It’s funny how excitement, anticipation and a cell phone conversation can keep you perky at midnight. Normally, I’d be sleeping by now. You have to remember this single-girl thing is relatively new and actually dating is even newer. I’m giving Michele all sorts of reasons why I’m making a reasonable choice to be following a guy home in the middle of the night. A guy that I’ve known for all of about 4 weeks. She’s not buying a single one of em. (You just can’t get by with anything when you have smart friends.) She realized though that it was no use giving me all of the ‘mom-talk’. I’d already made my decision. I was following red tail lights into the dark. The highway and my conversation with Michele kept going on and on and on. It turns out that Goose took me the route that was the easiest to get to his house, not the shortest by a long shot. It was thoughtful that he wasn’t taking shortcuts. Iowa is filled with dark and lonely gravel roads. He stayed on the main highways.
Once Michele said good night, I began to wonder what was going through Goose’s mind as he was driving. Just then my cell phone rang… “How are you doing back there? Goose asked. I told him I was just fine, that I’d been gabbing with a girlfriend. He reassured me that we were just about there. I should have been nervous, anxious, scared.. something. But I wasn’t. I guess about the best way to describe it is that I felt curious. Today was a 2-First Dates day. I had gone to Wheels’ home for lunch and now it seemed I was going to Goose’s home for… breakfast? We’d already had dinner at the Casino. It’s nearing 1:00 am… so it will be breakfast.
Goose put on his turn signal. This must be where he lives. As Goose turns ahead of me into the driveway, I slow down to look things over. He lives on an acreage several miles from the nearest town. He has quite a few neighbors though, as if it’s a city block that had somehow taken a vacation and decided to stay here in the country. The neighbor’s were all asleep. Directly in front of my car as I pull in the driveway along side Goose, is a big steel sided shop building with two large garage doors. Then to the left of the shop is a ranch-style home with an attached garage. I can see a barn and another out building in the distance. From the tall yard light shining above us, it seems like mid-day. Just then three dogs came wagging out of the garage. That’s when they noticed it wasn’t just Goose in the driveway. The youngest of the dogs let out a half-hearted bark. The oldest of the dogs came toward me.. not wagging and not barking, but definitely sniffing. I was new. Within a split second, I was surrounded by yellow labs. Now they were waking up. Goose came over and took my hand and lead me into his shop. The dogs followed. He flicked on the lights and gave me the tour. It was atypically clean inside, yet a typical workshop all the same. He had a motor home and riding mower stored away now for the winter, and lots of tools and things. He guided me toward the back of the building and up a wooden staircase. What a curious adventure for the middle of the night. I was half-expecting a bachelor boudoir up here. I was completely surprised though.. he has a collection of children’s riding pedal tractors. He had told me during a recent phone conversation about purchasing one at a special toy sale. He was very proud of his purchase.
Now I know you’re all thinking: Oh my gosh this girl is following a single man home at midnight miles and miles away from anything she knows. She’s nuts! She’s gonna get in trouble. Something’s gonna happen. It isn’t gonna be good. Truth be told, I didn’t feel any fear or apprehension. No concern or doubt. Even the bachelor boudoir scenario didn’t concern me. I felt completely safe with Goose. I have a pretty good sense of people’s character and intuition. I have a good internal radar system and I pay attention to my gut feelings and queues from the other person. Yes, Goose could have driven me to some remote location in the country where I’d never be seen again. But he didn’t. The dogs however, were very nosey, if ya know what I mean, lol.
I was getting chilled, so Goose took me inside. When he opened the door, he said, “Don’t expect too much, I’ve been a bachelor here for over a year now.” Warning duly noted. As we went inside, the warm air scurried to meet us at the door. The room was a comforting kitchen. It had been sitting up waiting up for us to get home. The little light was on above the stove, just as my own mother had left the stove-light on when I had been out on a date as a teenager. It felt like deja-vu, like I’d been here many times before and I was finally coming home. Goose, sensing my seemingly misplaced emotion, gave me a gentle hug. When he stepped back he took my hand and lead me into the livingroom. We sat together on floral love-seat as he flipped through the television guide. That’s when we realized how late it was. The tv timer flashed 2:23 a.m.. I couldn’t believe it was so late. Goose quietly left and came back with a pillow and blankets. There was a short-lived mini-debate over who’d take the bed. When we had completed our first ‘fight’, Goose thanked me for spending the evening with him. I thanked him for dinner and the adventure. He reached down and touched my cheek. He told me I was a very pretty woman and he kissed me softly. I arranged the blankets and pillow on the couch and Goose went into his room and closed the door. I took off my boots and my jeans and climbed onto the couch. I smiled as I pulled the blankets up over my shoulder, I’d never had a date quite like this before. I drifted off to sleep thinking about his warm soft lips and how good they felt pressed against mine.