“I was working in a restaurant by then, waiting tables and flirting with one of the dishwashers, planning for my upcoming spring semester in Paris.”
In a largely glowing profile on her college boyfriend, 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke, Sasha Watson described flirting with another man while still in a relationship with the Texas lawmaker.
The Boston-based writer and educator depicts her relationship with “Beto” as a fairy tale story of young love. Responsible, quiet O’Rourke wasn’t like the “rebellious artist-types” that Watson normally went for. Her description of the first time the two got together could have come straight out of a romantic comedy:
“‘Let’s go outside,’ he said eventually, his eyes wide. ‘Do you want to?’
I liked the way he was looking at me, so I yelled back, ‘Yes!’
Five minutes later, we walked past trays of fruit into a bodega on Broadway. I can remember the precise flavor of that warm September middle-of-the-night, the sense of being very far from childhood and of entering what seemed at the time like adulthood.”
Months after the start of their courtship, Watson visited O’Rourke in his hometown of El Paso. There, the future House congressman she’d always known as Robert showed her a side of himself she’d never seen before.
“For one thing, in New York he’d gone by Robert; that was what I’d called him. Now I found that his family, his oldest friends, his bandmates all called him something else. And, as Beto, he was different. He wasn’t some quiet guy; he was the eldest son, the big brother, the leader of his small gang of artists and musicians,” Watson wrote.
What followed was a magical summer in El Paso, full of adorably twee shenanigans that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Zoey Deschanel film. Perhaps the highlight of their zany adventures was O’Rourke’s suggestion that they work as ice cream truck drivers.
“In the days and weeks that followed, we drove around adobe neighborhoods selling Rocket Pops and Fudgsicles. Beto and the others brought guitars, and we turned off the ice cream truck jingle and sang Jonathan Richman songs out the window,” Watson recalled.
But alas the magic of the summer and O’Rourke’s appeal appeared to eventually wear off. All of “Beto’s” quirky nice-guy charm couldn’t keep Watson from lusting after another man while she was supposedly still in love with him.
Painting a sad picture, Watson described O’Rourke spending long days alone driving an ice cream truck through suburban neighborhoods, while she flirted with a dishwasher.
“But by the end of the summer, the ice cream truck had lost its glow, and Beto spent long days driving alone through suburban neighborhoods, the jingle playing as he sold ice cream bars to kids. I was working in a restaurant by then, waiting tables and flirting with one of the dishwashers, planning for my upcoming spring semester in Paris,” she wrote.
“Beto and I were still in love, though, and I was sure — most of the time — that we would stay together,” Watson added.
Six months later, during a phone call to a “lonely” O’Rourke who was living in New York while Watson was in Paris, the couple broke up.
Some might argue that the American people’s love affair with O’Rourke is fading. A Politico profile published last month posited that the bright-eyed shine that accompanied the 2020 candidate when he first announced his run appears to be waning. His position in the polls has stabilized. According to a Washington Examiner report, there were fewer than 120 attendees at the former Texas congressman’s April town hall event in Iowa.
Meanwhile, younger and sexier Democratic candidates have emerged.