Having missed the last train to Dorkville, Bobby decided to hang out with me at the coffee shop where I worked — until the next train arrived.
Well not really hang out officially. More like send me imagined hugs and kisses and god only knows what else from upon the stool he spent a lot of time occupying at the lunch counter.
Bobby was 35, and I was 19. He was married to a 15-year-old (which was apparently legal in some states back then) but worst of all, Bobby had fallen hopelessly, helplessly in love with me after having misinterpreted my statement, may I take your order? to mean I love you Bobby!
From that point forward Bobby was in dorky-stalker Love with a capital L.
Bobby’s personality consisted entirely of him saying no way shape or form after everything.
He’d say: Do you know what time it is?
I’d say: 2:30
He’d say: No way shape or form! (only he’d draw out the word form like this: fo-ho-ho-horm!)
Or he’d say, “Can I get a cup of coffee?”
I’d say: “Do you take cream?”
He’d say: “No way shape or fo-ho-ho-horm.”
“I want to get you something for Valentines Day.” Bobby said to me one day.
“No please! BOBBY!! Listen to me!” I pleaded, “You’re married! It’s completely inappropriate! Please I beg of you. DO NOT GET ME ANYTHING FOR VALENTINES DAY!”
“No way shape or fo-ho-ho-horm.” Bobby sing-songed. “I’m getting you something anywho!”
Well sure enough, on Valentines day, during the busiest part of the lunch hour when the coffee shop was full, here comes Bobby waltzing through the restaurant making a beeline straight for me, his eyes shining brightly with dorky-stalker love, his thick coke-bottle glasses slightly askew in his excitement, carrying a two-and-a-half pound box of chocolates that had a huge story-book doll glued to the top of it.
All eyes and ears were ratcheted our way listening to the conversation that ensued:
Bobby: I brought you something, Sweetie! Happy Valentines day!
I said, “No I can’t take this Bobby! No! You need to give it to your wife.”
Bobby: “No way shape or fo-ho-ho-horm.” I already gave her one just like it!”
Embarrassed and defeated, I took the world’s largest box of chocolates from Bobby’s grubby little hands — but only because I was starting to hear some “oh how sweet ooh-ing and ahh-ing” coming from the lunch crowd. And I stuck it out of sight as quickly as I could before dissolving into a perfect puddle of Valentines Day humiliation.
I don’t remember what finally happened to Bobby. Maybe somebody shot him.
If so, we all know what his last words were.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Dear Readers, and may today and all your Valentines Days be Bobby-free!
Until next time . . . I love you (No . . no! Not you Bobby!)