Thursday, September 27, 2012

what's better than a free meal? nothing

"ping pong or pool? your choice." you had asked. we played pool already, but though i'm no good at ping pong, though i knew i'd look ridicuous, i couldn't resist seeing you in your suit and leather shoes and dignity going after a small orange table tennis ball that i'd be hitting wildly and wrongly across the room. we met at spin at 7:15 - i'd said we should both try our best to be on time. i had meant to ask you how your week had been, but instead we got absolved into conversation about what we'd like to be reincarnated as - i, a snow leopard, you, a that you can fly and shit on people. oh vienn.

but the ping pong place was full; we went to our other spot, society billiards, and it was full as well. finally we walked to amsterdam billiards...i think it may have been the spot i was at with paul. i didn't notice. i had better company this time, though you beat me. we played darts as well, and tied. you would touch me each time you walked by, perhaps claiming me. you'd slap my ass when i was about to throw, messing me up, making me laugh, making it clear that you didn't mind that people saw that we were together. later you asked me to tell you you were a gentleman. i said it, upset, i said it again, laughing, and finally said it, maybe meaning it, in a low, sultry voice, and you kissed me. our first public kiss. we made ridiculous bets, if i were to win, you'd have to call me 'duchess', bow every time i entered the room and open every door for me, forever. forever including every after life, when you'll be a falcon and i a snow leopard, and when i see you in hell. "it'll be hot down there," you said.  wonderful observation. if you won, i'd have to buy dinner later and open the door for you. "what's better than a free meal?" you asked me. "nothing." you won but neither ended up happening, even though i had no problem buying dinner, i went for the check and you said 'no.' i argued with you, saying i needed to honor my bet, and you said as long as i made you dinner next week it'd be fine.

the conversation that night was different. you said you'd been thinking about it earlier in the day - when you were 18, i was 12, and didn't that make you a pedophile? i laughed, but only because you don't really seem to mind. i wonder to what extent it bothers you, because i know it bothers me everyday, and i know that when we cease to see each other, it will be because of my age more than anything. sigh. you told me that your longest relationship was 6 months, your shortest, 45 minutes. you get bored easily, you said.

i'm glad you're going out of town this weekend, because otherwise i'd see you possibly twice more, we'd finally be intimate with each other, and maybe you'd be bored sooner. maybe i should stop worrying and just enjoy my time with you? but i want it to last. but i'm tired of being in relationships where i'm miserable because i think too much. i don't trust this anyway. i may as well just stop expecting this to go anywhere. but i already know that i'll miss you when you leave.

at dinner i ordered a glass of wine, you ordered whatever terrible thing it is that you drink, i tried it, i don't understand it, it must be a man thing. we talked about relationships. at our last dinner you had asked me my pet peeves? i said liars. no matter how bad something is, just tell me. it's a cliche but it hurts so much less. i'd rather be injured than deceived, nothing surprises me anyway, but don't pretend to care when you don't. you agreed, wondered how i felt about cheating? i admitted that i'd been cheated on, you'd been cheated on too, i tried to cheat as revenge and i just couldn't. why be with someone to cheat on them, i wondered. again, you agreed...i hope you really do agree.

you talk a lot of things you'd like to do with me. you want to take me to quality meats, before you take me to the mexican brunch place around the corner from your house, you're going to take me to your favourite 21+ date spot once i get my fake id, when the presidential debates come on, you said you want me to come over, and we get fucked up on wine or tequila or anything, and just cuddle and watch them and talk shit to each other. i laughed because that sounds perfect. it is not as hard to be with someone who is your ideological opposite, because you know mitt is a douche, you know he's stupid, you know republicans are selfish. you just hope to pay less taxes, which i think is fair. as president i'd create another tax bracket. you asked if i'd make you my vice president, maybe my vice dictator. i said no, not a chance. you said, "you don't have a lot of faith in me, do you?" i don't. should i? maybe you've shown me i should.

we talked about more things i'd do as president. i think you were impressed with the thought i'd put into my plan of overhauling jail, my concern with homeless rehabilitation shelters. i am proud of those ideas and you appreciate them. you seemed sleepy, said you didn't want to go to pink elephant, a place where i'd be able to enter despite my age, you made sure of that, i sometimes think you don't mind my age too much, it's hard when we can't go somewhere because i'm 18. but anyway you didn't want to go, because i think my demeanor is not one that suggests partying. maybe the girls you've been with before are different? they have vitality. i have conversation. we have good conversation when we're together, you feel comfortable, you want to go home and chill, that's what you've said twice now, and i think it's about me. does that mean you could possibly settle down with me? or that i'll bore you eventually. it is important to me that you wanted to go, that you would've introduced me to your friends, that you don't mind being seen with me, that you've seen me three days in a week and maybe i'll see you three days next week, who knows. that'll be six days total we'd have spent together so far. feels like i know you far more intimately than three dates.

