The first time I really spoke to Trevor Lawson, we discussed alcoholic whipped cream.
“What do you do with this?” my friend Jennifer inquired. “Or rather, who do you do with this?”
Trevor Lawson let out a polite chuckle. Jennifer was immersed in the ancient art of being a wingwoman, the origins of which date back to Roman times.
“There’s an old couple who buys that all the time,” he replied.
Trevor is an associate at Hodge Liquor. He hosts wine tastings, tequila seminars, and bourbon barbeques. All month long, I’ve made numerous trips to the store, always with the plan to chat up the blue-eyed, hairy-chested associate known as Trevor Lawson. But time and time again, I’d leave with nothing more than another bottle of wine to add to my growing collection.
“Are you going to let opportunities pass you by?” Jennifer had shrieked. “If you don’t take initiative, you will wind up married to a bum, living in a trailer, with seven kids you can’t even afford.”
Jennifer had taken it upon herself to throw me into the fires of Making the First Move. So there we were, standing awkwardly in Hodge Liquor, in front of the elusive Trevor Lawson.
“So – I’d like you to meet my friend,” Jennifer shouted, grabbing me by the arm and pulling me away from a display of corkscrews.
“Oh, hello,” I said, fidgeting. “Nice to meet you.”
“Yes, likewise,” Trevor said. Then he took the push broom he had been holding the entire time and began to push it down the scotch aisle, away from us.
“Well?” I grabbed Jennifer by the shoulders. “There he goes, sweeping away, can’t very well give him my phone number now!”
I realized the omnipresent cashier – who may or may not be mentally slow – had been staring at us the whole time.
“Look -” I ran up to the counter, slammed my wine bottle down. “I have a crush on Trevor Lawson, ok? Here -” I scribbled my number down on a receipt. “Give this to him.”
Then we paid for the booze and exited Hodge Liquor.
A week has passed since the Hodge Liquor encounter. It’s 10 pm on a Wednesday, which means I’m sitting around in my underwear. I’m pretty sure my note to Trevor Lawson was thrown in the trash, misplaced, or ignored. I guess now I’ll have to shop at Danahy’s.
My phone rings. It’s a number I don’t recognize.
Static is coming through from the other end, some inscrutable background noise…I’m about to hang up.
“Oh, hello, sorry,” It’s a male voice. I hear a lighter flick. “This is Trevor Lawson. From Hodge Liquor.” He coughs. “Sorry it took me so long, I was in DC for a week. And sorry if my voice is a little raspy.” He hacks up something and I can hear him inhale a cigarette. “We partied a lot in DC.”
“Oh…it’s ok, no worries. How was DC?”
“Well, it was hot, but one of my buddies lives down there and we really caused an uproar. I might have a broken toe. Hang on a minute.”
He puts the phone down and I hear him banging his fist on a wall or something.
“Ok sorry,” he says, “My roommate keeps telling me to keep it down.” There’s a loud crash in the background.
“Yeah, um, no problem.” I say. “So what are you up to?”
“Me and my roommate we hadafewdrinksandnowimnouweadaf pppp.”
“Huh? I can’t hear you….Hello?”
Trevor Lawson has hung up on me. Oh well. I’m in my bed and about to go to sleep. Then I realize he’s calling me back.
“Yeah, sorry about that. I rolled over on my phone.”
“Yeah, I must confess that I’m a little tipsy, we had some wine over here and my roommate threw up on the floor, but everything’s ok now.”
“Well that’s good. Good thing!”
“I think tomorrow we should go on a late night date to Mother’s, let’s hang out tomorrow, do you work tomorrow?”
“No, actually I’m off tomorrow.”
“Good, great -” Suddenly his voice cuts out. I look at my phone. He’s hung up on me again.
I roll over and close my eyes. Mother’s…my favorite. Then I realize Trevor’s calling me back once more.
“Yeah, sorry, I rolled over on top of my phone.”
“Don’t even worry your pretty little head about it,” I say. He probably won’t even remember this conversation. There’s another loud crash in the background.
“I gotta say that I was surprised to receive a note from you at the store,.I just think you are so pretty and nice, you should come over here, I live on Linwood…LIN -WOOD” The phone goes dead.
He calls me again, but this time I don’t answer.
Trevor Lawson seems like just my type.
The following evening, Trevor meets me outside my apartment. He’s wearing his Hodge Liquor polo and red plaid shorts. We go for a walk.
I notice that Trevor Lawson walks with an energetic, jaunty strut and I really can’t tell how old he is. I’m hoping he’s not younger than me, which is a major no-no as far as my life is concerned.
“How old are you?”
He coughs. “I’m old, getting older by the day,” he says, running a hand through his thick brown hair. “I’ll be 29.”
“Oh, I’ll be 26 in September.”
Our walk leads us down Linwood, where Trevor resides. I decide not to bring up Mother’s. It’s a great night for a walk. The warm, early summer air is pleasant and not humid. We stop at the corner of Linwood and West Utica.
“This is where I live,” Trevor says, pointing up at a brick apartment complex. “Do you want to go up for a drink and then we can go out somewhere?”
Trevor and I have been chatting away non-stop. We both talk a lot, and Trevor’s the type to speak with his entire body, making wild gesticulations and exaggerated arm movements. I like his animated personality, and how it contrasts with a brooding, somewhat-sad look in his eyes. Trevor Lawson is definitely a passionate individual.
He leads me up two flights of stairs, then down a white, unadorned hallway, and unlocks his apartment door.
“My roommate isn’t home,” Trevor says. He stands in the middle of a stark living room. There’s a wooden rocking chair – bottle of Jack Daniels next to it – in front of a TV. A gigantic Campari ad adorns the wall behind a 10-foot structure composed of wine crates.
“This is my bar,” Trevor declares, leading me behind the wine crate structure. “I made it myself.”
There’s tons of fancy, foreign liquors to choose from. Shot glasses and other glassware decorate most surfaces in the room.
“Here, let’s sample some libations.” Trevor selects a bright green liquor from his collection. “This is distilled by monks, and contains over 100 different herbs.” He pours us each a half shot. “Cheers.”
“There’s something you should know,” he says, suddenly removing his polo. His chest and back are completely covered in hair. There’s a dramatic pause. “Is this going to be a problem?”
“Um, no. Why?”
“Some girls think it’s weird,” he says, “And I say, ok, there’s the door.”
Several more tastings are poured. I’m getting an education into all varieties of booze.
“This whiskey is very rare,” Trevor announces, unscrewing the cap with a flourish. “ Triple distilled with notes of peat moss.”
I’m pretty buzzed. Trevor and I look at each other. He’s still got his shirt off.
“You know what I really like?” he says, “The fact that you don’t need a chaser.”
We set our shot glasses down and look into each other’s eyes and fall into a tipsy make out session. After a moment, we decide to tour the opposite side of the room. There’s a fishbowl on a small end table.
“This is my beta fish. I named him Billecart-Salmon, after the champagne.”
We stoop down to eye level with the fishbowl. Billecart-Salmon is floating at the top. Trevor and I look at eachother.
“I think he’s dead,” I say.
Trevor sighs, stands, picks up Billecart’s bowl. “He was sick for a while.” He leads me into his bathroom. The two of us are standing above the toilet; I put my hand on Trevor’s shoulder. We watch as deceased Billecart-Salmon circles and disappears down the drain.
“I’m so sorry,” I say.
We head out to Trevor’s balcony to smoke cigarettes.
“You know, don’t take this the wrong way, but I didn’t think I would have this much fun with you,” Trevor says.
“Me neither,” I reply. “I didn’t know what you were like either.”
And that was the start of a brief, yet passionate, affair.