So, I haven’t written in quite awhile because I’ve been living like a monk in my studio apartment for several months now – going from writing at home to rehearsal to work and back again – and it’s been great. I’ve been very happy not dealing with the daily hopes and heartbreaks of meeting someone new, getting excited, and then gradually disappointed as I realize they’re not what I thought they were.
The good news is that Gaffer Guy is firmly out of the picture. Last I heard he was on a drug and alcohol bender, and I was frankly glad to hear he was alive, because I have not seen or heard from him in quite some time. So, that’s totally over, which is awesome. And I feel like I’m ready to attract a different kind of guy into my life, perhaps one who wants to actually take me out on a date before we have sex. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
And then this happened…
It’s Opening Night of this show I’m doing, and it goes great. There’s a lot of nervous excited energy in the air, and the audience really seems to love the show. Especially this one particular guy who is friends with one of my male cast members.
I instantly feel the connection. At the after party, he keeps glancing my way with these lovely smiling blue eyes. He introduces himself and just gushes about the show – he LOVES it. I point him out to Paula, my friend and fellow cast member, and she directs me to “Go flirt with him.” She helps out by dragging me by the arm and depositing me in his general vicinity.
And then we flirt. A lot. I don’t think we’ve met before, but he thinks we have. We banter and laugh and he asks me questions and seems to really listen to my answers. The more we talk the more I find him attractive, and our eyes keep catching for these prolonged, meaningful glances. And I’m thinking, Wow I really like this guy! Not just, I want to fuck this guy. I actually like him. I’d like him to take me out on a date.
At some point we drift apart and I say goodbye to some of my cast members. I can feel his eyes on me, and I like it. I’m charged with that exciting fresh feeling of having just met someone you’re interested in, a feeling I haven’t had in quite some time. I head back to use the bathroom, and weirdly, I half expect him to follow me and grab me in the backstage corridor and start kissing me. Not sure why, but I suddenly feel that this is a real possibility.
I pee and walk out of the bathroom and in fact my ex-boyfriend is waiting out there. He asks if it’s awkward for me that he brought his new girlfriend, who I just met for the first time tonight. I don’t even realize what he’s talking about, I’m so enthralled with this new guy. I share what’s on my mind. He tells me to go for it. We laugh and hug and kiss goodbye, and I head back out to the party. Only to find my new crush is GONE.
That night, I can’t sleep because I can’t stop thinking about this guy. Something about him crawled under my skin and made a home. I give up on sleep and grab my phone. I Facebook stalk him and then I Internet stalk him. Using today’s advanced technology, I find out way more about him than I should know at this point in our non-relationship. I decide to wait to Friend him.
I wake up at 9am and I can’t wait any longer. I press Add Friend and then nervously stare at the screen. Several hours later, GREAT SHOW LAST NIGHT appears on my Wall. I write back “Thanks so much! It was great to meet you!” Should I wait for him to reach out to me via Direct Message? What are the unspoken rules about this? I ask my ex.
He says, “I know you’re not going to stop obsessing about this until you do it. So just wait a day and then give him your number.”
I wait like a half hour, then direct message him: “You’re fun. I like you. Here’s my number if you ever want to get together.”
Within an hour, he’s texting me. BINGO.
Him: “Where are you from again?”
Me: “NorCal. You?”
Him: “Nice. People from NorCal are so down to earth. Boston.”
Me: “People from Boston are direct and intense.”
Him: “Yes. We should def have sex. I agree.”
Huh? I figure he’s playing the role of “direct and intense” for my benefit – he did used to be an actor after all. Also, not gonna lie, I’m a little turned on.
I play along. “Wow, I’m impressed.”
But then he says, “Prob best after Sunday because your throat is gonna hurt after what I do to it.” And then there’s a smiley face.
I still think this is a joke – I mean, this guy was SO COOL when I met him last night, it just doesn’t make sense that he would seriously be talking to me like this.
Then he starts calling me “woman” and sort of bossing me around, which I guess might be a Boston thing and is probably still a joke. I continue giving him the benefit of the doubt.
Then he says, “You should know I pee in a cup at night because I’m too lazy to get up to pee.”
I ask if that’s really something I should know. I wonder if he’d be saying all this shit if we were speaking in person. Somehow I doubt it, or maybe he would say it with an ironic smile on his face so I’d know we were bantering. Maybe this is all just lost in translation.
I try to get us back on track.
“So, you sell cars for a living?”
I tell him I’m interested in that, I know nothing about that world and I’d love to know more.
He says, “We can def chat all about it after we have both cum and are relaxing in my bed.”
You may be wondering, and rightly so, why I haven’t just shut him down at this point. The truth is, I feel very conflicted about this conversation. On one hand, I’m kind of turned on because I am very attracted to this guy and the notion of sleeping with him is still exciting to me. On the other hand, I feel a little weirded out, like this is not the same person that I met the other night. What happened to that fun, witty guy? Who is this new text personality? I half expect him to tell me his friend stole his phone and is fucking around at his expense.
