Alright friends, I've been a bit of a delinquent poster as of late, but here is the latest installment. It's a long one, so grab a Snickers!
All of the stories with which I have regaled you so far have been tales from the past. It's much easier to write about burns once they no longer sting. Now I wish to tell you about my latest run-in with the heartbreak monster.
While walking back to the train from a friend's apartment last month, I approached a handsome stranger, standing on the curb, clutching a camera and staring up at a balcony. Being accustomed to passing goodlooking men on the street, I paid him no mind, other than the customary glance in his direction. However, this time proved a little different from previous instances of walking by a hottie because this time, the hottie spoke to me: "Excuse me, can you whistle?"
I'm really not a very good whistler. Not at all. And I am particularly poor at performing on command, but I'd rather good-naturedly make a fool of myself in front of someone than let him down... especially a fine male specimen such as the one I found standing before me. I gave a feeble attempt at whistling and was met with disastrous results, but at least succeeded in making Studly McStudlerson laugh. He then explained that there was a giant great dane that lived in the apartment we were in front of and he was trying to lure it out onto the balcony to take a picture of it. The dog (whose name we found out is Charlie) eventually returned to the balcony, the handsome stranger (whose name I found out is Marc) snapped his photo, and Marc and I ended up walking up the street together.
He explained that he was only in town for a few days and did not know anyone in NYC. We spent several minutes talking as we walked together, so when I reached my train stop I offered Marc my phone number so that the next time he visited NYC he would know someone to call. Marc countered my offer with an offer of his own: "Do you have to go somewhere right now, or would you like to join me for a drink?" Luckily, I did not have anywhere I needed to be and I wanted nothing more than to join this mysterious man for a beer.
Over drinks, I learned a number of things about Marc: the source of his extremely sexy accent (Zimbabwe), his job (travel writer / photographer), and two of the three things he generally looks for in a woman (must own less than 13 pairs of shoes and have that special spark in her eye that says you can tell her anything and she can be trusted). Marc also romantically read my palm, lightly trailing his fingers over my skin, spoke intelligently about literature and current events, laughed genuinely at my lame jokes and made me laugh heartily at his own. He had gorgeous, lucid light blue eyes and looked like Cary Elwes circa 1988. I was extremely taken by this man, but not yet 100% convinced he wasn't just a smooth operator.
Post drinks, I walked him back to where he was staying and he invited me in, insisting he had a book to share with me. I was hesitant to follow him inside, but the hallways were full of people so I felt rather safe. Up in Marc's deserted hallway I became less sure of myself, but held my ground and did not follow him into his room, even after he got my blood flowing wildly by pushing me up against the wall of the hallway and kissing me harder (and much better) than I'd been kissed in years. Marc and I made out in his doorway for quite some time, and after several attempts to lure me further inside I decided it was time to go. I was not in the mood to play that game. However, Marc surprised me by suggesting that if I was not comfortable in his room, we should go back out and get dessert so we could at least still spend time together. I agreed that this was an excellent compromise, so we decided to venture back outside to search for the closest frozen yogurt vendor.
BUT FIRST Marc wanted to show me his third criteria he looks for in a female companian. He lifted my arm, placed his nose in my armpit, and sniffed. I laughed at his silliness and of course immediately began making protests... after all, I'd been walking around all day and it was 95 degrees outside! However, Marc informed that I had passed his test. He claimed that if a woman could spend the day outside in that kind of heat and still smell as sweet as I did, then she was worth keeping around. So there you have it: my armpits smell rockin'!
But anyway... we found a Pinkberry and walked our delicious frozen treats to Central Park to enjoy them. We sat on a bench and Marc told me that he was planning on moving to NYC from his current home in Los Angeles. He had previously been 99% sure he was going to make the move and had just been waiting for the final sign to tell him it was the right decision. He claimed that after meeting me, that sign had hit him right in the face. I told him I was flattered and would of course love if he lived closer and I would be able to get to know him better, but that he should never base such a drastic decision on a woman, especially one he had just met. Marc came on very strongly, but I liked him. I was by no means smitten, but he was extremely fascinating and it seemed clear he liked me.
(I never did get that book he wanted to share with me, though he claimed that was not simply a line and just forgot to give me the book. His arguement was that if he wanted to feed me a line he'd come up with something far better than book-sharing).
