I am the art, the art is me

I had dinner with my once…well, what was or is he. A fling? No – not enough. A love – perhaps, but maybe it’s brash to go there on the little time we had. I’m not sure what label to prescribe to him but labels were never really something he’d be interested in wearing to be matter of fact.

So we had dinner.

As if he hadn’t been around the world and back and wasn’t leaving again within 72 hours. To be honest – I’d blown him off the last time he was in town. I wasn’t sure I wanted to even venture down the path of being subjected to the narrative. You see, the relationship or potentential for a relationship had fallen away before the first flight abroad.

I stood my ground.

“You’re leaving in (however many) months and I cannot let myself get attached to someone who isn’t going to be here and that also won’t be fair to you, where you need to go and focus on work and this entire experience.”

Did that second part actually come out of my mouth or do I want to flatter myself in this retelling as if I’m a better person than that – that my decision wasn’t solely based off of “How much will I get hurt if I continue this if you leave.” Who can say.

So here he was, Green Bay Packers hat atop his head per usual.

We pick up right where we left off…wherever we left off.

The conversation runs the gamut of life and death, of art, of success, of creativity, of passion, of happiness, of American culture being a path destined to ruin us all with outlandish and unrealistic ideals and how ‘content’ seems to be a suitable word.

And the ideal of ‘free’ love having nothing to do with promiscuity but everything to do with true intimacy that isn’t just the motions.

I’ve been caught in that place for some time. Of being tired of all the talk. Of the foreplay. Of meeting people afraid, with walls up even when all the clothes come off. Of people who have no real desire to connect and who are so afraid to be seen truly for who and what they are that their entire life seems to be an act.

And how much of that is all of us? How much are all of us acting? And for whom?

What do we cling to to make us feel safe in our own skin? I think I’ve given up feeling that way. Everything terrifies me and I live within that state of total fear but that’s where I feel most comfortable. When I’m not uncomfortable, then I know that something isn’t right.

Contentment is not complacency. Not for me. There’s a difference. There’s a choice in being very content with my life as it is and not being complacent with what it’s become. It also weighs heavily on the desire to be ‘something more’ and all that THAT entails. And how you define it, etc.

No thank you.

Sometimes you just have to be in the moment. You have to stop premeditating, stop planning, stop thinking, stop plotting, stop recounting, stop trying to make sense of it all and let yourself just LET GO.

Give in.

Give up.

Give yourself over.

httpa://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODG2dCwnr00

A little Sabotage.

Commonwealth-Glacier-Face

“I checked your phone.”

Instinctively, I was less in shock about him checking my phone than what he found and assumed from it. There was no need to deny my flirtations, my verbal – hell my texted dalliances. Do I think I cheated? No. But I can see how it was a line crossed.

httpa://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeDlRVdbxYQ

And I realized who I was in that moment of having to face the truth of hurting someone else.

I can sit here and justify it all by saying things like, “I like to keep my options open because I’m usually afraid nothing is going to work out” or “Since XYZ, I’ve been in a constant state of dating with none of them working so I always keep something as a plan B.” Any variation of that is lame. And really, really pathetic/sad.

It became a mirror to me to see how empty I had become, or how not present I was in my relationships. Because I was honestly afraid to invest in someone again because the last time…well, that story has been run into the grown. Rug pulled from under feet, et al.

I don’t know if I’ve ever felt as ashamed as I do right now of my own behavior. Of what I can control. And how I have such a fucked up sense of self that I either just should have told other people to fuck off, ignore them or…tell them that I had started dating someone and I liked him and I am unavailable.

However, you can’t go backwards. You just can’t. You take the cut, the wound, the scar and move on.

I learned how what I truly want is to commit but that it’s going to be a lot of work on my part to overcome that fear of being devastated while not inadvertently devastating someone else in the process.

Some people just figure out what works for them and that’s awesome. I’m still trying. Or I have figured out the truth and that fact is I’m just not the settling down type – I’m not the groom and maybe never will be.