you said you get bored, and to be fair, i said i don't get feelings anymore. perhaps this isn't true because i know i like you, but i don't know that i'll ever really give myself to you. it'd be stupid. then again you are just like me, maybe it could work. you said that 95% of the girls you go on a first date with you never see again, because they're boring, they have no personality, they just don't get you. i understand you too well, we are so alike it scares me. you said "feelings aren't such a bad thing if you share them with the right person." i know you like me vienn; i like that you like me. you said the food wasn't great but the company was. you held my waist as i thanked you, and we kissed each other, just a peck, but slow and tender. you touch me every time you walk by; i know you like me vienn. you put your arm around me on the corner, you fully grab me when i cross the street. you've planned so many dates for us, you text me smilie faces, you want to take me to quality meats next friday when you get home from your business meeting in atlanta. alright. i'll see you then sweetheart.

i know you like me. i know i like you. i'm not going to worry about it, i don't want to taint it with my misery. i'll see you soon, i'll enjoy you while you're around; i'll miss you once you're gone.

but your name is not vienn...?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

quick dinner

it was saturday afternoon. "would you like to grab quick dinner?" you asked. i had been asleep all day, i had been out the night before until maybe 2 am, by myself, it was dangerous. i wish i cared more for my safety. i am a good judge of character. but maybe not, because i didn't realise that you actually liked me.

you told me to meet you at sticky rice, at 8:20. i knew i had to get made up, get dressed, go pick something up from the bookstore and do something for cole, all before 8:20. i got made up and barely dressed and was late. i didn't know what to wear, didn't know what you'd be wearing. i knew it was a casual dinner but i didn't know where you'd be coming from. if you came from work, you'd be wearing your suit again, i wanted to look good next to you. you were not wearing your suit, just pants of some sort (i can't believe i didn't notice) and a button up, the top buttons undone, and brown oxfords. i ended up being happy with what i wore. i had thought about telling you, you better not be late this time vienn. i decided to say it in person so you'd see that i was kidding, though i wasn't. but i was late.

sticky rice was full, which amused me, because i had told you thursday night that i was thai and you invited me to a thai place on saturday night? funny. cute. we had sushi instead. i sat with my back to the open window, which i would almost regret when it rained later. but i did not regret it because if it was you getting wet i would not have known what to say. you asked if i wanted to switch places. i said no, i was fine. they closed the window after anyway. you said you hated rain later. you walked with your arms folded across your chest - "you look like a brat." "i am a brat." we're both only children.

"i fucking hate democrats," you said. i laughed. we go through this all the time anyway. "i hate republicans." we argued about welfare and tax brackets and education. despite this, we do have a lot in common, though you don't understand gay marriage and i could normally wring your neck but i would have expected all of that from you anyway. and you were in a frat but you caught me off guard when you told me you hate blondes especially, but all white women. hm. you are my type.

"so do you not drink or what? because i kind of want to get started with some sake bombs." "no, i do drink." i said, and is it the truth now? i do it because it doesn't make a statement to. if i didn't, it would make a statement now. we are adults. i may as well drink alcohol. we toasted to each other, badly because neither one of us knew what to say, and chugged our sake bombs. i asked what you'd been up to all week, i was curious. "when did i last see you, thursday?" you asked. "it feels like much longer than that." i smiled. two days was too long? i was even surprised that you wanted to see me so quickly again. i figured i would have to wait weeks, while you went on with your life, not caring. but you care, don't you? do we have a chance, sweetheart?

we talked for two and a half hours, after the food was long gone. i figured by quick dinner you meant you'd want to stop and grab a bite with me on your way to somewhere else, so i was nervous to be late, to hold you up. maybe that had been your plan but you ended up liking my company more than you imagined? there was nothing quick about our dinner. you wanted to see me afterward.

we left the restaurant after dessert, fried banana and ice cream, i like your taste. we are very similar. i admitted that i didn't like the sushi, because i don't really like sushi, i've never had sushi, i was only being adventurous for you. you wished you would've known, you would've ordered us something different. were you concerned that i did not enjoy myself? i like you. we stood around and tried to decide where to go. you said you had friends out, but i couldn't get into a bar, i suggested that i just go home so you'd have the chance to do whatever you'd like, you told me no, that was lame, i couldn't bail. you wanted to be with me that night.

so i went home with you after. but it was not friday night. you live in the upper east side, we took a taxi. friday night i went to jacob's on the upper west side and took the train. your apartment was much smaller than i imagined it'd be, much smaller than jacob's. the bathroom was like a closet. you had no living room, only a bedroom. so we changed and got into bed together. we watched megamind, your arm around my shoulder and our legs tangled together. we talked about how douchey mitt romney is and you were not offended. you are a decent republican but i do question you sometimes. at the end of the movie we looked at one another and smiled, after idle conversation, you and midgets, you and marshmallows, you and ridiculousness. you are so young for your age. i am so old for mine. you told me you usually date cougars, i am the first girl you've gone out with who is younger than you. jacob said the same thing. but you do not mind it. we fit well together. we have a lot in common.

