Dinner and a Nudie

by Dillon Hayes

Keith strolled into the dimly lit restaurant, holding open each door on the way for his company.

“Formal attire only, sir,” said the host. Keith smiled and politely pointed at his feet – French silk socks and Italian leather shoes.

“Oh, excuse me, Mr…I apologize, what was the name on your reservation?”

“Howell, Keith, esquire. For two.”

“Yes, let me show to your table, Mr. Howell, esquire.”

Mr. Howell pulled out his guest’s chair, smiling at her as he did so. Her name was Marcia Kurtis back then, and Keith was feeling privileged to be in her presence. The two had first encountered in a less upscale setting a week ago.

“Thanks for bringing me here, Keith,” Marcia said. “It’s nice to see you outside of the bars, where we can be our normal, sober selves.”

“It’s no problem, really. I thought I should make it up to you after last weekend,” Keith said apologetically. After some gratuitous dancing on a stomach full of firewater, Keith needed to expel his contents. Marcia’s dress was ruined, and Keith felt better. He was in no state to coherently apologize then, and Marcia wasn’t in one to coherently accept an apology, either. The two called it a wash and exchanged phone numbers.

A very gaunt figure in a tuxedo approached Keith and Marcia’s table. “Good evening, Mr. Howell, esquire, and his lovely partner.” Keith was impressed at the personal service. “What will the two of you have to drink tonight?”

Freshly 21, Keith ordered a fine but reasonably-priced wine, assuring the waiter that his date, who was in fact only 20, had simply forgotten her identification but was certainly of legal age. Keith had a bit of a penchant for mischief in his youth. The suspicious but very poor and tip-needy waiter obliged, uncorking the bottle and pouring two glasses.

“Wow, Keith. That was so smooth,” Marcia gushed, sipping her wine. “So…I have to ask…how do you get away with it? I mean, being so naked.”

“I generally deflect this question,” Keith said, but he was feeling vulnerable and had already taken a few gulps of wine. “But I’ll answer it for you.”

Just as Keith was about to explain, a customer in a beige suit approached the table.

“Excuse me, sir,” the restaurant patron began with malice. “I brought my family here with the intent of having a fine dinner in celebration of our son’s birthday.”

Keith looked over at the man’s family to see his son looking embarrassed and his wife holding back tears. The son was wearing a t-shirt with some hair metal band’s logo on it – maybe Poison? Who cares.

“Your lack of clothing,” the man continued, “is distracting my family and ruining our outing.”

Keith apologized, but told the man that he refused to either leave or don clothing, to which the man responded with a flurry of curse words and inflammatory statements. His wife burst into tears immediately.

Keith calmly responded, “Listen, sir. Look at your son’s attire; he has no desire to be here whatsoever. Your entire family is embarrassed that you would even have the gall to approach me to complain about exercising my rights as a free American to enjoy a meal with a lovely woman whom I respect and would never publicly embarrass under normal circumstances. If you feel similarly about your wife, you will kindly return to your table, quit your rubbernecking, and eat your food.”

The man was stunned and infuriated. He turned around, quickly stomped back to his table, gathered his family, and left for the door. The man’s son and wife both waved at Keith and mouthed “sorry” as they left.

“Assholes are like opinions or something,” Keith said to no one in particular. He sighed, laughed a little bit, and returned his attention to Marcia. “So, what kind of music do you like?”

Marcia’s jaw was hanging a little bit as she stared at Keith. “That was…pretty mature, the way you handled that.” “Mature” wasn’t the word she was looking for. She surveyed Keith’s body with demure eyes and traced the rim of her glass with her finger.

“Thanks,” Keith said. “I generally don’t have to deal with these things; there are always just a few people that will make it awkward for you to be naked in public.”

Marcia felt an obligation to honor the generosity of Keith’s offer to buy her dinner by staying and eating everything, but she had seen what she needed to see, physically and inter-personally. She grabbed the nudist’s hand and escorted him to the men’s restroom.

Keith walked out ten minutes later, going out first to make sure no one was watching as Marcia followed him. The plan was bad; all eyes were on the naked guy exiting the bathroom – “Did he just take all of his clothes off and walk out to the dining area?” Keith sort of panicked, his blood still pumping from the romp. He normally just waves it off and keeps walking, but he had to hang back for Marcia.

He turned back toward the restroom, answering to a man’s inquisitive look at a nearby table. “Forgot my wallet or something. I forgot something. You know that feeling that you forgot something?”

He went back in and found Marcia in a stall, standing on a toilet. “What do we do?!” she whisper-yelled.

“Wait?” Keith guessed. “Maybe wait? Just wait and see? Shit, I dunno.”

Marcia said, “Hold on, I’ll work this. I took an acting class.”

Marcia stepped off the porcelain, sighed, went to the mirror and put on a face, and strolled out. No one questioned her or even looked at her, but she continued, anyway.

“HAHA! That was the men’s restroom! Would you believe that I’m in there for fifteen minutes and don’t notice the urinals! I mean, how could you? Very unassuming urinals. Why was I in there for fifteen minutes, you’re asking now?” She was really doing good work with this one. “The goddamn mussels here, ya know? Anyway, thanks, guys. You’ve been great.”

Marcia ended her monologue with a sincere bow and took her seat. The whole restaurant was set a-mumbling by her performance. Keith walked out after a couple minutes, flashing a bottle of hand soap to the inquisitive guy from earlier. “Yup, got it now.” He sat down at the table and put a hand in Marcia’s hair, attempting to fix it for her. She looked really sexed.

“So, we’ll see each other again, right?” said Marcia, eager to learn more about her new partner.

Keith ruminated. Was she the stay-at-home type? The late-night optometry type? The type to disagree or talk back?

None of it mattered, he thought. It’s probably just a fling. “Yes,” he said earnestly. He then covered the check and the tip, both.

Keith delivered her home, romped with her one more time, and took himself back to his dormitory. As he laid down, visions of sex, bathroom stall graffiti, and Marcia’s angry dad, who has superb hearing and did an excellent job chaperoning tonight, filled his head.