Mature– She works at a designer Jewelry store on Madison Avenue. Wants to find a nice Jewish boy. I’m not that guy. I can be that guy tonight though. There’s no contracts being signed. Walking in Central park I take her hand as our shadows lengthen and then shrink under the street lamp as we pass. She has work tomorrow, I do too. Why the rush home though? Can smell the carriage horse’s shit. She had an ex-boyfriend that she awkwardly chatted with in the elevator at work that morning. That was the last date, get your head in the game. We’re all pining over our ex’s. I’m at a trendy yogurt shop in Columbus Circle with Merche, the 50 year old with a sagging face, but a slender and fit body. “Peter, If you’re interested in having a real connection and friendship, then we can think about sex after we establish the ground rules. Why do you like older women? There must be some underlying issues. I have a good friend who I could give you the name of, she’s an excellent therapist.” she said. “Does she like younger guys too?” I replied. The second date we met at a small venue close to Lincoln center for a small, quaint concert, world class singers belted Federico Garcia Lorca’s short form poetry and a famous pianist played also. I was reminded of how uncultured I am. I got a free concert out of it, I just had to get through the part where she introduced me to her young cultured friends. Had some faulty circuitry in the head though.
I came in and paid for our pool table in cash. This polish girl was a few years younger. Zlata had the faded and eroded accent that clicks only at the end of every fifth sentence. Her cultural ties were in good condition, in her 4 bedroom in Brooklyn. Parents keep her abreast of the old country. Has a weird obsession with cats and had a blog with lots of cat art. A famous rapper and his posse of three had the table next to us, he mocked the whiteness of the man singing “Mr. Jones” on the radio. Smoking a cig outside and we share one. I lost interest a quarter of the way in, mad at myself for treating my time so flippantly. She had been here before and that time it was fun. When we first met she was much more palatable and had less opinions, 5 bud lights deep on the train into Manhattan I was tranquil. She was just another moving target in my hunt for diversions and changing states of consciousness. I was annoyed and wouldn’t be deterred from telling her that she skated the 10 dollar fee and made me pay. She addressed me loudly with four letter words as she smoked the cigarettes. I took a deep breath and walked to catch the 6 train uptown. You don’t see it coming sometimes. The demons lurking behind pleasant smiles, only after I pay the entry fee. Or a fucking 20 year old, dumbass.
Teresa met me for a drink and some tapas. Worked for the NFL and was close to securing a position with Budweiser, so that’s her lifestyle. I go out to drink four or five nights a week, you don’t, we’re not compatible. She monopolized the conversation and clearly had some unresolved attachment issues with her parents. She didn’t have friends because all the girls at University of Pennsylvania, the Ivy League School, were preppy and waspy and she had to work nights at CVS, there was no time. There are other reasons you don’t have friends. The talk of the 33 year old veteran ex-boyfriend was a red flag. The story you told me about the Aussie guy you met on Tinder who collected action figures. Those “abusive relationships” turned you into an abrasive person with brash interjections and clumpy transitions in our conversation. These types of people I should just let go when they hit their stride in the telling of a story, because whatever words I say to her will just bounce off her or soar through space, going and going like abandoned satellites in space. I should start a counseling and diagnosing service with the girls I go on dates with. I could prescribe them meds to deal with their problems and let them talk things out for more than the two volatile hours I spend with them. I push their buttons and dunk and dip into their good graces until they disclose things to me. But if I had more time, I could take a deeper dive and affect some real change with young women.
Kaitlyn had a smile that revealed a melancholy and good Texas manners. We walked in Central Park one May evening. As we crossed the bridge near the boathouse, a raccoon emerged from the water with scratches and was bloodied. Raccoons are the dirtiest animal I can think of. She had a ranch at home where the chickens would go wild when her dad came out with the food. The cows grazed and never bothered anyone. “Why are you on this app, why are you on this date?” She asked. It always gets good when these questions come. I gave my good-guy answer that she undoubtedly saw through. “I overcame ovarian cancer last year, its just in remission now, with the fundraising power of coworkers and friends.” She said. Turns out it costs eight grand to keep her eggs frozen every year, there’s no time for dawdling. Her good friend works for Terry Bradshaw and she brought them on his private plane for his trip to Hawaii when he heard about her illness. “You never wanted to move back home to Texas and away from the big city once you got your diagnosis? You’re a stronger person than I.” I waxed sentimental. Her tears came then. This affected me the same way I had seen women cry on TV hundreds of times over. I am a rich white boy through and through with a sanitized worldview. She had a treasured family, true friends, and a ticking clock. She gave me a cheek when I went to kiss her. Good for her, I thought.
