Noe Valley Voice June 2000

Mission Dating

By Bree LeMaire

LET ME TELL YOU, having an affair in the Mission is so difficult. First, he said he'd meet me at 6 p.m. at Walgreen's on Mission.

"Walgreen's on 30th and Mission?"

"Yes, we can meet there," he said, "then go over to Taco Bell for dinner."

"Okay, okay, Walgreen's at six."

This is a hell of a relationship, I thought. One time we met at the Chevron on Valencia, just enough time for him to get his gas and tell me he had the children that night and couldn't see me, like I couldn't see them in the car.

So, 6 o'clock rolls around, I'm standing there out front of Walgreen's. Two panhandlers hitting me up for change, another with the Street Sheet. Guys standing all around, spitting, smoking, waiting for the bus. Does he show up? Sure he does. Drives by with the kids in the car motioning to me that he has them again, and I watch them drive by, all smiles, while I stand there on 30th and Mission. Here I thought we had a date.

I met him at work where I answer the phone. I work at that glass place on Valencia. He is the Fed-Ex delivery guy. Comes by every day around 3:00. One thing led to another and last November he asked me out.

Now I had my hesitations about dating someone from work. Like they say, "Don't screw where you eat," or something like that. Anyway, he took me to Denny's Serramonte and we had the best time. We both got that stir-fry slam and I knew then we had a lot in common. Then he told me about his kids and his ex-wife. Call me crazy, but I think I'm in love.

You know, he left me stranded at Walgreen's that day, but at 4:30 the next morning my phone rings. He has to get up early to go to work. It wasn't like he was up all night or anything like that.

"Honey," he says, "I just can't stop thinking about you. I got to see you."

He wants me to meet him at Grand Auto on Valencia and Mission at 5:30 p.m. Says he can park his car in the Grand Auto lot and then come meet me out front. If he doesn't have his kids, we can go over to the St. Luke's Hospital cafeteria for dinner.

"I can't wait."

Bree LeMaire is a San Francisco writer, HIV researcher, and mother of five.