Thursday, April 3, 2014

Inadequate Proposals

Sometimes some men have movie star grins. He said, “We see each other around a lot. My name is Brad.”

And he just grinned and grinned. White teeth grin. Clear skin. Tall. I had seen him at a coffeehouse the previous day and I had just watched him working out. Now we stood on the sidewalk outside the gym. I said, “Yes, I just saw you yesterday. My name is Christopher.” I grinned then looked at my bike then looked back and Brad and felt awkward. Then, distracted and awkward, I couldn’t think of anything else to say so I said, “Welp, have a good night!”

It’s hard to talk when you’re thinking about your bicycle, and the ride home, and dinner, and what to say next, and about how you have nothing interesting to say, and about your boyfriend, and about what your boyfriend would think about you standing with this stranger talking on the sidewalk.

Adam and I have been dating for about a year and a half. I wouldn’t say surely, but maybe, there is a possibility that another man has flirted with me during this year but I didn’t even notice. Which seems like it could be a waste, a waste of sexual energy. And who doesn’t like to be hit on, flattered. Honestly, I’ve probably just been caught up with this thing with Adam, maybe a little oblivious, but it seems like it has been a long time since another man has flirted with me.

I biked home from the gym and Adam met me at my apartment later. I made polenta with butternut squash, caramelized onions, and bourgignonne sausage. Red wine from Argentina. We watched tv. We got naked together and fell asleep. 

Embarrassingly, the house smelled like sausage for the next two days. The aroma turned into a stench which kept me awake at night.

If I had brought Brad home for dinner, I would have been even more embarrassed by the smell, by the dishes I left stacked in the sink, by the clothes piled in the closet, by all the chores that needed to be completed. I’m embarrassed when Adam comes over and finds me in this disarray. But Adam forgives. Adam overlooks. We watch tv, drink coffee, read comics, and decide where’ll we go out to later.

I’ve watched other men hit on Adam. I've been jealous of the attention men give Adam and the attention Adam gives other men. I like the days I have Adam all to myself.

First dates are difficult. Dating is difficult. Dinner and drinks and parties. Small talk. Conversation explorations, feeling out the terrain of the other person’s interests. I would ask tiny questions, nod munificently, act surprised or excited in encouragement. We would have sex or not. We would be happy or not.

On our first date, Adam and I met for coffee. Which moved to drinks. Which resulted in a kiss. Which developed into an invitation to accompany to a party later that night. On that first date together, Adam told me about his father’s interest in playing horseshoes, and Adam’s failure or disinterest in following in his father’s footsteps.  I nodded, and laughed, and thought about how much I would like to kiss him.

No comments: