Some time before Christmas I take a second job in one of the restaurants at PGA National because I need the extra money. I am thirty years old. I’ve been single and divorced for seven years. I work a lot, taking pleasure where I find it.

Brandon is wiry, shifty eyed, and sarcastic. And he is twenty-three. The job is a joke to him. He takes no part of it seriously. I hate that about him. He never accepts that he is is a server and not only that–he’s blatantly bad at it.

He is a student working toward a degree in finance. He goes to school and to the gym. He plays tennis. I am drawn to his complexity. I find out that he had a difficult childhood, much like mine. He has intimacy issues, much like me. We get along generally well and one night after work he invites me to hang out where he lives, which happens to be right there on the PGA National  property. The modest, but well-furnished and decorated townhome belongs to his stepfather.

Everything is very fine and artful, clean and quiet. It feels sexy, like a TV soap opera set. He puts on a Sarah McLaughlin CD and we share a bottle of red wine. He lets me borrow his t-shirt to wear so I can get out of my white tuxedo uniform shirt and be more comfortable.

The wine and the music are so relaxing and sitting there together so close untimately leads to making out which ultimately leads to sexual foreplay. He is manipulatively seductive, but that is  lost on me, because I already know I want to have sex with him. It has been a long time and any love is good love as far as I am concerned. I am pleasantly surprised that he is actually a very tender, sensual lover–concentrating on my pleasure first. The compatibility is immediate.

We start going out on dates, once to Palm Beach Island during the day. We walk around and explore the luxury shops, talk a lot. Get to know each other better. We  decide, mostly because of our age difference, not to be “girlfriend and boyfriend” but to be friends and sometimes lovers. It isn’t going to go anywhere– we know that, because I already have my kids and someday he wants to have kids of his own.

This makes sense, but still it hurts that every time I get involved with someone I really like, it  always comes down to that. I know I don’t want any more kids. For the next year or so we carry on as such. Meanwhile, I date other people, he dates other people, we talk, we lunch, we play tennis. He holds me close while I sob at the ending of the movie “American Beauty”. He doesn’t rush me out of the theater. He just sits there, holding my hand until I feel ready to leave, then takes me for coffee and a browse through a nearby bookstore. He reads aloud from the Anne Rice (aka Anne Rampling) book, “Exit to Eden”, making me blush. Making me laugh at his audacity.

To be continued…