Nate About TOWN, Nantucket, Part 2

Nate About TOWN, Part 2
By Nate Waig

“I’ll pick you up at six.”

She said ok and that was that. We’d had our fair share of pizza dates and movies, but tonight was a chance for a fancy affair. Red velvet drapes, fancy silverware, crystal stemware, and food with six syllable names that I may just have to point to on the menu when ordering. I was taking her to Town and this was going to be a big deal.

She was not ready when I came to pick her up, so I went inside to find her. “I’ll be right there! I’m putting on my new shoes!” She came down and I held her jacket for her to slip into. On the ride in, she was staring distractedly out the window. A funny looking go-cart drove by. “A smart car!” She was considerably younger than I, and part of the new age “save the planet” generation. I mentioned that I had not seen an orange one out here yet, this one must be new. Moments later, “Why don’t you drive a smart car?” Awkward silence.

I wanted to get there early. Get in get out, not attract any attention. She was young, blonde and blue eyed, I was old and needed thick glasses. The bar was full when we came in, and I was obliged to say hi to a few people. She clung on my arm and was uneasy. I introduced her to a few people I knew.

A man who was a stranger winked at me and whispered, “She’s beautiful!” I nodded in confirmation and ordered a Cabernet from Graeme. I held it out for her for olfactory review. “I think I smell some black courant in there.” I sounded like I knew what I was talking about, but she wrinkled her nose and made a face.

We slipped off to a corner banquette table and waited for Tom. I had told her that tonight we would be a guest of the chef and be treated to some amazing food. She seemed unimpressed and asked what kind of dessert they had. On cue, Tom came over and introduced himself and talked a little about the restaurant and menu for the summer.

After a little while, we were treated to a few of the appetizers, tuna tartar and mussels, then the duck confit rolls. I asked her if she would help me with the description, and let her know I was going to be writing about it later. I said this to impress her but she was more engrossed in her upside down reflection in a spoon.

A minute later she said “Mmmmmm…Delicious.” Ok I’ll put that in sweetheart. I reach out to hold her hand and we looked out the window at the drizzle. More food came and I pick my mushrooms out of the halibut dish for her. She loves mushrooms, despite being one of the most picky eaters I know.

She is now eating freely and unrestrained, even using her fingers to pull out mussels and spooning saffron broth into her mouth from the empty shell. I’ve had a glass of Cabernet and I figure now is the time.

I squeeze her hand and mouth “I love you.” She thinks for a minute, returning my gaze and she starts to move her mouth. “I want chocolate ice cream.”

Well, that’s not so bad as, “I don’t feel that way about you.” I tell the waiter her request and settle in for an anxious four minutes.

Finally, dessert comes and she becomes a frantic animal, plucking out the mint leaves and sucking the ice cream off of them.

I pay the bill, say thank you and we leave. “Let’s get you home,” I say. Then I add, “Wanna sleep in my room tonight?” She seems ok with the idea, so we brush teeth and I snuggle in with her. In the middle of the night, I wake up and see her sleeping peacefully. I reach out and smooth her hair out of her face and kiss her cheek. Still asleep, she whispers so quietly I can barely hear her. “I love you Daddy.”

Nate Waig has been an island bartender since 2001, and spent three years with Seth and Angela at The Boarding House and Pearl. After ten years as a self described pro snowboard bum, he now resides on Nantucket as a Captain Tobey’s bartender, an interior remodeler, a key fundraiser for China Little Flower, an amateur chef, and restaurant reviewer.

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