Submitted by megan on Tue, 06/10/2008 - 23:04
The game was 10 minutes from ending, CT’s team in the lead. I watched the last few minutes; or rather, I watched him and the one other Redwings fan at the bar watch the game. The right team won, CT bounded up for a short burst of cheers and high fives. When he came back he directed his full attention towards me. It was not inconsiderable. I pushed the St. Ambroise over, we clinked, smiled, tipped it back.
And settled into a genuine, easy, interesting conversation. I was just drunk enough that I decided to say a fuck you to his seeming reserve and pry into his personal life. I asked how long he’d been single and he answered. It stayed personal too. Though I don’t think we told any big secrets, it wasn’t small talk by a long shot.
I let my leg touch his. He didn’t move.
We stayed like that a bit, but I couldn’t stand still. I got my fidgets on, like I do when I’m around someone who’s captured my interest, whether I know it yet or not. Physically self-conscious: was I standing with my back too arched, was I turned too much towards him, had he noticed our legs were touching? I kept shifting position and jittering myself out of it and into another. I was already putting it down, I knew, knowing well enough by now how to read my own body's signals. But my brain wasn't quite yet along for the ride.
I had an internal debate. Hadn't gotten any actual rebuff, but nothing stronger than an interesting conversation and our calves against one another. There was a higher chance than I’m used to that he might say no.*
Having been drinking for about as long as I've been having sex, I knew that if I had another beer, I’d get loosened up just enough to think I didn’t care. I drained the bottle.
-Yeah, I’ll have another. You?
Eventually the Ploners at the other end of the bar, where Trish was, started fomenting plans to hit the strip clubs on Bourbon. When Trish came down and asked if we wanted to go, I thought, Yes, it will give me more time to ask, and No, I’d rather be fucking.
My regular readers will not be surprised to know that what started to worry me was logistics. I was envisioning the end of the night, the three of us, me, CT and Trish, all together, standing on a green neon street corner, a drifting quiet island in the chaos, saying the longest goodbye ever.
At that point, the fucking’d be scuppered. There’s no way I was going to make a move on someone in front of their co-worker, and I was 100% certain he wouldn’t either. I knew I needed to act, that we needed to figure out if we had the same end goal. If that were true, the details could be managed.
So I just had to say it. But how, and when, and what exactly? This is the danger and the excitement of meeting someone new. The thrill of taking a chance and playing the odds. Because it might be shitty if they say no, but it's a pure electric jolt when they smile their devilish smile.
It’s a good thing that the the Plone group was breaking up a little bit, plans being made; people were joining us and melting back into the crowd again. My tipsy brain was strategizing, and I used the Ploner interruptions to mentally review the pros and cons of various approaches. I chose what felt like the right words, rolled them around in my mouth with the last swigs of beer.
I took a few deep breaths to slow my heart. I let one opportunity get away from me. Trish came back, I asked her if plans for the strip club were being set, she wasn’t sure, and walked away to check.
Not another. I leaned over, put my mouth next to his ear, told him I was hoping the night might end with us kissing. I pulled back and looked him in the eyes, he gave me that look, said he hoped he’d been making his intentions clear, and did I really want to go to the strip club, or maybe did I want to leave right now?
*Which is not to be conceited, only to say that I am conservative in my asking.