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Renaissance Man (Part 3)

August 6, 2016

It was the next video he sent that pushed me into the crush zone. He was getting ready to leave. He walked into the frame (how does he do that?) and talked to me, a few feet from the camera, his full body in view as he put his wallet in his pocket, put a ring on his finger (some man-ring, no doubt symbolizing a fraternal bond or extraordinary achievement) reached over to get his watch, fastening it as his words pulled me in.

I had e-mailed him that morning. My impulse was to text him, “I’m thinking about you.” But that seemed to forward somehow. So, playing on the running joke that I had used Voodoo to put a spell on him I e-mailed him, telling him of my reluctant desire to tell him that I was thinking about him. It was non-message message. A passive-agressive flirt. I’m kinda good at that.

When he thanked me for that message, “I got your e-mail and I responded. Thank you for that. It’s nice to know that you were thinking about me,” he put his head down a little checking his watch. Almost as if he couldn’t bring himself to look directly in the camera as he said that. But then we he said goodbye, he slowed down the pace of his words and bit his lip a little bit, looking straight at me.

I watched that video a dozen times. My heart, beating a little too fast out in the open on my sleeve, started to fall.

We continued to talk each day for hours, even as he drove his parents to Memphis then Nashville. Our conversations wavered from intense arguments about politics to witty banter, teasing each other and laughing.

One morning I woke up to find a long e-mail from him. Buried inside short paragraphs about ducks and swimming he placed a couple of beautiful sentences.

“It would have been nice to just kiss you deeply because we could. It would have been nice just to lay in bed and laugh about all the stuff we find humorous. Sex does not drive my life, but experience does and I like my experience with you. I like to make you laugh and I wondered what it would be like to make you feel intensely good if not just for a moment or a day.”

I was at work when I read it. I sat back in my chair and took a deep breath. When I replied, I struggled with the right response. Me, the writer….unable to match the simple eloquence of his words. Everything I wanted to say seemed too…….open, too vulnerable…..too soon.

The combination of the look on his face when he bit his lip and the words he gave me left me defenseless. It was all over. I was in full crush mode.

When I came home from a night with friends at Pamplona I called him, a bit tipsy. He enjoyed the less inhibited version of me and asked me countless questions about my life, listening with endless patience as I talked about my mom and my family. He was measuring me up.

Before we said goodnight I said,

“I want to tell you something and ask you something.”


“I think you are an extraordinary person.”

He accused me again of using magic on him again.

“You said you wanted to see me again. How do you imagine that might be possible?”

He talked about his sister’s house in D.C. Maybe we could spend a weekend there and hang out at weird places in the neighborhood that he knew of.

“And what would your sister think of you bringing over some strange white girl from the south.”

“She’d love you,” he said.

“Ok,” I said, “Start contemplating a time frame.”

“I’ll hit the contemplate button,” he said.

“This might be the most available man I’ve met yet,” I told Liz. “He’s used the word ‘dating’ after a 2-hour coffee meet and he has no problem with me meeting his family. He doesn’t think distance should be a reason that two people who have a connection shouldn’t pursue knowing each other.”

And he wants to kiss me and lay in bed talking and laughing.

I want to go to there.




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