“What’s your name?” I ask.
“Are you kidding?’’
“It’s Dick Goddard, but my employees nicknamed me God.”
He shrugs his narrow shoulders. “They think I’m god of couture.’’
He rants about how “important” couture is, that most people look “tacky,” and that America has turned to “Costco.”
Dick Slick is a boomer clotheshorse. He’s into labels. He owns a chic men’s shop in San Francisco. He’s one of those guys who’s not handsome, but chic. Slim as a string, with a kind of big head and huge gray curly hair, he lives for clothes and the “right” labels. Everything he mentions, he refers to as “good,” “bad” or “chic.” We met at a fundraiser to save the sheep in Australia. Then he invited me out.
I’m dressing for the date. It’s been a while since I’ve been on a date. I’ve been busy with my books and meeting deadlines. And I tend to get hermetic.
Anyway, I’m trying to get out more, even date, so Dick Slick, alias God, picks me up in his black shiny Lexus, and he’s spiffy as his car.
He wears a Gucci black suede jacket and a black cashmere turtleneck, the neck so high it’s above his chin. So does he have a chin? I wonder.
When we get to the restaurant and are seated at the table, a cranky-looking waiter named Walter brings chic bottled water. Over persimmon and lime martinis, Dick Slicko fixes his stare on me, doing this quick blink thing, his eyes sliding along the array of silver craft rings I wear on my fingers.
He smiles, showing his too-white veneers. “Who’s jacket is that?’’ he asks in a demanding tone.
“I mean who’s the designer?” he asks impatiently.
He squints his eyes. “Can I see the label?‘’
He gets out of the chair and comes over and lifts up my collar, then goes back to his chair. “It’s a knockoff,” he says petulantly.
Then dinner arrives. Three tiny mussels floating on a humongous plate in some kind of oil. I’m starving but try not to guzzle the nebbish mussels.
All the while he’s fussing about the wine he brought in, talking in lousy French to the wine steward who has this supercilious air about him.
‘’I don’t really care about fashion. It’s style that matters.”
“God wears Gucci,” he replies.
“Well, I’ll have another drink, please.’’
“You’d look good in Gucci. Or Versace,” he says.
“Not my thing.’’
“What is your thing?”
“I like … serendipity, you know, to wear a top with my 20-year-old Yves Saint Laurent pants I bought at a thrift shop.”
After dinner he insists on going to a private “club” where we can tango. I love the tango.
We arrive at the club. After three knocks on the doors we enter this huge dark room with strobe lights bouncing like bubbles. Tango music sensuously plays, and couples looking like they’re sleepwalking are dancing the tango. Wow. It’s something.
Dick Slick of course took tango lessons, and his head is turning like a clock, his body hardly moving, practically lifting me in the air, navigating me around the room. I’m throwing my head back, glad I wore black net stockings and my skirt with the side slit, plus my 4-inch Joan Crawford-style platform shoes. Only I’m kind of klutzy. In my dreams I dance the tango, but now I’m leaning all forward and bumping into him and stepping on his feet. He whispers that this dance is “smart and chic,” and that he’ll buy me tango lessons at a “chic tango club” where I can learn. Also you have to wear the “right dress and shoes.” So I’m stumbling along and finally we leave.
We arrive at my apartment. He walks me to the door, my shoes making shlumpy loud echoes on the pavement. He walks like he’s floating, his polished Gucci shoes barely making a sound.
After we say goodnight, his appraising eyes checking out the lobby of my apartment, the cracked fountain spurting water, he leaves.
I watch him drive away and upstairs I change into my usual sweatpants and long T-shirt that says Princess on the front. It’s good to be home. It’s good to be me.
Barbara Rose Brooker will perform monologues from “The Viagra Diaries” at 5:15 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F. $7-$20. www.commonwealthclub.org
Barbara Rose Brooker is a native S.F. author. A new edition of her novel “The Viagra Diaries,” optioned by HBO, will be published in spring 2013, along with “Love, Sometimes, the Sequel” and “Should I Sleep In His Dead Wife’s Bed,” which has also been optioned for a television series. See more at www.barbararosebrooker.com.