The date part of dating is relatively simple. You plan an activity, do said activity, and get to know each other better. Whatever hijinks ensue during the date are usually nothing huge of note. For me, if there is anything of note, you usually read about it here, albeit with a time delay. The tricky parts are the before and after. The before part is trying to find a way to get the girl to go out with you. Somehow convincing her that you’re worth spending some time with is nothing less than an art form, but still, that’s way less vexing than what happens after.
After the date ends, the good-bye is always a tricky move. You can always go for the hug, which I feel is the safest option. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the awkward missed kiss or even worse, the dreaded post-date handshake. But, if it’s not a good-bye, things can get interesting. It’s pretty much a whole new ball game once a girl crosses the threshold of your doorway.
So when she came up to my apartment, I didn’t really think anything of it. We’ve always had fun, we talked a lot, and we were laughing the whole time when we kicked off our sneakers. I poured her a drink, and that’s pretty much the last cool adult thing that I did. She immediately saw the stack of comic books that I didn’t put away, and she gravitated toward them. She spent the next few minutes thumbing through the latest issue of ‘Vision’ and ‘All New X-Men’, and actually talking about the issue. I then showed her my Game of Thrones memorabilia, because you know, I’m THAT smooth.
Somewhere between all the super-nerd stuff, she saw my record player. If anyone knows anything about me, it’s that I like collecting things, and the combination of searching through vintage shops and holding onto vinyl makes record collecting super addictive. As soon as she spotted it, she made me play the latest record I bought, which happened to be Van Morrison’s ‘Wavelength’ (found in the West Village for $6). We worked our way through the record until she asked me to put on my favorite, at which point, I put Sinatra’s ‘In the Wee Small Hours’ on the turntable. I’ve written before about why this album is arguably my favorite, and as soon as the notes play through the speakers, she looks me right in the eyes.
And then, the strangest thing happened, she took my hand, and pulled me in front of the speakers. Without a word, she put my hand at the small of her back, her hand on my shoulder, and we just slow-danced. As we swayed there, adrift with the beat of the music, she laid her head on my shoulder, and I actually lost track of time. I thought that these things never happened any more, that something like this was a relic of a bygone era, just like the vinyl revolving on the turntable.
It’s really easy to presume that this has a happy ending, but both she and I know that it’s not that simple. Things are eminently complicated, and I guess from an outsider’s perspective, it’s incredibly easy to think that whatever is between us can be easily fixed, but life isn’t like that. What I do know for an absolute fact though, is that I get to keep that moment. That moment is mine, or actually it’s ours. It’s one of those moments that you see in movies and think that it’s too cheesy to happen in real life. But, I can tell you that in this instance that the reality was far better than the fantasy. To simply be close to someone, with no ulterior motives, no subtext. Just the simple idea of wanting to be with someone else for a moment in time.
And so, as we slowly revolved to the dulcet tones of Sinatra in my tiny studio apartment, I realized that I was content, maybe even happy, in her embrace. For a few seconds the world didn’t exist outside of us, and it felt as if her breathing was all that held the moment together. Whether it works out or not between us, who’s to say. But, all I know is that in a sea of dating mayhem and encounters that lead to nothing, I danced with a beautiful girl to Sinatra.
[Art Credit: Amelia Mikel]