It’s also confusing because mixed in with the crudeness are statements like “You were so great in the show last night. What a wonderful showcase for you…” blah blah blah. So that sounds like the same guy I met, but who is this other person who’s implying he’s going to choke me with his dick after meeting me for the first time last night??
I arrive at the theatre and consult Paula. I give her my phone to look through the text chain. She points out that I was kind of egging him on. Definitely didn’t shut him down. I try to explain that I thought he was joking and now I feel it’s gone too far to get serious. I show her my half-hearted attempts to steer the conversation elsewhere.
Her conclusion: “Forget this guy, he’s a dick.”
But I’m not ready to give up on him just yet. I still can’t believe that the guy I met is maybe not as cool as I thought. I really liked him, and that is not something I feel often. There must be some mistake. He’s not Gaffer Guy. I knew Gaffer Guy was trouble from the moment I met him. Paula herself referred to this new guy as “a good boy” just last night!
“Just be honest with him then.”
She feeds me the line “All joking aside, I would love to get coffee sometime and chat.”
I’m hoping he’ll suddenly change back into the man from last night. That he’ll say “I’d love to take you out for dinner.”
Wishful thinking aside, I’m not at all surprised when he responds: “Joking?”
Oh no, I can feel the heat rising in my chest. “Yeah,” I say.
He writes: “So confused right now!” Except he spells right, “rt”.
I decide to let this lie for a moment. I feel upset and emotional, and I don’t want to carry this energy onstage with me tonight.
After the show, at 9:42pm, I decide to lay it on the table. I write: “Not trying to booty call. Actually would like to get to know you.”
I don’t hear anything back until 11:05am the next morning.
Him: “I’ve never heard of anything like this.”
Me: “That’s a sad story. I enjoyed talking to you the other night.”
Me: “You come off very different on text.”
Him: “More of a gentleman on text?”
Me: “Uhhh not so much.”
Him: “I don’t intend to come across as an asshole.”
Me: “I like you better in person.”
Him: “If I wasn’t trying to have sex with you there would be a problem. Don’t you agree.”
Me: “True story, but whatever happened to the nice build up?”
Him: “I’m not so much into buildup. But I get that’s how a large % of woman [sic] work.”
(He can’t spell women… bad sign?)
Me: “It’s a compliment. I actually like you as a person. I don’t want to JUST fuck you… But if that’s all you want, I get it. I felt we had more connection than that, but I may be wrong.”
Him: “If we had sex we would also be friends just so u know.”
Me: “All I’m saying is, let’s have dinner first.”
Him: “I’ll settle on coffee.”
(Later, in the dressing room, Paula dropped my phone at this point in reading the text conversation and said she couldn’t read anymore. Her advice: “He should hire a prostitute.”)
I think about this and realize what he’s proposing is exactly what I was looking for just a month or so ago. I was looking for a booty call, a fuck buddy, who was hot and fun and who didn’t expect anything more than sex. I suddenly realize I don’t want this anymore. I decide to share this with him, to get real, maybe have a human interaction, a moment of understanding. Let him see how I’m changing and growing as a person.
Me: “It’s funny, you’re exactly what I was looking for like a month ago.”
Him: “That’s a pretty quick change.”
Me: “Changing daily.”
Him: “That’s called PMS.”
Now, this hits me hard. Not because I relate to it. But because this is exactly the kind of shit Gaffer Guy used to say to me. And I can’t believe guys think it’s okay to talk to women this way. What I should have said was “Actually, it’s called evolution.” But I don’t have my smart hat on. I suddenly feel very angry and disappointed. My worst fears confirmed.
Me: “Wow you really are a dick!”
Him: “Woman [sic] are impossible. Can’t reason with crazy.”
If the PMS line stung, this line knocks me in the solar plexus. I feel nauseous, a familiar feeling from the days of Gaffer Guy. I can’t believe that at my most reasonable moment, at the precise moment when I’m trying to level with him as a human being and connect in a real way, he’s able to undermine everything I say with one absurd statement. Not just “you are crazy,” but that all women are crazy.
And suddenly I start to think about evolution. About the ways in which the world is changing. More women in government, more women’s voices in art and film, more women deciding what they want and going for it. Maybe these changes unnerve him. Maybe he feels the need to assert his sexual dominance because I reached out to him, I made the first move. I took the traditionally male role of expressing interest first. I put my sexuality on the table.
I have not written him back and I don’t intend to. I don’t want to go down this path again. My reaction time of turning away from this kind of behavior has gotten better, but the next step is to stop attracting it. If I’m honest, there’s something in me that is still attracted to this guy, even after all this. I’m not sure why and I don’t necessarily want to examine it. I’d rather just move on. I know what I want now – I want a nice, smart, funny, sexy man to ask me out on a date. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
I had a dream last night that Gaffer Guy was stalking me in an expansive field, armed with a shotgun. Like in a horror movie, he walked slowly and deliberately, as though he knew he would catch me even as I ran away. I was trying to find my way back to the safe house where my friends and family were, but he knew I was going in a circle and would end up where I started. He waited for me there and I ran right back into him.