Saturday, November 28, 2015

ALL TOO FAMILIAR

Sometimes you can tell from the first three seconds that this is not just a "No" date but a bad date. And sometimes a bad date can become even worse than anticipated.

I headed to Breka Cafe for the second time in as many weeks. Not a place of my choosing. The stakes in Vancouver's coffee wars are rising as upstart roasters introduce better, bolder, stronger beans. Starbucks, Blenz, Tim Hortons and, yes, this heretofore-unknown Breka are now Why Bother hubs. But Richard suggested it as a halfway point. Fine. Better than my last date there where Mr. Meet-Me-My-Way suggested it since it was across the street from his place. (These are the "normal" dates, springing from the very polite Plenty of Fish site, not hookup-minded men from my Manhunt "studies".)

As I arrived ten minutes early, I received a text from Richard, giving his location and saying he was on his way. I knew it was twenty minutes away. Simple math word problem. If Person A arrives 10 min early and Person B is 20 min away, that equals a late start. "Take your time," I texted.  My laptop was malfunctioning but I figured I could text-type some work on my phone's Notes app. There is never an excuse not to write.

The first red flag arose before Richard's entrance. He texted again to let me know he'd hopped on a bus. From two blocks away! I'd already given him a Late Pass. This smacked of desperation. "Silly man," I texted and left it at that.

When Richard arrived seconds later, he sat down and commented about how much he loved reading my profile. "You don't know it, but I learned extra things about you." O...Kay. Perhaps Richard possessed uncanny inferential skills. I tried not to be creeped out. But there was an intensity in his stare. I had to look away.

And in so doing, I spotted my previous date, Mr. Meet-Me-My-Way, entering the cafe. Yes, awkward became awkwarder. (I'm aware that's not a word; it just fits.) I tried to focus on a conversation I was ready to end. I needed Last Date to get his coffee and go. You see, I'd thought that date had been a decent one, with pleasant conversation, laughter and common interests. When we stood on the the sidewalk and I said, "Message me if you'd like to meet again", I saw that look of horror register for a nanosecond before a skilled recalibration. Oops. Not interested. Totally misread the situation. But then a full week later, Mr. Last Date messaged the equivalent to a grunt: "How was your week?"

I replied. He replied. I scratched my head and then dared to ask, "Do you want to meet again?"

And...silence. End of conversation. Never more.

But then this. And as I waited and waited to spot Last Date leaving, I saw him take a seat. Two tables away. With another guy. And, yes, it sure looked like another first date.

So I had no choice. I guzzled the latte I'd been gently sipping and announced to Richard--still staring ever so intently--that I needed to head out and get on with the errands of the day.  As Richard and I exited, I made sure not to catch Last Date's eye. And for the umpteenth time, I wondered why I even bother with any of this. My dating history is an endless series of mismatches.

At least I got my errands done early.

3 comments:

Unknown said...

I really enjoy your blog. I'm 42,single, and living in Huntsville Alabama. I'm considering a move to a larger metro so I can at least meet some guys. You're writing is on point. Have a great Christmas.

Jonathan Frazer said...

Your I meant...lol

Rural Gay Gone Urban said...

Thanks for reading the blog and for leaving a comment. I know that people read the blog, but comments still seem rare. Would be nice to have more dialogue.

Alabama is the place where I came out to my parents. At the time, they had a condo in Gulf Shores. Beautiful place!

I hope you are able to get the ball in motion to make your move. I knew I was isolated in my rural setting but didn't realize the extent of it until I returned to Vancouver. It takes effort to connect anywhere, but I now see possibilities ahead of me instead of a dead end.

All the best to you!