Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Sometimes it really does happen that way
You might have wondered about the handsome dark stranger holding Linus in the "Dog Is My Copilot" photo below. Well, he is the other reason I've been too busy to post recently and his story goes like this:
It was a Saturday in August, one of the hottest days of the year, and I was getting over another heartbruise. Not a break, exactly, not even a sprain (I have now concluded), but yet another weirdness in a three-year series of weirdnesses after a drought of even longer. The kind of weirdness that starts you wondering what's wrong with [members of the sex to which you are attracted], and ends with you deciding that there must be something wrong with you.
So there I was on the Metro platform with my book and my pretty grownup clothes... and I noticed a handsome young man looking at me from a little ways down the platform. I gave him my "Hello, nice stranger" smile and went back to my book. A minute later I looked up and he was still watching me. This time I did the "Please don't be crazy" smile--and kept reading. The train came, we both got on the car, and he was still staring! I tried to read my book, but I kept shooting furtive glances at him and then looking away when he caught me.
We must have played that junior-high game for five minutes before I decided "The heck with this" and, with an internal sigh, asked him about the slogan on his T-shirt. Then he asked me about my book, and we fell into a conversation that lasted the duration of the train ride, the escalator ride, and the walk to my bus stop. Knowing that the bus would come any minute, I did something I've never done before:
I wrote down my name and number on a scrap of paper and handed it to him, saying, "There are some cool new bars where I live. If you want to get drinks sometime, give me a call... OH! Unless you're seeing someone! Are you seeing someone?" (Yeah, 10 points for style.) I walked away grinning, thinking he would never call but it would make a great story for the Monday lunchroom.
Well, he called. And that Friday we had the most awkward first date in romantic history--certainly the most awkward ever to have a second date. It began with a geographic mishap that had us on opposite sides of the city, and ended with me having to invite him back to sleep at our house (on a spare bed, people!) when the bus stranded him in my neighborhood.
And yet, there was a second date. And a third. And suddenly it was impossible to imagine getting through a week--or even a few days--without seeing the guy I'd picked up on the Metro.