I don’t know why I decided tonight, Saturday at 1am as any time to write this. I started reading a collection of poems by Hanif Willis-Abbsurraqib called “The Crown Ain’t Worth Much,” where the poem ‘On Hunger’ made me cry. And then I got to thinking about Cat Person and the uneasiness of dating. And finally, I came to thinking about the guy I decided to give a chance that I had met on the dance floor only a few weeks back.
I saw an event posted on the Philly Burners group. It was a house show that had a 2 for $5 deal. I texted my friend asking if she wanted to spend Thursday night at the event and just not get that much sleep for the next day at work. She said yes and we proceeded to make plans. The venue was a two-story building and when we got there right at 10pm they were still setting up upstairs. We had a drink, caught up, talked about work, and talked about making friends and meeting people, went upstairs had a second, third drink and talked about relationships, life, and finding events. Finally, the floor was filling up with people and we decided to go out. I wasn’t trying to meet anyone but I was also trying to be outgoing. Not so cooped up. Not so hung up. So I made my first mistake, I made eye-contact.
He looked nice. Hip. Glasses. Scarf. Fade. And we made eye contact. A couple times. We started dancing. Swinging around, hips moving, feet going side to side. Then he got me into a corner, and I just wanted to chat. I asked about what he did, how he got there, and I could tell all he wanted to do was kiss me, and I felt uneasy. So I just asked him more questions, found out he’s from the area, lived in different parts of California, was a photographer/ cinematographer. And we made out. I had left my friend and at the ripe age of 25, I know no guy is worth leaving a friend for so I asked for his number and to get a drink at a later date. I returned to my friend and before he left he came back and kissed me. We separately texted over the next couple days because I was traveling for work but I didn’t really want to be in touch with him. But in my head, I felt that I needed to put myself out there. I needed to get the practice. I get hung up on the guys that didn’t want to be with me and ended up in relationship soon after… I felt like I needed to do the same thing…
I came back and wanted to figure out grabbing this drink. And he never made concrete plans but asked me if I wanted to go to his place of work, which was a restaurant. It reminded me of another guy who said that he would have girls come to the bar that he would work at and it wouldn’t be weird. So, instead of going to the restaurant, I went to a coffee shop and read. I waited and waited, wanting to minimize the time I would have to wait there and then walked over when the coffee shop closed. I told the host I was there to see the dance floor guy and dance floor guy walked over to me and asked me how I was doing. I didn’t even recognize him without his glasses. So I sat and had a margarita, read, and waited for him to get off shift.
He brought me to the front bar area, we chatted, I met his coworkers. Before we could leave they brought us shots to take together and they wanted to embarrass him so they brought out a cake and sang happy birthday. I laughed and thought it was sweet he had a group of people around him that liked and cared about him that much. Mildly mortified, he got me out of there quick and we walked to another bar down the street. He gave me a kiss before we walked across the street and I was in awe. And then I look back at that moment and realize I had two margaritas and a shot of tequila in my system. Because when we had a drink at the bar I really loved the conversation we had and how he held my hand across the table. We talked about Jurassic Park and AI, and he talked to me about movies. And it sounds really wonderful and nice but then I think back… And he just talked about the things that he knew. He didn’t want to get to know who I was, but I later learned he liked to learn about people through observations.
So I asked him if he wanted to invite me back to his apartment and I spent the night. He was so worried about how messy his room was that he asked if it was ok if I waited downstairs while he cleaned it. Listen, I know what that is like. I literally sometimes keep my room super messy just so I don’t bring a person back. Or I don’t care and they can make their silent judgments and want to not be with me. I know the person who I am. But this guy. Dance floor guy was more insecure. He made me wait downstairs for thirty minutes. I asked his roommate to go check on him because I was concerned. What could be so bad in the room that he couldn’t bring me up after five minutes? He had a tiny room. It was mainly his bed. I’ve seen some rough stuff. If it was that bad just say no, but anything to get laid, am I right? So I slept over and this is where I get a little confused. Because I wanted to hook up with him at the bar but then at the moment, well in the middle of having sex I just didn’t want to be there anymore. I didn’t want to be with him. I hated that he was inside of me. I couldn’t figure out why in one moment I was so eager and wanted to go back with him, initiated everything, and then all I wanted to do was leave.
I woke up early the next morning, he walked me to my car, and I could tell he was smitten with me. And I just wanted to drive home, shower, and go to work. So after he deeply kissed me goodbye, I drove away. I didn’t want to look back.
We made plans to go on a second date that following weekend. Friday he was out in the same area I was but I was with co-workers, Saturday I was tired and slept until 4pm, and Sunday came and we didn’t have concrete plans. I waited for him until 2pm and finally asked what he wanted to do. And then he made last minute plans to go to a car show. I canceled. I’m 25. I’m not about to have someone waste my day and then figure out that if they want to see me again that they will figure out the last minute plan. I respect my time.
So I went on a second date with him. We got pizza at a place where you reserve your own dough that following Wednesday. Again, I don’t know why I went. I didn’t really want to see him. I think I wanted to lie to myself. That it will get better. That I would like him. That I should just try. That my intuition is wrong. We got pizza. We drank wine. We talked about movies and he would do this thing where he would stare at me and was about to say something but would just kind of nervously laughing. And I almost got irritated. Because it looked so often that he was going to say something but he would just look at me. He told me how beautiful my eyes were. How beautiful I was. And I just wanted to punch him in the face. I couldn’t handle his neuroticism. I wanted to leave. I didn’t want to be with him. So we went for a drink at another bar.
He held my hand. He gave me a kiss. We talked for another hour and I was tired and wanted to go home. So I drove to his house to drop him off and on the way, he asked if I wanted to come inside for a drink. And at this point, and especially with everything in the news I just didn’t care. I turned to him and said, “Are you asking me if I want to go inside and have sex.” I shouldn’t have been so blunt. I should have played along. That’s what the whole first part is about is playing along? I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t care. I didn’t want some message of oh I only invited you inside for a drink nothing else, as you grab away at me and think that I’m yours. I had this awful images in my head. That you only want me because you perceive me as beautiful. You didn’t even ask about my passions, interests, fears, and joys. But why would you? It was only the second date…
As we kissed on the staircase I couldn’t do it. I told him I wanted to leave and that I didn’t want to do this. I told him I had too many other things I wanted to focus on, like finding a new job, and moving away, and finding a new city. I didn’t want this. I didn’t want to be with him. I enjoyed my time with him but I didn’t want to be with him. He was stunned. Thrown off. He didn’t see it coming. He was glad I was upfront. He kissed me deeply and I told him I needed to go. I drove away.
He texted me two days later saying bringing home the pizza was a good idea. I told him how I was getting sick and sorry if I got him sick. He made a joke about looking forward to it and I didn’t say anything. And he texted following up saying it was a joke. I told him I knew.
And today three weeks later he messaged me out of the blue asking how I was. I responded. And he hasn’t gotten back to me yet. And I don’t know why I play into it. Why I feel bad. Why I feel like I should respond. And how to tell him bluntly and to the point that I don’t want to date him. But that can wait. Until he texts me back. I just think about him and get angry. I get mad at every man I meet who tells me I’m beautiful in the first five minutes of our interaction. I hate the men that stare at my eyes. I hate the men that look at me. Oogle. I’m more. And I wish they could see that.