Alright, here we go. Summer's here, the time of couples walking fancy free, swinging their holding hands, smooching on the sidewalk, taking up the entire sidewalk, not breaking rank for us single people. I'll be honest and risk sounding bitter, but sometimes it just sucks to be single in the summer. I should admit that when I'm on the other team, the couple's team, I'm the one holding hands and showing off. Looking back, I see that this was total insecurity and me attempting to display to the world that I was one half of a very happy couple. To justify, I'm on my damn own so much that sometimes it's just nice to at least pretend to want this. The problem stems from the pretending becoming the reality. I guess it's all relative to your situation at any given time and shows how my perspective can morph into hypocrisy and become contradictory at a moment's notice. Bitter sounding cause I just came off a dream that involved my ex-girlfriend. Haven't gone back to that place in a while. Since I'm spending more time downtown, I have a fear of bumping into my ex and she'll be one half of the aforementioned couple swinging their arms. She'll be with a guy that is making her more happy than I ever did. And I'll be alone. But maybe she will just be pretending. Although we travel in very different circles, this meeting is inevitable. I just hope it happens when I have an attractive woman with me and if I see my ex, I'll grab said woman's hand and swing it fancy free and the happiness will radiate from my very core.
Can't say this dream didn't sting a little bit. So, I'm trying to take more risks, but it's like I don't know who I am. Always thought I was Relationship-Guy, but not so much anymore. Couldn't hack it in relationships, yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, every relationship is a failed relationship until one isn't. What a line of crap. Still hurts to get dumped, right? Still think you'll never find someone, right? Friends say I haven't found the right person, but maybe jumping into a relationship isn't the right decision at the moment. I say this like it's a choice.
Not really Dating-Guy, juggling multiple people. I can barely schedule myself. Went back to online dating for about an hour until I realized how utterly ridiculous and unrealistic it is for me to find someone out there in the ether of the Internet. Besides, my record still stands: zero people interested in me and zero replies to any messages I sent out.
Never been Fuck-Guy either. Too much guilt and emotion tied up in making love with a new person every week. The fact that I refer to it as 'making love' and not sex tells you and me something. But again, like I have much of a choice here.
So, what's a guy to do? Take risks.
I'm walking down a downtown street the other day and two women are sitting out on their roof smoking. Not a roof patio - the roof. They called out, "Hey, you?" I stopped, pointed at my chest. "Yeah, we're talking to you. What're you doing?" I just so happen to not be doing anything and I asked them why they were asking me. "Come on up and you'll see." I was vaguely on my way somewhere, but nothing pressing. My usual demeanor would be to thank them kindly and move on. I might not be Relationship-Guy, Dating-Guy or Fuck-Guy, but I certainly wasn't this kind of guy. And then I thought, Why not?
So, I went in through the house and they shouted at me as they guided me to the room that led to the roof. I crawled through the window and met Emily and Sarah. Emily was an actor, but mainly working as a waitress. Sarah worked at a marketing company, I won't say which one. I took a shine to Emily and she to me. We talked about movies and how television is better than movies at the moment. We talked about acting and what she wanted to do. The day started out with rain, but the sky cleared, allowing us to stay on the roof until the night, until we moved to a dirty bar down the street. We closed the place down but weren't finished talking and so Sarah went home, leaving Emily and I to walk down College Street until the sun came back up.
Anything could have happened, where I disregard any sense of logic or reason, where new people are met, a meeting of the minds, in a place I used to inhabit, where I invited chaos and unsureness and just, without thinking, invited it into my life.
Sounds like a great night. Would've been better if it turned out this way. The truth is, it never happened. Yes, I walked by two women sitting out on their roof, and yes they called out to me, but I ignored them. I actually scratched my forehead, adjusted my sunglasses and made like I didn't hear them. Oh, my psyche got a good walloping from my You Suck voice. But sometimes, life gives you a second chance.
After finishing work, I really just wanted to get a beer and write a few things down. Headed to an old watering hole I used to frequent where people don't care that you're alone. Dark, dirty - perfect. Because I don't want to be that guy - the guy who sits alone at a bar scribbling in a Moleskine notebook, acting like he doesn't want attention, using the notebook and guise of writing to appear sensitive and intelligent, when in reality, all he wants is attention. Well, I really was trying to write something and I just wanted a beer, so maybe I am that guy.
Actually, I was writing this, what you've read so far. And right at THIS moment, I get interrupted-
-Two attractive women stop and ask me about the poetry I'm writing and if it's great. It was actually kind of sincere and I felt they weren't making fun of me in anyway. It's certainly not poetry and I tell them this. I tell them about what I'm doing and we start talking. One girl leaves and I have a long conversation with the other one. She sits down, we talk about how she moved to the city a year ago, how she's changed, we talk about friends and her separation, work life, social life. This is what it's like for me now, can't do small talk, no bull shit, let's get right to it. We talked for a long time. But in addition to all the other guys I am not, I'm not Pick-Up-At-Bar-Guy, and so don't know how to move this situation to a different level. After a while, I ask, "Do you come here often?" Which is quite lame and I see a flicker in her eyes that says this will be over soon. We finish our drinks and she says it was nice to meet me and we part ways.
Of course, I was disappointed in the outcome. But after cowardly ignoring the women on the roof, a space opened up where I was something else. The bartender all of a sudden wanted to serve me, smiled and nodded like we had some kind of secret understanding. This woman entered the bar with a few friends, all of whom went out to the back patio. Two of the guys - the dudes, as I call them - kept coming inside to use the washroom or grab a drink, and when passing us, hugging her or making a face at her or whatever. I guess they were marking their territory or something. We were just two people talking and I turned it into something else, or maybe tried to turn it into something it wasn't. At least I didn't give her my business card. At the same time, it made me feel good, like she picked me, like out of all these other guys, she wanted to talk to me. And I wasn't being any other type of guy, I was just being me. So, maybe I have to learn to be that guy more often.