A pleasant lunch

“So, do you live alone?” she asked me.

She and I sat outside on a warmish Friday, sharing lunch and finding out about each other. I was having delicious Thai red curry, with a lake of coconut milk and spices bathing chunks of pineapple and chicken and an island of white rice. It was disappearing fast. She poked at a plate of pad Thai noodles.

Was she too nervous to eat, or did she not like pad Thai? I couldn’t tell, and in my own nervousness I disallowed the more flattering answer.

“Yes, just me and a grumpy black cat,” I said.

Her dark eyes sparkled and she laughed. “See? I knew you had kids, after all!” Her long straight Latina-black hair half-hid her face.

I paused, fork in mid-trip to my mouth, and considered Smacky. “Hmmm. I guess he is like a kid sometimes.”

A kid with teeth and fangs that brings home snakes to play with. I didn’t mention that part. First dates are no place to mention snakes.