It doesn’t make me feel less than but it’s something that I desire to have. But maybe it’s just not meant to be. And who knows what other people are going through…it’s always below the surface, the depth of the glacier.

It’s a challenge being so accustomed to myself and to tell the truth, it’s weird for me to be attractive to other people so I turn into a dippy boy who is flattered and yet crippled by the offer of affection/love.

I don’t know what to do with it or how to return. I have a lot of walls. A lot of lessons. A lot of stuff to learn left.

But first – cutting out people who make me feel less than or feel nothing at all. People who become accomplices in self-sabotage and ruination. I’ve been a little too trigger happy. It’s time for the bullets to be dropped upon the floor and the gun to be dismantled.

It’s time for tenderness and not just toward others, but myself. To hold myself up as someone worth investing in and someone whose word means something and to give fully to one person because that’s truly what I want in return. And fear be damned of it all falling apart, because the leap of faith is the point.

I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you. As it turns out, I hurt us both. Go figure. Maybe there’s no point of return, returning. And if that’s the case, thank you for what you showed me and what you gave me and what I’m left with by myself. You only made me better.

Still wincing. Letting this wound breathe. And I cannot forgive myself for the wounds I inflicted on you.

Don’t care who gets hurt

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I know what I want.

I can’t have it.

But I want it. Now. Bad. Real bad.

Old fantasies return. Old desires flare up from unknown depths. Passions bubble up like lava flows under the surface.

I want him. I want him right now. I don’t care who it hurts.

He’s always slipping in. Wanting to draw my attention from the present, from the one. I always wonder…

What would happen if we just kissed again. Would we both be ruined? Would we both be free?

…I just want the kiss. Who care about the answer.

I think you want this as much as I do.

Or maybe I’m losing my sense of everything. My direction and the wind in my sails.

How do you ever really fully know whose eyes you should be waking up to?

httpa://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ml3rdk2h_lA

Saddle up, observer.

JonniCheatwood_5

He kissed me before he got on his bike and left. He was all about that bike.

That helmet that hung off the chair at the bar. Silly me – I didn’t wear any armor.

Intellectual, charming, handsome, funny. All the things that will melt me. Laughter – I’m a sucker for it.

And it seemed that it was only in that moment where where it seemed right. Sort of like a shooting star, in that most terribly cliché way. It was bright and fast.

Then unexpectedly turned to dust and faded out, falling through my hands and leaving me wondering what happened. Was it me? Was it him? I’ll never know. That’s always the worst part – never having a resolution.

I cannot forget that Irish whiskey and the fiddlers playing in the corner and how forward he was to put his hand on my knee.

____

But that’s now part of the norm more than it is the anomaly. Lack of resolution is something you settle in to. I struggle constantly with this lesson, or blessing as Oprah would put it.

I have moments where I want to email and just output all of my random thoughts/questions/disjointed feelings. But I’ve done all that before and what did it get me? Nothing. Sometimes I just want to sit across the table from you and not speak. Then I’d want to hug and depart. Because sometimes that’s the closure I want. Sometimes it’s the only thing I want. I can’t explain why I think this will resolve much for me, but it sounds good in my head.

But I don’t write. I don’t reach out. I don’t look in the rear view. It’s just still not time. It may never be time. But certain songs bring him back; words that awake the part of him that’s always in me. And I think, “Do you have those songs, too?”

Songs that you hear from the other room that make you pause, sit down & cry. They exist.

_____

He disappeared. Except not. I see him out and we don’t acknowledge one another. Date three was all we got to. But it woke up a lot in me and made me value myself a bit more. I got him. I don’t know if he got me. But it was all okay.

And he rode away on his bike and I never really could forget that first date and how important he made me feel. And how smart. And how funny. And how he allowed me to see that there were people in this world who would be the flame that I’d want to touch, total disregard for whether I got burned or not.

