For the past six weeks, on Tuesdays, on the weeks where I usually don’t have my kids on the upcoming weekend, I receive a text from Mr. Saturday Night, AKA “He who is not a great texter.”
“What’s your weekend shaping up like?”
I am trained through corporate life to answer in the moment. I don’t want to play games, I’m too old for that shit. You ask, I’ll answer. My phone is never more than 12 seconds away from my person, which is fucked up but is what it is.
“What have you got in mind?”
“How about I go down on that sweet pussy of yours for an hour, feed you dinner and then have you for dessert?”
I mean, YOU GUYS! Who am I to turn down an offer like that at the moment?
The first two times, he came over to my place. I made us dinner the first time, and the second time, he had me for a meal, then took me out for a meal, then had me for dessert as promised. Swoon.
But as I’ve already documented all the things that are not sitting well with me, I’ve had to continuously check my nature, which is to “catch feels” as the kids say these days.
We’d arranged to see each other Sunday for a change, but he knew I was free Friday night and I found myself waiting for one of his adorably lame texts about the weather or the sky. And just when I’d given up, I got, “Friday the 13th! (purple devil emoji).” I’d been holding back, I’d been wanting to message and didn’t. And he came through. There was a swoony satisfaction in that.
Sunday came around. I spent a delicious day, reading in my favourite chair, cooking myself a delicious late lunch. He ended up having to work, so our hangout moved from late afternoon to the evening. I was excited, because he lives above a bar I epitomized as the ultimate boho experience when I was a drama nerd of a teen, who went to protests and watched Woodstock every weekend, and wanted nothing more than to live above a store, windows open, curtains billowing, jazz playing.
I passed all the sweaty, gorgeous, half-naked hipsterites sitting out on terraces. An illegal house party was blasting beats in an alley. I became conscious of how I’d dressed like a 20-something, in a floral romper, the short shorts barely covering a lifetime of cellulite, but I decided I was very Lena Dunham and shrugged it off.
I took a breath. This is what I wanted 20 years ago, this boho life. My heart smiled at the idea. I pushed open the gate and made my way carefully up the metal fire escape. His kitchen door was open, and he stood there, staring at me with hungry eyes. I melted a bit and then looked around. Record screech.
It was like I sat in the Hot Tub Time Machine and went back to 1998. Which is roughly how long my handsome, charming lover and friend has lived there. There were interesting places to look everywhere. His room was giant enough to house a king-size, a couch, a chair and a huge desk that looked out onto the famous Bohemian street where he lives. There were books and records and chairs and kinda clothes and stuff everywhere. And the world’s most adorable pup. I stood against the desk, admiring photos, when he came up behind me, pulled my hair off my neck and held it hard, while the other hand slowly crept up my leg, along the curve of my ass and started exploring and his mouth kissed and bit the back of my neck until the air in the room should have triggered a fire alarm. Then he threw me down on his bed hard and reminded me that he knew exactly what he was doing.
But remember how we lived in those days? Remember the apartments that were charming at first, but filthy and crumbling on further inspection? Remember how living with roommates was?
I found an actual archeological video clip from 1998 to help you understand.
Except, my beautiful lover is not 20-something. He’s 50-something. And while I try not to judge anyone’s financial situation, I think what was irking me was how disastrous it was. Food that had been cooked and left to dry out in its pot on the stove. Roach traps in the bathroom. Dirty pile of clothes in the corner of his giant bedroom. And having to look roommates in the eye after having loud, body-rocking G-spot orgasms in the room next door, knowing full well that I’m NOT “the first girl that’s come around in a long time.”
And no toilet paper.
Yep. Unlike Carrie Bradshaw in the video above, I did not spend the night. And I was smart enough to look before I peed. “Uh, where do you keep your toilet paper?” He was supposed to go get sundries but had been called in to work, he explained, then apologized, scrounged, and procured me a cocktail napkin covered in images of coffee beans and latte cups. I rolled with it, like I was cool AF, but inside my brain was screaming, “Peter Pan! Run!”
He’d warned me ahead of time, because he’s not obtuse, that the place was a disaster zone. He was surprisingly vulnerable in his own space. We went to an old haunt for dinner (to really hammer the 1998 bit home) and as usual, the conversation was great. He asks many thoughtful questions, and our tangential conversations are full of giggles and belly laughs. We talked about how the apps are necessary, but that they miss some of the magic that comes with getting to know someone first. I talked about how consideration and politeness are really important to me and he said he felt the same. Then he took me back to his place for round 2, as he does after a meal now. And he never finishes himself until round 2. That’s how generous he is, or maybe it’s an age thing, but I don’t mind because the score is totally working in my favour for once!
So here’s the thing. We lay in his bed looking at all the awesome projects he’d produced. He’s so proud of his work, it’s inspiring. He shared so much of himself in that bed. And after we’d given each other what we were both there for, I nearly fell asleep next to him, still slightly wistful that he may never spoon me. I’ve never slept over at anyone’s since Theo left, nor have I let anyone sleep over. It’s how I will know when something is getting serious. Sleep equals trust equals feels. (Plus I open-mouth gargle snore.)
“I could almost fall asleep,” I murmured, lying on my tummy, head in my arms, the closest thing to snuggling myself without looking ridiculous. He was on his back, looking half asleep himself. I knew he had to work early the next day, so I was surprised when he said, “Well I’ll drive you home, of course.” There was something so lovely and chivalrous about that. And I was happy, because it meant we got to talk more before ending the night.
So we put our clothes on, had a quick chat with the roommates about landlord troubles, and eventually made our way to his super cool vintage station wagon, dog in tow, all the way across town to my humble abode. We kissed goodnight, and that is that.
I woke up the next morning with a clearer sense of what this is. I’ve done “Fixer upper” and also, he doesn’t want to be renovated; he’s curated a life he seems quite happy with. He wouldn’t want my help in changing that life and I just couldn’t resist wanting to “improve” it. It’s just that I don’t do authentic boho anymore. I’m aspiring for vintage meets Anthropologie, which might make me a douche, but so be it. I’m a grown-ass person, who has an Amazon subscription to toilet paper so that I NEVER RUN OUT!
He’s my lover, and a friend, though not a close friend, yet. But I enjoy his company immensely and for now I want to keep him in my orbit. I like how I feel when I’m with him, even the uncomfortable parts. It’s probably never going to be anything more, and I’m OK with that. I’ve decided not to change or hide who I am, though I’m consciously scaling back a bit. If I scare him off, so be it. I gotta be me. The girl who is going to bring you a book. The girl who will want to kiss and caress your whole body affectionately. I’m not going to hide my affectionate, touchy nature, just because he’s not affectionate. I lived like that and it was painful.
But I’m also not quite ready to reach out for his hand on the sidewalk, not just yet. Not ready to ask, “Can we spoon?” Because he seems to have some kind of code, and I would hate if I asked him to cross a line and somehow managed to make him fall in love with me when, logically speaking, this might never be anything except what we share together. Maybe not spooning and not holding hands is how he keeps a boundary between his dick and his heart. And perhaps I’d be wise to keep a boundary too.
I’m getting closer to lasering in on what I want in my next long-term relationship. I’m starting to form an idea in my mind of what kind of person could be my equal. And that’s a delicious thought. Mr. SN comes close in many ways, but we are from two different worlds, and based on his behaviour, we won’t ever be more than companions. Which is so delicious right now, I could bathe in it. And don’t I deserve a wee bit of fun after all I’ve been through?