Chapter 15: Dr. Love

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I went to a bar alone. I’m not an alcoholic, nor do I frequent drinking establishments more often than a normal single 20-30 something woman. My friends had ditched on our plans to go out and I decided that I would Keep Calm and Carry On with the evening’s festivities by myself. I was being independent…or at least maintaining the appearance of being so.

The hole-in-the-wall bar was smoke-filled enough that I soon realized I probably shouldn’t have spent so long applying my makeup. I doubted anyone could see through the haze well enough to tell if my mascara was gloppy or not. I had just sat down and ordered a drink when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a fur-coat wearing African American gentleman giving me a wink from his corner spot at the bar.

My soon-to-be companion was a stand-out (to say the least) among the mostly plaid-shirt and jeans patrons of the small-town neighborhood watering hole. Dr. Love’s attire was this: fur coat, sunglasses, brimmed hat, several gold chains, leather vest, leather pants, and a gold ring on every finger. And he promptly strutted over to sit at the empty stool by my side. Perfect. My night out alone had lasted about 4 minutes.

He took off his sunglasses slowly and looked me up and down. “Are you single tonight? Because I am,” he said with a gold-toothed grin. I wondered how these people seem to find me. I told Dr. Love that my friends were probably going to come soon but I could talk with him for a bit. Lie Number One. He told me that I was the most beautiful thing that he had ever seen. And he should know because he “knows his white women.” I abruptly shared that my friend was calling and probably needed directions to the bar. Lie Number Two. I escaped outside, called my friend who bailed and told her that she sucked. She wished me luck with my situation, laughed, and then hung up.

I returned to my stool. “So what is your name ?” I asked. He grinned again.”Well Sugar, you can call me Dr. Love.” He asked me if I knew how to cook a mean dinner. Because his woman “best be needing to know how to flip a skillet.” He explained that he makes the money and his woman stays home. “And don’t you worry none. I’ll take good care of you. I even got me two houses. One’s a trailer…but it still counts.” I admired his optimism. Apparently my reaction was favorable enough for him to take our relationship a step further. Dr. Love asked what size ring I wore. Because he just happened to have this one here (as he produced a gold prize from his pocket) that he thought was “just about right for my sweet little finger.”

I said that I had to use the restroom. Lie Number Three. I spent a very long time in the stall pondering my escape route. When I returned, Dr. Love was getting more determined. He wanted to walk me to the parking lot so I could see his car. He described it as a “brown classic” just like him. In hopes of not ending up on the morning news, I said that my friend had called and we were going to another bar instead. Lie Number Four. He asked if he could come along. We could ride together in the brown classic. I said no thanks. He waved the vending-machine gold ring towards me and said with a sideways grin, “Sugar…you don’t know what you be missin…” I suppose that was true. I can’t say that I did know what I would be missing, but my curiosity was certainly outweighed by my common sense. I don’t like fur coats too much anyway.

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