Sunday, January 10, 2010

Exposed

She was running late to meet her date. She really didn't consider this a date, because in their short phone conversation, it was apparent that he was already fumbling for words and coherency, revealing an over eagerness to be liked. She couldn't think of him as anything more than a potential friend. She noted with annoyance that he left her a message an hour before their appointed meeting. He stated exactly three times during the message in one form or another, that he was looking forward to seeing her. She wondered if he had some type of social disorder. She started feeling a tug of compassion for the guy. It can be very stressful meeting new people. She left the house determined to be kind, regardless of any impulse to behave otherwise.
When she finally arrived at the coffee shop, she easily spotted him in a bright purple sweater sporting a boyish smile at her presence. He looked sweet, like someone's little brother on a first date. She wanted to start shedding some of her many layers of winter-wear as the heat was blasting, but she thought better of it. This man did not have custody of his eyes, and they gazed steadily in the region of her chest. She was not too sure how to deal with this bit of Neanderthalism. She tried to distract his attention with conversation so she could at least remove her coat without feeling violated, but his gaze remained chest-height. Her physical comfort took precedence, and off came her coat. His eyes remained transfixed. 'Maybe he's too shy to look into my eyes,' she reasoned. She really wanted to remove her sweater too, but couldn't imagine what might occur in that event. She decided to wait until they were seated. She didn't know what they were talking about, but her companion was laughing heartily at her jokes. Good time to take off the sweater unnoticed. As soon as she did, to her surprise, he adjusted his glance to her face, and left it there until they parted two hours later. Conversation flowed, she felt comfortable with this person. Then he pulled an awkward maneuver. She shared some recent coup she had achieved, and he put his hand up for a high five. That alone was unpleasant enough, but when she complied out of politeness, she felt his small dry hand try to linger into a handhold! This guy must have been out of his mind. A handhold?! A handhold! She couldn't believe the gall. She quickly retreated her paw, and buried it underneath her leg to ensure protection from future ambushes. Mind you, this was all done in her subtle manner, never missing a beat in the warm conversation. At one point, the talk got depressive. She shared a recent sadness with him, and immediately regretted it, as she knew this would illicit another attempt at hand-holding. She wedged both hands under her legs this time. Then he looked down and confessed he had never been in a relationship, and she could see tears welling up in his dark brown eyes. She told him he was better off, but he didn't seem to think so. She wondered why men were always crying around her, and told some more jokes to lighten the mood. Then she decided it was time to end this meeting. They walked to the corner, and exchanged niceties. She walked up St. Marks street and remembered the night when she was 15 and had a crush on David Hinchman, a gay actor. He lived on that block, and she spent the night on his roof once. It was too cold to walk around she decided, and she ducked down into the warmth of the subway. On the semi-crowded train, she noticed a gay couple. The more effeminate of the two caught her attention. At first she wasn't sure why she couldn't stop looking at him. He was making a dramatic expression with his eyes. But when he relaxed his features, she understood. His face reminded her of someone she had once cared about. The slanted brown eyes, the strong handsome nose, the sullen pout. As long as he wasn't smiling, she could imagine it was him. Suddenly he noticed her staring at him. She looked away. She started remembering things she wanted to forget. She looked back, and saw him whispering to his partner. The partner glanced at her. She looked away, but then had to look once more. She felt an overwhelming longing. One tear rolled down her cheek. She looked away, this time for good.

7 comments:

paz13 said...

I feel bad for the guy. I've had situations where things haven't worked out with females for one reason or the other.

I also feel bad for the female in that she was in an obviously uncomfortable situation.

This is very thought provoking. I wonder why she agreed to meet him in the first place. Liked this post.

Kevin

tamar said...

Hi Kevin~ I like putting my characters in awkward positions, because in real life there is no shortage of those, especially in the dating world. Glad you liked it :-)

paz13 said...

tamar: Interesting in that when I was single, I recall being in positions with women where it may not have been awkward in a given social setting, but there was no chance we could ever go out. I realized there was no chemistry so I wouldn't pursue it. I sometimes wondered why, but never dwelled on it.

Your post made me recall this from the distant past.

Kevin

tamar said...

kevin~ yeah, I think everyone experiences those insecurities in life. Probably makes you happy you aren't going through that anymore, huh?

Deb said...

Oh geez - that "high five" maneuver is just as bad as the 'Jack Tripper yawn, stretch and put your arm around her in the movie theater' move. (Works every time!) But I'm sorry you had to go through this awkward experience. Even though I laughed all the way through this, even tempted to put my own hands underneath my legs, your writing is really captivating!

Just_because_today said...

ok, I'm weird but what's wrong with a high 5?

tamar said...

just~ It's so '70s!! OK, maybe one high five is allowed.. but not a series of them!!