This morning the snow fell in globs on 47th Street. A younger female co-worker was leaving early for the day. Hlove and I were staying late to inventory diamond goods for the upcoming Antique Show in Palm Beach. I helped Laani with her sheepskin coat and she said, "I like working with you, but you're not really my type."
"I'm old enough to be your father's older brother."
"I know, but you don't seem old." She tugged on a fur hat.
Laani was a Baltic Sea import almost half my age. Many men found the blonde twenty-eight year old attractive, but I said, "You're not my type either. Most women aren't. In truth I'm not attracted by looks."
"You're not." She had seen photos of my wife and commented on Mam's beauty.
"The allure of sex for me is ruled by the situation. The where and when." This was sort of a lie, since my wife Mam exiting from the shower with wet hair was all the situation I need for arousal.
"I don't believe you." Laani was constantly barraged by the tired pick-up lines of New York men
"Situations helped stir my blood."
I noticed Manny listening to my story. He thought all conversation was a waste of time, unless it had to do with diamonds or his long-distance relationship with his girlfriend.
"How so?" Laani wanted a man, a rich one. They weren't so many in Manhattan this year.
"When I was a teenager, my girl and I were walking back from the skating rink. It was next to a small river. Winters were colder back then and we took a short-cut across the ice, which was clear as glass. Kyla, that was her name, said she wanted to make out there. On the ice. I was game and laid on my back. We kissed for about thirty minute, then the ice trembled beneath us. We got up and ran to the road. That was a good situation."
"And you two made love?"
"Not at all. We were sixteen and in love." I remembered Kyla's smile that day and how cold my spine was after a half-hour on ice.
"That's bullshit." Manny had heard the entire story. "He was a dog like any other red-blooded man."
"No, he's not like other men."
"You're worst, because you believe your bullshit."
"But it's the truth."
"Anyone telling you something is the truth is usually a liar." Sixty years in the diamond trade has soured Manny's trust in humanity.
"Are you calling me a liar?" I clenched my fists. That was a fighting word.
"No." Manny knew when I wasn't kidding around.
"You men are all alike." Laani shook her head and headed for the door looking like an Aspen snow bunny, "And you're still not my type."
"And you're not mine."
Laani left and Manny smirked, but didn't say another word, because he wasn't Laani's type either.
At least not in this situation.