Anna is 8 years older and in a committed open relationship. When she told me and asked if I was ok with this, I said, sure, I’m just happy to be along for the ride. She hadn’t spoken to her father in 12 years and had some unconventional theories about true love and attachment. It was a nice twist to all the traditional shit I fill my head with, McConaughey Rom-coms and the soap opera machine. She was an only child too. I can’t complain, I’m just happy I was able be on the field, to be in the ring. We had a beer in this arcade that was disguised as a Laundromat in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The next stop was her factory style converted office building to play pool, it was a Saturday but there was one other guy there. She had some sophisticated photography magazines she had published. Traveled far and wide, was close with a bunch of punk rock bands. We had a cigarette on the balcony overlook the manhattan skyline across the water. It was a warm breezy June evening. Afterwards she walked me to the ferry that went back to 34th street in Manhattan as the sun was descending below the horizon. She walked me the expanse of the boardwalk passed the guys fishing in jean overalls. If we had just been in Manhattan she might have had her defenses low enough to be persuaded to go to my place. She may or may not be in one of the more loving phases of her relationship next time I text her, damn. Her terms, timing is everything.
“Let’s meet at Cafe Lalo on 80th and broadway, it was in You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.” Festive lights on the trees in front. We sat next to a young family with a baby. The hot chocolate with whipped cream was tasty. “What do you do? I just got back from San Fran on a business trip, I love the guys I work with on the bond desk. Where do you work?” She said, with a business-like urgency. “A non-profit. We provide affordable housing for the underprivileged, but its not really that charitable, my company mostly reaps the benefits of generous tax credits.” I said. This sent us into a muddy patch in the swamp of conversation we were wading through. We were fishing with bait foreign to the other, firing shots from different dimensions. Some chemicals and compounds aren’t meant to bond with other, but the correct bonds form miracles. It’s a double edged sword that way. The physics of it made a connection or common ground impossible. I’m jewish, she said, and could read it was the type of Jewish that would only date Jewish, which is sensible, but its not me. I could sense she was trying to plot a diplomatic exit and the passive aggression seeped out of her pores, disgusted with herself for going on a date with a guy with low to medium income. Should have left my money and just walked out, manners always trump good sense. Parents made sure of that when we were young. Sit there and squirm dammit, fume and blow a fuse, burst an artery for all I care, but you finish you’re damn broccoli before the video games. The goodbye was a wave and shoulder turn to indicate, fuck you in that romantic steps with lights where Tom Hanks stood.
She works at a law firm, FF and C firm, full and curvy. Acronyms hold weight and denote success. We aimlessly decided on this fancy dive bar across from the Comedy club. She got a 13 dollar strawberry margarita. The people she worked with were such jokesters, they had “team” outings, expense accounts, charity fundraisers and a camaraderie among the young ones. Her curvy legs kept nudging me and hovering in close proximity on the bar stools. “I’m not coming back to your place on a first date,” she said. “I’m not that kind of girl” I respect this. The next date at Agave, I paid for this overcrowded, cramped, and loud Mexican restaurant. She ordered a plate of chips and guacamole which she barely touched. She was opinionated and didn’t mess around with “fuck-boys” what a valiant counter punch to the chauvinist pigs, like throwing a bucket of water on me in the middle of a rain storm. Have I ever had sex with 2 girls in the same day, same week? She had done this before, hypocrite. She wanted to stay over my place and cuddle and after sex. The switch turned off and suddenly she had four heads and was an ugly cretin after I came. We had an argument she ran out in a huff. Shit I’m horny again, why did I go and do that.
Pick up Artist
Melanie made a joke about putting out when she sees a guy is a gentleman with manners, on her third vodka soda, my fourth beer. I have this in the bag. Remember the book, I need to appear too cool, unaffected. She needs to earn my affection and approval, neg neg neg. She’s old fashion, from the south somewhere. Melanie hints that I am paying for it when the bill comes, I can’t pay for the whole thing I said, we’ll split it. I overplayed the negging hand. Fuck she’s leaving.