He was younger than Lisa’s mother and he wore a fine silver watch which he took off to do the dishes after they ate dinner together. In Alice’s condo, there was only one place to eat, a space between the kitchen area and the living area. She had placed the pine table from the kitchen in Window Rock there. She usually kept it covered with one of the Mexican embroidered table cloths she’d bought down in Nogales but for David, she brought out something more traditional. Plain, white.
This was how Kate had described their mother’s boyfriend to Lisa. Plain, white. She didn’t make it to dinner. No one seemed to know for sure where Kate was or even where she was staying but she’d called Lisa on her cell in the afternoon to say, sorry. Can’t make it. I’ve met him, anyhow. Very nice. Very white.
.Kate said this about people as if she and her sister and mother were not as white as white themselves. European, Lisa would correct. European ethnicity. It was important to her to be accurate, especially about ideas. Pin them down. Make sense.
David was a stock broker. He was easily the most successful man their mother had ever dated. Tall, thin, hunched a little at the sink, he was easy enough to talk to, if you wanted to talk about things that did not matter.
Neither Kate nor Alice seemed to notice but it was impossible for Lisa not to think about what her father would have said. To Marc, men like David were not even the enemy. They were insubstantial, beneath even being dismissed. They were deluded and like all delusional people, dangerous companions.
It was clear that Alice liked him, maybe for the exact reason Marc would have walked out on this dinner. Maybe she wanted a nice looking man with a nice watch who did the dishes. It was fine with Lisa. David did not seem dangerous to her. Alice could be dangerous, Kate was dangerous if only to herself but David? She studied his back, his small flat backside, pale blue button down, khaki slacks. If David wanted to do her mother’s dishes, she would not complain.