Tony is the greatest host ever. He made the Host Club for me.
I declined to pick a host like I did earlier that day at the Maid Cafe. And once again, I struck gold. Shortly after we were seated, Tony confessed to me that I was his first table that night. No one had picked him. I was shocked and at a loss for words. He spoke in a cheerful voice that conveyed his carefree personality as he sat across from me.
Dispensing with the usual introductions, he seemed negligent of his duties, not keen on taking my order or ensuring that I had water even after I informed him that I was under time constraints. Instead, he launched into conversation much to my chagrin as I checked the time on my phone.
Tony managed to keep a veil of mystery as he talked away beneath the dimmed lights of the restaurant and I found myself leaning closer. He traveled up to DC from North Carolina. I mention that my friend, who couldn’t join us, is also from his state. We talked about how I missed Kotoko at Animazement. He frequents anime cons along the coast. Sushi looks good.
He inquired about my outfit, unsure if I am cosplaying. He’s more into music than anime. Electronica, dance, hip hop. I quized him about his current rotation of the latter. I don’t recognize any of the bands. Sushi is good.
Suddenly, another host taps him and signals that he’s needed for a champagne toast. Curiously, I watch him join a handful of others in surrounding a nearby table. With the hosts blocking my view of the table, I could only see them chant in a crescendo as they pumped fists. Then it was all over.
Apparently, every time someone orders a drink, one host would partake in the festivity while the rest gather around and cheer them on.
We continued talking and I discover that he breakdances. He’s the only one upside down on the photo board. He got started when he was fourteen. It’s been seven years since he became a B Boy.
“I thought it would help me get girls,” Tony averted my gaze for half a heartbeat before looking up again with a tender grin. He’s quick to add that he dances for fun now, not to attract girls.
We shared the same understanding at that moment so I smiled knowingly in return. It felt like I had known him since grade school. And I am out of sushi. Wait.
Tony knew he had mastered his art. He entertained me while subtly delivering the essentials. He accomplished the impossible in creating a milieu not unlike a date. As my mind rewinded, I could recall ordering the sushi and his fleeting absences from the table but our time felt uninterrupted. I was thoroughly enjoying myself.
My glass was empty however. But if you were there to witness his adorable self, you’d forgive him too. Especially after what he did for me.
After settling the check, I followed him to the space occupied by the then absent DJ. He had recruited a colleague and they queued Propellerheads on the amplifier. I watched Tony sit on the floor as he stretched, removing his various jewelry and chains as he finds them, the thumping beats of music starting to attract attention…
I will let the video demonstrate why Tony and the Host Club is the best. (He first appears at 0:31)