He has finally persuaded Melanie to go on a date. He is both happy
I’ll never forget that evening. Driving down Los Feliz, the sun was setting, everything had that pinky-orange look, romantic, not quite real. Melanie beside me, smelling of perfume but a real woman smell underneath. Chris Isaaks on the CD. I hadn’t been so happy in years. Tried to let her know how I felt. Not straight out, but stuff like life was going really good for me, LA was finally beginning to feel like home, there was a kind of beauty in the city that most people didn’t see. She just sat there, didn’t say much, but when we stopped for the lights at Santa Monica and I looked over at her, she just smiled. I was like a teenager again, well and truly hooked. Just wanted the ride to last for ever.
She’d chosen the restaurant, on Melrose, and it was all fancy but it wasn’t so hot. The maitre d’ was a fag in a black button-down shirt with the kind of smile that tells you he thinks you’re dirt. The waitress was a kid with an attitude like you should know what all the fancy names on the menu mean. I could feel myself beginning to lose my cool but I looked at Melanie and stopped. Because I knew if I lost my cool I’d lose her and if that happened, I’d be back where I started, in front of the tv in an empty apartment with a cold pizza and burping Coke. So I just shrugged, chose something simple and let her choose the wine.
Foreman, Martin. Los Feliz, Arbery Publications, 2013, pp 13-14.