Me last night at not my proudest moment:
My two dinner guests have just left and my house is feeling lonely. I apparently forget what year it is and text “The Poet” from 1994 at 10:30pm. I know!! It’s always a bad idea to solicit the company of flings from the Paleolithic era. If one of my friends were here they would confiscate my phone and I would be sulking in the corner until I regained my senses.
I write, “Hey illusive poet, what are you doing right now?” This is a year-and-a-half after our last hangout.
The Poet immediately texts back.
“Cooking food. How about you? I have been thinking to go appreciate the moon on a walk afterwards….”
I respond, “I mean, Foxtrot trail is in my backyard if you wanna walk together…”
“That would be awesome,” he texts back.
I am assuming that “walk” is code for “hook-up.” I mean, it’s 10:30pm on a Saturday night. Also, Foxtrot is a deeply-forested “HIKING” trail with a wicked incline. Unfortunately, The Poet, who has recently joined the nunnery, misses the memo on the booty-call code-word. These are the events that follow:
The Poet comes over. He looks exactly the same as the last time I saw him a year-and-a-half ago. Curly blond tendrils of hair hang sexily over his cherub-like face. Round spectacles are perch on his nose giving him a scholarly air. He has a sinewy build with deeply tanned arms and a semi-broad chest and there is an almost feminine fluidity and gentleness about his energy.
I make him tea and give him the tour of my new pad. We then stand awkwardly in my living room and he timidly asks, “Sooo, do you want to hike now?”
My eyebrows rise and my eyes widen to reveal the whites like a skittish mare eyeing a rattlesnake. “…I mean…yeah totally…err do you?” I squeal in a strange, high-pitched voice.
And this is how I end up going on an actual “hike” at 11:00pm on a Saturday night. A hike complete with a headlamp, camelbak water bottle-backpack, and an unattractive boob-flattening bra.
I have never met anyone who is as enthusiastic about “catching the moonlight” as The Poet. His moon-enthusiasm, unfortunately, is not a precursor to romanticism of the sexual variety. It’s an enthusiasm which sadly ends with gazing upward and poetically revering the moon’s illustrious, “moony” qualities without even reaching for my hand.
The Poet and I hike up to the top of the hill and find a place to rest. I am panting and my face is now covered in beads of sweat. I attempt a highly-uncomfortable salacious “straddle” of a diagonally-leaning log next to the horizontal log that he perches on. The whole time I make sure that my calves remain cooly presses up against his. And…that is all the action I get for the night. True story.
The Poet reveals to me with zen-like poise that he has updated his “life-status” to being completely sober since January. He now volunteers at 3 different nonprofits – two of which are working with underprivileged children, and his new career trajectory is social work. He has recently enrolled in school and is feeling stoked on this new humanitarian endeavor.
When we get back to the house, I snag a hard-seltzer from the fridge, lean my head back, and chug the refreshing bubbly liquid courage. Courage – I need some of this imminently if anything interesting is going to ensue tonight.
“Heads up,” I yell as I whip around and toss a hard-seltzer his way. The Poet does not mentally download the invitation to play softball. One of his hands instinctively covers his eyes while the other clings to his chest. His body morphs into the shape of a squiggly question-mark. The can performs a majestic arc through the air, misses him by 3 feet, lands on the carpet, then rolls under the dinning room table.
At this point I remember the sobriety thing.
“Oh, my bad,” I say awkwardly. “You don’t want that, obviously! Stupid me. How about a coconut water?” His hand is trembling slightly when I hand him the non-alcoholic beverage with a sippy straw. He is obviously still in shock from narrowly averting death by flying hard-seltzer can.
The Poet finishes his drink, says his farewells and leaves. He then knocks on my door 2 minutes later. I exhale with relief. ‘Thank god, he’s grown some balls and has come to his senses,’ I think with excitement churning.
When I swing open the door, however, the Poet says apologetically that he has forgotten his keys. His keys are on the living room table. I grab his keys and hand them to him. His hand does not linger on mine.
As he leaves, I kiss him goodbye “French-style” on the cheek, and hope that he will turn his head 45 degrees to meet my lips. He does not. The Poet is likely filing for a restraining order as I write this.