We parted that night and I awoke to a text from him the following morning: "12 hours and no text - I feel used for my kisses!" I replied that I felt equally used for my awesome whistling skills and we texted on and off throughout the day, agreeing to meet for lunch the next day before his flight back to L.A. At lunch, Marc recited me the poetry of William Butler Yeats. The date was very laid back and just a little awkward because we: 1.) had just met, and 2.) were soon to part ways for the forseeable future. After we parted again I received the following text message: "You are a good egg, renewed my faith in people. I don't know what the future holds, but you gave me Central Park by lamplight so I wanted to share the gift of Yeats. He had his Maud Gonne (his love), but she didn't look nearly as sensational in pearls."
I know that sometimes girls have a tendency to read into signs from men, but I thought it was pretty safe to say that this guy was totally digging me. However, he was returning to L.A. and I was going camping and would be off the grid for the next week. I decided that it would be nice to hear from Marc upon my return, but if I didn't, well... at least it had been a fun whirlwind romance that went nowhere.
As it turned out, I did have a text from Marc when I returned to civilization. He wanted to let me know he was back in NYC, but would be leaving again the morning after I returned from vacation. He agreed to meet me at Penn Station when my train got in so that we could spend several hours together until he was once again whisked away. We walked to a pub and shared tales of our various adventures over a few beers. He was very flirty, but announced that he still hadn't quite made up his mind regarding whether or not he should sell his house in L.A. and make the move to the East Coast. I was a little surprised since he had previously seemed so sure of this decision, and even more surprised to find that I was disappointed.
At one point Marc turned to me and said, "You are a puzzle." I replied that I am certainly not a puzzle. I am completely honest and straight-forward; all one needs to do is ask. He said he didn't have a question for me per se; the puzzle was that he didn't want to sleep with me. That was not at all what I had expected to hear. "You don't want to sleep with me now? Or ever?" I asked him. Marc answered that he did not want to sleep with me now, which was a relief because I also did not want to sleep with him at that precise moment. He further elaborated by explaining that he could tell I was a "gentle soul with a good heart" and wouldn't want to take that step with the future unknown, as it could potentially hurt me emotionally (Work with me; I'm paraphrasing here).
Some people I have spoken to think that was a weird thing for him to tell me. I don't. It was an observation and he hit the nail right on the head, so to speak. I do not jump into bed with just anyone, and I'm not at all quick to get under the covers with someone I really like. There are many factors contributing to that thought process, but yes, one of them is that I know I would get very hurt if the relationship fizzled quickly thereafter.
Eventually Marc had to head back to his hotel to pack, so I walked him "home." At the door, I realized I had to pee. Badly. I wasn't sure I'd even make it back to the main street to look for a McDonald's or Starbucks. With this in mind, I followed Marc up to his room with the sole intention of using his bathroom, Girl Scout's honor. But after doing my business I decided that while I was up there... well, it couldn't really hurt to fool around just a little bit... So I told Marc that I could leave, or we could make out for a while. His choice. To my surprise, Marc said that he didn't think that would be a good idea because he's very persuasive. Though I assured him that if anything happened it would be because I wanted to and it was my choice alone, Marc wrapped his arms around me, pulled me onto his bed, and... did nothing. For twenty minutes we lay intertwined and he made not a single move. No one spoke. It was kind of awesomely perfect.
I eventually broke the embrace, said my goodbyes, gave Marc a final kiss and reached for the doorknob to make my exit. Halfway through the door, Marc grabbed my arm, pulled me back inside, pushed me up against the wall and with a growl announced, "I changed my mind." Various articles of clothing went flying, though certainly not all of them. I was fully prepared to stand by my previous decision to not sleep with Marc. Or do too much other stuff. Oh, but he wanted to. He tried damn hard. And Marc was just like a delicious slice of chocolate cake. You want it; you know if you have it that it will be the best thing you've ever experienced, but that cake is so bad for you. Resisting the cake got more and more difficult, so I again prepared to make my exit. Marc released me from his clutches, but again wrapped his arms around me at the door. I asked when I would see him again and he said he didn't know. So I said, "But will I see you again?" He again said he just didn't know, that I shouldn't think about it.
Confused, but proud of myself, I went home.
Mark texted me later that night to say, "May love and fortune shine upon you." I never heard from him again. I know I never will. And I'm okay with that... it just bothers me that I can't figure out what this guy's motives were. Did he genuinely like me and decide that it wasn't nice to string me along if the move to NYC wasn't going to work out? Did he originally think that I was easy bait to lure into his bed but as he got to know me decided he couldn't go through with it, thus his hesitations? Or was that the intention all along, the "nice guy" shtick merely a routine, and when I repeatedly turned down his sexual advances, he tired of me? Marc, you are a puzzle.