I met a young man on the riverwalk as I was cutting up with my cousin taking pictures in the Japanese fountain. I was posing like I was on a photo shoot with Tyra Banks… I mean I was fierce too.. but I wasn’t really dressed too fierce.. I had just straightened my hair and dyed it brown… It didn’t really take well…so it was rotweiler looking.. brown/black… I had on my glasses, a pair of denium capris and a tie dye shirt.. It had to be at least 100+ degrees out and we were trying to stay in the shade… nevertheless I know I was greasy looking.
SO… Here I am posing like I’m on America’s next top model in the fountain with no shoes on… and up walks a tall gentleman with a striped shirt and jeans on holding an enormously large cannon camera with a long lense on it.. He says
“Looks like you guys are having fun”..
I say “Yeah I am, but please don’t look at my fat”. What a thing to say… I’m crazy. “Where are you from”? As if I know everybody from Augusta.
“Italy”! my cousin and I say loudly in unison. Of course we are intrigued with a black dude who claims to be from Italy…
“How is it you are from Italy”…
“I’m in the military”
“Oh okay.. so how long are you stationed there”
I really didn’t look at him or notice his nice smile, firm frame and great manners because I was concentrating on Italy. I wanted to hear more about the country and it’s valleys, landscapes, festivals, skylines, sunsets, and living quarters. Afterall that is my dream vacation or summer home. Going to Italy and screaming “Stop the Bus” like Diane Lane in “Under the Tuscan Sun” is a dream for me. To live in a Tuscan villa and cook Italian food flawlessly is a goal. My villa will be in the US of course, but I want a little courtyard, a garden in the rear along with a pool, and mosaic tiles leading to a fountain is my goal.
I wanted to hear more. He told us about the butt cleaning thingy that they have in the restrooms in Italy, about the cities that he has visited, riding the trains, and the FOOD! I’m by no mean lost or looking for myself but I love it when Julia Roberts is in Italy in Eat, Pray, Love. The scene where she orders everyone’s food is just divine. One day that will be me. I already have a book with little stickers in it for Italian words, a set of Drive Time Italian CDs, and an Italian cookbook… I seem ready huh? ANYWHOO..
As I sat listening to him speak and seeing how he interacted as we drilled him on the ins and outs of Venice and other cities, he mentioned that he likes to go to these different places and take pictures. Often when I go out of town I enjoy taking pictures as my souvenirs instead of wasting money on a T-shirt or mug. I am a bit of a camera Natzi. I noticed he had a Cannon camera so that led to the “why do you have a Cannon camera. Why not a Nikkon”. I explained how I was going to purchase a Nikkon but my old manager who is a bit of a techinical junkie like me purchased a Cannon. Everyone I talked to that has a Cannon in some way or another recommends a Nikkon except for these two. He likes that Cannon and I must admit that he is a fantastic photographer. He showed me shots of city skylines and sunrises from Italy. I was impressed with the clarity.
We moved on to other topics such as the river, the kind of homes we wanted, retirement, etc. He was a great conversationalist. We ended up talking for about 3 hours down on that picnic bench. It was great.
He came to church with me on the following Wednesday night. (Gold Star for Marcus.. LOL- Boomerang Reference) I agreed to go on a date with him on that Thursday night.
The date was nice. He came to the door dressed very well in grey and charcoal. He had on a nice watch, nice shiny shoes, and had a fresh haircut. I felt under dressed. He opened all of the doors, pulled out all of the chairs, and was a perfect gentleman. He’s not from Augusta but he didn’t let that stop him from planning the date without asking me 1000 questions (trust I’ve been on those kind of dates adn they are frustartaing because I made decisions all day. It is nice to have someone just plan a good time with you in mind). He planned the date and programmed the directions in his GPS. All I had to do was ride.
Dinner was great! Carrabbas, an Italian restaraunt, was divine. We both tried different dishes and different appetizers. We had good conversation, laughed, listened and enjoyed each other’s company. He told me towards the end of the dinner (around 10:00) that we had to go if we wanted to go hear some jazz. JAZZ!!! A man after my heart… lol.. He found out where a jazz band was playing! It was at my old favorite downtown spot D-Timm’s (now the Blue Horse). The band was cool. I enjoyed laughing with him at the bongo player’s lack of rhythm. We got home at around 11:45 so he had me home before 12.