Okay, so in my last post I devoted a thousand (plus) words to an encounter that consisted of four glances. Total glance time: 10, maybe 11 seconds. Total time, including moments of stunned ineptitude between said glances: 45, maybe 50 seconds.
It was actually 1,380 words. (That’s 27.6 words per second. Must edit better.)
Sorry. Maybe the past ten months saying I needed no one and professing to love being single without any possible prospects bore too much bluster. I still don’t think so. I like time on my own. What I’ve learned during various incarnations of lockdown is I miss travel. Men? Meh.
But if opportunity knocks…
Handsome Man Walking Dog notices me and suddenly I’ve entered Hallmark movie territory. Apologies to Luke Macfarlane as I may have taken one of his roles. (It’s a “sorry, not sorry” from one Canadian to another. How have I missed all eight of adorable Luke’s Hallmark movie appearances?) I decided it was worth considering another glance-fest, maybe even a daring exchange of hellos. (“Hi” sounds more casual, right? “Hey” is too casual, verging on coffee barista indifference.)
Over the next week I went back. Same place, same time. Not every day. That would be desperate. (I skipped Monday.) I can’t be sure, but I think he was there every time. I can’t be sure since he now had an extra dog and he didn’t look as good. Do I have that fickle gay gene?
I reminded myself that there were no suitors waiting in the wings. Heck, there are no wings. They got repurposed after lack of use.
My first day back, I was back to my old self. No confidence. Eyes on the pavement, avoiding the cracks that might break my mother’s back. Noble, right? (That should be rewarded.) If he looked, I wouldn’t know. Still, he could’ve approached, said something about the weather, COVID or Meghan and Harry. They’re the standard chitchat topics these days. Clearly, he couldn’t make a choice. I may have made him nervous. He walked on.
The next day, I dared to look. It was the quickest of glances, but long enough for me to see him looking straight ahead, my image registering no more than a one of the dozens of trees in the park. As the days went on, I lengthened my gaze. It’s less gutsy when you know it’s perfectly safe. Still, I focused on the task before me.
No doubt, my look remained a work-in-progress. It wasn’t anything in the realm of “Come hither,” but it was a very clear “I see you.” And yet he didn’t see me.
Maybe he’s the one with the fickle gene.
Then, it happened. He scowled. It wasn’t directly at me, but I was definitely in range. Message received. Even if it wasn’t intended for me, why would I want to date a random scowler? If he scowls for no reason, what would he do if I put the orange juice carton back with only a few drip-drops left? What if he found a hair of mine in the bathroom sink? What if I didn’t smell Irish Spring-fresh after a run? (These things have been known to happen.)
Anything gained? I’ll always have that fifty seconds of four over-the-shoulder glances. The fact he turned out to be The Scowler can’t negate that. So many possibilities never lead to anything. There’s also the chance that The Scowler with Two Dogs is just a case of mistaken identity, that my Handsome Man Walking Dog really and truly only has one dog and is still out there, Fido’s pee schedule too irregular for me to expect such an easy, Hallmark-approved Scene 2. “And cut. Can someone’s get Luke Macfarlane’s agent on the line?”
Wasn’t meant to be.
Doesn’t matter. For a moment, I felt noticed. I extended that moment into a week of what ifs and, dare I say, hope. (Bonus: I blogged that week in half as many words.) That’s enough.