#6 How Lunch With Thunder Went Terribly Wrong (Part I)
During a break at the gym Thunder leads me across the street to ‘his place’. One wouldn’t think such a sculpted man would go nuts for pastas and breads, but Thunder does. He says it’s one of the reasons why he works out so much: Thunder is an Italian food addict. His favorite sauces are puttanesca, rose, and pesto. I tell him I might know what pesto is, which makes Thunder laugh. He orders a plate of spaghetti with pesto, tells me it’s the best, and scoots it aside when I turn green. As it turns out I know what pesto is. Not a fan of pesto.
The owner of the restaurant, Taddeo, brings me a bottle of bubbly water to settle my stomach. Every time he moves a fragrant parfume of meatballs and Italian herbs float my way. Taddeo, talks with his hands. The water is the expensive, imported kind bottled in artistically uneven glass. Taddeo promises not to put it on Thunder’s tab.
I take a sip and watch Thunder’s face go completely expressionless. We were talking about music before hand. Just this month Thunder brougt a phonograph for his gym. The big boys at the weights prefer concerts by blues singers. Those doing circuit training like ragtime music. Grumble George, the sourpuss gym overseer, prefers traditional folk. Thunder lets George put on a single folk record once per day. George chooses the obscure ones. I try to pick up the conversation where we left off, “Aren’t all folk songs obscure?” Thunder isn’t responding.
He’s sweating. When I set the bottle of bubbly water down his eyes follow it. “Don’t get me wrong, “ he starts. “I like you. I do. We’ve been friends for not a long time now. I feel I can talk to you about anything, including that hair I can never reach. But . . .”
I look down at the bubbly water. In the bottom, sparkling like a megawatt smile, is a diamond ring. “Huh. You didn’t plan this?”