Alex and I met in 1991 or 92. I’d just started The Springs Magazine and he was a hot shot young chef in Hot Springs. I turned him down a couple of times cause he was a player then finally relented.
Back then Alex was a stud, lean (he’d been a swimmer at Michigan State) long curly black hair and lots of black chest hair. He was swarthy and smooth.
I relented and said yes to date. I remember I was wearing a short black gauzy dress, it was mid-summer and so hot. We went to Brewskies on Ouachita Avenue first. Mike Stanley was playing with Danny Smith and I realized Hot Springs had amazing blues.
Then we drove in separate cars to the restaurant cause I was being cautious.We met at The Majestic, an old restaurant, not really cool, but he was a chef and seemed to know what he was doing. We sat in the first booth, closest to the door, under the thick floral curtains.
I thought it was incredibly cool when Alex left me and walked right into the kitchen to talk to his friend Butch, who was running things that night.
He ordered some kind of smoked trout dip as an appetizer. I don’t remember the rest of the meal. but our waitress knew Alex and was obviously flirting. He was really handsome.
After dinner we walked out and he stood in front of me looking so hot. I thought he was going to kiss me. Instead he reached into his jacket pocket and handed me something wrapped in a napkin.
It was a quartz crystal, three points and incredibly clear.
He said, “I collect them. I found that one in Mt. Ida.”
Then I waited, smiling, thinking he would lean in and kiss me.
But he didn’t. Instead he walked around and opened the door of my Toyota. I climbed in, waited, then drove away thinking. ‘Either he doesn’t dig me or he’s a total weirdo.”
Twenty something years latter we’re sitting here watching The Big Bang Theory waiting to pick up child number four from Taekwondo. We’re good.
So next time you drive past the burned out remains of the Majestic Hotel remember some great romances were born there with reasonable women and handsome weirdos.