“I have to apologize. I got my hair cut last night and it’s way too short. I don’t want anyone looking at us saying, ‘Why is he with her?’” I knew I was in for a long night. He tried. He tried hard. He tried so hard that we left the office at 5:15, finished with dinner at 7:30, went for, what I thought was, a single drink at a bar in my neighborhood, and I didn’t get home until 12:30. For the last three hours of the evening he talked. He told me the long winded story of his best friend and how he got married and then divorced and now he’s married again and expecting his first kid. He told the endless story about how people who don't like movies made from books are actually just plain old wrong, and why, specifically, their perceptions are skewed. He talked about authors and books and college. He asked me how I felt about kids and marriage.
It scared me. I felt like this guy that I was just getting to know was picturing me, in all my post-work, slightly-melted-makeup glory, with a veil on, cradling a baby in my arms. I found myself constantly reminding him of my age and my reckless, youthful ways. “I think I’d like to try living on the west coast for awhile,” I said more than once.
He walked me home and I gave him a hug goodbye; the kind of hug that typically signals to the other person that you’d rather kiss the curb than their face.
Now I long for the days when I used to see the OC in the hallway at work and experience some awkward sexual tension, as opposed to now when I walk by him and he winks. One date. And I think I’m in way over my head.