The Hook Up

A few weeks ago, I showed up to brunch at A. Bistro, one of my favorite restaurants, on time to meet up with three other black people. I was five minutes late. Another was 20 minutes. The other two (one of which was the host) strolled in casually 45 minutes later. I would have been mad at the host at least, (“I want to call you a nigga,” I said at 2:50 when he breezed in) but he brought two bottles of champagne to make up for his tardiness.

Then the second attendee walked in the spot in all his rock star glory. Aviators, a freshly shaved heard, and more than anything he had The Stance. After bustling to get through the heavy curtains blocking the breeze from the patrons, he swaggered in, stood in the middle of the restaurant like Kanye entering the Madison Square Garden stage and in slow motion, scanned the crowd soaking up the attention of every woman in the room.

I laughed. Because when you actually know the person who does that shit and watch the way people react, it’s just funny.

His entry caught the eye of at least one fluffy-headed patron and they spent the next five minutes looking back and forth. He guessed they’d met before or at least had friends in common. He was trying his best not to arrogantly assume that she was just that into him.

The more he looked, the more he liked what he saw. But he couldn’t figure out if he was familiar to her, or if she was interested. She was being too subtle with her glances. He is more or less clueless sometimes and only overt acts of interest make him notice.

“Uh, sweetness,” I explain. “She can’t be blatant. She doesn’t know if we’re together or not.”

“Good point.”

Until he can think of way to approach that will leave an impression, we decide to warm up with hot chocolate. It’s amazing. Extra chocolate-y with a cinnamon stick to boot. He’s still making google-y eyes across the room while I get on the phone to curse out folks for showing up 30 minutes late.

“I should send her a hot chocolate,” he says when I hang up the phone.


I nod.

“Sweet gesture. I’d like that.”

“You sure? That’s not corny?”


“Let me think about it.” (And they tell us we think too much.)

The other half of our party finally arrives and they too co-sign the hot chocolate idea. We’re keeping a watch on the table for when she finishes her meal so the beverage can be delivered at the right time. Somehow, we get lost in conversation, and forget to pay attention until we see the waitress taking a plastic bag to their table.

It’s now or never for the hot chocolate. He asks for a pen and a hot chocolate from the waitress and a piece of paper from me. He scribbles a note, which I ask to proofread before it’s delivered.

“Nah, I got this, D.” He’s back in swagger mode, which I guess you have to get in when you risk a possible rejection. I swear, I could not be a guy.

The waitress takes the beverage and the note across the room and it’s like time has slowed. She walks. We wait. She arrives at the table. We wait and watch. The girls do a squeal when the waitress explains where and why this hot chocolate has arrived. Whew. Mission accomplished.

They look over, we play it cool and look away. He’s in the corner seat, blocked by the curtains, so me and the person next to me give a play by play of what’s going on.

She’s cheesing. They’re looking over here. They’re laughing. Um…they are taking pictures of the hot chocolate. One looks over with a curious expression that asks, “who did this come from?” I point across the table. She nods and turns back around to discuss with the other ladies.

He is too pleased with himself now.

A few moments later, a note arrives via the waitress. He reads it and breaks out into a huge smile.

“What’s it say?” we want to know.

He looks at us like we’re crazy, then places it in his pocket. “It’s private.”

One of us guesses he note must have the number on it since there was that smile and he sees no need to write back. “My dude!” Dap all around… well at least the boys do.

The ladies leave, offering a flurry of goodbyes on their way out the door, but no stop at the table. The waitress comes by shortly after to ask what we are doing later and casually mentions that there are good drinks at Red Bamboo.

“You should go,” she suggests with a knowing look. “Might be fun.”

Twenty minutes later, we walk up to Red Bamboo. We spot her friends outside smoking, and we all just look at each other and laugh. Undoubtedly the subject of my boy’s affection is inside. We left a good tip, but the waitress deserved more for this one.

He walks in, spots Fluffy Hair at the bar, and takes a seat to properly introduce himself. When I bounced an hour and half later, they were still ‘saying hello.’


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