This one was a Tinder date who kissed me within 5 minutes of meeting me. Like, a real kiss. In a bar in front of lots of sports-watchers (because we were sitting under the sports TV). ?!?!?
He talked about himself for the entire time it took me to drink two impossibly large beers - I think they somehow crammed, like, 36 ounces into each pint glass. The biggest 16 ounce beverages in the history of 16 ounce beverages. It’s like “that one day I spent a month in Yonkers.” Or in Williamsburg, as the case may be. Still with me?
Aaaaaaanyway, the embarrassing part about this story is that, at least in my memory of the situation, I kind of stuck it out because he was a really good kisser. Shhhh. I mean, he was (is) also an interesting dude, but 10-15 minutes of him talking would have been enough for me to have a take-home message of “hey, I just met somebody who does this awesome thing” that I could share with various strangers in various bars down the road.
Literally! Because then I had to leave to go meet a friend a few blocks away, kind of a designed backup plan, but also a legitimate hangout.
This guy tried and tried …and tried and tried… to get me to come up to his apartment, which was so conveniently located on the way to where I was headed. “Just one beer,” he said. “Let’s just listen to this one record. You’ll love it.” And so on.
A few weeks later he texted me and asked if I wanted to come over and see his band’s new video. Persistence is difficult to pull off, but I actually might have considered it if I had been free (what a kisser!). Hopefully somebody would’ve talked me out of that one? Woof!
There was this artist / Johnny Depp lookalike that I really liked*, but I felt strangely unsafe in his presence. [Time out real quick. I think I know what you’re thinking… at least one of you. A Johnny Depp-lookin’ artist with a hint of danger? Who could ask for anything more?] Roommate & I started using the term “strangle-y,” as in the “strangle” version of “rapey.” Not to be confused with “strangely.” Moving on. One night he got really creepy via text and then pulled the ol’ “you can’t fire me, I quit!” move. Haven’t heard from him since. There are too many quotation marks in this paragraph, and clearly, that means something; namely, that I made the right decision when I tricked him into quitting.
Also on our first date he told me I smelled like laundry detergent.
He played after me at an open mic night last week. He was wearing a fedora and a tucked-in shirt, and he started off his set by running his mouth about Ferguson, etc, and teaching the crowd the chorus of his first song because he wanted us to sing along. And, uh, if you know me AT ALL, you would expect me to be 100% disgusted by all of this. But I wasn’t? Somehow all those things conspired to make him seem absolutely adorable. He also mentioned that he’s moving to California really soon - I guess that’s happening in two days now. He played a really special cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on the Wire” that I won’t forget for a long time. That voice.
We met after his set and sat down together, he asked to buy me a drink next door after the open mic was over, I agreed, so we did that.
Once we started talking, I learned that he’s moving to LA for work but coming back to NY in the winter, and also that he’s over-the-top romantic.
He’s a film director, so he can get away with saying things like “if this was a movie, this is the part where I would kiss you,” and then doing that. Across a table so that we both had to lean in, and after a long, deep look into each other’s eyes.
This is the point where I should let you know that he introduced himself as “William.” After kissing me, he confessed that his real name is “Sam,” then showed me his ID to convince me. Yeah, yeah, it sounds sketchy, but, y’know, artists… the “Sam” part checked out, but there was one other thing: I first thought it said was he was born in 1981, which is fine, maybe a bit on the young side for my tastes as of late (ha ha), but yeah, fine. Then I did a double take when I realized it actually said 1991. [N.B. if I could capitalize 1991, I would.] 1991! Ok. Mental math. Mental math re-do. Once more. Yep, that still makes him 22. Inside: a stifling of giggles and a new feeling of empowerment, plus a dash of shame.
I’m realizing now how difficult it’s going to be to keep track of feelings. I can say things like, yeah, he’s the guy that gave me a fake name and is way too young, but it’s hard to explain the other stuff. Like the desperation in his hands and how, when he was holding me, I felt like if I closed my eyes, I’d open them to find us together but all alone on a raft in the middle of the ocean. Or no, wait - that’s not quite it. Hmm. More like he himself would be that raft, and I’d better let go or end up out there too. He seemed to need so much but have so much to give, too. And that voice! Those lips! Dangerous territory, to be sure.