He restored a bit of my faith through his own faith. And that’s the gift he left me with. So I could happily let him ride away, helmet on and traffic light flashing into the dark.

Just gratitude. There was no ego in the room to bruise. I accepted.

Read more ‘Boys I’ve Liked?’ posts.

An old cliché.

“I know it’s cliche, but it’s really not you – it’s me,” he wrote.

I processed. And then decided that even though I’d said that many times in my life and meant it completely, it was still bullshit. I started my reply.

“I get it. But that’s fucking lame.” It was the last exchange we had.

I didn’t expect him to retaliate or argue because it would have been out of character. To be fair, the guy was great. Sweet, kind, smart and he seemed to have dug me as much as I dug him. But something was amiss.

He copped to having issues with his ex, who had dated for four years. I’m not a heartless bastard. I can empathize with the weight and importance of having to deal with four years of emotions and then how to navigate around them (and eventually with them) once you are out of a relationship. As people always say, the person may go out of your life but where does all the feeling go? Nowhere.

But the tipping point for me in this was that while I myself had felt these moments where I knew I wasn’t over an ex and shouldn’t be out dating, I had reached a point where it’s okay to admit that but still give someone else a shot. Because you cannot move on by avoiding dating. You have to allow yourself permission to have these residual feelings for a while and not try to bury or erase them. That methodology only damages you more and makes the wound worse.

So maybe it wasn’t fair that I called out how lame his excuse was – or better yet, copping to the fact that it was lame when I used it. But I just didn’t feel like offering up any sympathy or pity.

I want to be someone who can have a broken heart but be willing to admit that and still move forward.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHr9CJRhTPk

But even so, at some point a choice has to be made and lines have to be drawn in the sand. And that’s the moment where shit gets hard. Where people have to make adult decisions and live with the consequences without regret.

Truth be told, my response to him was abrasive. That’s my gut reaction. In fact, I should have just told him that I was sad that he couldn’t come to the table to work through the issues with me. But it’s okay that he didn’t want to, too.

Sometimes you have to willing to extend your hand to help lead people but whether they take it or not is up to them. You can’t blame them for not wanting to traverse the rocky terrain that may be in front of them that blocks them from getting to the other side.

I realized that the times I’ve ever used the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ line, it was out of pure fear. Fear of being vulnerable. Fear of seeing myself honestly, feebleness and all. Fear of not being big enough to succeed for the other person. SO many reasons I just cowardly bowed out because I wasn’t ready.

But I’m learning – in so many places – you can only move at the speed you move. You can’t be living life timed to other people’s expectations.

And the work that needs to be done must be done in action, not in absentia. You can’t just sit back and isolate yourself in the hope that you’ll sort yourself out and then get back into the game better. You have to keep playing the game in order to improve your skills and to improve your own capacities.

But it all takes time.

And that’s good by me. Every life is different. I’m becoming less inclined to compare and to hold my own expectations up to the standard deviation that is prescribed.

It’s also nice to realize how much more compassionate or empathetic I find myself becoming. It’s so nice to relate and see the more subtle threads and colors of the tapestry of other people. To magnify the simple parts.

Noodles.

noodle dish boys i've liked

Sometimes you get brave and in the tiny little manila key-sized envelope you’re supposed to leave your tip in, you leave your phone number. That’s what I did.

Without much hesitation or expectation that such a seemingly silly gimmick would work.

But it did. So after having randomly called the salon to make an appointment and meeting him for the first time, I was sitting across from him eating noodles 45 minutes after giving him my number. Yes, our first ‘date’ was his lunch break.

Our tryst went on for only a short time. You see, the more distance you live from someone within a city, the higher the percentage of inconvenience. On top of that, his admission that he was SHARING his apartment with his on-again, off-again boyfriend left me with a sour taste in my mouth.

I didn’t want to be ‘the other man.’ I didn’t want to be the extra-marital affair, if you will. At least, not to someone younger than me who wasn’t going to at least shower me in luxury dinners, trips to the Bahamas, etc. I was raised right and if I’m going to be someone’s squeeze on the side, that shit has to pay off.

