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Blind Date

Copyright 2019 J.T. Evergreen

Published by J.T. Evergreen

at Smashwords

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Many thanks to Khris Lawrentz for his tireless proofreading.

Blind Date

As told by J.T. Townsend

I laughed when Tommy and Bert made the suggestion. We had been friends ever since I moved to San Francisco ten years earlier.

“I don’t need a blind date, guys.”

“Well, you need something. You’re not getting any younger, you know.” Tommy was being kind for a change.

"We'll go with you, like a double date." Bert cozied up to me and put his arm over my shoulder. "Please."

“Get away from me. I hate when you do that.” I turned away so he could not see me smiling.

“But is it working?” Bert persisted.

“Who is this guy and why is it so bloody important that I go out with him?” I probably should not have said that because they both moved in with more information about the man than I needed to know.

“Okay, his name is Charlie McDonald and he’s a real nice guy. So what? How old is he?”

“A few years older.” Tom was being evasive.

Then who?”

“Then you.”

“Tom, how many few years older? And don’t you dare lie to me.”

“Are you suggesting …”

“Yes, I am. You’ve manipulated the truth before to get me to do things I did not want to do.”

“Well, maybe eight or nine years.”

“Is it eight or is it nine?”

“It’s ten.” Bert added.

“Bert, for Christ’s sake.”

Bert smiled, wrinkled his nose, and whispered, “Ten.”

“Thank you, Bert. What else is there about him I’m not going to like?”

“Well, he’s a few pounds heavier than he should be.”

“Tom, I’m gonna kick your ass. How many pounds?”

“I don’t know. But he looks great.”

“Yeah, sure. I’ll just bet he does.”

“Come on, JT, it’s dinner and drinks, not a lifelong commitment.”

“Okay, maybe.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means, my fine-feathered friend … you’re going to pay for everything if you want me to go. And don’t look at me that way. You’ve got more money than you know what to do with.”

“And, how would you know that?”

“Bert told me.” I had to laugh at the expression that washed over his befuddled face.

He turned to his partner, “Bert. What the hell are you doing?”

“You’re the one pushing Charlie. I just thought I’d help it along a little.”

“Drinks, dinner, no sex, you pay, and I go home alone. What say you, Mr. Moneybags?” I had him cornered and I was enjoying every second of it.

He thought for a few seconds, “Okay.”





I gave Tom a big hug and told him to cheer up. “I’ll be on my best behavior.” Then I found out he had already made a reservation for the following Saturday at Boudin’s Bistro in the Embarcadero at eight. I yelled at him and then apologized when his face fell into his shoes. Bert was all smiles so I gave him a hug also.


I stepped onto the Powell Street cable car and arrived at the Aquatic Park cable car turnaround earlier than anticipated. It was a delicious evening. Walking through the Embarcadero always cheered me up – the lights, the people.

As I approached Boudin's, I saw someone sitting at the bar who fit the description of this Charlie McDonald. He was a big man leaning toward the beer he had in front of him. His head was down slightly. He looked up each time the front door opened and had the most lost expression on his face. He wasn't handsome by any means but he had an honest face which I liked. There was a vulnerable quality about him which I also noticed. I got the feeling he had never done this blind date thing before and was not enjoying it. Tom and Bert had probably railroaded him into doing it for whatever reason.

I was early and had planned on waiting outside until Bert and Tom arrived, but changed my mind. I wanted to meet this Charlie McDonald and put him at ease. As I walked in, his head turned. I looked at him and smiled. His face lit up when he saw me. He sat up, turned on his bar stool and gave me the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. He had braces on his teeth that glittered in the restaurant lights. I think my heart skipped a beat as I approached him and extended my hand, “Charlie?”

He stood up and took my hand, “Yeah.”

“I’m JT. I’m so happy to meet you. Tom and Bert told me all about you.”

“I’m glad to meet you, too.”

He was shy which I didn’t expect. “I guess the boys aren’t here yet.”

“No, they aren’t.”

“Why don’t I join you until they arrive?”

He smiled and sat down. I ordered a beer. He obviously was not a conversationalist so, I drew him out with small talk. He relaxed and seemed grateful. Then he hesitantly said, “Bert tells me you’re an architect.”

“Yes, I am.”

He smiled and looked at his beer bottle, “You design ‘em and I build ‘em.”

He was almost embarrassed to tell me he worked construction for a living. I jumped at the opportunity and began asking him all sorts of questions about his experience in the field. His shyness disappeared as we began to compare notes and ideas on the building process. He laughed when I told him how much I hated the permitting requirements. He could not have agreed with me more. I told him I was designing a private residence which brought on so many questions … I asked him if he would like to see where I was on the development of the plans.

He seemed put-off by the idea and the shyness returned, “Naw, that’s all right.”

"Charlie?" He looked at me. "I'd like you to see them. You have some good ideas. You might be able to help me out on a few things I'm stuck on. What say you?" That face of his lit up again and those braces sparkled. He nodded his head, "Yeah, I would like to see them."

“Well, come on. I’m gonna buy a couple loaves of sourdough bread, then let’s go to my place and check out those plans.”

“What about Bert and Tom?”

I laughed, “They’ll survive. Come on.” I bought the bread and we were on a Cable Car headed back to my place before I knew it. I laughed to myself when I thought of Bert and Tom walking into the Bistro looking for us. I turned my phone off.

I sliced the sourdough bread, pulled out a brick of cheese and a bottle of wine, spread the plans on the drawing board and watched Charlie come to life. He glowed as his mind went through every detail of the plans, asking all the right questions. He knew more than I suspected, in fact, he came up with some ideas I hadn't thought of.