we talked about mexican food, steak, dessert. you told me about a great mexican brunch place right around the corner from you, margaritas and steak and eggs, you'll have to take me there, you said. but after quality meats. you said earlier that night you wished i would've told you i like steak, you eat it twice or three times a week, where was the best place i've had steak in the city? catch is not very good, i've only been here a month, you have to take me to quality meats. you want to take me out more, so this means we will be seeing more of one another. at least twice a week, maybe three times, if we keep this momentum. i will need to get a fake id to make it easier for me to see you. that still may not make it easier. i am working on it. i want to be with you, i think we have a chance. are we dating?

we kissed for the first time, laying down in your bed, our legs tangled up together, you grabbed my face. i like the way you kiss, without hesitation, with eagerness. do you kiss everyone like that? you started to grab me, and touch me, and i knew i should stop myself but it felt good. you moaned, as did i, we rubbed up against one another. after you grabbed my chest i knew to stop it, raised myself up. you might have thought i was going to dominate you but instead i pulled away. "i don't mean to be a tease," i started, knowing i could not stop my speech after that, but wishing i could. "but i like you, so i don't particularly want to do this right now." i smiled softly, knowing i had made the right decision. we had so much chemistry, but it was only our second date. we'd known each other four days. i like you and i want this to last.

"i understand, and the feeling is mutual. but you are a huge tease." i did not mean to be a tease. i am naive, i did not know that going home with someone meant you'd be expected to. i could have guessed that getting in bed with someone meant as much, but you did not have a couch. what else could i have done? "i should probably go," i said, knowing that i was a tease, and not meaning to be, imagining that i should not stay if i was not going to do that with you. "what, you're leaving?" your concern was genuine, it charmed and melted me. i just touched your face, stroking your beard, not knowing what to say. "it's already like 2 - you don't have to do that. you can just crash here. i'd still rather have you here than not here."

you'd rather have me here? we really are dating, i think. i cannot believe it. i just smiled at you. "and besides, i'm here if you change your mind." i laughed and stroked you more. you're not a douchebag, but you are still a man. we fell asleep, my head on your chest. i tossed and turned to get comfortable all night, sometimes i was hot, i sweated in your clothing. sometimes i would move away from you. you'd come back towards me and kiss my hair. you didn't try to touch me in ways i might not have felt comfortable, you caressed the skin on my arms, held your body over mine. it felt real.

i struggled to get comfortable on your thick pillow. mine are thin, they conform to my face. yours lift me up too high. "these are the fluffiest pillows ever," i said in the middle of the night, after my movement caused you to stir. "did you just say i'm fluffier than my pillows? i'm not fluffy. fuck you," you murmured. "i said absolutely nothing like that." "i'm not fluffy -" "...nothing even remotely resembling that came out of my mouth." we have a playful relationship. you say silly things all the time, i don't know if you were half asleep. even if you were, you would have said it awake. you talked to yourself more that night. sometimes i responded. in the early morning i put on my clothes and sat on the edge of the bed and kissed your face. "i have to go, i'll see you soon." i said. "see you babe." you murmured, not waking up. did you only call me babe because you were half asleep?

i texted you after i showered and got home. that was my first walk of shame. i looked ridiculous in my pencil skirt and wedges at 7 am, at least i had a sweater. the train was hell. "good morning sweetheart, thank you for everything last night. i've resolved that you're only ~25% an asshole (a midget in a moat, what the f, really?) hope you have a wonderful week. xo"

i don't try to start conversation because i do not want to be that 18 year old who lingers after you. i try to seem aloof though i am quickly becoming more and more dedicated to our arrangement. you replied that you had a great with me, though i'm a democrat, though i'm a tease, said you're leaving to atlanta on friday for work and you'd hopefully see me before then? i think this is real. wednesday you want to take me mini golfing. i think we are dating. i can't believe it. you texted me all day, having a real conversation, that was our first time, it flows so easily between us. i told you i'd see you wednesday, that i'm preparing recipes for when you return home and i'll have to cook for you. i want to give you something to look forward to. when we part on wednesday night i'll tell you i'll be ready once you get home. the power lay in the mystery, after all. all weekend i will be on your mind, maybe you'll wish you're not in atlanta. i'm excited to cook for you, i'm glad i have a reason for these things again.

