I met him outside. He had been so built up in my mind; this tall, familiar, comforting stranger that caused my head to turn. Never being one to get caught in a fantasy, I was shocked by the effect this man had on my imagination. What a strange feeling it was to wait outside for him. I felt as if I knew him, although, I did not. We only had months of distant attraction between us and a recent bombardment of text messages. Finally a face to face meeting, perhaps it could be considered a date. I had dreamt of this moment, filled with witty banter and possibly an overwhelming attraction shared by the two of us. Alas, there hung that looming hope, perhaps this is something real, perhaps this will turn into something lasting and true; perhaps I need to get to know him.
Stepping through the door in his entire six foot six inch splendor, stunning in his perfectly tailored, beautifully crafted pale grey summer weight suit; I noticed instantly his nervous energy. Leading me through the crowded streets of midtown Manhattan, he took the lead deciding which streets to cross and which lights to patiently wait for. Making comments about my city and commenting on the neighborhood as if I were the newbie; I found it quite endearing. Turning to enter the park to my regular favored spot, he stopped and gently guided me on to a further entrance. Laying out a blanket he chatted on boldly full of fumbles and mumbles.
The suiting jacket came off, the French cuffs were rolled up, socks and shoes discarded, he made himself comfortable exposing his perfectly sun browned skin. Situating myself on the blanket next to him, my shoes remained on, my stature much stiffer, I sat in puzzled amusement, something wasn't quite right. There was a familiarity about him, a comfort and ease about him that did not match his scattered dialogue or inappropriate over-sharing. Conversation was not easy or fluid as I had hoped. In fact he began to share of his family's dysfunction in detail. He let his heart leak out of the pain he'd experienced from his childhood, in front of me spilling out into a pool between us. He spoke of it with sarcastic tones as if it were all a joke. I was embarrassed by his nakedness, the brash bare reality of his situation. It was laid on me like a sack of dry bones. Though not what I was expecting during an afternoon picnic meeting this man for the first time, I felt for him, taking on his details like precious relics to be protected. He shot jabs at me too, using every piece of information I shared with him as ammo for his sarcasm. I realized, despite his cool demeanor, he must have been rambling out of nervousness. This conflicting confidence and unmistakable self doubt keep me confused. I left taken a back by his seeming insecurity.
I haven’t heard from him since, though the thought of him lingers. He remains a mystery and an unquenchable puzzle. Perhaps he will reach out again and we will give it another go. I can only pray he is more relaxed, a bit more himself. I wish to get a true glimpse of who he really is. If he does reach out again, I will make sure to bring a flask.