Last night, as I walked home from downtown, against the current of tens of thousands of people leaving an event in my neighborhood, I started typing this on my phone . . .
I think i fell in love tonight.
My head is spinning. I can’t really think straight. But I might have fallen in love.
He cried, tears in his eyes in front of me … Left me to cry.
But here is when I knew …
I met him before.
I MET him before. Two weeks ago.
I met him and I remember him. He was cute — cuter than his friend. But i saw him leave — for a date — and I saw them kiss goodbye. And I saw him.
And I met him before.
My head — hours later — is still spinning. I dreamt of him all night. Dreamt of messages I thought he’d sent but hadn’t I woke myself looking for them.
I am dancing on a dangerous line with him … And we both know it.
We don’t yet speak the same language, he’s not what I am looking for … and yet he’s what I want. I think.
I dont know though. I do know he’s trouble. He’s 10 years my junior. He lives the life of a successful man about town, with no obvious source of income. He picked up every check, at ridiculously expensive places, and never blinked. I picked up the smallest, early on, as I had told him I was taking him out for a drink.
He had me calculate the tips on everything, which is such a BFD thing to do … a subtle and not-so-subtle acknowledgement that he’s picking up the check, but also that we are in this together.
There are so many little moments that stand out, so many small gestures or statements and all i could think was omg this is really happening.
And now, back to the beginning.
I met, let’s call him BV for Bon Vivant, last Sunday. I was with FM, we’d been watching an NFL game at a bar — and drinking mimosas — before wandering randomly into a different bar blocks away. It’s somewhere we like, but don’t frequent.
We were drinking a cocktail looking around when BV wandered over to talk to FM, to say, you killed us on the field today. Blah blah blah. FM was so charmed, he bought BV a drink.
Here’s what I recall: BV looked like a more handsome version of PR: short (maybe 5’9″), with two days of weekend beard growth, a team visor and tshirt, beautiful teeth (absolutely stunning), short dark hair with a bit of gray, and blue eyes. He was in great shape, he made a couple of party references that felt like tests, and he was quite clearly attracted to me.
The three of us hung together, we played a game at which I beat BV we had bet drinks, and BV bought multiple rounds of shots and got FM so drunk i had to drive him home immediately.
BV and I exchanged numbers and he sent a couple of essentially “wtf just happened there.” Both cranky, both drunk, we chatted the next day and then set a date for Thursday (as I had dates tues & wed). The idea was that I would buy him a drink. That then morphed into “let’s go to dinner.”
I was a little nervous for practical reasons. I was broke and as I checked him out and realized he was 10 years my junior. TEN. Yeesh.
The day of the date arrives, and he’s ill, but hoping to rally. I am two blocks from his fabulous fancy downtown condo (on a very high floor). I invite him to join me at a party before we bounce to dinner. I have his photo from his fb profile on my phone, and I show it to my gf C and a couple of the door guys saw it and said “wow, he’s handsome” and the other commented on his teeth, which seriously, beautiful.
Anyway, he’s sick and I make a random weird offer to come by with soup. I mean, I am two blocks away, I can see his building from the rooftop on which I am standing, and intuitively, instinctively, I want to make him soup and take care of him.
A man I’d met 5 days ago.
[He told me last night that it was incredibly sweet, and he nearly took me up on it. But we didn’t really know each other and he didn’t want to make me ill.]
He asked if we could postpone to Friday night, and I agreed, but he canceled on me on Friday night, too. I texted him randomly later that I could hear the big concert from my bedroom, to which he did not respond that night, but did mention on Sunday.
On Sunday, we didn’t have specific plans. He was still ailing. I was intending to hang out with FM for brunch, but I was rather confident or hopeful I guess that if I were downtown, I’d probably see BV.
During my brunch with FM, he announced he had post-game plans for a date. No problem. I have plenty of friends downtown, it’s a game day, and I can easily walk home from where we are as the streets are packed.
I texted him when his team did something good: “now that was a good score.” I didn’t expect a response, but 20 minutes later I got “where are you”. I told him, asked where he was and he told me he was finally feeling better. I told him I was glad to hear it, and mentioned “perhaps I should buy you that drink post-game.” He asked where, so I named three places — two I love and the place we met.
He said “I look like shit” so I assured him I was 6 mimosas in. His response: “Liar.” I corrected myself when I got my tab. We banter a bit and he asks where I want to wait for him, so we decide on the place we met, and I watch the game’s end, hang with FM for a few minutes, and then start walking blocks away.
