|I'm not the only one trolling in Seattle. Stop by this|
sculpture whenever I'm in Fremont.
I knew these would be very different dates and I was right.
Jeff and I met for brunch. I arrived a few minutes late. I always get lost when driving in Seattle. This time I got another unrequested glimpse of an industrial area. Is it progress that getting lost leads me to “familiar” unfamiliar places? Jeff had already scouted a table and once I approached we exchanged a rushed hello. Not sure, but as I sat down his eyes seemed to pop out. I’m never sure of anything when it comes to dating, but it seemed like he liked what he saw. I did, too. There was a geeky sexiness to him—glasses, scruffy beard and an ironed button-down white short-sleeve shirt with all but the top button done up. During the entire brunch, the look created one of those optical illusions. I saw a bow tie where there was none. His reaction, or my interpretation of his reaction, embarrassed me. I immediately looked down at the menu. And just like that, we had our first awkward pause.
Normally that’s not a good thing. For the next two minutes, it remained awkward. We’d start on a stilted small talk subject, get interrupted by the waiter and then struggle again to get the conversation going.
Why had he suggested brunch? Maybe coffee would have been better. Maybe the waiter would relate the awkwardness at Table 4 to the kitchen. SOS! Get that French toast out lickety-split!
But slowly we warmed up. We talked about our careers and why I’m drawn to Seattle. He writes a column about the city so we exchanged our impressions of Seattle and Vancouver. We talked of homelessness, infrastructure and transit systems. It was more intricate than Space Needle versus Stanley Park. The conversation remained “friendly formal” but I found Jeff interesting.
The Olympic Sculpture Park came up as we talked. I told him I’d been a couple of times and loved it. I sensed disappointment as I think he wanted us to walk there after brunch. If I was reading things right, it seemed like another sign of interest.
As we paid the bill, Jeff asked, “Do you feel like going for a walk?”
“Absolutely. Let’s go to the sculpture park.” We looked at a few pieces and then meandered along the shoreline, eventually sitting on a bench. Jeff immediately spread his arms so his right arm was behind me. Comfortable position or another sign of like? Oh, god. I’m so bad at this stuff.
Is it too much to hope for an "&"?
We talked of family, pets, our stints living in L.A. and more about Seattle. The conversation flowed. We were equal in terms of speaking and listening. I’d sneak glances and he kept getting sexier. We walked back, stopping to look at more sculptures. We talked about each piece. He clearly liked art, had an opinion and a reason for said opinion. Even sexier.
The date lasted three hours. It ended with some of that initial awkwardness. Hello and goodbye can be loaded words. I know he had a good time, but I wasn’t sure that was enough. Jeff is a practical guy. We live in different countries. He doesn’t even have a passport. Was mutual interest enough? Hope so but my senses say no. We hugged and I drove off.
A good man, a nice time.
But there was still Larry…