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Seeing Two Guys and Dating Neither

September 18, 2013

One of my favorite TV shows is Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing.” In one of the first episodes the character Sam Seaborn tells his boss Toby Zielger, “I accidentally slept with a prostitute.” Zielgler replies, “I don’t understand did you fall down or something?”

Weeks ago I wrote that I had broken up with Z. Well, I fell down. And I fell down again and again. I keep falling down. The first time I tried to be strong. He texted late at night, wanting to come over. I said it was late and I was tired. He pleaded and charmed and before you know it I had fallen down. But oh what a fall. I’ve continued to fall down over the past few weeks. But I think I’ve got him categorized where he needs to be. That Dick is still in its box. He’s not what I need. It’s not enough for me. Our time together consists of talking, laughing and having sex. Except for the time I took pictures at a cricket match, we only see each other in my apartment. We’re not dating. I’m not his girlfriend. I know he’s not enough and I know I’m going to have to let him go but damn it’s going to be hard. We’re like magnets. We get within a certain distance of each other and there’s no stopping the force that pulls us together.

Last night I was working on cricket photos and drinking wine, my front door open, letting in the evening air. I heard a car pull up and assumed one of my neighbors had a visitor. I didn’t move from my computer screen. Within seconds he was behind me kissing my neck. I jumped up and fussed at him for scaring me. “Look at you, just coming over unannounced,” I said. I was in my sweaty walking clothes. No make-up. Hair matted and tangled and I smelled like sunscreen and dust. “What if I had another guy over here?” I teased him. He scoffed at the notion.

It was a presumptuous thing to do, just showing up like that. But the truth is, I like when he does stuff like that. I like his energy and spontaneity. I like his natural joy. He’s confident and strong. I watched him with his cricket team mates. Always laughing, always joking. He yells the loudest on the field. He lets out a high-pitched, girlish shrill and then summons a deep baritone to ask for the score from across the field.

He’s not right for me. He’s too young. He has plans that don’t include me. He’s not making me a part of his life and he doesn’t fit into mine. We don’t talk about anything meaningful. We don’t have anything in common. We just have this unlikely connection that’s taking us from one encounter to the next.


Meanwhile, enter #7. A few weeks ago on a Friday night I went dancing at the Moon by myself. I didn’t know what Z was doing and Pickle had gone home early with Steve. I was having fun, dancing a lot. As I twirled around I caught a glimpse of a skinny, young man, dark skin, curly black hair, glasses……standing against the side bench, tapping his leg to the beat of the music. Son-of-a-Bitch! I eventually talked to him a little. Musician. Graduate student. Fresh off the boat from Bangladesh. Uh-huh. He said someone told him about the Moon and he had come to the free Cajun jam on Wednesday. So, I started going to the Wednesday jams, too, telling myself it’s not to see him. I often go to the jams. I’ve gotten to know him a bit. He’s very different from Z. He, too was raised in a conservative, Muslim culture, but he’s an atheist. He’s an intellectual and a musician. He’s fond of the arts and philosophy. He drinks scotch. Talking to him, you get the impression that he loves the physical place that he’s from and he loves his family but he just had to get the hell out of dodge because the rest of it was unbearable. I can relate to that. Though moving from Avoyelles Parish to Lafayette can’t really compare to moving from Bangladesh to the U.S.

By the third or so Wednesday-meet-up, he asked for my number and was texting me. We’ve e-mailed back and forth. When artwalk was coming up, I told him about it. It might be something he’s interested in, I suggested. “Will you be there?” he asked, “And can you show me around the galleries?” I would be there and I’d be happy to show him the galleries, I told him. As soon as I sent that reply, I thought, “Oh Shit. I think I just made a date.”

We met at the arts center where I work and I showed him around. He was easy and comfortable to be with. We talked about art. I mingled with others while he looked at sculpture. He was comfortable. I took him to the museum where I used to work. I showed him the results of my research and writing and we talked about rockets. Running out of galleries I asked if he wanted to get a drink at Pamplona’s. “Let’s do it,” he said. I laughed at his ease. I was going to suggest we sit at the bar but my old Pamplona buddy Ryan was there with his boyfriend and a couple of other people. They were celebrating a birthday. “You want to sit here with my friends,” I asked. We sat down. He was easy and comfortable at the table of strong, outrageous personalities. We had wine and talked, our elbows on the table, our heads leaned in towards each other. I was beginning to like him. We had more of a cerebral connection, if not irresistible chemistry. Later he got a text and had to leave. He made arrangements with his roommate to go shopping. I walked him out, returned to my friends and carried on to the Moon.


I approached the Moon from the back porch and was about to get a beer when I stopped at the fan and chatted with a fellow-Mooner. Then Z walked past me wearing an orange, checked shirt and shorts. “What are you doing here?” I said, surprised. “I decided to come join you,” he said. I was shocked to see him in my little world. The only other time he had been there was the night before he left when he had toasted our one month anniversary. That seemed like a different Z and a million years ago. We spent the evening trying to dance. He’s a terrible dancer. But he was trying. Despite his lack of rhythm, I was finding dancing with him very sexy and I was touched that he had surprised me there. I tried to get him to dance a bit more intimately. “You have to lead with your dick,” I joked with him. I looked at him in the eyes. I wanted to kiss him on the dance floor. We made out in his car a bit and he met me at my apartment later on.


“I think I went out with two guys last night,” I told Pickle the next day. “Funny thing is, I’m not really dating either one of them.”

A few days later I got the nerdiest, cutest e-mail from #7, revealing that he is seeing me as more than a potential friend and that he might be what Pickle and I call, an Eeyore. An Eeyore is a downer. Lapin is an Eeyore. An Eeyore is an incurable depressive. Someone who will bring you down with their needs and sadness. I’m afraid #7 might be one of those.

He had been to the emergency room with an asthma attack, he wrote me. He thought he was going to die. Of all his family and friends, his only thought was, “I won’t get to see Marie again.” he claimed. Awww. So sweet in its nerdiness! I thought it was a cute thing to say. A few more e-mails and he started talking about how he’s battled depression. There it is.

I battle depression too and I hate to shut somebody down over that, but I don’t want to take care of anybody. That’s not what I’m looking for. I can’t be around someone who brings me down. I need to be around someone who’s happy and joyous.

Today’s Wednesday. I’m meeting Pickle for drinks before the Cajun jam. I don’t know if #7 is going to be there or not.

I fell down with Z again last night.


So the experimentation continues. I’m still playing with boys and don’t know what I’m doing.

Two guys and no dates.


From → Rantings

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