i said i didn't want to date someone right when i got to the city. well, why not? it has been a month. i think i am ready. i think we are dating, i think this is real. i wish i was 21, maybe then we'd have a chance. do we have a chance, sweetheart?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

i think i have a little sister your age

it was a friday night and i managed to catch your eye as i walked by the event you were working. cole haan, #dontgohome. a shoe launch? something. there was music and a spotlight, you were holding a logo. suddenly three drag queens emerged - i couldn't tell if they were part of it or not. you assured me later that they were, but often times a spider man pulling a cart, or a fully naked woman would join of their own accords. "welcome to new york," you said.

but i caught your eye and we kept smiling at one another. you nervously looked around and held two fingers up at me, two minutes? two hours? what are you saying to me? i figured two minutes, so i waited with my friend, who was upset that we were waiting because she had her own men to pick up on. when the music and the drag queen dance routine showed no sign of stopping, i decided to leave but your eyes begged me to stay. i took a receipt out of my purse and wrote my name - "nikita" and my number on it. i walked up in front of the entire crowd and slipped it into your front pocket. i heard some laugh, "awkward," they said. you hadn't expected that. you looked nearly embarrassed, and i wouldn't have been surprised if you never texted me.

i have no shame anymore. it's this city. welcome to new york.

but in half an hour i received a text. "i get off at two. #dontgohome ha" you seemed young to me, or at least juvenile. i told you to let me know if you were up to anything interesting at two, and i'd see. you texted me a couple more times that night after i didn't reply, asking me to come 'smoke a solid' with you in soho, or to come to a bar. ah, so you didn't know my age. i feel that men who are always saying 'let's go to the bar' are men who just got access to the bar. again, juvenile. i didn't expect much of you.

but you'd keep texting me every couple of nights or so, we'd talk about ourselves and you'd ask me out and i'd let you know that it couldn't work. you thought i was in law school but i told you i was in undergrad - "just a baby." you said. but you kept texting me.

finally you invited me to your place for a drink - a drink was doable, only because we didn't have to go out, i wouldn't have the chance to be carded. i agreed, though i shouldn't have, i know it's dangerous to go to a man's apartment. i left your address and some code words with my roommate in case i should feel unsafe and she'd have to call the police.

when i got there you looked surprised - i was younger than you thought. you were older than i thought. but still only 24; i've done so much worse than 24. i drank white wine, you drank three bottles of red stripe. there was tension. we listened to music, i played "she's only 18" by the chili peppers. as i sat in your lap in front of your desk you had your hand on my back, under my sweater touching my bare skin, my skin is soft, you said, "i think i have a little sister your age."

i laughed and looked sideways at you. i would've kissed you but i didn't know if i should have. i couldn't read you, but i didn't mind, i didn't care if i never saw you again. i had already come all the way there, so eventually i kissed you.

we moved back to the couch. i sat next to you, you put your legs up in my lap, you yawned and told me you were tired. i looked at your wall and smiled. you asked me what i was smiling about, and i said "nothing". i asked you why you were smiling, you said "believe me, i'm not." and we laughed ironically. you pulled me on top of you and started to touch my bare skin again... after a while i left.

we stood facing each other awkwardly in the hall. you held your arms open for me, we embraced, i rubbed your bare skin, you might have kissed me on the cheek, i had wine and wasn't walking straight, i don't remember. "good night jacob," i said, starting out the door and you grabbed my arm and turned me, touched my face, kissed my lips. "let me know when you get home so i know you got back safe."

i did not let you know, i do not plan to see you ever again, i was only using you for a little company on a friday night. you felt guilt, but i'll have you know that i feel nothing.

i have no shame anymore.

not a douchebag

you have skin the colour of an orange peel (your words), wear your hair slicked back, sometimes rock suspenders and even though you say they're ridiculous i know you enjoy them, and resemble scott disick quite well.

but you're not a douchebag.

i was to meet you at a billiards hall on 21st at 8 o'clock. you were 20 minutes late.

but you're not a douchebag.

i was there five minutes early, because if there was a bouncer i wanted to talk to him, to make sure he'd let me in and oh it's so difficult not being 21 in the city. especially when the man you are going out with is 24, or 24 or 23 or 27 or 27 or 28 or who knows how old, but still older than, maybe too old, for me.

i walked downstairs, thinking i'd wait in there but it was only a bar and some pool tables. there was no bouncer. i could not sit at the bar, i'm not 21. i could order a drink but i look 18, i look 16, maybe they'd ask to see my id. i could not provide my id and they'd find a bouncer, and he'd kick me out. the date would be over. i would be embarrassed. so i waited outside.

i was on my phone, pretending to text, playing top girl and social girl and oh by the way i had already named my fake boyfriend after you, then i realised i looked even more lame standing outside waiting just looking at my phone. so i called logan back.

