|Safe to say, neither of us is this hot.|
Maybe I deserved it. That’s what that prudish inner voice tells me. (Why can’t I find its mute button?) But maybe I even wanted it to happen. I got stood up for a hookup. At his place. When does that ever happen?
I felt especially nervous as I got ready to head over. Didn’t help that I read a chapter last night about Jeffrey Dahmer and a London serial killer of gay men. Also didn’t help that my last hookup had been lackluster. The guy I was meeting looked more like the sweet guy-next-door type I wouldn’t mind dating. Could something more come from this?
At the last minute, I realized I’d forgotten to shave. I didn’t want my whiskers to scratch up his face in the event of a passionate kissing session so I quickly ran the electric shaver back and forth across my face, leaving my skin burning from the wrong kind of touch. By the time I’d waited for the elevator and gotten in my car, it was clear I’d be late. 2:57 and we were supposed to meet at 3. And then came red light after red light, an elderly woman taking baby steps to cross with her walker at a stop sign and an out-of-the-blue parade of dozens of cyclists who continued to cross at an intersection after I had the green to go. It’s not meant to be, that dang inner voice taunted.
But I knew I had to reach my destination. Had to show I tried. And so I drove on as perspiration painted my underarms. A bad first impression. Hopefully I wouldn’t have the shirt on for long. I parked the car and searched for the street address. #1288. Not there! There was townhouse #1280, an alley and then a twenty-floor condominium marked as #1290. I walked through the alley, searching for a hidden door, a yurt or a rickety shed. Anything would have been welcoming. But no. Had the asshole given me the wrong address on purpose?
But then I checked the address I’d entered on my phone: #1228. Putz. Late-onset dyslexia sucks. And so, finally, thirteen minutes late, I pressed the doorbell. I heard it chime. I waited, fanning my shirt and running my tongue across my teeth in case there was a food particle lodged between molars or canines or whatever the other ones are called. After a minute, I knocked on the door…just in case that doorbell chime I heard was something I’d imagined. Alas, there was no a peep to be heard from within.
It’s rude to be late, my Prudish Inner Voice reminded me. Even for a booty call. (In truth, I’m stunned my P.I.V. knew the term “booty call” and more embarrassed that I don’t know if it fit in this context.) Maybe this guy was making a statement. Maybe he headed to the gym or the grocery store after waiting five minutes. Or what if he was making a different statement. Had he peeked from his second floor window as I locked my car and noted the five extra pounds since my profile pic? Had he spotted the sweat stains on my too tight t-shirt? Had he simply realized he could do better and turned out the lights, waiting for me to go away?
If I felt bad about the prospect of hooking up, I felt worse walking back to my car. And, yes, a little relieved. I have to keep reminding myself, it’s just sex. This despite the fact I’ve always wanted sex to be something more.
Back home, I went online and there was a message. “Running half an hour late. Sorry. Can we make it 3:30?” I suppose if I’d been spiteful, I’d have not replied. Let him wonder who flaked on whom. But, no, that’s not in me. I only thought of that now as I write this. Instead, I let the guy know I’d shown up, that my work phone doesn’t let me check messages on hookup sites and that maybe we’d meet some other time. Maybe meaning never. The whole experience had done enough to fracture my fragile self-esteem. Next time someone else could have a crack at it.