If you work in a restaurant and can’t get laid you have a problem.

Think about it. You are surrounded by young, mostly unattached people, in a high stress close contact situation where alcohol is plentiful. Hooking up is not only inevitable – it’s endemic to the profession.

Hostesses bang the owners. Waiters bang other waiters, customers, bartenders, and anything else that moves. The entire restaurant is a cauldron of lust. You had better knock before you enter the linen closet unless you want a free show. It can be that crazy.

Such was the situation that greeted me when I left the business world and began my first waiter gig at Amici’s in the Jersey burbs. Corporate America, with its puritanical work place dating rules, girls following the time old pattern of marrying economically appropriate boring men, combining with office politics, made my sex life there, well, almost non existent. Amici’s was a shock. It was like being in college all over again. Except this time I had a car and my own apartment. I took to it like a fish to water.

Regan, twenty years old, looking like a younger and cuter version of Soledad O’Brien, is crazy about me. She works at the liquor store attached to the bistro. Being twelve years older I hesitate to take up her offer of a drink after work but who am I kidding? Her cute face, firm ass and pert breasts are too compelling to resist. After shift we go over to TGI Fridays for a beer.

Soon we are pounding back Bass Ale, laughing, touching under the table and having a good time. We talk about art, politics, music and all the other things people talk about while figuring out how to get into one another’s pants. Just when things are looking up, the good angel alights on my right shoulder and begins whispering in my ear,

“She’s too young. This is not right. Give her a peck on the cheek and take her home.”

Not to be outdone the bad angel also appears. His advice is more direct,

“Close the deal! Get some!”

While this eschatological conflict is raging we pay the bill and leave. Outside Regan pulls me into a side alley. Pressed up against the wall, kissing wildly, hands fumbling under clothes, I think we are going to do the deed there and then.

After a few minutes, Regan looks up at me wide eyed and says throatily, “Take me to your place and fuck me.”

The bad angel reaches over and decapitates the good angel, spinning him of into the aether. I break every speed limit driving home.

We get out of my car and the clothes start coming off before we get into the house. (I find her blouse in the bushes the next morning.) We stumble to the door, I fumble with my keys, it opens, and we tumble in.

Soon we are almost naked, kissing passionately, hands roaming all over each others bodies, preparing for, ahem, sexual congress, when Regan looks up at me, with wide brown eyes in which a man could lose himself forever, and says……

“I think I am going to be sick.”

……and proceeds to do a Linda Blair all over me.

I spin her around into the bathroom and place her face over the toilet, holding back her hair while she pukes up her body weight in vomit. Bass Ale recycled; she slumps to the ground, finding relief by pressing her cheek against the cold tile floor. She is crying softly.

The good angel materializes, reattaches his head, hurls the bad angel back to the nether regions, and resumes his litany.

“What are you doing? Think about it. She is too young. Look at the poor thing.”

Sometimes I really hate that good angel.

I clean Regan up and put her in my bed. I place a bucket on the floor in the event of a relapse. I take the couch. The next morning we wake up early. I throw coffee and toast down her throat.

“I have to get home before my Dad wonders where I’ve been.” she says looking very hungover.

That’s just great.

We get in the car and head out. I feel like a dad taking his daughter to school. Driving up her block I have a terrifying vision of a wrathful father peering at me through a telescopic sight muttering, “A little closer motherfucker, just a little closer….” his finger taking up the slack on the trigger.

I stop a few houses away.

Opening the door to leave, Regan turns around and asks me anxiously,

“Did anything happen last night?”

“Not a thing.”

“You’re a very nice man.”

“Not really.” I say watching her slink back into her house.

Driving away I realize I have dodged a bullet.

Later at work I am telling Rizzo about my little experience. He just laughs saying,

“When you’re too old to pick up a girl at her father’s house my man, well you’ve turned a corner, haven’t you?” How true.

I am not saying this experience turned me into a saint. Far from it, but I learned a valuable lesson that night. To quote the novelist Ross MacDonald,

“When a man gets older, if he’s smart, he likes his women older too. “

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