It was two a.m. when he said he had to go.

“Charlie, it’s late. Let me fix up the day bed. Stay the night. If I know Tom and Bert, they’ll be at my front door bright and early looking for an explanation of what happened to us. You don’t want to miss that.”

He laughed, looked at his watch and agreed.

The smell of coffee brewing woke him around seven the next morning. He stumbled into the kitchen just as the doorbell rang. “See, what did I tell ya?” We both laughed as I went to answer the door.

"What the hell happened to you? And what's with your phone?" Tom practically yelled at me as he pushed his way in. Bert smiled knowingly as he drifted in behind Tom.

“I turned it off.”

“What the hell for?”

“Charlie’s in the kitchen, ask him.”

“What?” they both yelled at the same time.

I sliced the other loaf of sourdough, placed butter and sour cherry jam on the table and let them listen to Charlie who probably said more words than Tom or Bert had ever heard from him in one sitting. They glanced at me with questions I knew were running through their mischievous little minds, such as – ‘What the hell’s going on?’ and ‘Did the two of you make it in the sack?’ I just smiled and ignored them.

Charlie finally ran out of words. So, I suggested we all go to Boudin’s and have lunch, “And Tom’s paying.” He laughed and agreed.

As we rode the cable car back to the Embarcadero, listening to our talented conductor ring his bell, I watched Charlie and thought to myself what a treasure he turned out to be. I was glad Tom and Bert persuaded me to do the blind date thing. As for the sack question no one asked, I was beginning to warm up to the idea.

The End

Thank you reading this story. Here’s a little tune to send you on your way. Cheers, JT


About the Author J.T. Evergreen

OCCUPATION - Retired from the grind. Reflecting on successes, failures, and regrets. Exploring new aspects of self, writing that book which will get me an Oscar, staying out of trouble - well, small amounts of trouble are ok. Bringing joy into people's lives with random acts of kindness - the ones who aren't expecting it are the best.

ABOUT ME - Alone in blessed singleness. Wicked sense of humor, enjoy my own company, glad I'm not young any longer. I do miss the intimacy of being in love. Enjoy the possibilities of every moment, an imagination that won't quite, a master weaver - give away everything I make, excellent portrait painter, a national treasure - though no one agrees with me, a good listener, intuitive, a good conversationalist, avoid boredom and boring people at all costs - that's a career all by itself.

INTERESTS - Intelligent conversation: hard to come by these days, metaphysics, mysticism, my pups - Charlie, Max, and Bailey, seeing the funny side of life, going to Macy's at Christmas time - kicking Santa and punching an Elf. If I had a singing voice, which I don't, I would sing all of the time, wherever I was - even in WalMart. Wouldn't that be enchanting? When I receive the Oscar for the book I'm writing, I will have some baritone sing On A Clear Day, and I will lip sync his voice. It will wow the audience.

LOVES - Color and lots of it, strawberry jam, hiking up Yosemite Falls, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, sourdough bread, only made in San Francisco. Hearst Castle, Big Sur, sea air, Adams peanut butter, chocolate milk, rainy days, canaries singing, chocolate chip cookies my mother made, Greek yogurt with honey - oh, yum. Laughter. I make it a point of doing this many times a day.

HATES - Stupidity, insensitivity, bad table manners - come on, how difficult is it to hold a fork properly - it's not a shovel for God's sake. Snow, ice, slush, freeway traffic, lima beans - what was God thinking, sleepless nights, people who are late, texting - it's a cop-out, alcohol, red meat,

FAVORITE BOOKS - The Spiritual Journey of Joel S. Goldsmith.

FAVORITE MUSIC – Joplin’s Peachrine, Ahmad Jamal - Country Tour - the absolute best jazz - never tire of it. Someone Waits for You – Carly Simons, Helen Kane singing Button Up Your Overcoat and I Want to Be Bad – I relate to the lyrics. And the Tenor who sang Springtime for Hitler in the Zero Mostel version of The Producers. No one seems to know who he is. What a voice.

FAVORITE FILMS – The Celluloid Closet, Witness for the Prosecution, It Could Happen to You, Maltese Falcon, Inherit the Wind, 12 Angry Men, Harold and Maude, Murder on the Orient Express, Hope and Glory, Sorry Wrong Number, Speed, Practical Magic, Apollo 13, Where the Red Fern Grows, The original Producers - touch me, hold me - Estelle was terrific, and Zero - what can I say.

FAVORITE QUOTES – The poetry in writing is the illusion it creates: by me. Lord Chesterfield: “Sex: the pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable.” The saddest words of tongue or pen are these - It might have been - indeed they are. If you want to make a success out of old age, you better start now: my mother when I was 15. On a clear day, you really can see forever - you just have to look. I may be rancid butter, but I'm on your side of the bread. Inherit the Wind.

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,

Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,

Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

Omar Khayyam

Other books by J.T. Evergreen

Short Stories to Celebrate the New Year

Alone at the Beach 25 short stories to keep you company

Home Alone 8 Great Stories to keep you company

Born in the Twilight

Injun Summer


Short Stories for a Summer’s Day

Holiday Short Stories

With All My Love

Father Frederick Monahan

Shangri la, Stepping Stones to God

I’m Gay Mother – Get Over it

The Olde Book Shoppe

Naked Before God

The Italian Call Boy

The Silence of Healing

Death of a Pope Birth of Hope

The Best Short Stories Ever

My Love Affair with Father Tomas McTavish

Father Gibbon with Sister Mary Magda in development

I get choked up when I re-read some of my stories.

I’m told that’s a sign of being a good writer.

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Here’s a collection of tunes to send you on your way. Cheers, JT , , , , , ,

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