It wasn’t so much of an end as it was that malaise came over us both. To be fair, we were both dipping out at times when neither of us had any business doing so. But these things happen. And for me, I learned that once I was in the position to do it, I needed to get out of the safety net I was in.

httpa://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3Dy4Noo5tA

Cut to years later when I am sitting again with sheers pressed against my head. Looming in the mirror that I’m facing, he’s standing there doing someone else’s hair and he says my name. An exchange of pleasantries and the commonplace agreement that we SHOULD go get drinks, yes, of course.

First thing’s first, “So are you single?”

“Yes, unfortunately.”

Telling. While our mutual single-dom was aligned this time, it wasn’t enough to make mutual interest bear fruit. For me, I can be truly timid in relationships and need someone to be more of an ass-kicker at first until I find my comfort level.

There was a spark, but there was no kindling to make a fire last. Our second attempt at a fling also fizzled out. I was not his cup of tea and he was not my slice of pie. Neither of us were willing to hit the gas pedal. Maybe it paid off. Another stepping stone on the path of finding the right pie.

I’ve learned that connections can vary in strength and in scope. It’s like speaking on a wavelength and others are receiving the signal in kind, but the bandwidth is so narrow that we are unable to make sense of one another outside of this small space.

Meeting and attempting to connect with men at the younger end of their 20s is a challenge. I have less interest in being trendy, staying out ‘til all hours of the morning, filling my time with people for the sake of killing time. I’m no longer that kid of cute, I’m not that kind of piece.

I’ve relinquished competing on those kinds of levels because I’ve been there and done it, tasted it and lost my taste for it. That’s the beauty of getting older and getting more into what you want for your life and what you want out of a companion.

There are much deeper and subtler shades of passion that I’ve begun to discover and crave. And there are people out there who are looking for the same.

Just as with noodles, you get to be a connoisseur and your palate becomes more discerning and finds flavors later in life that you couldn’t stomach before. And the ones that used to be what you craved now seem bland, common and mass-produced.

I like my taste. And when you find a noodle you love, you forget the rest.

Read the rest of the Boys I’ve Liked? series now.

Texas.

“Do you mind if I crash with you while I’m in town?”

It seemed like a simple enough question. I knew what I was doing. He knew what I was asking. There was plenty of dialogue to setup expectations that it didn’t necessarily equate sex and it was more of a chance to finally meet face to face. In fact, it was an explicit conversation we had.

Leave it to single people (or boys) to transform any social network as a means to an end for dating. And in the short-term, for sex.

I am as guilty as the next person for having what is commonly referred to as a Twitcrush. Modest interaction that turns into this grey world of flirtation, as is what happens among two witty and intelligent people. But of course with that banter is this weird, “Oh, do I have a crush on someone on the internet who lives thousands of miles away?” The logical part of you realizes that what people portray is only a sliver of their real existence. What you actively push out to the public is merely a part of yourself – and cannot be representative of the whole. I know that. Because this blog is also a fine example of that. Despite the volume published here – you see only a sliver. A calculated, edited, thought-out, composed version of myself at times; others, a manic and indigo boy.

“Yeah! You can totally stay at my place.”

Well, that’s settled.

With social media infatuations (Social Media Infatuation Junkies, if you will – and if you won’t, fuck you), there’s a good probability you’ll never meet the person you privately flutter over. But me, well…when did I ever leave well enough alone?

I’ve actually met and dated a couple as a result of connecting on social media. It’s not a bad thing – in fact, a girl I work with just married a guy that she met by interacting with on Twitter. So you just never know what happens when two people come together, textually.

One has to be resourceful in this modern day of dating. When you find yourself tapped out for intelligence – you claw and cling to any inkling of wit, charm and personality – even if it’s through 1s and 0s.

With his invitation, I knew that my trip to NYC was going to be interesting, adventurous and probably a total shit-show.

