Some Old School Romance


Date night for Rajul means candle light and crossed fingers- sans cynicism.

I have forgotten all about romance.

I don't remember what it tastes like, what the sensation does to my stomach, my knees, or my soul. So this week, I'm writing my blog entry in a notepad with an actual pen. I'll retype it later as I struggle, I'm sure to decipher my anguished scrawl. For now, I want to bring back the rawness of romance. Smooth, like cheap, gooey ballpoint on lined paper.

Today, I got a couple of tickets to tomorrow's Raphael Saadiq concert at SOB's in Soho. He's one of my very favorite artists – a true neo-soul icon, with a voice and a style reminiscent of Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, etc…you know, those guys who really knew about love.

Hey, I'm not saying these old school R&B guys knew jack shit about sustaining a healthy and successful relationship. I'm just saying they felt something real and articulated it quite well. Isn't that really all that matters?

So I'm having kind of a stressful day other than the tickets. I'm in over my head on this assignment and wallowing in some woe-is-me self-doubt. I basically want to dig my boxing gloves out and go ten rounds with a punching bag at the gym. Only I can't find my gloves. And the punching anything bare-fisted should only be done after a certain level of intoxication, don’t you agree?

Anyway, a couple of hours ago, in the midst of this emotional waterbed, I felt something stupid coming on. You know when you're about to do something stupid but at times like this, some of us get desperate for a distraction. So I look at my cell phone. Looks innocent enough. And then I pick it up and call this guy Shawn, who has asked me out twice in the past week, but I happen to KNOW is not good for me right now. No fatal flaws, just a track record of being childish and a bit self-centered (I know, I know, I'm not exactly Mother Theresa).

"Wow, it's good to hear from you," he says.

Cutting straight to the point, I reply "Yes, so do you like Raphael Saadiq?"

"I do…I actually really do."

"Would you like to accompany me to a concert he's doing tomorrow night? I have some tickets."

"Yea, that sounds awesome…"

I promised to call him the next day with details and then hang up. And then immediately asked myself what the hell I just did. I knew he liked this singer. Could it be that I want to have…some type of romance with this Shawn kid?

A more accurate take might be the fact that this music means something to me. This particular musician is like Hennessey for the soul and I want someone else to feel the same way so we can both get "drunk".  I'm not expecting anything, really but if a candle-lit venue, sensual songs and some playful flirting sparks romance, I'm going to try to stop my cynical self from snuffing it out. After all, I owe it to Marvin, Al and Stevie since their love legacies never got snuffed out.