Love Labor's Lost

volumes of mis-adventures

“No Strings Attached” Part II

on March 20, 2012

5:46pm Me: With the traffic as is, I’ll be there around 6:30

C: Cool. Gimme a call when you’re close. There should be parking on stockton too.

What am I doing? What are you thinking? Well, nothing’s going to happen. You’ll just go, talk, have dinner, talk, then you can decide. Crap, I hate traffic. Damn it, why can’t people drive. Ugh, there is never anything good on the radio…oooo I like this song *cranks up the volume*  Wow, this weather is crazy. I’m glad I went for a run this morning. Gosh, my stomach hurts. Why am I so nervous! Maybe I should turn around. No, it’s fine. You’ll just go hang out. I’m not even hungry, my stomach is in knots. Gosh, why won’t these cars just move! Are you even wearing any makeup? * Checks the mirror* geez you look tired…It’s fine, it’s all going to be fine…

My mind’s inner dialogue was racing a mile a minute which is ironic, because I couldn’t have been moving faster than a snail on a blacktop surface on a smoldering day in July. Chad and I decided to go for dinner, but I was first meeting him at his apartment and literally freaking out. The hours of texting conversation we had had the last 24 hours were reeling in my mind. Rewinding and repeating. And the only thing I kept thinking was: this is so uncharacteristic of you. What are YOU doing? I pulled onto Stockton right across from the Lincoln Park Zoo, parked, and got out of my car. I took a deep breath and tried to steady my racing pulse.

It’s going to be fine. Of course, you don’t really know that, what do you even know about him? He’s Geoff’s* friend, he can’t be awful. He wore a Kippah to the bar, he’s got to be a nice Jewish boy. Relax. Where’s my phone? Did I lock my car? Gosh, it’s nice outside. This would be a great area for a run. O, the lake is so pretty.

I took out my phone and dialed. Hey, he answered. Um, Hi, I’m here…I think…what was the address? yea, I’m here. Cool, bye.

I walked up 3 steps under a green awning into one of Chicago’s old style apartment buildings in Lincoln Park. Chad came out the elevator with a smile: Come on, in. As we stood in the elevator we were both clammy, shaky, stammering. Sentences were said with a phantasmagorical smile hiding the reality of both of our uncomfortable dispositions. It felt odd. It felt forced. It felt like we were hiding, or maybe I felt like we were hiding.

Walking into his spacious living room, his one bedroom apartment was immaculate. Clearly the boy cleaned, and that’s always nice. He started showing me around the place.

C: Here’s the kitchen, there’s not much in the fridge, but I’ll stock it with things you like.  

Ugh, things I like? Wait what?

C: Living room, desk, bathroom. I want you to keep a toothbrush here so we’ll stop by Walgreens on the way to dinner and pick one out for you.

Crazy boy, say what?! I don’t know you…toothbrush?…stay here?…crazy? yes.

C: And here’s my bedroom. Can I get you anything?

M: Water would be great, if you have it.

C: Water? I think sinks carry that through pipes? O look, a sink, faucet, yep, there’s the water.

Smiling, I sat down on the couch in his living room. He brought the water over and sat down adjacent from me. We exchanged clever banter, talked about our respective days. He was starting to sweat through his shirt: This guy was even more nervous than me. So where did you want to go for dinner? he asked.

M: Honestly, I couldn’t eat anything, I’m pretty nervous right now.

With the smooth maneuver of a directed script, Chad knelt to my level, wrapped his arm around my back, and kissed me.

C: Is that better?

M: Um, I don’t know…I felt a smile widen across my face and my eyes drop to my feet.

AHHHHHHHHHHHH. What am I doing here! I just met him on Saturday. He. Has. A. Giiiirrrrllllfriend. Holy F***!

Kissing led to more kissing, that kissing led to a figure eight tongue exercise he had perpetually implemented in my mouth, which was more of an exercise in keeping my laughter stifled. The kissing was interjected, prefaced, and followed by a circling of my nose with his nose. His nose was infatuated with my nose, and I was…unsure.

M: Why do you keep circling my nose?

C: I don’t.

M: Oh, but you do.

* kissing me and then promptly circling my nose with his.*

C: Holy shit, I totally just did that…wow…

This night was just about over. I needed to leave by 9:30 to get back home and get some work done before my early morning Tuesday. We made out some more, we didn’t really talk much. He got to know me better. I did not recognize myself.  I left feeling odd. Feeling forced. Feeling uncomfortable. Feeling icky. I left knowing I could never be a side option to an ongoing relationship no matter how open and unconcerned the other party was. These are repercussions I can’t deal with in my life. I drove home knowing I didn’t want to be a part of his great proposal. Now all that was left, was letting him know he was never going to see me again.

to be continued…

*names changed.

 

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