I’m typically always right. At least about predicting a shit-show.

Sitting outside of Dave Letterman’s studio and waiting with a leg-hiked up on a suitcase, I felt like my life was absurd and yet utterly free. He struts up and we smile and say our hellos.

Attractive, a great smile. Beautiful eyes. Smart. Funny. Just cool. Everything I had expected. I felt a sense of relief. God only knows what he thought, but that’s none of my business nor is this a story about my own self-doubt or egotism.

——

httpa://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnNDXjSxr4M

A movie, a meal and several shots later we are heading into the city to meet a friend at a club. He and I pile into the back of a cab when he grabs me with a break-neck urgency to put his lips on mine. I don’t resist and return with the same force.

Hello, New York.

[Side note: These things happen in your life. And if they don’t – I’m sorry. Even if you’re married, give in to a bit of sensuality and allow yourself to be consumed with passion enough to step outside the bounds of your marriage and feast on your partner. It’s worth it. It breaks your own inhibitions down. Let yourself go toward the whore for a moment.]

Cut to me at the bar and him busting open the buttons of my shirt on the dancefloor. Now, I’m thin – but I ain’t built to be showing off my body. At least not in some NYC club – those queens are a different breed: thoroughbred. This led to more kissing in front of his friend, who stood by just sipping on a drink. (Can I apologize for that now?)

Some drinks later, I cut myself off and started on water. They kept going – and good for them. I’m old. I can’t party like I used to. And the last thing I need to do is get sloppy in some lower East side bar in Manhattan.

[Side note 2: Although, it wouldn’t be the lowest moment in my gay life to that point – that happened earlier the same day when I had to go stand in line at 8 am in a Chelsea free clinic for an STD test, after having a truly dramatic panic attack about having gonorrhea, which in my mind also meant I probably had HIV (yes, I’m that paranoid and neurotic). As it turns out, I had neither. But I couldn’t even wait for the clinic results to come in, because as soon as I got home I went to my doctor and had ANOTHER blood panel taken, with my results turned around in a few days. Both came back completely negative for everything. Meaning I had a UTI. God, why did I ever go off Xanax?]

We make it home, and I crawl into bed with him. Nothing happened – I promise you. He blacked out on the cab ride home, so I was relieved that there wouldn’t be any pressure to escalate our making out to the next base, whichever base that may be.

And you know what – I’m happy nothing happened.

The next day, we went to brunch and I parted ways to meet up with another friend and former lover. Yes. You heard right. Let me introduce myself:

I continued my trip and had a blast but didn’t really hear much from him since then. While I’m fine with that, it was a little disappointing.

Why?

I think because he was totally refreshing. And I rarely meet people I find refreshing or unique or want to commit to getting to know. Do I think we were a match or compatible or anything? No, not really. But he was the type worth investigating.

However, I also saw the pattern of my own behavior. I get drawn into the curiosity and the exploration of new relationships and my attraction is more in the anonymity and the spark. As I’ve alluded to before, and with some amount of head shaking, I’m a junkie for the high. I’m always chasing the high of meeting someone new and having that mutual rush of unknown attraction. I’m looking for a hit of newness.

But like any addiction, it becomes detrimental and harmful. My own addictions are ready to be broken. I’m leaning into the slowness of relationship growth and development and learning how to extend and draw out the sensuality instead of giving into the lust of a moment. Do I think the latter has its place? Of course. You must be human and representative of the whole. But now I’m ready to stretch the muscle of long-term attraction. And maybe I met someone who may be willing to teach me how to go slow.

Dedicate myself to the molasses speed of love, because it may be sweeter for longer. But I could never wait for the drip to drop.

I had to die in Texas to get there.

Read the rest of the Boys I’ve Liked series.

A tell-tale text.

His text messages at 3:30 in the morning made me feel young and desirable. Not that I was ever awake to read them or respond. No, I’d only see them after I woke up for work.

“Wake up.”

Or in some cases:

“Come over.”

