About 10 minutes after the Chef drove me home, I texted BV, assuming he was off having post-concert adventures.
I was bored.
The Chef had been fun, but a bit of a letdown, and I felt like I came home too early.
It was 1230 am on a Thursday night.
Me: It was so good to see you… And to see K!!!! Hope the show was amazing. 12:31 AM
BV: Where r u 12:33 AMMe: > My place. Had to help RA get home. Where are you? What are you getting into? (if it’s fun, I am 10 minutes away…) 12:37 AMMe: So where are you? 12:46 AM
Me: glad to see you looking happy and healthy. 🙂 and how awesome to see K after all this time. Hope you’re having an excellent night. 12:55 AM
BV: Where u 1:56 AMBV: Just got em 1:56 AMBV: [Last date reference] shit 1:57 AMMe: Home. Where are you? 1:57 AMMe: [Last date reference] shit?! 1:57 AMBV: Member? 1:59 AMMe: I do of course. Are you home 1:59 AM
Rather than respond, BV called me at 1:59 am.
We spoke for 2 minutes, and then there was a crash outside his front door.
BV lives on a high floor in a secure, doorman building, so a crash outside his front door would only be intentional.
He said: “I think someone just broke an iPad on my front door. I’ll call you right back. I mean it.”
He didn’t actually. So I called him at 2:26. He answered, explained the drama, and promised again he’d call me back.
He called back at 2:44 am and we spoke for 18 minutes before he said, “let’s facetime.”
I love video chatting. It’s much more intimate and personal than talking on the phone. You’re actually in the room with your person and it’s the next best thing to being face-to-face. In fact, in some ways, it’s better because you’re very focused on the person you’re talking to, with no other distractions.
BV and I have skyped before, and we did again. Now that I think about it, we should have facetimed from his mbp to my iphone, but it’s fine, although at times the audio gets a little hard for me to hear.
When we start speaking, he is standing in his kitchen and we start off talking about the drama that’s been happening in his hallway. It’s crazy, but the woman across the hall — well, technically, the woman who is dogsitting across the hall got angry at her boyfriend and at BV for grabbing a beer. She broke her boyfriend’s ipad and iphone by smashing them on BV’s front door.
BV’s constant refrain: “well, she is 25, she was born in 1986.”
Now, we know that BV is just 31, right? So, I do find it amusing.
From time to time, he steps back from the laptop and leans against the opposite granite counter to text his friend. Essentially, he wants to make sure they are okay. He also wants his friend to get the broken pieces of expensive electronics now rather than waking him in the morning.
BV is actually very pissed off about the drama that unfolded and his friend’s response to his request: “No.”
He circles back to this a few times.
I am just in bed. I am wearing a cuter nightgown than I would sleep in. Black, with pink ribbon.
I had been dressed to the nines when he saw me at the elegant bar: grey cocktail dress, interesting grey sweater, black boots and tights. The outfit is really flattering and I looked great in it. It’s body conscious without being obvious about it. Meaning: my ass looked amazing.
It’s what I am still wearing when we decide to start video chatting, but I want to wear bedclothes rather than lounging in a cocktail dress in bed. I changed before we got started. Our phone call lasting until the moment the video began.
We talk over the course of the next few hours about everything. We talk about him, about me, about us, about who we are and why we work. We talk about his trip. We plot dates. We plot pranks we will be pulling on FM, which we’ve already begun to implement.
We talk about the future. We talk about the present. We talk about the past.
While we are talking, he is drinking beer and occasionally indulging in recreational drug use.
He is very open about it with me. He is very open about everything with me.
We are talking about it as he does it. He is reminded again of our amazing night two weeks ago. He mentions he’d looked at our bowling scorecard, disappointed in his score, but with so many happy memories. He shows me the gift card he received from the bar owner, and said he needed to go back. I invite him to come out to our regular Tuesday evening thing. And he’s excited about it. He wants to know who he’ll know there — SD, who he likes very much, and FM, who he knows.
I am fascinated by him, obviously.
Movement always fascinates me . . . how men move through space, and watching BV move from counter to counter, or carrying me as he moves his laptop from the kitchen to his sofa to his desk, and ultimately into bed. There are times when he moves out of frame, walks to the bathroom, changes into bed clothes, all of this we do over the course of this marathon conversation.
The specific topics are important — but almost more important is that fact I have to acknowledge that he pays a lot more attention to everything than I think he does. He’s actually actively engaged in our relationship in a way I do not always allow myself to acknowledge.
He’s not my boyfriend, but we’re in a relationship and we do love each other.
[The boyfriend thing is very specific: a discussion and an acknowledgement of exclusivity. We do not have that. At all. Although I have the sense that he would be deeply hurt if he knew I was actively dating other people.]
He mentioned he’d gotten my messages and he told me about his trip and how important it was to him, and to his family. Ultimately, his mother asked him to extend it again when he was flying back on Monday and he told her no, that he has “a life in [our town].”
That’s very different from his attitude when he left, when he was convinced he was leaving and that there was nothing here for him.
He acknowledged he’d put on weight while he was gone. He absolutely had. His face is full, and he has a little belly. I would say he’s at least 5 pounds heavier. It’s noticable and he’s a little self-conscious about it. I tell him I think he looks great, great color as he’d gone to a college football game with his whole family — parents, siblings, nephews. He commented that people always think he’s older than his older brother, who is 5 years his senior. He does look about 35-36. It’s hard living. He has a lot of grey in his hair and he said he’d found grey nose hair, which is freaking him out. I assured him he need only really worry when it’s in his ears.