Ok, I’ll focus now. Back to business. We ended up sitting on a bench in Red Hook until almost 5AM. A cop drove by to ask if the instruments on the street belonged to us, and William/Sam yelled back that they were, adding “we’re musicians, and we’re in love!” which resulted in an official NYPD thumbs-up and chuckle. He sang a few songs in my ear, including “Barbara Allen,” from which he chose his stage name (William), and more Leonard Cohen, and one that he wrote. I felt so lucky then, with that voice so soft and so close.
He came home with me to make sure I made it safely, but he didn’t come in. We stood on my stoop until I couldn’t hold my eyes open any longer. He kept telling me how beautiful I am (saying that I look like a glamorous 40’s film noir star… hey, I’ll take that!) and various things that he likes about me. He wrote down his phone number for me, and I wrote down my phone number for him, but I was almost totally sure I’d never see him or hear from him again. He was too magical to exist outside of that night! Out of time and out of place. As my roommate put it, sometimes you can have a soulmate just for a night. That’s news to me, but I like the idea. Did I mention his voice? I wanted to stay close to him but not for too long. Much too bright.
As he rambled off with his guitar in tow at the end of the night (err, morning), he tipped his hat to me and once again, sang the beginning of that song. From the front door, I watched him walk all the way around the corner, because I didn’t want to miss seeing that rickety ol’ raft drift back into the big salty ocean-of-a-realworld. He didn’t look back, but then again, I guess I didn’t want him to.
This is a test of the, uh, journaling system that I’m trying out to keep track of the various dudes I meet. My roommate thinks that I’m going to start getting them mixed up and forget the things I like/dislike about each one, which is probably true, yes. She’s very smart.
I’m a little unsure of how to proceed, but I reckon I’ll start with a summary for the few select friends with whom this will be shared*…
If you’re reading this, then (hopefully) you’re either a total stranger (highly unlikely) or you know me very, very well. As a reminder, I’m experiencing real-deal single life for pretty much the first time ever. And doing that in NYC, which, I’m told is (1) the best place to be dating, but also (2) a really hard place to find a lasting, meaningful relationship. [Ahem. That last bit came from my ex.] There’s certainly no shortage of fish in this sea, though most of those fish have parts of their mouths ripped out from previous hook snags, are missing fins and/or eyes, or maybe just have chins that are too small. Or don’t drink coffee or have terrible taste in karaoke songs. So things get weird.
I’ve only been at it for a few months now, but man, people are people, by which I mean to say that I have some stories that I’d like to keep track of. …Here goes!
Also: some thinking out loud: initially, this won’t necessarily be in any sort of chronological order, and some entries will be private, but if I can let my buddies in on those, I will. Selective privacy settings? I don’t know how this works yet. But, to my all-knowing roommate who may wonder why I’m not choosing to record certain things (gems like “not so hard” or “weird/not weird” or the best kiss ever… sigh!), I AM. It’s all going to be here somewhere. But, e.g., if I have since become friends with a person or if the person’s identity would be mega-obvious because it’s part of the story, it’ll be hidden.
Ok. Now I might need a cup of tea and one of those eggs I just so-attentively boiled for 12 minutes before I can really dig in.
P.S. On the off-chance that you don’t know, the user name that I chose, “uptolexington125,” comes from this song. Don’t worry, friends - I’m not waiting on that kind of man. But out of context, it’s applicable, right?: “I’m waiting for my man / Here he comes, he’s all dressed in black / Beat up shoes and a big straw hat / He’s never early, he’s always late / First thing you learn is you always gotta wait.”
Yep. I’m waiting.
*By the way, I decided to let a few buddies in on this rather than making it private, because if it was totally private, I know I would NEVER update it. Thanks in advance.