I knew that they were always not-so-subtle attempts to lure me into a late-night rendezvous for sex. Like I said, it made me feel young and desirable because he was young and desirable. So despite the seven or so years that separated us in age, I felt young enough to be desired by a younger individual. What person nearing thirty wouldn’t want to feel that way?

But the unfortunate part about him was that we just didn’t seem to sync up.

I had met him a few months prior on a dating site. And with most dating sites, you get what you pay for, which is to say men who are just window shopping and not ready to commit, or men who probably don’t leave their homes and are single for reasons that are probably physically obvious.

Yes, I’m vain and shallow enough to say that. But that could be a whole other story.

Anyway, we both were from the same area and decided after some mutual conversation to meet for drinks and a game of Scrabble at a local bar. I was late, a trait that’s becoming a more common occurrence than I care to admit to.

So I stumble into the bar and begin to text him to see if he’s there and I look beyond the bar to a at a table in the back where there’s this handsome, devilishly good looking boy – yes, he’s young enough that I’ll call him a boy – sitting patiently and looking more effortlessly chic than I could ever dream of being.

We sit down, order some drinks and begin to converse. I knew from the get-go that he was quiet, probably shy. Conversation wasn’t flowing as freely as the beer was but it wasn’t problematic. He was very cute, enjoyable to talk to and quiet.

As our night concluded, we both agreed we’d like to do it again and there were no moves, no goodnight kiss and that didn’t bother me. I didn’t expect it. Sometimes you don’t want to go into a date with someone you’ve met online with the forethought it will be successful or lead to a second engagement.

By the way, he beat me at Scrabble.

We continued to randomly text one another, but I felt that he was just too cool for me. And despite his youth, it was apparent that I was…not as bright-eyed and bushy tailed. I couldn’t shut the club or bar down on a school night, not anymore.

I could also tell he was surrounded by other cool people, people who would be just as trendy and chic as he – and that I would not be of their tribe. Sometimes you just have to know where you won’t fit in, despite the invitation or desire to do so.

A few weeks went by and he invited me to see a movie. I obliged, excited to see him, but felt still somewhat out of my league and as soon as he showed up, I knew why. Dressed as if he was right out of a grungy spread in Details with perfectly coiffed hair and porcelain skin, I thought, “I am out of my league.”

I know what you’re thinking. “Justin, you’re only 29, you look good, you’re thin…(insert more compliments that I don’t know how to process).” Still, you know when you’re looking at a thorough-bred and when you’re looking at a barnyard steed.

The move was fine. Not a lot of talking. I was terribly infatuated with him and wanted to make out with him from the get-go. But once it was over, there was little interaction – again, I felt like I had to keep him entertained despite being the person invited to go on a date with him.

Weeks, maybe a month or two went by and we just stopped contacting each other. It was fine. My only regret was not getting a chance to kiss him. It’s the small victories I’m looking for in life, really.

Then I got the text. Between the hours of 2 and 5 a.m.

“Come over.”

“What are you doing?”

So when I woke up, I’d see these text and respond with my gut reaction.

“Um, I’m not awake at 3:00 a.m. Were you drunk?”

Then hours later I get a response.

“No.”

“Oh. Well, what were you doing? What compelled you to text me?”

“I wanted to see what you were doing.”

So on and so forth. Every person who has been part of the cell phone culture knows this drill. This flirtatious and yet confusing ping-pong game of veiled conversation that you think is about sex but is never just honest enough to say, “I wanted to have sex with you.”

And let’s face it, I’d be more responsive to that level of honesty in most cases.

Our texting patterns continued for a few more days, becoming regular at times and then sporadic, always leading up to the promise of getting together with more than a movie or pizza in mind. Our virtual flirtation had picked up speed and finally had the gusto I was desiring.

Again, I knew that this boy wouldn’t be a long-term partner in any sense. He’s young, pretty, and social. So if I can just have the luxury of knowing someone like that would want to sleep with someone like me, then it’s certainly an ego boost and a compliment.