perhaps two weeks ago, a friday afternoon or maybe it was a saturday, my hair had been perfect and i had gone to washington square to read. i sat in the fountain, on the side that no one was occupying because the other sides were too full. no one bothered to tell me that this side was empty because when the wind came it sprayed this direction. i got soaking wet and my perfect hair was ruined.

i retired to a bench in the sun, i was cold, i was soaking wet. i dried.

i was reading anna karenina and he came and sat adjacent to me, i could see he was coming to sit adjacent to me, with his reflective sunglasses and short legs and dark hair that was slicked to the side but not in a fashionable way. he was not fashionable and he said, "i'm sorry, you must get this a lot, but you're absolutely gorgeous."

we talked about politics and 9/11 and anna karenina and lord of the rings and then he asked me to dinner. we exchanged numbers. he called me to ask about dinner the night before i was to meet you, but i had been busy with some ghosts, so i didn't pick up.

he wanted to take me on a real date, not to billiards, but to dinner, he asked what sort of food i liked, he had a few places in mind, he asked if i liked japanese i said yes but i just had japanese the other day, he said you know we are talking about tuesday right, i was taken aback because if i said i didn't want japanese again he should have complied but i said yes that's right i suppose japanese is alright. he said he wanted to take me out for drinks or dancing afterwards, that he knew bouncers at a few places so they would never dream of carding me, which would be nice but i do not like him. if only i liked him. we hung up the phone before you arrived, so i called bri. i was a few minutes into my phone call with bri when you showed up.

do i like you? you are tall dark and handsome, by every word, every connotation, every aspect. you are 6'1, you wore a gray and white pinstriped suit, god i was hoping to catch you in your suit, you wore a white button-up and a burgundy tie with black paisley and a brown leather belt and a steel gray large-faced watch and brown leather cap toes and god i must have gotten wet when i saw you walk up from the corner of my eye. you were everything i imagined and more.

i was on the phone feigning aloofness, telling bri i had to go because i was meeting someone, she was confused, you said "nikita!" though i had already turned my body to you, i smiled and held up my finger. one moment. "i have to go, i'm meeting someone." bri was still confused but i said goodbye and hung up. i turned and smiled at you. "it's great to see you - i'm sorry i'm late, i was at happy hour and lost track of time and i'm a little hammered."

i didn't sigh even though i knew this was inappropriate of you. this is how adults are, correct? sometimes they run late. they always drink.

it's fine, i assured you, and we walked in together, me in my littleblackdress and you in your suit. we must have looked gorgeous with one another. the girls at the counter must have hated me when i returned with you, and they offered me our table, and i smiled and you asked "what did they say?" perhaps nervous that i wouldn't be allowed to stay because it was a bar, i was nervous too, but i had hid it well. i was not nervous anymore. i was calm, i knew i looked beautiful. and everything was working in my favour.

a man on the street on my way had said, "hey, you sexy. say thank you." i laughed and said thank you.

i thanked him for easing my nerves. i had bounced out of my room giddily as i left to meet you, half an hour early. you were twenty minutes late.

you ordered gin or something, a gentleman's drink, it was short and brown. i ordered water. you wanted to know if i was sure that i didn't want a drink, i was sure. you knew you should stop drinking because you were already nearly drunk. you didn't. you slowed down, though, when i started kicking your ass. we flirted with one another, stood close, touched, high fived, smiled largely and often times when our eyes met we would just laugh for no particular reason. we had chemistry that i haven't felt often. there were many times i wanted to kiss you, for you to kiss me, that you didn't. was i right not to kiss you?

do you want to kiss me now? do you wonder if i should have?

you had taken off your suit jacket and tie and rolled up your sleeves the moment we began. you called me an asshole when i started to beat you, i was taken aback, it wasn't gentlemanly. you're not quite a gentleman. but i am tired of those? or do i just not care because you're talldarkandhandsome? if we hadn't had chemistry i would have cared. maybe it was just the alcohol, maybe i am making excuses for you.

the football game was on, i asked if you watched. you said no, you'd rather be out playing sports, it was too boring to watch them. i said my team was the patriots, you started to ask me how i felt about - i got nervous, i didn't know who they started or stopped this year. but you didn't know either, so you defaulted, made up a record for them that showed you don't know they're the best team in the league. 0-2? you asked. 1-1, i defended. oh. new topic.

a midget man came and told you you had scratched, and that meant i won, and you called him an asshole too. i laughed. i'm sure i've figured out why your ex-girlfriend sliced the entire length of your forearm in the middle of the night.

you had made it apparent that i was the only woman in the hall. we found a hipster, i thought he was wearing pink pants but it was just the red carpet reflecting from his khakis. you pretended with me that they were pink, maybe because you were drunk, maybe because it was easier to make fun of him that they were pink, maybe because you chose to ignore my error out of benevolence, either way i was charmed.

we talked about his beard. "it's not real," you said. "but it is organic." i quipped, and i was proud of your laugh.