I told him I’d lost 5 pounds since I’d seen him last, and he was cautiously supportive. He remembered the ed discussion, of course. I mentioned, I think that I have been intentionally losing weight, and I am starting to do pilates again so I can start to get my body back. I mention, casually, that I used to have a great body. [Which I did!] At this, he stops me to tell me what an amazing body I have, which I tell him is very sweet but unnecessary. He adds, but true. He wants me to know that he thinks I am beautiful. That does mean a lot, knowing that he loves my body, even when I don’t.
He talks about how much he wishes he had a dog, as he thinks he’d make a great dog dad, but he doesn’t think he can make that commitment right now. He wants something to love. I show him the dog who is curled up quietly on the bed next to my feet, and he is charmed. And I start thinking that’s it’s quite possible I’ll be taking the dog over to his place when FM travels over the next few months. He’ll love having the dog around as the dog is really a great little dude.
We talked about our last date: a night we both refer to as one of the most fun nights we’ve ever had. We have developed in the months since we started to see each other an easy shorthand and our own language. At times when I am in denial that this relationship is happening, I remember we have our own code. So, we talk again about that night, and how much fun and we hit all the same highlights in conversation that I hit here — his joy at my crashing that party with him in tow (and then getting a follow-up thank you from the hosts), our fun with the strangers he met in line, our fun in the theater as he kept leaving to make other people set our props up for us, just levels of ridiculousness and fun and our acknowledgement that we had that much fun because we were together.
He talked about the fact that he wants to make sure everyone has the best time always and he invests a lot into taking care of the people in his life. As he’s describing this, I am watching him so carefully. He’s telling me what I already know, what I’ve already told him about himself in previous conversations. He’s completely relaxed, but this is clearly a source of great pain for him. He’s so open and loving and giving for other people and he knows he gets taken advantage of all the time.
I say to him, your desire to create the best time for everyone and to be so giving is hard when no one is doing that for you. Which is why I am here. You want to take care of the world, and I want to take care of you.
That is the essence of how we function. He wants to create amazing experiences all the time, and he then gets lost in the shuffle, until I intervene even slightly to say, Bon, did you eat today? We talked about his eating, so I could be sure that he’s eating more regularly than he was before he left. He talks about wanting to work out, to take up yoga. I tell him he should join me for pilates or my dance class, but he jokes he’d be way too distracted by the women in dance class.
He loves that I want to take care of him. He wants to take care of me, too. In fact, he mentioned, so what’s up with your job and why haven’t you been paid since July?! Again, all things we’d spoken about two weeks ago he remembers, processed and integrated into the things he’s actively concerned about. He also gives me advice on a friend dispute I am having with PRX. He is very direct in a way I cannot ignore and he holds me accountable when I try to deflect. It is very much what I need from him.
He tells me about the job offer he has: it’s perfect for him. Six figure salary in his field. The company loves him and wants to hire him. The problem: it’s in LA. He said there’s no way. He lives here.
This makes me happy, not just because he wants to stay in the town in which we live . . . and let’s be honest, this is not the man I am going to marry, and I know this . . . but because it means he’s thinking about his future in tangible ways.
He talks about everything with so much love, especially his friends and family. He describes K as his brother and talks again about the night we all met back in August. He talks about how important it is for the people in his life to know how much he loves them. I quote James Taylor, as we’re now in the wee small hours of the morning.
I am leaving out hours of intense conversation as we are figuring out why we work and that we do. We set up our next three dates: Friday night (with three options, all of which start simultaneously, he says we’ll pick in the afternoon), Sunday for football and brunch, and Tuesday for trivia and beer back at what is now “our bar.”
We also start to plot a prank or two to annoy FM, who BV has hung out with 3 times and who roots for the rival team from BV and SD (and PR and others). It’s about switching out game jerseys and loading a ringtone onto his phone. We are loving the idea of collaborating just to do something obnoxious, as that’s how boys are . . . and it’s funny.
Finally as the hour grows later, he heads into bed and climbs in with his laptop on his chest with only his face showing. He starts falling asleep and I am realizing how important it is that we fall asleep together, even from far away. He has a hard time sleeping by himself and we both regret that neither of us headed over to the other’s place to sleep. I tell him about my amazing bed and he looks forward to sleeping over, both because it’s an amazing bed (seriously), and because he’ll get to freak out FM by sitting on the sofa in his boxers.
His eyes start to close, though he says he’s just resting them (ha), and I finally say, good night, sweetheart, we’re going to sleep now. We call each other a variety of endearments as we don’t really want to disconnect. But we do.
This conversation that stretched for hours covered so much ground. It set the stage in new ways and confirmed again that we’re in a relationship. We make each other better.
He calls me out on my bullshit in the same way that FM does, but because I actually respect BV, I take it in and accept it. He gave me advice on something that I wasn’t exactly ready to hear and he just called me out on it. He listens, he takes things in, and he pays attention.
I leave this conversation with my head spinning, my mind reeling. I begin to think, well, we’re seeing each other again. We’ve made three dates, we’ve regretted not sleeping in the same bed, we talked snuggled up until we were nearly asleep. We’re obviously seeing each other again.
My heart: happy. It feels amazing to have just spent this intense time with him, sharing everything, and beginning to take active roles in each other’s lives.
I am also quite cautious because I know him. I have been dating him for months now. I know he comes and goes at random and he is, at least at the moment, extremely undependable given his lifestyle and lack of pursuits.
He never knows what day it is. He doesn’t sleep before 5 am, he rarely rises before 1 pm. He is a louche playboy, which always sounds like a joke to people, until you meet him. He will not always be this way, in perpetual vacation mode. He will be off at some point, closing deals, playing golf, entertaining clients, doing all of the things that has made him successful thus far.
For now, I am charmed by the fact he needs to talk to me until he falls asleep. I am charmed that he is actually paying attention to the stuff I say and don’t say and that none of it is scaring him off.
And I am charmed we have three dates planned in five days.