What about it?
I wonder of it.
There is something that happens when you look over at a person and it stops your thoughts. I know—it’s happening right now. The way you lose your momentum mid-sentence, the way you squirm—the way you sit still. The way you have to admit, to someone, out loud, that you:
“Can’t remember where you were going with whatever you were saying,” or thinking, or doing. Poetic right?
It’s what I like to call fail-safe. But it’s actually the opposite.
It is when you are lying on your stomach , reading, writing, thinking, yes, lying down next to someone and they softly place their hand on the top of your thigh and dozens of sparks begin blinking inside your bloodstream and all you can think of is if there was ever anything better. It gives you the illusion that all in the world’s alright and cannot fail. That all is safe and well.
Makes it easier to dream big enough to fail in the morning—I’ll tell ya.
Then there’s this armor. I’m guilty—I wear it—that I don’t need sentiments. That I don’t need little love notes, white chocolate-covered flowers, concern and compliments. Fine, I’ll do without, at least as long as I can. But when it’s right, like not—left, like ball bouncing from court to court, tickles when I’m smiling—right… the one thing I can’t seem to fall asleep without is, the cuddling.
To be forced to sleep without cuddling, is the cruelest most unusually awfully-painful and saddening punishment no one deserves! I mean drink the last of the soymilk without saying anything, but do not refuse to snuggle with me before we fall asleep!
Yes, I want him to hold me like we are teleporting into another dimension, and if we don’t hold tight enough one of us might get left-locked into another year. Yes, I want him fiddling up my back, hands upside my thigh. I want him to hold me, at the very least, until I fall asleep. And if it gets too hot, I understand. But if it does not, I want him to understand that I look forward to it like Lucky Charms and Tetris.
I want to open my slow eyes to his hands dancing along my pantiline, his breathing medium hovering my neckline, his body heat ingeniously saving me from needing the extra space heater.
So, how does it feel guys, do you like to snuggle?
I stopped dating for a while.
I think that starts mentally first. Sure there are the plentiful “in-betweens” I’ve met over the years, exes, or wanderers that have affected me and would rightfully say that him and I were “dating,” but such is a lie. I met him. Once or twice. I hung out with him; he called whenever he was bored. Once or three times, through a friend or he bought me a drink and I sipped and sped off.
Anyway, dating to me is the person (for the hopeful romantic upchuck/serial monogamistical/ and manic idiosyncratic like myself) that you wanna talk to before bed and stay up late talking to risking priorities not being met. The person you start dating and don’t mind a phone conversation while you’re sitting in the bubble bath with your teacup, tub-side. The person that after you’ve been dating a while, you don’t mind taking to the toilet with you for a pee or shit (over the phone of course! Don’t judge!) Anyway—that comfortable person for you. I’ll revisit the shit part later.
Needless to say… no one like that in my life. [Like I said ignore any coughing here] Lately, I tire early, request alone time, writing time, studying, reading, whatever—my life. From my perspective, “for now” and “wait list” are gravely different from “VIP guest list.” The man this story is about is “VIP guest list.” Yes, that hot. He is.
So I met him shortly (very shortly rather) after an aforementioned “in between” forced me to exclaim after dinner that yes— it’s time, I’ve been mentally “checked-out” for over a year and no we never go out like we used to, hell, chat like we used to, laugh at all— for that matter ((yawn)) and carry on for another hour of oil not mixing with water—like I said I stopped dating long ago. Lol.
I’ve called myself “in love” before or I’ve said that I have loved a person, although all of this is questionable at this point albeit my two family members and one close friend are all simultaneously in the process of divorce right now. Sort of changes the game when the people whose marriages you’ve always looked up to have come to an end. I’ve come to the conclusion that instead of being “in love with the idea of love,” I’ve just been “in love with what I wanted love to give me” and more importantly—with where I thought love would get me.
I’ll repeat more simply: If I wanted a happy marriage and a baby girl–I’d fall in love with that illusion instead of the person that could give that to me. So it wasn’t the holding hands in the park, secret-special, life is wonderful when you’re in love that I wanted—but the partner who helped me create the best creative reality using his imagination. I’m a sucker.
Here’s where it all comes together. I started (about 3 months ago) going out to happy hours/business mixers, attempting too-long bike rides, and posing men I’d meet on said adventures in the nonfiction stories I’d write. Truth is stranger than fiction—type of gig. I’d never imagine beyond the day I met the person. I’d never think that beyond a few drinks or lunch that I’d meet anyone I’d care to seriously see again. After some random guy would compliment me and walk my groceries to the car, I’d never bother thinking of him again after the 500-word story about how my dress ended up being tucked in my panties, and so on. That type of thing.
So I go out one night to a dancy dive-type bar. Raunchily, the ill-appropriated folk are humping and cooing and the ceiling is sweating down on me. I simply had to drink to stand it as otherwise my OCD wouldn’t have let me continue on. Since I was there at this place of business this would insinuate that because I wouldn’t take anyone seriously here, that I am not a girl to be taken seriously, seriously.
