I called the DJ I’d met on Lundi Gras a few times at his work. We chatted amicably, but he never gave me his home number or asked me out on a date.
The third or fourth time we talked, he said, You know I’m married, right?
Well no, in fact I did not know he was married. How would I know? It hadn’t occurred to me to check his finger for a ring because I naively assumed a married man would not be kissing a young woman he’d just met in the French Quarter. Evidently I was wrong.
I told him good-bye, hung up the phone, and proceeded to get very, very drunk.
There was a box of wine involved and an intramural softball game where I heckled the members of the opposing team. Later there was a trip to the grocery store where my friends and I bought bottles of Boone’s Farm sangria and Strawberry Hill. Before we drank in a dorm room, I convinced the driver to go to Tower Records so I could buy the cassette tape by Ugly Kid Joe featuring the song “I Hate Everything About You.”
After the softball game and before the trip to the grocery store and Tower Records, I called my mother from the payphone in the lobby of my dorm.
I told her what happened. This man…phone number…married. I don’t remember if I told her about the kiss.
At your age, she told me, you don’t need this.
As if at some other age it might make sense to get involved with a married man? It was a strange way to phrase the advice, but I think she meant, You’ve got your whole life ahead of you; don’t fuck it up so soon.
I honed in on you don’t need this and realized she was right. This man barely seemed interested in me and he was married? Forget it!
(In retrospect, I wonder if he was trying to find a young woman who would pursue him, someone he could blame if his marriage fell apart. Honey, it wasn’t really what I wanted, I imagine him telling his wife. She kept after me until I was worn down.)
I never called the DJ again, and he never called me.
Several months later, I was working retail. We were allowed to listen to the radio, but only the local country music station. I usually worked nights, but one week I picked up a day shift to help out a coworker. The country music station was blasting from the speakers and guess who the DJ was. Yep, the married man who’d kissed me on Lundi Gras. He talked about his wife and his new baby. What? Baby? Yep, he sure was smitten with his new baby and the wonderful wife who’d produced it for him.
Had his wife been pregnant when he kissed me? I did some quick math. Yes, she had. She had certainly been pregnant the night he kissed me. She’d been pregnant when I called him at work. She’d been pregnant when he told me he was married.
What kind of game had he been playing? I thought about calling him and demanding answers but decided I was better off not talking to him.
My mom was right. At my age, I didn’t need such complications.
Now I’m glad I didn’t call and demand answers, didn’t make a scene, didn’t make his life difficult. While I don’t think he should have kissed me while he was married to someone else (especially a pregnant someone else), I hope I was a blip on the screen of an otherwise happy relationship.
So strange to think his baby is now older than I was at the time her father kissed me.
So strange to think I followed my mother’s advice and I’m glad I did.