when we left i wish you were aware of all of the men who stared longingly after me, but you were too busy on your phone to notice. i should have walked in front of you, but then i may have been to the counter first and awkwardly had to pay. you gave your credit card - i asked if you'd like to split it? it was genuine, my eyes asked too, and you looked into them and told me no without smiling. "i'd feel bad making you pay after i kicked your ass," you said. "you didn't kick my ass."

we walked outside and you said you were looking forward to the dinner i'd have to make you soon. you suggested that maybe i take a cooking class with you instead - my heart melts now when i think of that. that is a real date. you'd like to see me again, though i am younger than you by 6 years, though i am not even 21. it was 1030 when we parted, you did not offer to walk me home. it was only 7 blocks. you said you were catching a cab. i thought this meant you were uninterested, and i figured it made sense. chemistry or not, i am young, i was not drop-dead stunning, we had fun but isn't it easy to have fun? our last bit of conversation was that i had class in the morning, which i would not have been surprised if it scared you. i should avoid talking about class, shouldn't i? i should pretend that i am not a student, not so young, though we both know i am and where could this possibly be going? you hugged me quickly, no kiss, no mention of one. i sighed on my walk and figured i would not see you again. and i was alright with that.

i thought for a few moments that perhaps i'd text you in the morning to let you know i had fun last night, to advise you to have a good weekend. i thought for a few moments that i shouldn't text you at all, because you admitted to being hammered when you showed up 20 minutes late and didn't walk me home.

but you're not a douchebag.

half an hour after i was in bed you thanked me for coming out and that you had fun. i was not expecting that. that is what someone does when the date goes well. it went well, but i was surprised. maybe it was a buffer - so that in case you should get lonely and like to see me again, you'd have the option. i hadn't flirted with you overtly, hadn't shown many signs of interest or attraction though we knew they were there. maybe you enjoyed that.

i told you i'd look forward to seeing you again soon. you asked me to let you know when you could expect the dinner i'll have to cook for you. if you can expect that, i'm not sure. i'll keep thinking of reasons why this may work, or not waste my time or break my heart more than it needs to. if you ask me again of course i'll give in. if you don't ask me again, will i?

four eyes tried to hit on you?

“i read a study recently that people spend 12% of their lives thinking about things they won’t act on.”
i thought about saying - ‘so you decided to make better use of your time by trying to hit on me?’ or something to that effect. aware that i am naturally a mean girl to men, i held my tongue, and instead my reply was dry. it had no sense of my personality and yet told everything about it; that i live in conceit, expecting to be hit on, am offended when i am not, but have yet to figure out how to respond to the act.

i was aware the whole time that my parents stood next to me and were watching, had a vague sense of what was occurring as this man, with his blonde hair and his scruffy beard, in his khaki pants and gray plaid button-down, with his expected taupe backpack flirted with me the best he could without my cooperation.

“i wonder what i could do with all of that time,” he tried again, because i was simply standing and nodding, acknowledging him as he spoke but keeping an eye on my parents who were less than two yards away. “you’d have a lot more time to do things,” i interjected dumbly, as he began to say “i want to live on every continent.” idle banter that should’ve impressed me, if i didn’t hate small talk, if i didn’t hate my inability to keep a casual conversation, if my parents weren’t always constantly watching and bothering everything i did.

my drink was ready and my mom was bringing it to me when she noticed i was engaged. to my surprise, she turned around. one of the first times she’d thought not to interrupt me. “well it was nice talking to you, but i really should get back to my parents.”

i had barely said a word. i find myself wandering into starbucks at times and wishing he would be there, so i can redeem myself, and pretend to care, impress upon him my usual charm though the only thing uncommon about him was that he didn’t open with ‘you’re beautiful’. he thought about me maybe once that night and hasn’t remembered since, but his face won’t leave my head.

"four eyes tried to hit on you?" my dad asked. i simply nodded and walked out. if you see this, four eyes, give me a second chance.

this was not a date

last night we formally saw one another for the first time. though you're from pennsylvania you have a house in brooklyn, nearly the city. you walked to union square to see me. you asked if i should like to meet you at a coffee place in the park; i was too weary and too stupid. i gave you my address instead, told you just to come in. what if you had been a stalker or psychopath or axe murderer or werewolf? but i was too weary to think of this. i should stop making decisions when i am weary. brent had kept me out all day and i was tired of walking, though we drove for a good amount of time. i can not do much walking. i needed a break.

you did not give me a break, not really, although you came to my dorm and we sat on my bed the entire time. you opened by saying that you had deleted me on facebook - when you called me the other night i asked if you should like to be facebook friends with me, my speech suggested that you had the option not to be. but you did. and then you deleted me, because usually when you're dating someone you don't add them for three to six months? and i laughed because i didn't think we were dating, especially not that this was our first time meeting one another.

