Last night I met (I guess I should say "remet") a guy who is a friend of a friend. There was a connection, and I'm sure that I'll see more of him over the next few weeks. Last night I started to reminisce about the men I've met throughout my life, interesting how patterns appear in retrospective moments. One of the first guys that I had feelings for I met while living in Japan; he too was a friend of a friend; I never really got to know him too well, there was a language barrier to contend with, he worked all day and I was at university, so we didn't have much free time to spend together and, just when I thought that things were taking off, he told me that he was leaving for the States. It was great to get to know him, great to go out to a bar or two, to laugh while trying to have a conversation over okonomiyaki, to hold hands and slow dance and make-out on the steps of the shrine across the street from my apartment. And then he was gone.
I met a guy my next year at university, Mike, he was my RA. He walked up to me in the cafeteria one day and told me that he wanted to get to know me because he thought that I was boyfriend material. We dated for almost a year, staring into each other's eyes over coffee, annoyingly completing each other's sentences at meals with friends, having sex at the drop of a hat. He told me one afternoon that his parents were coming to visit and he wanted us to meet. I told him I wasn't comfortable with that and it created a rift. And then it was over.
I met Jay my junior year at university, we went out a couple of times, but didn't really start to see each other until my senior year. He was working on his MFA in music composition and we had almost nothing in common. His dad was a minister, he loved classical music, I'm not sure he ever owned a pair of tennis shoes. That we were polar opposites in many ways was what drew us together; each could show the other something that neither had ever seen. He would play the piano for me and I would make up lyrics, we had not-so-discreet public sex, went for long walks in the rain under our giant umbrellas and drank more dark beer than I ever knew was possible. Jay told me he was taking a break from university to attend a writing workshop in Chicago; I'm not sure if it was an invitation or statement of finality. I never knew.
Matt and I met just as I was graduating; back in the fledgling days of internet chat rooms. We started a random conversation one afternoon on ICQ and kept in touch for months after I'd graduated. I finally asked him one day where he lived and found out he was in Petoskey. We switched to cell phone calls after that and finally met up one weekend. Matt's a tall lanky guy. He has a thing for show tunes and broadcast radio. We both love to run and eat dessert and have amazing sex in a hot shower. I'm not sure why we drifted apart; one day he was there, the next he was gone.
Shortly after this I was on a trip to Toronto for a job interview; I'd received a call from an ESL firm in Japan and needed to do an interview. I made a mini-vacation out of the trip, taking some time to see the "big city"; the interview went ok, but there were a lot of loopholes to the contract and I decided that I needed something more concrete. I met Mark the following day, the connection was immediate, there were sparks I'm sure. It's funny how 24 hours of time spent with someone can leave you utterly content, not really wanting more, yet unable to consider being sated with anything less. Mark thought that we'd be able to get me a work visa for Canada, if I wanted to stay. Reality started to seep in as I considered actually leaving home to be with a guy that I'd known for three days. I needed to think on it. I went back to Michigan, kept in touch, never saw him again.
I met Brian the first time I was in Portland. We met at a bar called the Silverado. I was at the bar drinking a bourbon and watching the go-go strip dancers; he sidled over and asked me if I'd ever seen the sun rise over Mt. Adams. I'm sure I laughed and either gave him the finger or walked away; he was not easily dissuaded. No sex he told me, he just wanted to get to know me better, plus the sunrise was pretty awesome from his apartment he told me. He was right, there was no sex, just a lot of conversation and soul baring and one hell of a sunrise. I think we slept until the sun was low in the sky that afternoon. I spent the bulk of the rest of my trip with him, checked out of my hotel and moved in to his guest bedroom. A few days later I moved into his room. We went to the coast and hiked and ran and ate and drank. We had sex as a storm roiled across the Pacific and rain beat on the windows of our hotel room, we popped jellyfish carcasses on a morning run and drank PBR while playing pool at an off the track bar. We cried at the airport when I had to leave and cried again when I came back a few months later. I tried to make the move, but at the base of my being I was conflicted: was I making the move to be with this amazing guy that I met? Was I making the move because this was where I wanted to be? What was I leaving behind? What was I gaining? A night of beer and pizza brought more questions than answers as I drifted off from Brian and old friends that he'd reconnected with; unable to and unwelcome in contributing to the conversation, I volunteered to navigate the crowded bar for another pitcher of beer. I struck up a conversation with a pair of lesbians, returned with the pitcher of beer, excused myself from the conversation I was never a part of. I was told I was an embarrassment; never mind that I was unable to contribute to the flow, never mind that I was unable to insert a thought or idea, just never mind. If something so insignificant as this could cause feelings so negative, what would our first real fight be like? I never found out.
Doug and I were sort of off and on. We met at the restaurant where I work. He was a patron that liked to drink wine and ask for particular entrees and socialize with the staff. He is the type of guy that everyone likes, even if they don't really understand why. We had a good time together, we could laugh and eat and drink. We got on well with each other's friends. We both liked to travel. We both liked to stay in too. We could watch cartoons together or go to the movies. We had fun together. I told him I loved him. That might have been the end.