A name like yours makes me think of salt shakers and some silly actor. Scuffed up and smoke blown, like wearing jeans and a hoodie, easy with just a dash of a sly devil’s air. Yet there you graced those ash tray downtown walls in suit and tie, even while ill-fortuned men slump cough tired around you with broken bottles and crumpled paper bags.
Morton, the Steakhouse. An expensive pen lost in downtown Houston.
I park my car and feel robbed by the parking price, contemplate taking a bike next time but know I am just kidding myself. A black tee, dark jeans, a walk that I hope looks casual, street-like, does not bring confidence as I pass city steel eyes and some that fester of drugs. Step one, two! Faster.
Back in your shadow I feel a bit safer. I recall when I had found you online. I had thought you would be like movie dinners and comfort. Instead it was as if someone had wrapped a luxurious coat around me with diamond glitter smiles and crystal glass kisses. The part is big to play, but I flash a dazzle grin and tell the gentleman, “table for one, please.”
I am seated on a booth with a skin like a well-oiled black mamba. In the center of the table lay the figure of a sleeping pewter pig stabbed in the belly with a lazy light lamp. The pig was the only decor that struck me as out of place. Otherwise, tear-jeweled chandeliers crooned sandy lights on steel shade tables and marbled dark walls. To one side was a brightly lit room like a jeweler’s shelf displaying fine wines, and an earthy warmth resonated from the back as chefs worked from an open wall kitchen.
I watch as water falls into my glass, the ice clinking, the sound as crisp as the air of this finely tailored steakhouse. I take a sip and enjoy it, waiting for my order.
A lady with a voice like cookie spice.
I’ve a terrible tongue and a temper for two,
But everything I’ve got belongs to you.