i laughed later when you told me that you didn't take dating very seriously. clearly you do if you had deleted me from facebook, i was not aware we were dating. this is what everyone expects from me, though, isn't it? is that my fault or yours?

perhaps the circumstances under which we met were conducive to dating. however, i do not think a man coming over to my quaint ridiculous freshman dorm and telling me he wants to talk over wine counts as a date. how can we be dating if we had not gone on an actual date yet? you said if i wanted to go on an actual date, perhaps to dinner, some time, you cannot read me you do not know what i'm thinking, you don't know what i expect you to say, then we could do that. you live in pennsylvania but you're in brooklyn half the week because you have an apartment there. you do not live in the city because you have good work in pennsylvania and it is much less expensive to live there and you have a car so why would you live here? why do i live here.

another friend i thought i had texted me when you were over, laying on my bed. you had complained that i was using my phone on our date, which i did not know was a date. i saw from underneath my blanket he had pleaded to me to see that he was raised well, is a gentleman. i didn't know why i should care of this, we are just friends, i told him that i was sure we could be very good friends. he agreed. what does 'friends' mean to others? sometimes it means something different to me, but i let that naturally take its course.

we talked for a long time, i became somewhat aware that my voice was the high, soft feminine voice it is when i am not pretending to be removed from my surroundings. i was removed from my surroundings and then you said it was a date and i became more aware of my voice. but because it was not a date i did not change my voice. i was wearing uggs, you told me you thought they were hot. you asked me to close my eyes so you could look at my eyelashes, obviously they were fake, you liked them. you thought they were cool. what is it you like?

you told me i was hot too many times to count. perhaps that's why you're 27 and don't know what to do about meeting someone that doesn't include sending them a drink in a restaurant or a bar. i do not think of hot as a compliment, because hot does not come from the mouth of the type of man i'd like to be complimented by. i am not good at receiving compliments, i told you, and anyway hot is not a proper compliment, i didn't say. i did tell you that i speak out against compliments that offend me. i was not offended, i was amused. it was not a date.

we talked the whole night, i told you i was not good at small talk and i wouldn't fill the silences if i didn't know how or see a reason to. you said all we were doing was small talk, i disagreed. what is small in talking about ourselves? i described how hard it is for me to sit and talk about my majors and the classes i'm taking, because no one really cares, i'm not saying anything. you suggested that maybe this is why girls are afraid of me. i had not thought of that. i long to be friends with them, i haven't seen them in weeks.

my pink pillow has the face of a sleeping cat and you held it as you laid on my bed. "do you like cuddling?" you moved your head towards my arm at this, i was sitting up, you laying down. "eh," i started, because i did not want to cuddle with you. "i like it, it's nice, comfortable. but people often make it mean more than it does." this was a hint; you missed it

it was not a date, but you don't know how to read me. you enjoyed yourself you kissed my cheek you should like to see me again soon. perhaps we are dating now, but it means nothing at this point. you're a nice man. if you'd like to see me i should like to spend time with you. you have a lot you can introduce me to, i do not care if you do drugs because you're 27, who cares, do what you want, we are not getting married. to me we are friends, to you we are dating and therefore cannot be friends, to me that is every relationship i've ever had, to you that is the only way.

this means that i am going to break your heart or disappoint you. i'm sorry, but you designated it this way.

"go to bed," the ghost said, you told me. "your dad is coming." and you thought this meant the ghost was psychic, could see the future, but i think she was just seeing you. are ghosts truly psychic? i think it proves that she was there just as much as you were, actually more than you were, the ghost was there. i told you i did not think the ghost was psychic. you'd never seen it that way.

i miss my own ghosts. some have frightened me, i admit, though i think that they should be friendly. reasonable. they are ghosts because they are looking for reasons, anyway. but none of them have been anything but benevolent to me. i am better now because of them. i miss my ghosts, it appears that i am always searching for more. ghosts of men i dated, ghosts of men who meant nothing to me but taught me about themselves. i like to know people, i like for their ghosts to follow me. i am not afraid of ghosts and they are just as real, even more real, than you and i.

gingham man

i often accuse myself of falling in love too quickly, too easily. when i see a tall man on the street, in a button-down shirt, and if he has neat blonde hair especially, my heart is already lost to him. i imagine our lives together; our medium brunette children in a mixture of your colour and mine, the heart-shaped structures of their faces, their preppy dress and school uniforms and the penthouse we will live happily in. but it is not just these men that i find myself falling in love with. i am able to fall in love with most men, for any one reason. should he be someone traditionally forbidden to me, even better. i have dated ex teachers of mine, fantasized about other womens' husbands and fathers i see playing with their children in the park.

