Why is it most men (or at least the ones I've met) think with their genitalia?
My orbit of the universe sometimes has a way of crossing with that of a man I'll call Richard. It's a fitting pseudonym for a man who deserves the nickname "Dick."
Anyway. Richard and I run into each other every three months or so. I like to dance and he likes to watch the female species, and sometimes our respective endeavors take us to the same place. Our little run-ins happen so frequently that I can now pretty much predict with confidence where to go on which nights to "just happen" to run into ol' Richard.
I decided to visit one of my favorite watering holes in Lexington, it's a spot where the age skews to the just-out-of-college set and the music takes you to the heart of Compton. It's a great spot to pretend you don't have bills to pay or work to be responsible for.
Richard is a very attractive black man. I met him over a year ago and was instantly attracted to his beautiful bald head (get your mind out of the gutter), his juicy-full lips and his commanding confidence. Richard was attracted to my 38 DDs and my tipsy-flirtatious attitude (this was pre-sobriety). There we were... his friends and mine... standing in a little circle one September... exchanging pleasantries and compliments... when he silently mouthed with those ripe lips "I like you."
I like you.
What is this, grade school?
Flash forward (don't worry, I'm not really skipping anything juicy. Just a couple dates, dozens of phone calls, a few text messages and a handful of kisses. Really. Just kisses. I promise.) to yesterday, when the little red light on my phone was blinking. "Text message" said the screen.
Of course it was Richard. He's the only one (other than the Sprint man reminding me my bill is late) who texts me. My lungs filled with air as I sighed with an indifference I hadn't felt towards a man in a while. Some men I love, some men I hate. A few I really care about. Richard's probably the only one I really could take or leave. He hasn't wronged me enough to make it to that list titled I'd-never-sleep-with-him-even-if-the-species-was-dying... but my heart doesn't skip a beat when he calls, either. At least, not anymore.
Gobble gobble said his little, sweet nothing. A nice little message to share his warm wishes on the Thanksgiving holiday. And that's the little game we play. He calls me and we meet up on the 4th of July... I leave a message for him on Labor Day... we bounce back and forth in a literal game of phone tag that's marked by the holidays.
The last time I really went out with Richard... just the two of us hanging out... I was still sans license. He came to my work to pick me up and took me to a little hole in the wall for a chicken sandwich. Four star, this place was not. I opened my heart about the personal crisis I'd been weathering, and he gave me the most pitiful puppy dog stare when talking about how he gets women to do what he wants them to. I think that particular talking point focused on his asking for my forgiveness for being so inconsistent.
Out of nowhere, Richard asked me if I had gotten a boob reduction. It was the oddest thing I've ever been asked, I think. I explained that no, "black turtle necks are very slimming, and I'm wearing a minimizing bra. Plus, I've lost some weight."
He drove me home, kissed me, and said he'd be back in a couple hours... that he had to go out for a drink with a friend who had lost a loved one in a car crash a year ago. He promised he'd be back later. I woke up in my arm chair around 2 that night... all the lights on in the house and me curled up in a ball with a blanket over me.
And that's what Richard does. He drives into my heart to remind himself it's still there when it's ready. That was the excuse I heard one time, "Kate, I could see myself getting so serious with you, and I'm just not ready for that."
What a line of bull.
At least that's what I've reconciled it as being, because if I don't... if I hang on to that crumb of hope that he could be my future, I could spend the rest of my years a pretty lonely girl... while he's out there laying pipe, keeping his options open.