Saturday, May 10, 2008

Captain Bills', I mean Als

One of my favorite memories is Jim eating steamed crabs. It is a Baltimore thing. Steamed crabs and beer. A hot summer afternoon, some newspaper on the table and Jim showing me how to crack the crab, use a crab knife to get the meat out and never touch a crab mallet. Sweet Maryland crab meat. Oh yeah!

Tonight I went to Al's Seafod with my Dad and stepmom. I wanted to take her out to dinner for Mother's day. She wanted steamed crabs. Well the only place I knew around here was the spot that Jim and I went to for many years. Al's. Only it has been two years since I was there and my Dad originally said we were going to Captain John's and for some reason when they asked me where to go for crabs I said Captain Bill's. Why? I don't know.

I knew how to get there with no problem. Jim and I had our first apartment just a mile or so up the road so I knew that area. Pulling in there brought such a rush of memories. I felt like I was going back in time but yet, not quite. I am glad it was dark and sort of blurred things, the pain in the chest surrounded by the warm memories made it a bittersweet moment. On the corners were the places we would go. The grocery store was still there, the comic book store is now a xxx movie place and the pawn shop is now a guitar/music shop.

So I got the name wrong for the restaurant, but it was still in the same place. My Dad teased me at dinner about taking them to the right wrong place. They enjoyed the evening - the good food, great waitress and the owners wife who visited each table.

I know I probably talked about Jim and I too much but I was remembering the times when we were there. We sat over at that table, Jim always had the Coors Light, there was a skipjack (a boat) painted on the wall behind us and the place has a very homey atmostphere. One time we went there was a man at the table next to us with his parents. He was telling them about his magic show in Las Vegas and somehow he and Jim got into a long discussion about Houdini. That was a Jim thing to do. Talk to strangers. Make them smile. Touch a life.

The most vivid memory of the night was when we drove past the shopping mall where Jim and I had our first kiss. We had gone to see the movie Naked Gun/police story. Our hands had touched in the popcorn and it was magic. But later, I remember very vividly sitting in the van, (I was in the drivers seat). We sat talking in the parking lot for a couple hours and were just really enjoying each others company. Then I leaned over and he leaned towards me and we kissed. When we broke, I looked at him and said 'once more' and we kissed again. It was those kisses that sealed the deal for me. I had never before experienced what I felt when our lips met. Oh god. How do you describe the moment when all that had come before just melted away and you knew. I know that I knew without knowing that I knew. (ha, say that three times fast)

I am glad that my parents had a good time and enjoyed the restaurant as much as Jim and I did. It was also good that we didn't sit at the same table as Jim and I did that last time in 2006 because it gave me a chance to build some new memories.


Linda said...

Sounds like a good time Betsy.I'm glad to you got to reminisce with good company.
I love crab. We have dungeness crab here, and I could eat it every single day!
And the first kiss...awww.Isn't it funny how that first kiss can be either a no or a go? Know you know you knew!!

Linda said...

Now you know you knew....couldn't even type that right cause it's a tongue twister!!

Rach said...

What a beautiful memory, Betsy, thank you so much for sharing it. Yes, you just know. :o)