i have lost my heart currently to my professor.
 it does not help that he teaches my favourite subject - english. an essay writing class specifically, and i imagine when he looks at me there is a special sparkle reserved in his eyes, that gives way to wonder of me and what makes me tick. when he criticised my writing the other day i stopped after class to challenge him on it, not because i was fighting for a grade - the assignment was not counted for points - but to distinguish myself, to show him that i may be an equal, to show him that if he'd like, he may love me, and i am not afraid to give him reason or means to.

when he calls my name on the roll sheet he pauses. he pauses after every one, but it is distinct when i walk into class, he does not have to say my name or look for me to know that i have already been there. he always finds a new way to converse, or a new observation to make, when he says my name. last week he had listened to part of my conversation with a peer before class - "do you really have a roommate named nikita?" he asked. "yes," i replied, looking directly into his eyes, though with reservation in my speech. i always heighten my reservation with him. it leaves him to want more from me. i know he longs to hear more.

there are other girls in the class, in fact, it is predominantly girls, a ratio of 3:1. two others of them, i do not know his type, but i would guess would be girls he may find beautiful. one does not wear much makeup, but she is classic, pleasant faced with a soft smile that even i admire. the other is tall, my weakness, i am not tall, if i had a half of foot more of height i don't know that i should ever be in want of anything else. she has long hair, longer than mine, and hers is real. he does not know mine is not. maybe he sees sometimes that it is imperfect, maybe this charms him for a reason he can't understand.

there are two others, they are not particularly beautiful, in fact one is plain. maybe he likes this? but she seems boyish. i imagine him to be a man who wants a woman. i am the most womanly in our class. the other girl, she talks much, and she has much to say, and he sees that all of it is good. she is smaller than i even, but mousy, and round. these things in themselves do not prevent her from being beautiful, but there is something quaint about her and her manner. there is something stately about mine.

 the two girls i have mentioned most previously do the most talking.

he appreciates and expects their participation, their contributions help the class along. it is only an hour and a quarter but he gripes at the beginning of class, and by the end he has lost the time and must rush.

he gave back my paper today, calling my name first. because i was the last to turn in my essay last week? or because mine was given the most thought? because putting my name on the top of the pile reminds him of me and he is given our class to look forward to? i both fancy and doubt this the most. 

"yes!" he wrote on my confession of being a beauty queen, and aspiration to eventually be the president. as if he longs for nothing more than for me to be president, so that he may look at me during my inauguration and know he has had me. maybe he knows that this will be impossible, but maybe he will love me more deeply if i am a powerful woman.

more powerful than just holding his heart, if it is possible for someone to have more power than to hold your heart. when someone holds my heart they control everything, if only for a while. he has my heart, but not all of it. i will resolve to give him all of it when he proves to me that i have some of his. 

i had hoped he would write 'you are beautiful' on my paper. that i am beautiful and smart, like i asserted. i was afraid that he would write that i am conceited, naive, vain.

but at the end of my paper he wrote 'good.' 'nikita,' he started, and i love it when he uses my name, as he loves to use my name. 'your sentences are much clearer. and i see that as a good thing' he refers to the conversation we had last week in which i challenged him that tolstoy writes beautifully, far more so than hemingway. he said he also likes faulkner, who writes long, but that simpler is often easier.

does he really believe simpler is easier? isn't part of my charm to him that i am not?

if only he had told me i was beautiful. but anyway it would be inappropriate, and too soon, we have only known each other for three weeks and seen each other five times in that frame. he would put so much at stake by confessing my beauty, but i know he sees it. he singles me out more often than not. he sees that i am special, that i am beautiful. i see that he sees these things.

but if he had wrote that to me, i would have waited for all the others to leave. i would have sat on the edge of his desk, touched his face, and kissed him lightly but tenderly, where there was hair or where there was not, it would have made no difference. i would have grinned playfully, like all of the fun being had was my own. i would've stared at him deeply, without saying a thing, and left. the next time i saw him i would have expected nothing, but i would have feared for the worst.

as he has shown me already, i'm sure the best would have come. i am sure he is capable of less than benevolence, i have only seen him in his gingham shirts and jeans that fit the way a comfortable older man likes to wear them, sometimes when he walks behind me i pull my chair out after he has passed and glance in the way of his shoes. nikes. i sense some of that youth when he expresses his wanderlust, of traveled many places but wanting to live in oakland - oakland, of all places, when he lives in brooklyn now. we will not be married, despite our romance. one day he will leave brooklyn, to oakland, and i will not go with him, though i may visit when i am in california, or just because i have a weekend off. we will not be married but for now i have lost part of my heart to him. i will take part of his with me, and then we will give each others' affections back, up, away.

we will not be married and we will go on with our lives. but for now, i have fallen in love with him.

"nikita c*****," he called my name when handing back my paper. "nikita b c*****," he remembered. "i'm right here." i said. what did you write?