Nice to See You
Hey! It was so weird running into you today. I can’t believe I’ve never passed you on the street before, even after four months of living here, just eight blocks north of you.
I’m sorry I was acting a little strange. I was on a date. You saw him.
He was cute enough, right? Tall, kind of blondeish, outgoing. He had a nice scarf. A nice smile. A nice jawline.
I’m sorry I didn’t introduce you. I guess I was caught a little off-guard. I guess I wasn’t sure what to say – about either of you, really.
I mean, it was a first date. And it went fine. But fine in the way that, like, The Big Bang Theory is fine. You can spend some time with it. It’ll make you laugh. It’ll relate to some of your life experiences. You may even tell your friends about a particularly more-than-fine episode. But would you make a point to see it? Would you buy the DVD box set? Maybe if it were on sale. But anyway, you probably didn’t need to meet him. I was mostly sure that I wasn’t going to go out with him again.
Unless he called me. If he called me I probably would have gone out with him again. Because he was fine and he lived down the block, and it would have been nice and convenient to walk down the block and cuddle with a cute-enough boy and watch a movie and maybe make out. I could have even dealt with asking him about how his work day at the Apple Store was, and if he’s going to audition for any shows that week, or what musical theater soundtrack he’s really “feeling” at the moment.
I would have gone to the community theater show he’ll probably be cast in next month – probably something faux edgy, like an urban, bohemian retread of The Sound of Music or a live-action version of Bambi. And I would have watched it and clapped and told him how great it was even if it was only good, or only fine, or pretty poor. Because he was fine, and he was nice, and he was cute enough, and that’s what you do when someone is fine and nice and cute enough.
But I didn’t want to introduce him to you. Because I’m probably not going to see him again, and I didn’t feel like getting into a post-lunch conversation about how you and I “used to date” or how we “were on and off for a while, but now we’re friends.” Because we’re not friends. Are we? Maybe we are. Maybe we’re “friends!!!”: people who are too insistent on pretending that we can go back and hit reset and rewind through all of the bullshit. That we can start at the beginning of the Choose Your Own Adventure, and this time we won’t get trapped in that scary house where the man with the machete demands that we trade our eternal souls for freedom. Instead we’ll just choose something pleasant. We’ll wait inside, in the living room, wearing only our underwear, and we’ll put on some easy listening music, and we’ll do a puzzle. A fifty-piece puzzle. An easy, satisfying puzzle. A puzzle with flowers and sunshine and Winnie the Pooh and his pal Tigger.
Maybe you didn’t even realize I was on a date. Maybe you just thought he was a new friend I made in this new city. As though I’ve been going to