Case #13 – Skovajsa: Dinner


I havea new general rule: Never trust a vampire to set up dinner.  I think this as I arrive at the Cosmopolitan Grill and Steakhouse downtown.  Skovajsa said 10PM.  #The fancy calligraphy on the door says they close at 10PM.  I check around me wary.  It’s been dark for more than an hour.  The most dangerous time of the evening.  But after a moment, the front door opens and I’m ushered in like some sort of royalty.

Escorted by a very happy, young, and overly exuberant waiter to the back room, I see Skovajsa stand from his seat as I arrive.

“You are here.”

“Yes.” I stand at my seat staring at him.  I have to say, even more so than the first time, he’s making an effort to impress.  His suit is elegantly tailored in black and maroon.  His dark looks are not unattractive but something in his demeanor reminds me again of my first impressions.  This time I remember the condition I was thinking of.  Aspergers.  I’d have to look it up later.

“Miss?” the waiter asks, impatiently.  Apparently, he’s been holding my chair back waiting for me.  I’m embarrassed and sitdown as he pushes my chair in.  Then, he tries to put my napkin in my lap I grab it from him and thank him.  He turns on his heel, mumbling about bread.  ‘Scuse me for not liking strange men’s hands in my lap.

Skovajsa remains standing, looking down at me almost as if I’m the main course.  “Please, there is wine.”

menuBoth wine and water glasses are full in front of me.  In fact, it’s a full spread, menu sitting, all glasses and forks and spoons.  I opt for the water, nearly choke as it’s mineral water.  He’s waiting for a response.  I nod, hiding a cough.  “Good.  Thank you.”

He smiles widely.  Then he sits, with a slight blur.  Hard to notice if you weren’t paying perfect attention.  He either is unaware of his overt vampire tells or doesn’t care.

“Thank you for meeting with me again.  Please, order whatever you would like.”

I must have a really twisted sense of humor to agree to meet a vampire, especially a Carpathian, in a steak house. Either that or a morbid sense of foreboding.  I decide not to shine his apple too much about the setup.  I notice Skovajsa staring at me.  He hasn’t moved his facial expression one bit.  I wonder if he is trying to influence me but I don’t feel any unease I usually get.

Thank you. Sounds like you’ve had some time to think about what it is I can help you with.”  I open the menu, but keep my peripheral vision on him.

He shifts in his chair.  “Yes. I have given it due thought.”

The overly exuberant waiter returns, seems to have found his dramatic thunder:  “Alrighty then. There is your wine, it’s an Opus One 2004 from Napa Valley.  An excellent choice.  We have some great and not so great specials on the menu tonight.  There’s a Dungeness Crab crusted halibut that I’m going to steer you clear of and a Duck prosciutto tomato salad that is just as effete as it sounds. Now pound for pound, the Rib Eye is still the best–.”

Before he winds himself up too much more, I simply ask: “Can I just get a steak salad?”

He looks aghast like I just licked my plate.  “The steak salad?”

“Yes, please.”

“Um, ok.  Very good.”

I’ve burst the waiter’s bubble again and he’s off to go patch and re-inflate.

 “I’m sorry.  You were saying.”

“Yes, I have given it due thought.”

Ok, I remember Carpathian’s being a bit slow but autistic?  I move my glasses, a salt cellar around out of scientific curiosity.  “Ok, what have you come up with?”

He ignores the movement, puts his elbows on the table, clasps his hands together.  “I want to know more about me.”  Oh brother.  He’s rehearsed this.  Maybe in a mirror.  “I want to know more about oscar_4others..ur..of my kind. To better know myself.” 

Yup, he’s been watching Oprah.  Didn’t she just do a piece on energy vampires?

I speak carefully, “Ok.  And what do you hope to accomplish from knowing yourself better?” 
 
I’ve stumped him for a moment.  Then:  “To become a better…to become better.”

Well, then, it probably makes sense to set up a session, have you tell me about yourself. See what we can uncover together.  How does that sound?  But a few ground rules.  I don’t talk  about other clients, not in specifics.  So don’t bother to ask. And no following or we’re done.  Understood?”

He suddenly looks ecstatic, like he’s picked the lotto numbers.  Or won an Oscar.  “Yes, I understand.  Yes.  This is good, right?”  He laughs. 

I sigh internally as the overly exuberant waiter returns with some sort of starter I didn’t order, ready to again win praise for exemplery service.  Hopefully all my meetings will be this easy.

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