What Would Captain Picard Do?
It took Kevin and Dan less than ten minutes to drive to Bella Vita Ristorante, a trendy little bistro with candlelight and a piano player playing Gershwin tunes and jazz standards. On the way over, Kevin gave Dan a running commentary on why he’d chosen Bella Vita Ristorante. He said it had good reviews and a good trend factor. You needed both to convince a woman that you were sincere. He’d read all about it in FHM Magazine. A restaurant like Bella Vita would no doubt work magic on a classy chick; take an un-classy chick like Easy Lady to a place like Bella Vita, Kevin had said, and not only would there be magic, but quite possibly an explosion of some kind.
“Bro,” Kevin had continued as they walked from the car to the front steps of the restaurant. “Un-classy women are easily turned-on by places with white tablecloths. I know this from years of practice. Take a chick like Easy Lady to a place with small tables and tuxedoed waiters and suddenly she’ll depend on you. She won’t know what to do or how to order, and that’s exactly what you need. Someone to depend on you.” Dan had nodded, though he felt more like what he needed was to be able to depend on himself.
Kevin grabbed the door and they stepped inside, waiting in the tiny hallway while they decided the logistics of the evening. “First off,” Kevin said, “We’ll eat here. I mean, you will. And the chick.” Kevin motioned to the hostess who nodded her head in support of his choice. It was a small table for two at the center of the restaurant which would put Easy Lady in the center of it all, and provide Kevin with a clear view of what was happening from the bar. He pulled out Dan’s chair. “Sit,” he ordered, and Dan sat down. “Dude, sit up straight. Come on. You’ve got a bit of a physique there. If you don’t sit up straight she’ll be able to tell that the only action you get is with your Rubik’s Cube.” Kevin took a closer look a Dan who was sweating profusely; little circles of sweat dyed dark burgundy rings under his armpits. Dan was hoping his brother wouldn’t notice.
“Dude, are you okay?” Kevin asked, staring at his armpits.
“Yes. Sure,” Dan said. He unfurled his napkin and hit his water glass. Kevin
leaned forward and quickly stopped the glass from falling. “I mean,” Dan continued, “Well, I’m sort of okay. I think I’m nervous or something.”
“Yeah. No shit, Sherlock. Look. Chill out. There’s no reason to lose your cool even before she gets here. I’ll sit right here at the bar, that way I can keep my eye on you and give you pointers if you start to crash and burn.”
“How are you going to give me pointers?” Dan asked, his voice shaking.
“Dude, are you sure you’re okay? You look all sweaty and shit.”
“I’m fine,” Dan said, trying in vain to adjust his tie. “I’m just a little out of practice.” Dan was more than a little out of practice. He felt like he’d never been on a date in his entire life. How had he managed to date Kim? He couldn’t even remember that far back and how he had seduced her. Although at some point he must have, since she’d moved in with him. It was harder than he thought to act cocky and self-assured like his brother. Walking into the restaurant, Dan felt immediately like he was interviewing for a job he had no qualifications for.
“Relax. I’ll help you out. That’s what brothers do, right? So,” Kevin said. “Remember baseball? Remember coach’s signal to slide home, steal second, and the rest of it?”
“Not exactly. I haven’t played since Little League.”
“Dude. Look. If you’re crashing and burning I’ll make this signal.” Kevin grabbed his left ear and jiggled it. “This means you need to get out of there and meet me in the back hallway and pronto. Now, if I do this…” He made a sliding motion with his hand. “It means this lady is into you and you can call for the bill and get out of here. You’re in for a homerun. I’ll hang out and give you guys an hour or so of one-on-one banging time before I come home.”
Dan tried very hard not to roll his eyes at the one-on-one banging time comment. His brother, though older than him and 34, was forever frozen as a sixteen-year-old fuck-up.
“One more thing,” Kevin said.
“Remember, just do what I would do and you’ll be fine.”
Dan nodded. It would make the night go faster and this lady wouldn’t care. It wasn’t like she was high-class material or anything. For one night, he’d see how his brother lived. Dan would succumb to his animal instincts and become a pig. He wouldn’t take advantage of the girl or anything; he’d just play with her, try to figure out how to unlock her, and then he’d go home. By eleven o’clock, he’d be in his boxer shorts eating cheese curls, and watching Star Trek. In other words, he’d be back where he belonged.
Kevin gave Dan a hard thump on the back, apparently for good luck and walked to the bar. Dan closed his eyes and tried to visualize himself as his brother. It wasn’t working.
In a flash, it came to Dan—a way that he could be smooth and assured. He wouldn’t act like his brother. Kevin was too crass for him. No. Dan would channel another man that he admired. Tonight, Dan would think “What Would Captain Picard Do?” Captain Picard: perhaps the greatest commander of any interstellar spaceship, who, even completely bald could make even aliens tremble with desire…or so he read on fansites. Yes. He would channel the leader of the Starship Enterprise thus ensuring that he could seduce this Easy Lady. It would take everything in him to do this, but he would make it so.
If you like this, please feel free to buy the real book on Amazon. Just do a search for "Tanya Eby" and you'll find 'Easy Does It' nestled in there between audiobooks. Why do this? Because Tanya is a struggling writer and it feels good to support artists.