First Date with The Editor

The Editor is someone I met on an online dating site.

He was, in his profile, ridiculously handsome.  He’s two years my senior.  He has an undergraduate degree from an excellent foreign school and a law degree.  He is an editor.  He is from a prominent family from New England, fluent in French, etc.  He is poor-ish.

He is also some brand of diagnostically crazy, for which he is on some brand of making him less crazy drugs: anxiety and depression, I believe.  He’s been very open with me about it all.  It’s so normal for this class of pampered men, I barely notice anymore.

The impact of his pharmaceutical thing is a minor dulling of emotion and the inability to fully read other people’s emotions.

So, we’ve been chatting on and off for months, but the activity stepped up in early May, as the Bon Vivant and I were slowly dancing toward reconciliation.  We chatted, and then a month and a half went by, during which BV and I had reconciled and split ad nauseum.

A typical message from him from May:  “Sorry, but I can be both dense and obsessive when it comes to interpreting written words…”

We tried and failed to meet over and over, getting more and more frustrated.  Our schedules are opposite.  He leaves town frequently for sport.  He invited me to a party on a whim for Bastille Day.  I accepted, but there was rain and I had damaged my toe and it just never happend.

In the meantime, we started talking by phone, and I started to actually like him.  The sound of his voice is soothing and I spent several late nights talking to him for hours.

I showed friends his facebook page and they immediately glommed on to something silly because that’s what they do.

But, I started to really like him.

Against the backdrop of this, of course, was the disappearance of BV from my life, LP’s possible reemergence, and lots of social activity and romantic inactivity.

From time to time, we’d invite each other to things.  When he arrived back after a two week trip to his family’s home, I invited him to something tentatively.  I’d originally invited BV and then within two hours invited Editor as a backup.

After BV finally declined a day later, our plans were on.

The event was super cool, and the sort of thing I get to do: tickets to a career retrospective and q&a and concert at a big historic theater.  He was impressed and happy to be my guest.

We made plans to meet beforehand.

He was late.

He was late to meet me for drinks before the show at the hotel bar next door to the theater.

He was late to meet me in front of the theater.

He was so late I finally went into the theater when they flashed the lights, leaving his ticket at will call.  My battery was dead and we were missing each other, so I had no confidence he’d figure it out.

I went to my seat … the worst seats I’ve ever had for anything and then, 15 minutes after the starting time and while the houselights were still up for the event introduction, I saw this handsome man speaking to an usher.

He looks like a patrician George Clooney, maybe. Tan, salt and pepper hair, but flawless features and he’s remarkably photogenic.  Also, he works out, eats well and has, as a surprise to me, a body that will not quit.

I do feel, as he joins me, that he is completely out of my league.  Tall, amazing body, stylish in a preppyish hipster way (fashionable jeans, French cut tshirt, bold, but with an upscale cycling jacket).  Like me, he looks significantly younger than he is.  Mid to late 30s.

Everything about him is careful and precise.

He whispers to me, are you mad? I thought you weren’t answering because you were mad.  I told him, dead battery, not mad.

He’s discombobulated, and decides to head to the bar for a drink. The lights have come down and the show starts, so I stay.  He offers to get me something and I pass.

I do have him get a beer for me on the second round.  At intermission, we head down the stairs together to the bathroom level and I get prosecco for us.

I am a bit tipsy.  We are chatting and laughing and having a lovely time.  He’s charming, with a clear dark, brooding streak that I find magnetic.

Early in our time together, he complains about a muscle soreness in his back from surfing on his two-week vacation.  Yes.  All of those words.

I, early in our meeting, try to massage his back while sitting next to him.  I find the spot that hurts and try to help.  It is very intimate.  It feels very comfortable.  I am, however, aware that I do not know him.

The event is amazing and inspiring and we leave it with two additional plans made — a launch party for a PR-related project and a music show by a band he likes in my neighborhood — and then abandoned.  We decide instead, while standing together on the street, to go back to his house for tea.

Yes, really.  I am comfortable enough with him that I think that sounds like a nice idea. He’s safe. It feels normal.  It does not feel like a first date.  In fact, it sort of doesn’t feel overwhelmingly like a date.  I am more physical with him than he is with me.  He’s rather closed to me physically, but he doesn’t move or shift when we touch.  He offers his arm was we walk down a steep staircase.  He’s charming.  I am charmed.

We drive to his adorable, tiny house in a neighborhood with which I am very familiar.  It’s chic and dodgy.  It feels safe, but not too safe.  I carefully lock the window when he forgets hours from now.

[Hours from now . . .]

He gives me a tour and it’s so him.  Historic and modern. Underfurnished. Comfortable. Bachelor.

He wants to show me something new he bought, and he leads me to his computer on his desk in his room.  Again, he’s made no moves.  He sits at his desk, I sprawl on his bed.  I am comfortable.  I am not worried about anything.  We’re friendly.  We are warm.  This is not romantic.

Of course, I am being ridiculous in retrospect: were he not interested, we would have ended the date after the movie or after the music thing he wanted to go to in my neighborhood.

But I am not thinking about this.  I am on his bed as he explains to me the ins and outs of sports equipment.  I could not care less about what he is saying, but I adore his saying it.

We move back to the sofa and he bounces between the sofa and a chair by the window. He smokes a cigarette or two and relaxes.  We listen to music, we talk music, we drink tea.  Hours are passing.  Eventually, he puts on a movie with the sound off and jazz on.  We are curled up on the love seat and then we hold hands.  We are so physically comfortable that we are holding both of the other’s hands, or he is tracing my arm or my calf.  We are completely connected and the chemistry is exploding.  And yet we are not advancing anything physical.  At moments, I put my head on his shoulder.

It is a happy wonderful existence this.

It is now after 3 am and it’s only Thursday.  We are both working, although it’s a light day for me I am solo-caring for the dog while FM is on a work trip.  We discuss what comes next.  He is in no state to drive me home.  We both know I will be cabbing either now, tonight, or tomorrow morning.  He makes it clear nothing will be happening, which I don’t really acknowledge because of course nothing will be happening.  He also says it would be nice to snuggle in bed.

How could I go home then?

I tell him I will need a tshirt, as I am in a silk cocktail sheath on which he spilled tea hours earlier, and led him to some amusing jokes about his making my dress wet.

I was wearing boy shorts, as I’d had a last minute dress change and I wear boy shorts under short dresses, so the tshirt is perfect.  He’s 6’1″ but slender so his shirts are disappointingly short on me, but still provide adequate coverage.

I am intensely attracted to him, and, I am delighted that he feels the same about me.  We climb into bed together, to the consternation of his bengal cat, figure out on which side we’d be more comfortable, and then I tell him that we should kiss good night.

Which is the first time we have kissed.

From that moment until I left the next morning, I wanted to remove his boxer briefs with my teeth.  We kissed and it was magic.  A minute later, we stopped and tried to sleep.

We wrapped ourselves around each other, I was tucked into his chest, and we slept a little.  Mostly, we tried hard to be as appropriate as we could be while wanting to ravish the other.  It lead to snoozing and fitful sleep.  He got up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep.  Ultimately, I followed him to the living room, prepared to sleep on the love seat, to go home, to do whatever it took to not disturb this man on what was only our first date.

Instead, he encouraged me back to bed and we fell asleep again.  The next morning, his alarm chimed over and over but he never woke longer than to turn it off.

I found a bus that would take me home, missed it, and ultimately called a cab.

He emailed me mid-morning, admitted he’d overslept and was 40 minutes late to work.