At the bar, there are two empty seats near a screen. I order a club soda. He texts me he’s on his way. Thirty minutes later, I’ve chatted with the semicute dude sitting next to me, until he relocated outside. I text BV where I am sitting and what I am wearing. I’ve met him before, but I am not 100% confident we’ll recognized each other.
We don’t. He texts me “I am here” when he is standing 4 feet from me. I turn around and beckon him to the empty seat. He orders a drink and opens a tab . . . which was *not* our deal. I insist on buying the second round.
Here, things get a little strange, and I am going to elide over the specifics for a while. He excused himself for the men’s room, I ordered our round of drinks — and paid for them, and he came back and something had happened. He was more relaxed and we started talking about our preferences regarding energy: we both prefer up, though we are drinking. We are drinking quite heavily, as a matter of fact. We are drinking a local liquor and water and it’s very good. It’s among my favorite drinks and it slips down very easily.
I head to the ladies’ room and when I return, he’s a step behind me and there are two drinks he’d ordered there. He looks a little panicked, though, and realizes he’d dropped something from his pocket and was amazed it was still there. He put my purse on the floor and picks both things up, embarrassed.
I like that he’s so open about everything, but it’s a bit much. He leans in, conspiratorially, and says of the enormous roid heads behind us, that two of them had gone into a stall together and he describes what they were doing. It’s sort of amusing, but I am more taken with his need to tell me *everything*. He tells me everything.
He mentions that he has a bit of a difficult time hearing in a loud bar, as do I so we agree to wrap up and go elsewhere. He orders another round. I am trying to remember how many drinks I had there, and I think it’s 4 — none of them are particularly strong, but I’ve had 4 drinks. I also had a big lunch, but still four drinks is a lot — especially after I had 5 earlier. Still, I feel fine.
We set off, and we can’t really agree on where to go. I live west of there, he lives east, and despite his assurances otherwise, he’s really not 100%. We walk a couple of blocks to the bar where I had my birthday party. It’s a great modern space with a patio on the street, banquettes along a wall, high top tables and low tables along the back, and a huge bar that wraps around, enveloping the staff.
This place has become my bar downtown. I know the bar manager, and he makes a special drink for me. BV drinks beer. A cheap American beer. The beer is the same price as the local beers also on tap, but he drinks this light beer instead. There is a table of people watching the game, and I excuse myself for the ladies’ room and when I come back, BV is up and talking to the guys.
He’s very engaging with strangers, with a bit of an east coast edge tempered by his slight Southern accent. He’s charming, but in a way that reads sort of fratty and douchey. This bar, with those guys, the striped shirt guys, they think he’s one of them.
He’s not. He’s not at all one of them. He’s a little bit of a hippy at heart. He followed bands during the summers, he thinks Phish is great. (Ha.) He played ultimate frisbee in college. But, he looks like one of them. One particularly handsome fratty guy in his early 30s walks over to the part of the bar where we are sitting and they talk football. He asks, if we are dating. I don’t remember what we said, but it’s clear we’re together. Fratboy notices I am wearing his team’s arch enemy’s colors and asks how he could date me. BV answers quite obviously.
What has not occurred to anyone is that I am TEN years older. BV looks older than he is. He knows this. I look younger. Together, we look about the same age I guess. But I look at this handsome man and I think . . . wow.
Being with him makes me smile, but it’s super fucking intense. He’s intense in the same way I am intense. In the same way LP is intense. At one point, he mentioned that every day, he likes to laugh, cry, and (I think it was something about love … letting people know you love them or something). And I am looking at him, and he sort of has tears in his eyes.
He excuses himself, and comes back a couple of minutes later, acknowledging that he’d not wanted me to see him cry.
So, now, I am sort of falling for him. We’d been talking about losing our grandparents. Interestingly, our parents are exactly the same age, all 4 born the same year, we find out later, and it’s sort of emotional for us both.
He insists I get one more drink. (We are now at two at this bar, and I order a cheaper drink I know I will drink slowly.)
The bar is still mostly just us with a handful of people. And we’re able to be rather private in our discussion as there is no one near us. At one point, I texted C that I loved this bar on Sunday. C had texted me “how’s it going?” so I responded back “drunkenly awesome.” She asked if I were going to kiss him, and I told her “At some point. He’s sort of amazing. And hilarious and bizarre and I am drinking way too much.” Her response “Yay!” I then text her from the bathroom that I am sort of adoring him and that he’s insane and awesome and we’re having the best time.
I tell him when I am back that C asked if I were going to kiss him. He told me, and told me to tell her: “We are not kissing tonight, but we’ll be ‘necking’ on Tuesday [which is when we’d already agreed to go out again].”
