It wasn’t a date, though by most evaluative measures anyone else would have categorized it as such.
He paid for everything: the drinks as we waited for our seats, the bowls of steaming ramen in the baking hot restaurant, and the drinks after our meal because I guess he wanted to talk to me for just a bit longer. To be fair, I didn’t want our reconnection to end so soon either.
Internally, I cursed as soon as I saw him again, sitting at the brushed wood bar in the low lit room with the doors open to let the air move. He was just as handsome as I remembered him, maybe even more so with years and experience coloring his brow.
I felt sheepish as I sat and spoke with him. Too many years, too many thoughts I didn’t want to think. Throughout our evening I had flashes of moments in his apartment and longed for new memories to be made.
As the first of three bills came, I asked him if he paid for my drink. “What do you think?” “I take nothing for granted.” Every time I had previously arranged to see him, and in the hours and moments leading up to the appointed time, I never trusted that it would happen. Too often those years ago he left me wanting, so I learned to trust in almost nothing about him, save for the bits of himself he peppered into our conversations after moments of soft cajoling or in the time we shared with one another, as few but lasting as they were.
His eyes are just as piercing as I remembered, his words as subtle and chosen precisely. Often, when he’d have to repeat himself due to the din of the various rooms, I noticed the small ways he changed his query, small but meaningful ways. Always thinking, always noticing, always analyzing, though I guess that’s the both of us really.
Our dinner afforded me close proximity to his still incredibly large arms, knees brushed against one another, elbow to elbow as we sat, ate, and drank. He sweated throughout, occasionally wiping down his brow. I patted him down once myself.
I randomly remarked I was glad I reapplied deodorant in the car, which led to a minor confession of how I didn’t want to “disappoint is the wrong word, but it’s close.” To be blunt, I wondered if he was still attracted to me. I wondered if he noticed the open back of my shirt, or that I wasn’t wearing underwear, a choice not due to his presence but a happy accident of my weekend. I wondered what he thought of me, the life I had lived since we last saw one another an estimated four, or more, years previous.
I still wanted him, really wanted him, but knew the odds of the night being more than consumption and conversation were slight. Still, he is a tease I can never quite let go of.
I showed him the new tattoos, two from since we’d last seen one another. I related, with sadness, how I had to take out one of my nipple piercings. I remarked on the shock of seeing him on television randomly: a local news segment that woke me from a dozed state on my couch. I spoke about the seismic difference my life has taken: new city, new school, new world. He, like others, grimaced when I gleefully spoke of holding a brain in my hands.
For once, I pushed to learn more about him. What was his life like now? What were his plans? Though he told me stories, I confess only the most worry-making of them has stuck. Later, there was a conversation about therapy and why he ended up with the partners he had had. An enjoyment in the drama “crazy” women have brought into his life was spoken. “But I’m not crazy,” I said. “There are levels,” he said. I can’t argue with sound logic, though I do wonder the flavor of twisted I introduced into his world.
His handful of small bombshells included the throw away, “I lost my teacher”, regarding the lack of kink in his life. I was then reminded of rolling a carry-on suitcase to his apartment, showing him my modest assortment of toys to play with, and all the fun that ensued that evening.
Later, he asked, “So what’s the best sex of your life?” I had no good answer. Instead, I pulled out my phone and perused my list. “You have a list?” “I’m a nerd and I like data.” Among the categories, I breakdown by gender and what act each person performed. “Damn, I’m not a full POFAS.”
We had an entire conversation about sex, how his had been lackluster for some time now and how he felt it didn’t matter to him anymore. I lamented about this, suggesting maybe he was having sex with the wrong people. He agreed with my point, but also pivoted to enjoying other simpler pleasures more than sex, namely watching sports on his couch and going to bed early. I, being me, nudged with my idealistic positively skewed perspective, wanting him to have otherworldly sex mostly because that was my experience and has given me an appreciation of connection and awe-inspiring orgasms. But with his multitude of annoying chases and lackluster climaxes, I don’t think he was convinced.
Years back, I confessed our sex had been, up to that point, my best ever. In the moment, though, I didn’t mention breaking a bedframe at camp from fucking for three hours. Or the recent Trouble I got into. I did speak about GFTD, gave him the rundown on why and how things ended, and the difficulty I have remembering any of our interactions fondly; it’s hard to appreciate previously amazing sex when your ex hurt you so bad in the end. Some scars take longer than you’d like to heal.
Towards the end of the conversation, I acquiesced that he was still in my top five. I also let him know, should his current relationship end, I’d be more than happy to have him round out his categories.
Full honesty: it would be hard for me to say no to anything he asked for, but he doesn’t ask for anything, so I’m saved (for now).
Well, he did ask for one thing. He wanted to see me again. Occasionally throughout the night he apologized for his previous actions, for being an asshole, for hurting me. I didn’t expect it, but was glad that he said the words and seem to mean them. As he was about to walk me to my car, he requested to see me again when I was back in town. He apologized one last time as he hugged me goodbye.
I guess I’ll have something else to write about in a few months. Full honesty (again): his desire to read my writing is why I wrote this blog. It is hard, so hard, to say no to him.
What does it mean when you always want to please someone?