All of this random texting finally escalated to the final late-night text that blatantly said, “Come over and get into bed.”

For whatever reason, I was up ungodly early and say this text maybe 45 minutes after it was sent. So I responded, “Sure. Should I come over to your place or do you want to come over to mine?”

We decided I would go to his place. He was off work that day – I was not. But being single and still under the age of 30, I said to myself, “Fuck it. Go and have sex with him on your way to work.”

Game plan in place? Check.

We exchanged more texts and time was going by, with less and less time available to make this work as we stumbled through details of timing, travel, roommates (his, as I have none), etc.

I left my apartment and took a cab to his place and texted him that I was on my way. After ten minutes and no response, I texted him again. Another ten minutes and still no response.

“Shit,” I thought. “Am I getting ‘Punk’d’?”

I got to his apartment and texted him that I had arrived and sat on the doorstep of his apartment. Nothing.

I called five times in a row, now thinking, “If he’s been awake all night and had been drinking at all, he may very well have passed out.”

Then I texted him again.

“If you’re not awake by 7:15, I’m leaving.”

Let me insert this: I was a hot mess. It was a Friday and I decided to not get truly ready as if I were going to work because…well, I was attempting to have sex and it seemed pointless to get ready and then disheveled and then get ready again. Sitting on the stoop in the middle of Boystown with a packed duffle back at 6:45 in the morning looks absolutely tragic. Or absolutely admirable. I still haven’t decided. Anyway, back to the story.

At 7:16, I proverbially dusted myself off and headed to the train and went to work.

I boarded the train and just began to laugh. I just got stood up for a hook up.

Perhaps this was my punishment for attempting to do something brash and spontaneous. Perhaps it was the universe saying, “No, Justin…you’re too old for that.”

Or perhaps it was me finally just living without reservation, without self-restriction, without self-judgment and with the intent of just having fun – and that I just needed to reach that moment of decision making without actually having to go through with the act itself.

Regardless, I laughed but was mildly disappointed. I did want to fool around with him. But I knew that after this, it’s probably just not meant to be.

He texted me a little after 9 that same morning with an apology; he had fallen asleep, or so he said.

I couldn’t hold it against him. I just liked the thrill of the chase.

(This is the second post in a new series I’m writing called “Boys I’ve Liked?”)

Not a date, right?

“This isn’t a date right?,” he asked.

I felt somewhat deflated. Not because I was anticipating it to be a spectacular date or even one that would lead to a second meeting.

My internal sigh had more to do with the fact that despite the great conversation and laughter, he had made his mind up about me before that moment. Whether it was based on how I looked, or how I dressed, how I sat there, how much I drank, the amount of guacamole I shoved into my mouth, or any number of other reasons – he made a choice.

And I could not shift that.

“Oh…no, no,” I said, hoping to downplay the simple fact that I wished it was a date.

But instead of feeling dejected, I just carried on with my laughter, my consumption of guacamole, my intake of margaritas and my sharing of stories.

It didn’t have to be a date that led to anything outside of that time we decided to converse. Did I want it to? Based on how the evening went, of course. But did it break me? No.

It was just another reminder that expectations will be the downfall of your happiness. Even after he uttered the question, I decided any further expectations wouldn’t serve us well.

The fact is, he’s still a terribly handsome man with a terribly fascinating personality. But as of now, our worlds do not intersect. Whether that’s because of choice or because of necessity, I’ll never know.

I could have pursued and maybe I shouldn’t have given up on him (and that wicked humor) so easily. Then again, my lesson in meeting him was knowing that I can’t control everything and I can’t force someone to be interested in me.

That when given such a clear sign as, “This isn’t a date, right?”, I could smirk before my response, process all of my reactions, and be okay with saying it wasn’t. Even though I wished it were.

(This is the first in a new series I’m trying to write about called “Boys I’ve Liked?” More entries coming soon that are tagged/categorized as such.)