Then I met [redacted]. Sorry I haven’t gotten his permission to post his name and I love his name so it’s much better not to make him up yet.
But I met [redacted] twice. Let’s call him “Red” for short. I went to the bar to “take the edge off” as the Alchy’s call it. Relax, have a laugh, and most importantly, write another damn story. Or live it well enough to write it the next morning.
First time I saw Red I said to myself —is the room shaking? —Is it Christmas? — Can I touch him? —Is he real? Or something non-short of such rah rah. He had sunlight skin, a tiny mustache, twinkling eyes, baby’s-toot-soft-skin, and a navy baseball cap if memory serves me. Nothing shiny or belligerent. No “ghetto bunkin” jersey when he’s not at a basketball game, no non-tailored blazer. Basic tee-and-jeans cutie.
He comes on strong, but asks for my number. I say no. He looks 12. My son is almost 12, I refuse to raise more children before I’m ready, unless of course you’re a rich publisher—please do inquire as none of this male bashing applies to you. Sorry I’m back. But I say to Red as he watches drinks swish down my sinkhole.
“No, you’re too young, besides, you asked for my number you should have politely demanded it.”
This was my way of deterring him, my weeding out process, my “if you’re too drunk you can’t jump through this hoop.” I tend to come up with many of those… aka… excuses. After all he was “12-looking” (or early twenties) and he did ask instead of tell me nicely and I was busy trying to graduate and not fall in love with anyone who fails to perfectly exist at this moment. Again, I shrugged my shoulders and bopped off. I was there to laugh with my friends and create stories. Not meet anyone, really.
The second time I met Red my friend and I were at the same ceiling-sweaty-place and he passed me with a sly smile. When I got up closer, I was about to say something along the lines of “don’t I know you?” when he confidently demanded my number, later reminding me that we’d met before and I’d said no because he “was hardly making the double digits in age, and that my son was nearly 12, I was almost 30, sorry but I’m not looking for anything.”
Wow, I say a drunken mouthful.
He decided to let me know that “I didn’t need to be looking, necessarily” and he bought me a diet coke and vanilla vodka and escorted me to the dance floor—this time without asking. Somebody learned. Fast forward to less than a week later our second date (our first date being a whole different story I’m writing) and I chose to cook for him at my home (which I’ve done for one handful of people because I’m afraid they’ll all realize that I have perfected 3 meals total and everything else I’m wingin’ it.)
He shows up. On time. Nicely dressed—and immediately my puppy loves him. Good signs. We eat our food, which I will not tell you in case I end up making it for you one day. Auh F it: we ate lemon peppered salmon, sautéed green and yellow green beans, langostino tails in garlic, and a red rice medley with flax seeds and barley. Showin’ OUT. The appetizer was a Toscana cheese topped with cinnamon and what should have been crackers but when I tried to serve them they ended up being stale, so I quickly shoved them in the trash before Red could see. So yah, appetizer was jus’ plain cheese and Rosé. Yea, I did that. Lol.
Damn he was fine. Mighta tied me up and chopped my kneecaps off for breakfast and I woulda smiled type-a’fine. Mighta forced his baton up my ellipsis type-a’ fine. I ain’t got no good sense nor proper sentence structure for this type-a’ fine.
Most men don’t (I repeat if this were a regular date I’d have scared him off already) keep me intrigued enough for a second date or I say too much all at once and there’s awkward silence and then no more. And here I am crazily offering to cook for a pretty stranger.
My puppy twirls at Red’s feet and jumps his lap hoping for a French kiss worse than I was.
I have not hoped for a French kiss since I was 15. I don’t really enjoy kissing much, when a relationship requires too much of it, especially when folks aren’t very good at it. I’m turned off. Slobber baths give me the creeps.
But this man. This Red guy. I wanted to kiss kisssssssss kiss. Put my OCD about saliva in a tight-lipped jar and kiss him until I saw stars. Possibly even make my prose rhyme a bit. Yes, that’s it.
We never got to the kiss. We never did because two romantic comedies later my puppy bless her soul—trots in, all 3 ½ pounds of her maltese wannabee pit bull comes from down the hallway— stares both of us down as we sit on my white couch surrounded by my off-white living room encompassed by my unusually oversized fluffy white rug fresh from the dryer early morning— yes my baby maltese “Notebook,” the girl pup I peacefully trained this spring by asking her please and praise—my little universe in the size of a shoe—shimmers into the living room and takes a long sarcastic “This is my mommy’s house who the fuck are you” staring dead at Red and shits in unbelievably juicy spurtles—similar to that of oversized bird droppings, in a sickly circular way all over my fluff rug.
And then I am sitting there with my mouth wide, fake-laughing it off with jokes and a high-larious voice of “I hope you still call me anyway, this was a nice and shitterific evening,” or this dating shit ain’t easy because it really is shitty, in fact, I couldn’t have shit it better myself. My maltese looks at me as if self-satisfied.
She walks off.Picture from Savage Chickens