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“I really like you,” she said. “I can tell. ” he replied.

July 25, 2014

July 19, 2014

That was his reply when I was brave enough to say, “I really like you.”

“I can tell.”

Shit!

I think I made an ass of myself last night.

So, there’s this guy. I met him months ago. He was out with a group of friends at Pamplona’s. One of them had been a dick to me. I saw No.  7 (we’re gonna call him No. 7; Z was No. 6)……I saw him at the Moon later that night and we talked about how rude his friend had been. “Nobody really likes him.” he had said.

I’ve seen him now and again since then. A conversation here and there. I think he’s cute but I seem to be alone in this. The fact that he’s from the Middle East is probably a contributing factor to my attraction to him. I should really subject myself to some serious psychotherapy to investigate my attraction to foreign men.

One night he told me he liked to go Latin dancing at a local hotel bar. I expressed interest. He asked for my number. I didn’t hear from him. Still, I would see him from time to time at the Moon. I had been talking to him when Liz’s ex Steve  had looked at me and advised, “Everything you’re doing right now, stop doing it.” Steve had a way of critiquing me every way of being. I had adjusted myself a little. When he ended up cheating on Liz, I discounted every piece of advice he had given me.

I saw No. 7 at the big music festival downtown. He had danced with me then. He asked if I was going out later but I said no. The truth was, I was meeting Z that night and I wasn’t ready to let go of him.

No. 7 is quiet and reserved but he hangs out with people who are not. And he has a great smile.

I saw him on my birthday. I was high on absinthe and probably being weird. We talked for a while and when he was leaving he came over to say goodbye. My back was towards him. Liz said to me, “Turn around.” I turned and he was right behind me. I let out a started, “oh,” and hugged him goodbye. I instantly thought, “I have no chance with this guy. I’m too weird for him.”

So I was surprised when he texted me soon after and invited me to join him at the Moon on a Wednesday night. I walked up and he was at the bar with friends. I had a really nice time talking to him. He was at my side the whole time and I got the impression others thought we were “together.” He told me he liked that I was interested in history and what was going on in the world. I told him of my desire to see Jerusalem. That Saturday he invited to go Latin dancing….sort of. He pulled a “you should come,” on me. He stole “you should come” from Liz and I.

Liz had come up with a ploy for a non-committal invitation if and when we met someone interesting. “My friends and I get together on Wednesdays at Plamplona’s. You should come, ” was the line we were supposed to use. Steve had been the only victim.

“I’m thinking of going Latin dancing tonight. You should come.” No. 7 texted.

I took the bait. I got there before him and waited at the bar. He walked in with a woman. They danced. He didn’t see me. “If he thinks I’m going to be a third wheel, I am out of here,” I thought. Then he saw me and came over and invited me to sit with a group of people. I recognized the woman he walked in with and soon confirmed that yes, she was still seeing what’s-his-face. “Are you seeing anyone?” she asked.

“No.” I told her.

No 7 danced often with me but with other friends as well. I couldn’t read him. Was he interested in me, or did he just want one more friend to dance with? He had brought a book that he thought I would be interested in. It was in his car. So, when we all left, there was an awkward group walk-out, followed by his delivery of the book, followed by my walking to my car alone.

I saw him again the following Wednesday, by chance, not by invitation. Even so, he sought me out. We talked at length. I talked with his friends. We joked about their friend being “Michael Cartered” by the actual Michael Carter. I told him he had nice smile. I still couldn’t figure out if he was interested or not.

Then came Friday night. Last night. Mr. R was playing. I decided to go. Not so much to see or talk to Mr. R but to blow off steam before spending two days at my Dad’s in the country. It had been an eventful week, afterall.

I was surprised to see No. 7 there again. He usually doesn’t frequent the Moon, quite that much. I tapped him on the arm in passing and waved hello. I kept telling myself to play it cool. He didn’t seek me out. I sat on the back bench and watched as he looked back at me often, but didn’t join me. After a while I found myself standing next to him and other aquaintances. Our conversation flowed easily and I was at his side, by my or his choice, I’m not sure, the rest of the evening.

I asked his friend, “How long have you known No. 7?”

“About two years, ” she said, “He’s a great guy.”

“Is he seeing anyone?”

Her face perked up and she looked me in the eyes.

“No. Why? Are you interested?”

“I think so,” I confessed.

“Well, let me see what I can do about that,” she said.

Bill says I’m out of his league. But I think he’s really cute. The more I looked at him and talked to him, the more attracted I was. But I was still getting mixed signals. He didn’t leave my side. He asked me to dance often. He leaned in and spoke intimately to me. But he hadn’t invited me there. It was a chance meeting.

Finally, it was getting late. I asked him if he would walk me to my bike. He said sure and went to say goodbye to his friends. He was leaving as well. I got to my bike and asked him if I could walk him to his car. I was going to be bold. I was going to tell him that I was interested in him. I wasn’t going to be cold and detached and uninterested. I was going to be clear and direct.

We got to his car and stood awkwardly, my bike between us.  A large group of 20-something frat boys and alpha girls were walking past by us in the street. I looked at them and waited for them to pass, wondering out loud where they had come from.

Then I looked at him and said, “I really like you.”

“I can tell.” he said. Ouch. He didn’t say it sarcastically or accusingly. He has a deep, shy, whispery voice. I couldn’t really discern what emotion was behind this phrase: “I can tell.” I don’t think the awkwardness of it sunk in until today.

He started to say more, “I like that….” when a man approached us and asked if he could ask us a question.

“One question,” I told him. He went into some long story that not so subtlety ended with a request for cash. I said I didn’t have any. So did No. 7. The man went away and I turned back to No. 7. His head was down and he shyly looked up and me and said, “I like that we have a connection. An intellectual connection.” he said.

Ok. Not exactly, “I like you too. I think you’re hot. Will you go out with me?”

We looked at each other for a second.  I leaned in a little and he kissed me.

Not a great kiss.

I looked at him and said, “Can I try that again?”

He kissed me again then said goodnight. I biked away.

The next day I drove to my Dad’s. I listened to music. I cleaned out my car and washed clothes. All day, I couldn’t get those three words out of my head.

“I can tell.”

I felt embarrassed. I had been too agressive. I had put him on the spot. I’m an idiot. Ugh. I want to crawl under a rock. I feel about 12 years old right now. Like I showed up to class in my underwear.

I have often observed that no one can tear down or hurt a woman like her own mother or daughter. I think the guy she has a crush on is a pretty safe third place in that category.

Fuck. I can’t seem to get it right. I can’t find the balance between……I can’t possibly talk to him, he’s too cute…….or resting bitch face, impenetrable shield, don’t talk to me……..and the subtlety of a Tyrannosaurus rex in heat!

I want to run away and never see him again. That might not be too difficult. Something tells me, I’m not going to hear from him anytime soon. Not even a “you should come.”

Boys are stupid. And I am a complete train wreck.

 

PS (this is just for my memory): I saw Syrian Doctor again last night. He was sitting on the patio at Pamplona’s. I recognized his accent and his leg before I saw his face. He stretches out his leg on the side of the table because he’s too tall. I was unlocking my bike. As I got on I looked back at him and he saw me and I smiled at him. I don’t think he has any idea who the hell I am. It’s funny to me because his face will forever be seared in my brain.

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From → Rantings

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