For our “third date,” I asked him to meet me for a drink and to join me and my friends for trivia. And he said yes.
WTF. But it’s awesome.
I sort of think they’ll hate him, but the whole time I am just thinking about how amazing he is. Which I also text C. I tell her “omfg he’s amazing. I am in [LP] territory.”
She says “tell him to man up” regarding the kissing, but I tell her we’re waiting and he’s amazing and intense and I am trying not to freak out.”
We wrap up at my favorite bar and he’s not ready for the evening to be over yet, and neither am I. He looked across at the even fancier bar and restaurant across the street and said, let’s grab one last quick drink. We are still in the land of $14 craft cocktails. This is the place I took BFD for his birthday and where FM took me and our girlfriend RA to celebrate a deal closing.
So, we sit down at the bar and we have the same favorite drink:moscowmule. We order them and we are now completely swept up in a story that I still can’t believe.
We met before.
We met like three Sundays ago after a fashion week party, when I sat with FM and PRX’s best guy friend and these two random guys were at the next table. After BV left — picked up by a date — his best friend joined our table and we talked for like an hour.
We both remember the night, but we don’t remember each other specifically. I remembered it better than he as they’d been golfing and drinking all day long. I recalled the shirt he was wearing. I recalled how he and his best friend from college said goodbye, which was with more affection than I would have expected, and he confirmed all of it.
This, needless to say, blew our minds.
It occurs to us that we were supposed to have met. I mean, I know that sounds sort of silly. We’re in the same world, we go to the same places, we live in the same general area, it’s quite likely our paths would have crossed.
But, our paths did cross. Twice. We met twice. We shared an interesting experience twice.
We were blown away. We kept looking at each other. And saying in amazement, we met! I said to him, rather ridiculously, well, I suppose I am going to have to [sleep with] you. And he said, yeah. We talked about stds, etc. We talked about everything.
Sitting at the elegant bar, he’d started touching my knee, my calf, he’s in great shape, and he mentioned how hard his calves are, which they are.
He finishes his drink and orders another. By this point, I am quite impressed with both of our drinking abilities as we’re tipsy, but we’re both coherent and good. I stick with the one I have and we wrap up. Again, he has me calculate the tip and doesn’t want to see the receipt. No problem.
He’s loose with his money, which is strange as he doesn’t really work. He lives on a high floor of a high-end building. He dines regularly at my favorite restaurant.
If he doesn’t care, I don’t care.
We walk off and he asks me, how are you getting home? There are no cars, no cabs, and I’ve already decided with all the foot traffic, I am safe walking.
He walks me two blocks before he turns to head toward his building. We embrace. And it’s lovely. We had already agreed that we weren’t kissing as he’s recovering from an illness and we’d agreed to wait. But we embrace a few times, and kiss each other on the cheek, and neither of us really wants to leave. But we do. He heads off to meet some friends he’d blown off all weekend and I head off toward the festival in my neighborhood. He stops and says, make sure you text me as soon as you get home, baby, and I get all swoony. I don’t know what it is about a man calling me baby, but it’s so intentional and so adorable and I always love it, especially if it’s not their normal thing.
I stop about 5 blocks away and grab a sandwich reporting back that I am doing that, and then I text him when I make it to the bar where we’d met the first time, and then finally when I get home.
I have not heard back from him, which I know is part of his thing. He’s not particularly chatty, and we’ve already made plans for Tuesday. That we’ve made plans for Tuesday is pretty amazing to me. He wants to hang out with me, and my friends. This is a public debut and we’ve still not kissed. We certainly have chemistry, that much is clear. We absolutely have chemistry. We have a physical compatibility and I look forward to feeling his lips on mine.
He is trouble. He is the kind of man who will convince me to do very foolish things. He’s cool with my not sharing parts of his world . . . for now . . . but we will have to see how long he finds that charming. C invited me to a party on Friday that sounds excellent. It’s a scavenger hunt and concert. My first thought was “I should invite BV.” He is the only guy I know who might be even mildly interested in such things. He’s a party guy, and it should be fun.
I have a date with BFD on Wednesday . . . he’s asked me to help him set up on online dating profile (his girl arrives this weekend) . . . and a date with the great guy I had wine with last Wednesday. He’s age appropriate, and awesome. Then I have the guy from the cocktail party.
My social life is full and vibrant. BV wants us to be really honest with each other, and I am going to have to tell him I am dating. I assume he is. I would have to assume he is. It’s going to be interesting, but my initial reaction is I might fall for him. He said as much. This is the real thing. This is intense. We know exactly what’s happening.
I like it.