Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Looking Great Naked: C.J.
When I ran into C.J. recently at Macondo, a great Latin restaurant on Houston where he is a waiter, I asked him straight out if he remembered me. He looked at me and then recognition quickly showed in his eyes. He pointed and laughed. "Hey, you're the star lady!" he said.
I laughed. "Yes, how are you?"
"Good, good, funny, I remember that," he said with a laugh. But, apparently, he didn't remember the reason. I do. I talk to a lot of people, but C.J.'s story stuck.
See, I was sitting at the bar of Macondo one night before writing class, before my friend arrived, and I had nothing to do but eavesdrop. C.J. and the bartender were talking about some event and the bartender shook his head.
"Dude," he said, "don't go naked, it's just NOT a good idea..."
C.J. stood back, away from the bar and gestured at himself. "Hey!" he said, "I look great naked!" He said it with utter conviction, upset that anyone might suggest his being naked, anywhere, could be a bad thing.
I think I spit out a fair amount of my mojito and the two guys looked over. "Don't mind me..." I said.
I said nothing until C.J. arrived at the table a bit later where my friend and I had been seated. It was a high bar table and C.J. was on the other side.
"Hey," I said, laughing, "Now I'm curious." He had looked confused.
"About the menu?"
"No," I said with a smile. "I mean, you say you look great naked..."
I couldn't help myself. It was too easy. He blushed. "Oh, you heard that?" he said.
I had nodded. "I did. But, really, I think it's great! I think it's awesome that you think you look great naked. It's important that people feel great about their bodies." That's when I pulled out a gold star and gave it to him. It was one of my first.
When I regaled C.J. with the story recently, he blushed anew. It was funny. But pride is so often a good thing, something that we have a hard time appreciating in ourselves, in our children, in anyone. But it is important. It keeps us trying.
And that's why C.J. got his second gold star. For the pride he initially showed and for being a good sport as I harrassed him, not once but twice.