salivating over Jessica Rabbit.

The gun and the suit were intrigued. I shared the story of my interview at The Mansion. Yes that one. And yes, they asked. I answered. And the story is short. A party or two there as a guest, I knew it wasn’t for me. I said thank you but no and I was on a plane to England. And eventually on a plane to Dubai. I had my Natasha offer. Something about sheiks. They had a hard time believing some women did care about studs- the four legged kind for me. I was told I was daft. That the prince that was enamored with me was good for baubles and princely gifts. I laugh. I was dumb. Didn’t think of it then. Why not now. Truth. All I was enamored with her horse, horse and more horse. It was a romp.

Of course there is more to the story. And of course, there is evidence… not the dress. I kept it forever. But life happens causing there to be more back than a memory wants to be reminded of. That dress that brought adventure, cost all of $50 on sale down from $250 at Macys well over a decade ago. My mom taught me one could dress for $5000 and look like $50 or one could dress for $5o and look like $5000. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so camera shy. But I was. I still have the bunny ear note with my contact’s number on it…. A grandchild story one day if they care to listen. And stories… some will get told. Others? Well….

Sometimes moments go deeper… even for The Babe In The Backless Red Dress. Those memories? She protects….


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