You've known the guy sitting across from you at Il Vicino for about ten minutes now, not counting the brief, slightly drunken conversation at another bar a week ago when you gave him your phone number, or the awkward handshake before the two of you walked in. You're seated on the surprisingly quiet street-side patio and apropos of nothing he breaks out into a long, loud version of Billy Joel's "Shameless," but he's singing it with the intensity of the Garth Brooks cover (and with the same insane look in his eyes). People are turning in their seats to stare. Fighting panic, you reassure yourself: The pizza's been ordered and paid for thanks to Il Vicino's first-date-friendly system, and your car's in sight for the Dukes of Hazzard-style exit you're already beginning to plan. He's on the fourth chorus and by the time he finishes, your affordable, made-to-order pizza will be in front of you, thanks to the blazing heat of the wood-burning oven and similarly prompt service. He finally belts out the last lyric, and a record-setting awkward pause is interrupted by slow applause two tables down, where you turn, blushing, to see a tall, handsome stranger eating alone and conspiratorially smiling at your embarrassment. He winks.
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