“So, what’s this girl’s name?” Bruce asked.
“Are you implying she might be fake?” I asked.
Bruce laughed. “No; I am just curious. How long ago did you meet her?”
I shrugged. “Three weeks… a month. Around there.”
After another solid hit, I quickly paused and told him exactly how I met Leia.
By the time I finished he was practically rolling on the ground laughing his head off. “Wow, that is some insane stuff. That’s crazy enough that it might be love. I feel like we are in some TV movie or something.”
I laughed as I swung on another pitch and connected, this time getting too much of the top and driving the ball hard to the ground. That might have been a run-it-out single if I turned on the speed in a real game.
“Yeah, but she is amazing. She is beautiful, smart, funny, and we have a lot of the same interests.”
“Wow, I am happy for you. Maybe one day I’ll find the right girl for me.”
Now it was my turn to laugh. “Mr. Perfectionist? I don’t think so.”
“What is that supposed to mean? Are you implying that I am too picky?”
I looked at him backing away from the plate. “You broke up with your last girlfriend because she didn’t like peanut butter.”
“Because that’s weird. I eat peanut butter on everything. I can’t have that. And I’ll have you know that she isn’t allergic to peanut butter. No, she just doesn’t like the taste. What kind of nonsense is that? Who doesn’t like peanut butter? That’s idiotic. It kind of got me thinking, what other weird things there might be about her.”
I missed the last ball because I was now laughing too hard. Bruce was hilarious. He reminded me so much of the George character from the sitcom Seinfeld. He was paranoid as could be about everything.
“Dude, that is crazy. So what if she doesn’t like peanut butter? You hear how nuts that sounds, right?”
Bruce shook his head as he tried to comprehend what I was telling him. Finally, he said, “No. That isn’t nuts at all.”
“Well, if you stop being so picky you might find a great woman in your life one day and I do wish you the best of luck there.”
“Thanks, man,” Bruce said.
I stepped out of the cage. Bruce was wearing his helmet and holding a bat. He now stepped inside and popped some coins into the slot.
“So, when do the rest of us get to meet this girl?” Bruce asked.
“Soon, I would think,” I said. “The relationship is very new. I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on it just yet.”
“Are you saying that we are pressure? Like you don’t think we will be nice to her or something?”
“No. I’m not saying that. I just think that during a new relationship you should really be heavy into it before you start joining each other’s larger social group.”
Bruce swung and missed his first pitch. “Shit!” Then he turned to me. “You are overthinking this.”
“It’s a science,” I said. “I’m sure of it. I’ve done massive amounts of reading and I’ve forced myself to watch daytime talk shows about it. I think I’ve got it figured out.”
I couldn’t keep from laughing. Sometimes I got on a roll and came up with some funny lines.
We continued about five rounds of batting practice each before calling it a day. As we started leaving I noticed the blonde girl checking me out again. Before I could even stop the words, I was flirting with her. “So, what did you think of my form?”
The girl giggled. I was now standing just behind the cage she and her sexy looking friend were using. Bruce was trying to occupy the other girl, doing his best to flirt with her (which he’d always been as clever as a caveman with) while I talked to the blonde girl. I knew it was stupid and it wasn’t something I even wanted to waste much time with. When there was no possibility of follow through I didn’t really see a lot of point to it. I was just going to make a comment and keep walking, but then the girl engaged me, leaning seductively against the cage.
“I thought you looked just fine,” she said. Her eyes dropped as she looked down towards my legs and then back up. Was she checking out my crotch? I wasn’t sure, but then again I was wearing my tight, athletic shorts. The beauty about Southern California—it was always shorts weather.
“I’m Ted,” I said.
“It’s very nice to meet you Sophie,” I said.
Then I began walking away somehow dragging myself towards my car. It was time to end this before it got too out of hand and I did something I really shouldn’t have. I had become a bit paranoid about doing anything to upset Leia or give her the wrong idea. Right now the relationship was new; it was fragile. It was far too unstable to upset this early. I had to keep playing the right cards in the right order and stay in the game.