Our first meeting was awkward, but curious. What else should it ever be?

Stephen, wearing his heavy black winter suit with giant lapels showed up a half an hour early and chose to sit under an umbrella far away from air conditioning in Jaffa Cafe’s patio.

After everyone arrived we moved into the more womb-like interior of the place.

Jaffa was a safe choice of venue. I didn’t know what to expect from this crowd. No one knew what to expect, so the items that we all brought were tame.

I brought the odd tool I found at the flea market two months ago ~ a scissor scoop thing worn down by years of use. No one seemed to be able to figure out what it was used for. Mila brought a collection of post-cards with surreal art. Elizabeth brought a pile of transparencies that belonged to someone who is most likely dead ~ images of Africa from the 40s or 50s. Stephen had old tokens made out of what felt like plastic, but were actually clay. Zelda and Kurt brought an odd kettle with things tucked inside.

It became apparent that we all should have brought our more unusual, uncomfortable things. We certainly enjoyed what we had, however, and poured over the pictures and postcards.

The awkwardness was still hovering over us when Mila leaned in towards me across the table and pointed out that she thought Stephen would make an amazing subject for an oil painting…perhaps nude in an old bathtub. I heartily agreed, but froze because Stephen was sitting right next to me; I was worried he would hear. My worries were over when Mila asked him straight out if he would be interested.

He blushed and said that he would be interested in posing only in a conservative professor’s gown.  Neither Mila nor I found that appealing, so he suggested that he be permitted to pose wearing something and not nothing.  Mila and I agreed and suggested perhaps a ti?  I see it being red, said Mila.  Stephen blushed again.

Off to a good start, we had our dinners and went on our way. 

Looking forward to the next meeting!


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